As a home services contractor — roofer, plumber, electrician, etc. — who wants to go out on their own, it’s important to establish your reputation in your industry as a trusted, competent service professional. This can be accomplished through personal branding.
A personal brand is particularly important for sole proprietors whose name and business are closely tied together. Here’s everything you should know about building a personal brand and why you need one.
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is your public-facing, professional “persona.” Personal branding involves communicating your values, expertise, and purpose through your unique voice and establishing yourself as an expert in your industry.
Your personal brand should be consistent and easily recognizable so your audience can identify you right away. You’ll want to choose and commit to aesthetics, like your logo and brand colors (sites like Fiverr can help with this), as well as your tone and messaging.
Why do you need a personal brand?
When you devote time to developing a personal brand, it can help you accomplish the following:
Display your value
By sharing your expertise and passions with your audience, you can show them exactly who you are and why you are important to your industry. Personal branding is all about standing out and displaying your unique value — what you can offer that other service providers in your field cannot.
You could be the most talented professional in your industry, but that won’t matter if no one knows who you are. Many professionals stray from the spotlight, but doing so will only close you off to potential opportunities. Establishing your brand cultivates awareness and makes you more recognizable in your industry. At a minimum, you should have a decent digital presence (including a professional-looking logo and website) so prospective clients/customers know where to find you.
The more authoritative and consistent you are with your brand, the more opportunities you will have.
Customers want to hire a service provider with a strong reputation and clearly displayed expertise rather than someone who lacks passion and experience in their field. However, they also want to feel comfortable with the person they’re inviting into their home.
If you run your own business, your personal brand will help clients and customers better identify with you as a person rather than just a professional, and they’ll feel more comfortable investing in you.
Today’s consumers are more careful when deciding who they give their business to, taking the time to research companies and professionals before committing to them. A personal brand and positive reputation reassure consumers that they can trust you. With trust comes loyalty, and with loyalty comes more business as well as referrals, helping you attract and retain your customers.
Expand your network
When you post online about industry-specific events, ideas, data, and more, you begin to attract a larger, more niche following. Whether it’s other professionals you can turn to in times of double or customers who are willing to hire you, gaining this exposure and developing personal relationships with your audience is a surefire way to open up more doors in the business world. As you connect with like-minded individuals, you expand your network and, in turn, your opportunities.
How to develop your personal brand
Determine what you want to be known for
To create a personal brand that accurately reflects who you are, personally and professionally, you need to understand who you are and what you want others to associate with your brand. Think about the following to build the foundation of your personal brand:
What motivates you?
In which areas of work do you excel?
What types of projects are your favorite and which ones leave you feeling drained?
Once you’ve identified those components, you can use them to start creating your personal brand. Keep in mind that your personal brand should be fluid and evolve over time, while always remaining consistent with who you are as well as your professional goals for the future.
Identify your target audience
Before you delve too far into creating your personal brand, you need to identify and define your target audience. The quicker you understand who you’re trying to connect with, the better you’ll be able to craft your personal brand story and messaging to resonate with that audience.
Grow your online presence
Now more than ever before, building your online presence is vital to your personal brand’s success. With so many different social channels and platforms available today, it’s important to determine which channels your target audience uses. Once you know where you can connect with your audience, be sure that your brand’s story remains consistent across each of those channels.
Remember that your personal brand exists online and offline
While it’s important for you to represent your personal brand online, it’s also crucial to understand that your personal brand and, by extension, your reputation should be represented in almost everything that you do, including your interactions with others, your leadership style, and the additional projects you undertake.
Embrace networking and ask for informational interviews
As you’re building your personal brand, networking will be key to growing your professional connections. The more quality connections you make, the more your brand will likely be recognized.
Regularly attend industry events, and ask fellow attendees you’re interested in getting to know and/or learning from for informational interviews to gain additional insights about your field. You can do so by asking your peers and industry experts questions like:
How did you start your business/break into the industry?
How do you keep up with industry trends?
How do you see the industry evolving?
Are there trade/professional associations and/or social groups you recommend I join?
Additionally, remember to pay it forward and participate in informational interviews if requested.
For more information and resources for aspiring solopreneurs and small business owners, check out our business accelerator program, 6-Weeks-to-Launch. We designed our six-week, turn-key startup solution — complete with a comprehensive online course and guided coaching sessions — to help aspiring entrepreneurs like you get their businesses off the ground, quickly. Contact us to learn more about our program and sign up today.
For more information and resources for aspiring solopreneurs and small business owners, head on over to www.mydreambridge.com.