Why Building a Strong Personal Brand Online Is Crucial for Female Entrepreneurs

professional women

Because we live in such a technology-driven culture, it’s common to hear warnings about conducting ourselves as professionally online as we do in real-life situations. In a broader sense, you may have heard people talk about the importance of building a “personal brand” in the online realm. That’s a crucial thing to do if you’re in business, and even more so if you’re a female entrepreneur. We’ll look at some reasons why below.

What Is a Personal Brand?

Branding in a marketing sense may encompass slogans, colors, fonts, graphics and even theme songs. The golden arches associated with McDonald’s are a great example. Even from a distance, people can usually spot their shape and have a sense of what that M-shaped sign means to them.

Your personal brand is a way to separate yourself from competitors, let people know what they can expect from you, and build your reputation, among other things. Think of your personal brand as a reflection of what you are able to deliver consistently during interactions with others. Ideally, the traits showcased through your personal brand should align with what your business represents.

A Personal Brand Increases Credibility

Although the Internet can be very informative, it’s also well known to have heaps of unreliable or unconfirmed material. Since you can’t believe everything you read, there are probably at least a few bloggers, news sites and social media feeds you follow because you have a strong sense that the content there is correct.

Your personal brand as a female entrepreneur can bring others the same comfort that comes from knowing you’re likely reading reliable information. Once you develop a strong, relatable and authentic voice, you’ll be more likely to increase traffic to your respective web properties. That’s why it’s so essential to keep your webpages updated regularly.

Some people think the way to showcase credibility is to talk incessantly about all they have achieved as entrepreneurs. However, you’ll probably get much better results by carefully taking time to understand what resonates with your audience, and then publishing content that’s trustworthy and meets their expectations. When you’re able to do that, it naturally makes people feel they can depend on you.

A Personal Brand Lets You Offer Something Valuable

Another reason why it’s so important for female entrepreneurs to have a strong personal brand on the Internet is because the personal brand acts as proof they can give something of value to readers. Some entrepreneurs tend to lose sight of how much they have to contribute just from the lives they’ve lived, along with the associated experiences.

Maybe you worked three jobs, all while going to college, because that was the only way to support yourself before your business was launched. Although that experience was undoubtedly tough, it wasn’t pure drudgery. The hardships you faced, and ultimately conquered, could serve as powerful encouragement to females who are also going through their fair share of hard times during the often-lean beginnings of starting a business.

Perhaps most importantly, when you engage readers on a regular basis and remind them that what you have to say is worth reading, it’ll make them bookmark your websites and hopefully return to them regularly. As you steadily build up a readership, it not only increases the chances that your business will prosper, but may also mean you get additional opportunities to grow your reputation, such as doing public speaking events or having your content cross-posted by other publications.

A Personal Brand Can Be an Indicator of Quality

There’s probably a certain level of accountability already linked to your business. Take Apple, Inc., for example. Whether or not people even own Apple products, they often think of the brand as being forward-thinking, cutting-edge and a little dazzling.

However, customers also hold the brand accountable for making products that last a long time and perform as advertised. Some people are surprised to find that any Apple accessory sold in one of the brand’s stores must pass a series of tough tests, even if it’s made by a third-party company and does not bear the Apple logo.

The Apple example demonstrates how the brand has accepted responsibility for the products people use with their iPads or MacBooks, even if they didn’t come from an Apple factory. So how does this apply to you? In short, always be aware of your public image.

For example: if you take care to always proofread your blog posts, keep a consistent tone, cite sources and support colleagues, those are all characteristics that show others you care about conducting yourself in a professional way. Over time, people may remember those above-average online interactions and realize they’d really like to purchase the products or services you sell, because they already have a good impression of you and feel confident the products you offer must be of good quality.

A Personal Brand Demands That You Know Yourself and Embrace Who You Are

In a personal branding sense, you must be accountable not only to others, but to yourself as well. With each passing day, that means upholding a standard you’ve set for yourself, and the standards that others expect you to have. The former standard is sometimes more difficult to maintain, especially if you get too caught up in trying to be someone others want you to be.

If you find you’re constantly doing things that make you worry later about how people perceived you in those situations, that may mean you need to shift your standard of accountability. It’s all about striking a balance.

Building and maintaining your personal brand might involve removing some Facebook pictures you’d rather the public didn’t see, but if you get to the point where you’re hesitant to let others take pictures of you at a party because you’re not sure where those snapshots might end up, it’s time to take a close look and determine if you might be trying to meet an unrealistic standard.

Although your brand gets broadcast for all to see, you are ultimately in control of it. As a female entrepreneur, you could discover it’s time to expand your personal brand a bit so it’s not just centered on your business, but also shows your audience who you are as a person.

It may seem like this recommendation conflicts with what was just mentioned above, but when you’re able to convey that you’re very self-aware and fully embrace the various things that make you unique, it tends to draw people in, allowing you to be a source of inspiration.

A Strong Personal Brand Requires Constant Growth

It should be clear by now why people who have well-developed personal brands are usually strong leaders. Indeed, many of the things that naturally make up a personal brand cause people to view individuals as role models. However, a survey conducted by the Glenn Llopis Group indicated less than five percent of leaders feel they are living out their personal brands every day at work. If you’re running into the same challenge, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

Eventually, it shouldn’t seem like you’re constantly working hard to develop and maintain your personal brand, but more that the personal brand is just an extension of who you are. It’s understandably hard to reach that point, though, probably because having an effective personal brand necessitates constantly improving your skill sets and expanding your knowledge. In turn, peers should develop a greater amount of respect for you, and your abilities as a leader should become stronger over time.

It’s especially crucial to have a clearly defined personal online brand as a female in entrepreneurship, because your online reach is potentially so much further than what you can accomplish in person. It’s often obvious when people in your physical sphere of influence look up to you as a source of current and reliable information. But imagine how impactful it could be if you get an email from a reader in India who said she really appreciated your insight?

When you fully understand that it’s never permissible to just sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done, the people you influence online will likely admire your commitment to always challenge yourself, stay abreast of industry developments and remain relevant. In some cases, perpetual growth means stepping out of your comfort zone, too. As long as you can enter such uncharted territory while staying true to who you are, those efforts could also be considered periods of growth.

Your personal brand is something that’ll often evolve and must be carefully monitored. However, with the right approach, it could end up being one of your most valuable assets.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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