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side hustle; small business; personal branding; personal brand examples; authentic personal brand; personal brand

Why you ABSOLUTELY NEED to give your side hustle your authentic personal brand!

Apr 19, 2023

Side hustles have been around for decades! From newspaper runs and babysitting to candle making and cab driving, your desire to supplement your income is an honourable and profitable act. One that you have taken strains to set up and give your time to. And perhaps you are content with the extra cash to spend on dinners and gifts but if you’ve ever wondered ‘Could this be more?’, I’m here with a HECK YES!

Throughout my life I have seen many family members and friends go to great lengths to start a business in their bedroom. Most born of a beloved hobby. There are handmade ornaments, flower arrangements, décor reselling, sewing wearables, cooking snack foods, and even face painting! Each business with it’s unique flavour and desire to share with the world, products and services crafted with love.

As I reflect on them, not one comes to mind that optimised their business profile by incorporating a potent personal brand. Yes, some use their name in the title or logo but that’s it.

Now don’t get me wrong! These businesses are still incredible in their offering and I have spent my own hard earned to support them. It’s perfectly fine to start a business and not use your personal brand however there are several reasons why it could take your outfit from backyard to big time!

 

Benefits of using your personal brand in your business

Having a personal brand for your side hustle can be a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche and differentiate yourself from your competition. You could be the boss babe of handmade babies bonnets or the queen of sustainable scarves by adding a dash of personality to your offering. 

  • When you establish credibility, you build a magnetic reputation
    • A personal brand can help you establish credibility in your field. When you create a personal brand, you're essentially establishing yourself as an expert in your niche. This can help potential clients or customers feel more confident in your abilities and trust that you're the right person to help them or that you have personally created the perfect product to serve them. 
  • Building trust establishes a strong relationship between you and your perfect customer
    • When you have a personal brand, you're not just promoting your side hustle, you're also promoting yourself. By being transparent and authentic, you can build trust with your audience and make them feel more comfortable doing business with you. Its just like a marriage or relationship, you need trust as a foundation. 
  • Standing out from the crowd skyrockets your uniqueness
    • A personal brand can help you differentiate yourself from your competition. By creating a unique brand identity that reflects your personality and values, you can attract customers who resonate with your message and are more likely to become loyal fans, paying fans! 
  • Increasing visibility of your personal brand in places you may never have dreamed
    • When you have a personal brand, you're not just promoting your side hustle on social media, you're also promoting yourself. By creating content and engaging with your audience, you can increase your visibility and attract new followers who may not have discovered your side hustle otherwise. You will also be able to showcase yourself in other ways such as networking events, speaking gigs, podcasts, news articles and more. 

The benefits certainly outweigh any reluctance you may be having as you read this! Yes, I've heard so many excuses arise when business owners are encouraged to include their brand and their story. From ‘My face would push people away’ to ‘I don’t have a story worth sharing’…and everything in between!

 Sarah Wilson created the I Quit Sugar brand around her personal journey to better health. Source: dailymail.co.uk

The real reasons you are hiding behind your brand

There can be several psychological factors that may lead you to refrain from including an authentic personal brand in your business. When you are able to face and work through these, they will no longer hold you back.  

  • Fear of failure: You may fear that if you put yourself out there and the business fails, you will be personally judged and criticized. This is valid. Failure in business happens. But, what if you don’t fail? What if you succeed? And as a person savvy enough to start a business, my bet is that you are savvy enough to surround yourself with people who will support you through all the ups and downs, judgement free.
  • Lack of confidence: You may not feel comfortable being the centre of attention or promoting yourself. If you lack confidence in yourself or your abilities you may be highly reluctant to become the face of your brand. The best way to build confidence is to start slowly and celebrate every little achievement you make on the path to integrating your personality and brand into your business.
  • Perfectionism: You might feel that if you put yourself out there, you need to be perfect and have all the answers, the best marketing, or the greatest photos. This can be a daunting task and may lead you to hide behind your business rather than take the risk of making mistakes in public. Progress is not perfect. Nothing in life is perfect and refer back to point one of this paragraph; surround yourself with a cheer squad to give you feedback as you adjust and pivot on the way to a create a product or service you feel is the perfect representation of you.
  • Imposter syndrome: This is a serious feeling of self-doubt and insecurity that can affect even successful business owners. You may have a sense you are not qualified or deserving of being seen as the brains behind your side hustle, and as a result, you may avoid putting yourself into the spotlight. The only way to combat this one is to take the giant leap and push past it with something small, like a selfie on socials or adding your photo to your business bio. After that, take another and another step and before you know it, facing this sneaky syndrome gets easier and easier.
  • Personal privacy: Finally, you may simply value your privacy and prefer to keep your personal and professional lives separate. You may feel that your business should speak for itself and that your personal life should remain separate. If this is you, that’s ok and to be respected. 

While you may feel there are valid reasons why you choose to hide behind your business, it's important to recognize the potential downsides of doing so. By not taking a personal stand, you may miss out on the opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper level and build stronger relationships that can lead to greater success.

From a simple Etsy store, Nikki Kelley grew her love of crafting handmade jewellery into a multimillion dollar business; Kellective By Nikki.  Source: kellectivebynikki.com.au

Simple steps to start integrating your Personal Brand into your business

As a side hustler you are most likely super busy however there are some easily executed steps you can do in under half an hour to uplevel your brand.

  • Define your personal brand: Start by defining your personal brand. Identify your values, strengths, and unique qualities that set you apart from others. This will help you establish a clear vision for how you want to present yourself to your audience. For a simple to complete process to help you create your own authentic personal brand - download my FREE workbook "The Authentic You - Personal Brand Builder"
  • Identify your audience: Identify your target audience and their needs. This will help you tailor your personal brand message to resonate with them and build a strong connection. You may already know this or alternatively do a quick survey of your customers this week to drill down on your perfect customer. You can also use your social insights to deeper dive.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to personal branding. Make sure that your personal brand message is consistent across all your online and offline channels, including your website, social media, email marketing, and in-person interactions. Top tip - copy and paste your personal brand statement in each of your social bios and use the same pic of you across all platforms.
  • Show your personality: Show your personality and let your unique qualities shine through in your brand messaging. This will help you connect with your audience on a more personal level and build trust and credibility. If you have particular lingo, emojis are salutations you use in person, include them in your business too.
  • Use visual branding: Use visual branding elements, such as colors, fonts, and imagery, that align with your personal brand and help you stand out. Incorporate these elements into your website, social media profiles, and other marketing materials. For those side hustlers that use flyers, posters in the corner store or sell at the local markets, you should also incorporate consistent visual elements in your set up. Think about including a bio, headshot or signature in your physical outputs. 
  • Be active as YOU on social media: Social media is a powerful tool for building a personal brand. Be active on social media platforms that your target audience uses, and share content that aligns with your personal brand message and values. This means photos and videos of you alongside your products or talking about the service you offer.
  • Offer value: Finally, offer value to your audience. Share knowledge, insights, and resources that can help your audience solve their problems and achieve their goals. This will help you build trust and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Hints – create some ‘Top Tips’, ‘How To’s, ‘Cheat Sheets’, or FAQ’s about your offering.
Zotheysay is the work of Zoe Foster Blake who took her knowledge of the beauty industry and founded Go-To skincare line. Source: zotheysay.com

Once you’ve mastered these, here are some hot hints for ultimate integration of your personal brand:

  • Include an “About” section on your website, create an “About post for your socials and pin it to the top
  • Include your name in your business ie: Candles by Cassie
  • Have a flyer printed or PDF created that tells your story and hand it over at purchase or as part of sales enquiries
  • Give background to where you get your inspiration from
  • Tell the story of where you get your supplies from and why
  • If you already talk about yourself and your business to your customers as they purchase, use those words to tell your story online and in marketing materials
  • Practice telling your story through casual conversations at networking events
  • Refrain from using ‘we’ in your online copy and use ‘I’ instead (unless you have a team that need to be identified and celebrated).

By taking some of these simple steps, you can start integrating your personal brand into your side hustle and build a strong, authentic, and memorable profile that sets you apart from your competitors and makes people love what you do EVEN MORE!

And just remember, People Buy From People!

 

Need help finding The Authentic You? Download my free Personal Brand Builder here