How to build your professional brand (even as a sole trader)

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Kelly Millar, Founder of KM Personal Brand & Transformational Coaching

Building a strong professional brand is important for any business, even if you’re a sole trader. That’s why it’s vital that you invest time and resources in doing so. In order to understand how best to do this, we first need to define what your professional branding actually is and why it’s so important. Kelly Millar, Founder of KM Personal Brand & Transformational Coaching offers top tips for creating a stand-out brand for your business

The importance of professional branding
First and foremost, your professional branding is your reputation and it’s important because it’s what makes your company stand out from the competition, and attracts potential clients or customers. But more than that, your professional brand is about selling yourself as the face behind the business and positioning yourself as an industry leader and employer of choice. So how can you begin to build a strong professional brand?

Do an internet search of yourself
Before you invest time in building your professional brand, do an internet search of your name and company. This will reveal how potential customers or clients see you online. It will also show you how well you rank in search engine results and will let you know if you need to clean up your current digital footprint.

Make sure you’re professional at all times
It’s important to stay professional at all times. This doesn’t mean always being serious and never having any fun with your brand, but it means taking precautions like keeping your personal profiles private. For example, setting your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to private so only those you choose to connect with, can see your content.

It’s also about presenting yourself professionally, it’s best to use an appropriate photo of yourself on websites and social media profiles related to your company. It’s also a
good idea to use the same photo where you can, as this will be easily recognisable as you, helping to build your brand.

Build a strong website
Whether you’re selling a product or your services, you need a strong website to do this. In order to build your brand, be sure to include an ‘About Me/Us’ page which explains who you are and how your business came to be.

Get your name out there via your online presence
Getting your name out there is the best way to build your brand, but you need to do so with great content. This can be done by creating blog posts, setting up social media accounts and sharing helpful content with customers and clients (and prospectives). Getting your name out there is especially important for sole traders if you trade under your real name.

Encourage your employees to build their own brand
It’s also a good idea to encourage your employees (no matter how big or small your team is) to work on their own

Remember our 5 top tips for boosting your professional brand
So now you understand the importance of professional branding, remember these five steps when building and strengthening yours.

1. Do an internet search of your name and business to see what potential clients and customers could find
2. Keep any personal online accounts or material private
3. Choose professional pictures for yourself and keep pushing your name out their with great content
4. Make sure you’ve got a strong website that says something about your brand
5. Encourage your employees to build their own brand so they can act as ambassadors for your business

Kelly Millar is an experienced personal branding specialist, brand builder and transformational coach and founder at KM Personal Brand & Transformational Coaching. She works with leaders and outstanding people who want to live extraordinary lives. Her aim is to empower her clients to create their best life, develop and elevate their personal and professional brands, and inspire to lead.

Pictured: Kelly Millar, Founder of KM Personal Brand & Transformational Coaching