So You Wanna Be Startin’ Something?
You’ve got the Big Idea, you’ve got a plan, and you might even have some money to get things off the ground. Congratulations, you’re moving forward with a startup! There’s plenty to think about as you prepare to launch your startup, but one of the key elements that’s sometimes overlooked could likely be the most important: your own personal brand. Taking a moment to understand the connection between your personal brand and your startup could be the difference between success and failure, so let’s dive in.
Why Your Brand Matters to Your Startup
You know that old phrase people throw around about not putting the cart before the horse? Well, your startup is the cart – it’s got lots of really valuable stuff in it and you want to make sure it gets to the final destination: success. But it can’t get there without its trusty steed, your personal brand. Trying to launch a startup without any horsepower, or credibility, is going to have you spinning your wheels.
Inherent in the nature of startups is the exciting element of a fresh, new company, and with that newness comes a lack of credibility. Without any proven track record, the person behind a startup is the only connection to a brand. So, if your personal brand is one that’s appealing, you’re well on your way to a startup that holds the same allure.
For those of you who are fans of business jargon, let me give you this gem to drop in your next investor meeting: With a strong personal brand, the positive attributes and characteristics of that brand translate to your product. You’ve got transferrable brand equity - the equity in the personal brand transfers over to the startup because you’re the person behind the start up.
How to Develop Your Personal Brand
We’re lucky to live in the internet age, when developing a personal brand is a process you can begin with a few keystrokes. A simple test of your personal brand is to Google your name. If you’re happy with what comes up, you’re on your way to building a strong, positive brand. If not, here are a few simple ways to strengthen your brand.
- Clean up your Facebook page – either make a professional page and make your personal page private, or make your personal page a positive reflection of who you are.
- Start a blog, provided you have something to say and the discipline to keep up with it.
- Create or update your LinkedIn profile .
- Create a Twitter account and use it to develop a web presence and connect with like-minded individuals in your field.
A few hours devoted to strengthening and filtering your web presence will allow your personal brand to take shape and present a clearer picture of who you are and what you stand for. Putting time and energy into building your personal brand will strengthen your startup and set you on the path to success – and it’ll put you a few steps ahead of those who are starting from square one without a solid brand to build on.Today is a guest post by Amelia Hadfield is a recent university graduate and freelance writer, currently working with UK promotional gifts distributor Ideasbynet on their personal branding series. This resource helps guide job seekers through the ins and outs of developing an online personal brand.