Starting Up a Startup

Categories:Careers, Leadership
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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.

Author:
Anna has spent over 20 years as a Board Director at several global brands. She now runs her own company The Engaging Brand which supports business leaders who want to transition to the new social business model. She is also a speaker, writer and radio show presenter on social business, indeed her podcast The Engaging Brand has been nominated 6 years running as Best Business Podcast at the Podcast Awards. She brings an unusual mix of experience to business - she has a 1st Class Law Degree, MBA in marketing and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. This unusual mix means not just explaining the why of being social but how to turn social into a measurable business tactic to grow your bottom line. Her blog www.theengagingbrand.com is recognised as one of the leading UK marketing blogs.

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