11 tips to help you kickstart your personal branding journey 

Personal branding – building your unique professional identity online – is a great way of building your social media presence while running a startup. 

As a founder, having an online presence can make a huge difference. Building a personal brand is a lengthy process, but it can make a big difference to your network and the opportunities it creates for your business. 

We’ve searched far and wide to find some of the best top tips that will ensure you’re well prepared for your personal branding journey. Take a closer look below and learn how you can develop your personal brand on social platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram.

1. Develop a clear plan

Don’t rush into it, all the greatest ideas are backed up with a solid plan. Before you begin you should determine what you want to achieve and set out some goals. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before developing your personal brand:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What problem does your product or service solve for your customers?
  • What made you want to start your own business?

Creating a plan for your personal branding will help you develop ideas. Once you determine who your audience is, it becomes a lot easier to create compelling content that resonates with them. 

This could be a simple one-page document or, if you’d like, you could put together something a little more elaborate. Ultimately, it’s great to have all your goals and objectives written down in one place, so that you know exactly what you need to keep in mind.

2. Authenticity and relatability are key 

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 61% of consumers find relatable influencers most appealing. Relatable content builds trust between you, the brand, and your audience.

Not sure what authentic content means to you? 

As a founder, to be authentic is to be honest and personable. Share your story. Share why you care about your work and what you’re building. Share any hardships you’ve faced and how you’re working towards overcoming these. Big or small, it’s important to celebrate milestones too.

3. Create a great profile

This might be obvious but you should create a great profile that aligns with your brand before you begin. Take the time to go through any old posts and remove the ones that don’t align with your brand or the message that you’ll be putting across. 

According to a survey by PwC, 77% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company if its founder has a robust social media presence. So, it’s important to spend some time developing a profile that reflects your brand and your personality. 

4. Create content that packs a punch 

Your content matters and should create an impact on the reader. Before you even start posting you should determine what your audience responds to, looks for and finds engaging. 

Every post you put out there should provide value, educate or give inspiration. Here’s some things to consider: 

  • What tone of voice will resonate with your target audience?
  • How can you create a positive impact?
  • What can you do to share your knowledge and educate others?

Here’s some questions to ask yourself before posting anything:

  • How does this build trust?
  • Am I being real with my audience?
  • Who does this post or piece of content speak to?

5. Stay consistent 

Once you’ve started posting, it’s important to remain consistent. All of your posts should align with your brand values, target audience and your usual tone of voice. This helps build credibility, reputation and trust. And, it means your audience is more likely to stick around.

6. Embrace networking 

Networking is one of the most important tools in business. So, it’s a no-brainer that it would come in handy while you develop your personal brand. The more connections you make along the way, the more likely that these connections will interact with you, provide feedback and endorsements that will enhance your reputation.

Not sure where to start when networking? Here’s a few tips to help you get started: 

  • Join networking groups 
  • Connect with other startup founders on LinkedIn
  • Attend relevant events 
  • Reach out to past and present work contacts

Networking is a great way of building engagement on your socials. Take some time to interact with other people’s posts, leave a few comments, maybe even reshare a post with your thoughts if it really resonates with you or your brand. 

It’s important to set aside some time every day or every week to interact with others. Just remember that it’s important to offer real value, so if you have expert insight on a problem someone might be facing, don’t hold back. 

7. Become a storyteller  

This one feeds into the content a little but it deserved its own mention. Storytelling has become a pivotal part of great content. People want value and substance when they consume posts on social media and storytelling gives them just that. Storytelling will keep your audience entertained and engaged. Here’s an example from our Instagram.

8. Embody your brand

The important thing with personal posts is to not stray too far from your startup’s brand. You’ll want to have similar values but at the same time show some of your own personality. 

That often happens naturally. Founders are normally building a company to solve a challenge they care about personally. Their social posts reflect this and therefore they share advice from personal accounts, which resonates with potential customers.

9. Take advantage of using visual content

According to Vennage, 91% of consumers prefer visual content to plain text. So keep that in mind when you start to develop your content. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours putting together a video if you don’t have the capacity. Sharing a simple image or infographic can be just as effective. 

If you find creating content a little difficult, set aside some time where you can focus on creating a batch of posts. You’ll save lots of time creating your content this way and generally it’ll be a lot less stressful.

10. Learn from your competitors 

Learning from your competitors is a great way of improving your own personal brand. By analysing what people are engaging with, you can discover opportunities for different types of posts or approaches, which you can incorporate into your own content.

11. Reevaluate and adjust your personal brand

If something isn’t working don’t be afraid to make changes. You should reevaluate and adjust your personal brand regularly as your journey develops: 

  • Review your achievements and challenges 
  • Evaluate your content, what’s worked well and what hasn’t quite hit the mark
  • Compare your content to what other founders are doing 
  • Set goals and check in on your progress
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with your post and have fun!

If you’re looking to discover how you can build and profit from your personal brand check out our article Founders guide to personal branding: A step by step process for building and profiting from your social media following.

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Karina Kundzina
Karina is the Content and Marketing Assistant at Inkwell, the company behind The Pitch.

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