Most small businesses are one-man operations and these, typically, are businesses that reflect the personality, attitudes, and personal values of the owner. In fact, it is difficult to separate the business from the owner in this case. That is why for these small business owners, their personal dealings can affect their business. How people view them as a person is not different from how people regard their business. This is where you can use personal branding to your business advantage. Personal branding, simply put, is self-promotion. It is all about you – your talents, skills, knowledge, traits, beliefs, and values. All of these form your personal brand. Personal branding is identifying who you are as a person, defining a clear personal identity, and creating a personal message, and then bringing all these elements together as a business strategy with the intention of shaping a positive perception of people about you and, naturally, your business.

To create a strong brand, you need to have a good grasp of your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and expertise. What can you do or cannot do? What are you truly passionate about? In what areas do you consider yourself an authority? You should have clear and solid answers to all these questions. Most of all, consider your customers’ needs and your relevance to them. Make sure that what you are offering is not just different but, more importantly, relevant. If your target customers cannot relate to you, your personal branding is lost.

The success of your personal branding relies largely on your ability to communicate clearly your personal message whether verbally or through your actions. You need to let your customers know what you are capable of doing and how you value what they value, how they can rely on you and etcetera.

Personal branding is not a one-time marketing campaign. It should be an on-going commitment for your business to succeed. It should be evident in all your interactions, your communications, relations, and involvements. Personal branding is building a credible reputation that customers will recognize, respect, and associate with your business.