As an entrepreneur, you have the privilege of deciding how much or how little your customers and clients will know about you. That being said, building your personal brand can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business and build relationships with potential customers, clients, and vendors, as well as create awareness about what you do and why you do it. Here are some helpful tips on how to build your personal brand as a small business owner.

1) Get Started on LinkedIn

There’s more than one way to make your business stand out. One of those ways is by leveraging your personal brand through social media. LinkedIn is one of my favorite platforms, because it allows you to establish a presence in an industry, learn from experts and connect with people who can help you along your journey. In fact, we use LinkedIn on a daily basis and highly recommend every small business owner create their own profile today.

2) Share your Expertise on Quora

As of December 2013, Quora has just over one million monthly unique visitors and averages around 100 million monthly page views. If you want to build your personal brand, there’s no better platform than Quora. The trick is knowing how to use it effectively. To start, don’t just post links or give answers; instead try giving quality content by answering questions on specific topics—and be sure to stay true to what you know best! And if you have an eye for design or are really good at SEO, consider making these types of posts part of your regular social media activity. Building your personal brand takes time and effort; in order for it really work for you, focus on providing useful information with every piece of content that you publish online.

3) Use Hashtags in your Instagram Posts

Want people to see your pictures? Tag them. And not just with generic hashtags like #photography or #instagood, but rather with specific hash-tags that relate to what you’re doing and what you want your target audience(s) to know about. For example, if you wanted more business owners to follow and interact with you, use hashtags such as #smallbusiness or #entrepreneur. The more engagement your posts receive (likes, comments and shares), the greater your chances of getting in front of new eyes. Hashtags are particularly important for building brand awareness on Instagram since users can click them directly from their feeds without having to visit your profile first—and one-click access is great for engagement rates.

4) Write Guest Posts on Relevant Websites

Since you’re already working on developing your business, why not think about how else you can bring attention to it? One way to do that is by writing guest posts for relevant websites. Here’s an example of how it works: Let’s say you want to become a fashion consultant. Write a post on The Fashion Spot detailing why women should hire fashion consultants, then pitch it (along with at least three sample articles) to different websites focused on fashion and clothing. If someone likes your idea and wants more details, ask if they would be willing for you to send them three sample posts about specific outfits that could be worn for specific occasions—and don’t forget your press kit!

5) Comment On Other People’s Posts

The best way to start building your personal brand is through social media. It’s essentially free marketing and networking, and you don’t have to be an expert at it—just helpful. Become an active participant in online discussions (never forget to tag your comments with your name and business) and jump into conversations about topics relevant to your industry. This shows potential clients that you are passionate about what you do and how you can help them. As long as you participate thoughtfully, add value, and make it clear that you know what you’re talking about, people will naturally want to connect with someone like that (which can lead directly into a mutually beneficial relationship). Oh—and make sure not just your brand is present; use your personal profile too!

6) Have a Memorable Email Signature

While your email signature might not seem like a high priority on your business-building list, it’s incredibly important for building your personal brand. Not only does having a professional email signature give off an air of confidence, but it also reinforces trust with clients and colleagues. Make sure that you always include your name (or business name), contact information, and website in your signature, so that people can easily get in touch with you should they have any questions or feedback. Finally, be sure to regularly update and customize your signature so that it’s always relevant—you never know when someone may need some help from you!

7) Be Yourself – Transparency is Key

One of my favorite tips for developing your brand is being yourself. Social media can be tricky because sometimes it’s hard to know where you draw that line between sharing your personal life and representing your business. The trick is knowing what part of you is authentic and what parts need to be edited out. The best thing you can do is share your personality while still keeping things professional—after all, if people enjoy spending time with you, they’ll likely want to spend more time with your company! Tell People What You Do: Don’t worry too much about coming up with catchphrases or huge campaigns; focus on finding unique ways of telling people what it is that you do in an interesting way.

8) Work On an Interesting Project Outside of Work Hours

Are you looking for ways to grow your personal brand without taking up more time in your already hectic schedule? Consider working on an interesting project outside of work hours that could generate meaningful publicity for your company or make an impact in your community. You’ll want to pick something that takes less than five hours each week and doesn’t conflict with any of your normal work responsibilities. It may seem like you have no extra time, but if you look hard enough, you’ll probably find at least one area where you can cut out some extraneous activity. Don’t be afraid to explore new hobbies either—your small business will thank you!

Meet United Funding Group

At United Funding Group, we are able to help you with MCA loans while you focus on growing your brand. Our financial team can work with you to ensure your business growth is more streamlined than ever before. United Funding Group serves small businesses looking to get a better loan program for them. As an industry leader in lending services, there’s no one better when it comes to assisting you in growing your business. 

We can offer flexible programs that include merchant cash advances, supplemental lines of credit, term lines of credit, and more options tailored specifically for small businesses. Whatever options make sense for your current needs and income levels; give us a call today at 954-287-4539 so we can provide additional information or connect you with someone who will be happy to help direct you toward whatever loan solution is best suited to your personal brand!

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