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How to grow a personal brand and transform it into a business

Successful branding is the key to the success of any business.

Personal brand based businesses are becoming increasingly popular, and if you are at the centre of your own personal brand you could potentially become extremely successful. However it takes a lot of hard work to grow and promote it.

Growing a personal brand is different to growing a business brand. With a personal brand there is no differentiation between you and your business. Your public identity needs to reinforce and support what you are trying to sell. Here are a few rules that can help you grow and maintain your personal brand.

Be specific with your targeting

Whatever medium you use to market yourself you will need to be very specific and engage with your audience on a personal level. This means undertaking different campaigns aimed at different sections of your audience and targeting them very specifically. Online channels and particularly social media work very well with personal brand based businesses. If you are speaking directly to your audience make sure it is on a very personal (but not intrusive) level.

Stay true to your brand

Make sure that whatever products you are promoting or services you have on offer remain consistent with the core values your brand embodies. It can be tempting to diversify into other areas, particularly if you see an opportunity but this can dilute your brand and make it seem less genuine.

Sticking to areas and categories which you are knowledgeable in and which fit your brand values and ethos can help you avoid over exposure. If you overdo your marketing and expansion it may start to appear that you are cashing in on your brand rather than staying true to your ideals and personal identity. This in turn can have a negative effect on the trust you have built with your customers and could negatively affect your sales and reputation.

Tell your personal story

When you are your business brand, your audience wants to be able to connect with you on a personal level. Your personal story is an essential part of this and it is important that it is woven into your branding and marketing so that your audience can engage with who you are and what you believe in.

Telling a personal story is a highly effective way to build trust and connect with your audience on an emotional level. This is what will keep them returning to your products again and again, and recommending them to their friends.

Growing a personal brand takes time and hard work but if you are successful you will be rewarded with a thriving business which is closely aligned with your personal values and identity. With marketing getting increasingly personal, more businesses in the future will need to consider personal branding as a way to connect with their audience even if they are not technically a ‘personal’ brand.

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Jo Macdermott

Jo Macdermott

<a href="http://au.linkedin.com/in/jomacdermott">Jo Macdermott</a> is the Chief Marketing Consultant at <a href="http://www.nextmarketing.com.au/">Next Marketing</a> in Melbourne. She has 15 years of marketing experience, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a sought after marketing media commentator. Jo specialises in working with small and medium businesses. Follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/NextMarketingAU">Twitter here</a>.

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