Learn strategies on how to discover your voice and grow your brand.
When most people think of the world of fashion, they think of Los Angeles, Milan, Paris or New York. These are the epicenters of beauty, where the top designers, makeup artists and hair stylists live. It's where thousands of budding fashion stars hope to one day make it.
Not many people put St. Paul, Minnesota, on this list, but St. Paul is home to one of the most recognized and sought-after hair stylists in the country: Faatemah.
As both an educator and a stylist, Faatemah has won and been nominated for several North American Hairstyling Awards. Her success stems from years spent mastering skills and developing a unique artistry. But one factor that has brought her national recognition beyond the borders of her home state is her ability to build a personal brand.
“A brand is a voice. It must be authentic and true,” says Faatemah. “It was very important for me when I opened this space that people understood what I was about; it's not just making someone feel pretty. I want to make them feel strong.”
Whether you’re in construction, video production or the food industry, this is a cue every small business owner can take. A strong personal brand gives your business personality, it individualizes your services and can help you stand out from the crowd.
How do you begin to build your personal brand? The following five tips will help you do just that.
1. Your brand is your story.
The best way to start building your brand is to think of it as a way of telling your story. Think of your brand and your business as a subject for a TV show. You want to think about how to appear to the world, while at the same time, you want to be clear about what your deepest values and convictions are. In the end, you should be able to come up with a unique image and story that captivates people.
2. Build a relationship with an industry influencer.
Sometimes it can feel like you’re a small fish in a big pond. Connecting with more established companies or professionals in the industry can help you build a reputation and spread your brand inside and outside the industry.
3. Be confident and believe in what you are doing.
Faatemah says, “My brand is successful because I know my brand value. I make women feel pretty and strong.” All entrepreneurs should take note. You should exude confidence in what your brand is and what you do. Be bold and stick with your vision!
4. Keep the content flowing!
Because so many of our interactions now take place online, it’s crucial to have a digital presence. Stay close to your customers and clients by providing them with blogs, videos and other content that excites and informs. Grow your audience by joining conversations on social media. As you do this, keep your brand’s voice and story in mind and get it out there!
5. Make personal appearances.
Online is great, but even in the 21st century, nothing beats getting out in front of people and making direct impressions. One way Faatemah does this is through regularly teaching a class called “The Brand of You." In this class, she asks students three questions:
- What are you naturally good at?
- What can the education that you’ve had add to what you’re good at?
- What would your friends say you’re good at?
Not only is Faatemah inspiring others to find their own voice and their own brand, she’s establishing herself as an industry expert, and growing her own brand.
Small business owners have a lot to learn. For more resources and information on how to successfully manage your small business, visit usbank.com/smallbusiness.