As a business owner your natural instinct will be to market your business, your brand. You’ll pour your heart and soul into it and make sure that it’s all about the baby that you’re “building”.
As an entrepreneur you’ll find that you’re so busy working on your business that you often lose sight of the the fact that clients gravitate toward people as well.
In the early stages of your business’ life it won’t necessarily have the credibility on its own to win over business automatically.
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That’s where you, the entrepreneur, steps in in your personal capacity.
Firstly, people like people. That’s a fact. People like human interaction. That’s why you need to work on your interpersonal skills. To some this comes naturally, to others it takes a little more practice to get right. Be natural, be yourself.
Don’t copy others, be authentic, but at the same time don’t be an over-confident narcissist. There are great books that you can read on building your interpersonal skills, namely Stephen Covey’s famous ‘7 Habits Of Highly Effective People’. A classic but still so poignant.
Online brand building
Secondly, you need to build a profile for yourself online. If I can’t find you online then you don’t exist. You are a brand. Fact. That means you need to work on your identity.
You need a unique selling proposition, you need a style, a flavour. The best place to do this in 2015 is obviously social media. Twitter and LinkedIn would be the first place to start. Make sure that your profile is up to date and convincing.
Make sure your profile picture looks professional. Follow and connect with like minded people and businesses that you want to do business with.
You may also want to look at a personally branded blog, a home for all your words of wisdom. A good place to start is WordPress.com.
Position yourself as a thought leader
Thirdly, you need to be a thought leader; this is the only way you’re going to sell yourself and build credibility. You need to be believable. There are far too many fly-by-nighter’s out there and the only way to sieve through them is to read what they’re saying.
Find topics that relate to your expertise, write articles and post them to your blog. From there post them to your social accounts for exposure. You may also want to curate content that’s relevant to your field.
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The power of PR
Lastly, you need to put yourself out there. Find events to speak at, build a talk that you’re passionate about and deliver it with conviction.
Attend networking events, go to other talks and introduce yourself. Find a good PR agency and have them book you interviews, press spots and talks.
Remember that you are a brand. Selling yourself is as important if not more important than selling your business in the beginning days. After all, you are what people trust.