The process behind personal branding, despite what the name suggests, shouldn’t be completely personal. Yes, it is personal in the sense that it is your product or your image that is being put out there but it should not be personal in the sense that you and you alone have to get the message out. Smart personal branders know the value of an extended wise council and tap into the expertise of a trusted group of supporters to advise, teach, reach and assist us – saving us time and money and helping us to avoid some unnecessary risks. A strong and reliable support team can mean the difference between success and failure for any business. It can also ensure the personal sanity of the hard working business owner.
Besides having your professional and social support structures in place it is also important to be conscious of who you are seen to be aligned to – keep this in mind when selecting the people or companies that will be advising or advocating for you. Keep this in mind also when connecting with friends, fans and forums on social sites.
There are generally types of supporters: advisors and specialists. Some will charge for their services, others you attract through networking and outreach. Obviously you want to obtain your team as inexpensively as possible, but do not be afraid to pay for experience and expertise if necessary – these investments may save you years of hard work.
Here are some of the crucial members of a professional support team:
Your financial advisors – they not only help you to make the right investment calls but they also ensure that the investments are aligned with your business goals.
Your website developer & SEO guy – who listens carefully to your brand strategy and works to express that on your website and to position it in front of your target audience.
Your Business Coach – who asks questions that invite you to get a clear perspective on whether the actions you are taking in your business are moving you in the most appropriate direction
Your Artwork Designer – who is able to whip up logos and product designs on the fly and which are all in line with the message you are trying to get across.
Your Collaborators – people who you believe are skilled and competent and are keen to partner with you on projects
Your Advocates – people who trust and respect you and generously share your details and links with their advocates
It is also important to have a social support team consisting of 2 or 3 trusted friends who are as happy to let you rant about your challenges as they are to rant about theirs – there really is so much to be learnt in mutual sharing.
We network to gain contacts and then what counts the most is what we do with them – you need to call on those contacts to assist you wherever possible. At the end of the day if you want to succeed in the business game you need to put your I-can-do-it-on-my-own attitude aside. Surround yourself with advisors and experts who not only influence your decisions but who also influence what others think and say about your brand.