By: Liezel van der Westhuizen

The small-business owner and newbie entrepreneur alike can get so busy streamlining their daily operational activities, that they forget to promote their personal brand to market.

Here’s why you should make marketing yourself a top business priority.

While you may be a whiz at what you do, be it web design, flying helicopters or teaching ballroom dance, you may not know one very important thing about your own small business – you are it!

Consumers of your products and services, essentially your biggest investors, are probably keen to know who started this business, what challenges they went through, and what philosophies they believe in. So be sure to personalise your website, for starters, by telling your start-up story on that all-important “About Me” page.

Next up, is there a “Blog” or “Articles” section on your site? Your followers will want to read more about your business and lifestyle so as to commit, on a long-term basis, to what you’re selling.  A weekly or monthly blog post draws traffic, ups your SEO ranking and positions you as a thought leader in your particular niche – plus, you can utilise these blog posts in other places, such as on social media to further promote your business and personal brand.

With all the competition out there, you should never feel shy to blow your own marketing trumpet. After all, you wouldn’t have started a business reliant on your personal brand, unless you were a professional in that industry.

And it’s not about bragging or boasting in an unpleasant fashion, but simply about putting the word out there to those who are buying the product or service that you’re offering.

Word of mouth brings in customers, sure, but this doesn’t mean you can sit back and chill about all things promotional.
Every single accomplishment in line with your business and brand needs to be showcased. So share those event images on Facebook by tagging everyone who attended; write about relevant industry know-how (and even get into debates about it) on Twitter; and reveal what you do to de-stress on Instagram.

 

Receive a “happy customer” review? Post it on your website. Win an award? Showcase yourself and that badge, medal or cup on your WhatsApp profile or LinkedIn Profile.

Your reputation also serves as an important marketing tool – so if you’ve received certificates or had photos taken at key career moments and these aren’t visible on your various profiles, you need to change this fast.

You never know who’s looking for what you’re offering, so throw caution to the wind and tell your existing audience – and the customer you’re still busy convincing – just how awesome you really are.