How personal brand values give small businesses a market edge

branding, personal brand

Links between customer and employee experiences are well known.  A reputation for being an employer who cares about staff or a business that puts client care and values centre stage ignites market trust and authority.

Small businesses competing with larger organisations for client and staff acquisition can face many challenges with often limited time and resources. But small businesses hold full control of their personal and business brand narrative which can elude the big end of town. And this is where the market edge sits and opportunity reaps.

Impact of social media on brands

Numerous surveys show 80 per cent of consumers and employees trust organisations whose leaders actively engage on social media.

Global research group Brand Fog reported 93 per cent of people were more likely to purchase from organisations whose leader’s beliefs and values on social issues aligned with theirs.   Further, 75 per cent of employees felt it important their CEO communicated their values and opinions publicly.

The research by advisory firm Brunswick  Connected Leadership found 60 per cent of job candidate’s research business owners on social media. And over 83 per cent of employees prefer to work with organisations whose leaders use social media factoring it as an important element for retention.

Visibility builds personal brand trust  

Trust and engagement is amplified with genuine and visible personal brands positioning and conversations. And, for the sectors which have high levels of mistrust, the need to address divisive perceptions is essential. Again a golden opportunity to shine a light to your business. Check out the Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2021 for the professions trust ranking.

LinkedIn is mission-critical

The undisputed professional social media ruler is LinkedIn for marketing, sales, staff and networking with now over 12 Million Australian members.

Not everyone uses the platform in the same way but as the world’s largest database and Google indexed reference site it is critical to have an authority based presence.

All roads lead to the platform via Google search ranking profiles in the top four listings generally. So, even if you are not using it as a tool of business development, it’s mission-critical as a research point and social proof.

Elements of brand authority

Embracing personal brand authority incorporates five key elements. This is where you can really cut the mustard and inspire both new staff and clients on your website, social media and other digital footprints:

1. The why and “why below the why”. The drivers below your business and personal story.

2.  Goals, values, passions. Your small and bigger goals for your business can and should incorporate the social issues that matter as appropriate. Social responsibility endeavours, community, sporting and extra board activities sit here

3.  Personality and character. The nuances are uniquely yours. Your vibe does attract your tribe.  Show your values (character) and personality (tone, sense of humour, cadence).

4.  Visual, photos tell a thousand words. An accurate representation of yourself and /or your teams is essential. And images of charity and community care events are golden.

Summing up

It’s not just the skills and works your business delivers that matter. It’s the values and ethics that are the edge when communicated with relevance. It’s an understatement to say we are all in a very strange world due to the pandemic and human care and differentiation have become front and centre for most decisions…

Whatever your sector, be visible, embrace social media and personal brand management in a real and transparent way. Let others see more of what makes you and your business tick. It will be the edge amongst a sea of many.