The Essential Branding Checklist for Entrepreneurs
Personal branding for entrepreneurs is an important step for bringing your business to the next level. Let’s make sure you start out on the right foot.
How cool is it that, right now, we’re living in a moment where people can now be brands? If you’re an entrepreneur trying to bring your business to new heights, one avenue you might want to explore is your personal branding.
Many people think that being a “brand” means that you’ve got to be perfect and that you must constantly produce more content, more programming, and more events.
That’s simply not true.
Ahead, we’re going to walk through a branding checklist for entrepreneurs that will help bolster your business while still being your true, authentic self.
Branding checklist for entrepreneurs: What’s your story?
Take a moment and think about a few entrepreneurs that you love. What’s something that they all have in common? If we’re on the same page, then that thing is a powerful, relatable story.
People love stories. We tell them literally every day of our lives, even when we aren’t intending to. Naturally, the first essential ingredient to personal branding for entrepreneurs is figuring out your story.
You might be saying, “Okay…what do you mean by that?”
First, let’s talk about what your story isn’t. Your story isn’t about your years of experience, your credentials, your fancy degrees, or your expertise.
Instead, it’s about your journey. Your story captures where you started and how you got to the place you are today. It’s the thing that makes you uniquely you.
If you’re not sure how to start figuring out your story, we have a couple of suggestions below.
Map out your personal journey
So many entrepreneurs have the misconception that they need to create a persona for themselves—a perfect version of who they are to present to the world. But it’s just not the case. In fact, most people are very good at recognizing when you’re putting on a show.
Mapping out your personal journey comes down to diving deep into the well of your personal identity and your myriad of experiences. It’s everything from how you would describe your personal upbringing to your proudest achievements. From who you’ve stood up for to the pivotal moments in your life.
A great thing to remember as you nail down your story is that you don’t need to be an expert. In fact, a great tip for personal branding for entrepreneurs is that you only need to be one step ahead of your members.
You’re using your own experiences as a means to help others achieve the results and transformation they couldn’t on their own.
If you’d like an idea of how other entrepreneurs have nailed their personal branding, check out some of our Stories of Awesome! There, you’ll get a detailed look at how fellow creators talk about their journey and what led them to create the successful communities they have on Mighty Networks.
Nail down your Big Purpose
We talk a lot about having a clear Big Purpose for your business that will motivate people to join in on the great things you’re building. This could be a goal, interest, or something else. And while it’s important for you to determine what will motivate others to join your community. It’s just as important that you know why you’re invested in the brand you’re building.
More than that, your Big Purpose and your story are intertwined. Understanding and pinning down your story can unlock new, powerful insights into your Big Purpose.
Here are some questions that might help you answer what your Big Purpose is:
- What kind of life do you want to live?
- What kind of impact would you like to have on the world?
When you can answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals. Don’t forget the “personal” in personal branding. At the end of the day, your members want to feel like they are interacting with a real person with opinions and ideas.
Your members are interested in you because of your unique perspective. Don’t lose sight of that.
Branding checklist for entrepreneurs: The myth of “more”
The next idea to consider with personal branding for entrepreneurs is the myth of “more.” We go over this in detail in our Community Design Masterclass™, but the basic idea is that more content does not always equal more growth.
If you’ve done any kind of digging into the world of entrepreneurship, you know that many people stress the need for constantly releasing content. We don’t subscribe to that model. Not only is it not sustainable, but it’s also a lot of work. Besides, when you rely on content alone, you’re working harder, not smarter.
Personal branding for entrepreneurs isn’t always about being in your members’ feeds. It’s about cultivating an environment where they feel inspired to accomplish their goals, connect with others, and collaborate openly. We’re in a moment in time where people have less and less time to engage with content, but still want to form connections with others who enjoy their same interests.
Instead of constantly thinking about what your next content drop will be, take a breath and reframe how you’re thinking about results. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
How can I use my community members’ results and transformations to help other members accomplish more, faster?
What can I do in two hours per week to get my members the information and inspiration they need to feel focused and energized?
How can I better show my own vulnerability, so that my members know they can receive the results they want no matter where they started?
Are you noticing a pattern here? Content is a needed tool to use, but it’s the community of folks that you bring together that matters most.
When you create content that fosters interactions between your members, that is what will keep you going. On top of that, when more people begin seeing the results and transformation you bring to them, they’ll want to bring others along for the ride.
We call this a community network effect. The value of personal branding for entrepreneurs isn’t just what you produce, but the relationships and stories being shared between members. Each new person that joins your community adds additional value to your network and your members have more reason to stick around.
Branding checklist for entrepreneurs: Community is key
We’ve been talking a lot about you in relation to personal branding for entrepreneurs, but your biggest asset is the community you build.
When you’re able to cultivate a community of people around your brand you’ll achieve the results you want more quickly and easily. Part of being an entrepreneur is providing people with a unique product, perspective, idea, or solution with your content. But it doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one is interacting with it.
When you focus less on mass-producing content, you can think about what your members’ needs, desires, and problems are and facilitate opportunities to address them.
This all goes back to the community network effect idea we brought up earlier. Each new person who joins your community adds additional value for your members and you. Why? Because when you’ve created a community that is active, energetic, and inspired it will take the weight off your shoulders to initiate everything.
Plus, when you build a community that’s so well-designed it essentially runs itself, you can focus on what you love to do. Whether that’s making podcasts, recording videos, teaching online courses, or something else.
Branding checklist for entrepreneurs: Choose the right platform
The final step in personal branding for entrepreneurs is taking the time to choose the best community platform for your business. We believe that the best software platforms—the ones that allow you to deliver awesome content and cultivate a thriving community—emphasize the importance of native features.
Choosing a platform with native features instead of integrations means that you’ll be spending less time and money juggling multiple platforms to manage your community.
If you’ve been using software like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Discord and Slack, then you’re probably well aware of their limitations. On the big three social media platforms, your biggest struggle will be providing your members with a focused experience. These platforms are designed to distract users which is never what you want.
And across the board with all of these listed platforms, you’ll be searching for integrations to fill in the many holes in the services they provide.
For instance, if you want to offer a subscription or membership service but you built your brand on Facebook, then you’ll end up looking to sites like Patreon to fill in that service. That’s more of your time navigating multiple interfaces and more money you have to spend being a member of these platforms.
The best community platform with native features
The best community platforms will have taken the time to develop the features you need right into their software. We’re talking about things like online community management, events, sub-groups, online courses, and digital subscriptions.
When an entrepreneur has these options at their disposal, they are equipped to bring their brand to the next level. But there’s only one platform that allows you to do all of these things natively: Mighty Networks.
Mighty Networks launched in 2017 and it quickly became clear that a Mighty Network was the gold standard for what entrepreneurs were looking for in a community platform.
When you build a Mighty Network you gain world-class numerous tools for you to experiment with to create a thriving community, offer paid memberships, and design online courses. You also get a powerful website builder that gives you the tools you need to deliver your awesome content.
But if you’re serious about your personal branding, the next major step is having your own branded app. That’s available when you build with our Mighty Pro service, and it means your brand is always front and center with your people.
Mighty Pro gives you all of the features offered with Mighty Networks in addition to a white-label branded app. That means your app has your name, your own listing in the App Store and Google Play, your brand icon, and you can deliver branded push notifications, events, and more. Best of all, you can launch your community app in as little as three weeks across iOS and Android devices.
If you create your own branded app with Mighty Pro, you’re opening up the possibility for a real community network effect. Whenever your members open your app, all of their focus is on your content and your community. You can become a real habit for them because you’re right there at their fingertips. Don’t underestimate the value that each new person that joins your community adds to the network you’re building.
Let’s put these ideas in motion
So we’ve made it to the end of our piece on personal branding for entrepreneurs. But now is that time that you take these tips and put them to use. Let’s recap our checklist of essential things entrepreneurs should do to bring your brand to the next level:
- Map out your personal journey into a story worth sharing.
- Nail down your Big Purpose.
- Cultivate a community around your brand.
- Create content that fosters interactions between your members.
- Choose the right community platform.
- Create your own branded app.
The most successful entrepreneurs don’t strive to be perfect. They use their personal journeys to help others achieve results and transformation. When you focus less on producing content and more on how your content can inspire others to connect with each other your brand will grow.
We can’t wait to see you shine.
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