Your personal brand reflects more than what people think of your product or service, it’s what they think of you, and will determine what your business will really be worth in the end.
Your personal brand is your calling card for attracting like-minded people who will believe in your message. Whether you are a freelancer, startup or you just received your first round of financing, the effort you put into your personal brand directly affects how others perceive the value of your business.
A third of people trust messages from a brand, but 90 percent trust messages that come from someone they know. While it may not be possible for everyone to know you on a personal level with direct interaction, a personal brand can give people an idea of who you are and what you’re all about. The easier others can assess your personal brand, the easier you will find it is to improve your deal flow.
Your personal brand should answer several questions.
- What personal values are most important to you, and how does your company reflect this?
- What’s your story behind your business?
- Do you have the skills and knowledge that ensures quality others can trust?
- What is it about you that others can relate to on a personal level?
Here are a few examples of how successful entrepreneurs have leveraged their personal brands to increase their deal flow.
1. Jessica Alba, The Honest Company
We first knew Jessica Alba as an actress, but motherhood defined her mission as founder of The Honest Company. Alba’s story behind her company came from a common struggle that parents face, searching for non-toxic and pure household ingredients and childcare products.
“I did research when I was pregnant with my first daughter and was horrified by the chemicals in products, even those meant for babies. I would have to go to 50 different places just to get my house and my kid clean,” Alba told Parade in 2012.
As the ideal customer of her own company, Alba’s mission to fulfill a gap in clean products for parents has led to a deal flow that has given The Honest Company its value at nearly $2 billion.
2. Richard Branson, Virgin Group
The decision-maker and visionary behind a leading travel and leisure empire shouldn’t be boring. Richard Branson’s playful and fun personal brand has helped the Virgin name extend across over 200 companies.
This is a man who once gave all of his employees his personal phone number. Branson’s brand has built trust through customer-centric values, and his deal flow comes largely from our belief that that Virgin is friendlier and more human than companies of this size.
3. Daymond John, share your journey
Daymond John has truly earned his credibility from the dues he paid by starting FUBU. His personal brand is built on his story of hard work that led to the success of his clothing line. Daymond rolled up his sleeves and with the help of his mother, he learned how to sew and make the first FUBU prototypes in his home.