Why Your Business Needs a Fresh Face

BY: ON FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Whether you view it as a blessing or a curse, today's businesses are more transparent than ever. In the midst of a social society that's becoming increasingly connected and tech-savvy, consumers are looking to connect names with faces when it comes to the brands they support. In short, the concept of a business as a faceless entity is shrinking; meanwhile those clinging to such a design are hurting due to their lack of transparency.

When we think of Facebook as a company, we can't help but picture Mark Zuckerberg. When we see a commercial for Virgin, we can't help but think of a grinning Richard Branson. Even a company as massive and seemingly ominous as Google has managed to reach out to users through Matt Cutts’ blog and videos concerning the search giant’s webspam algorithm, for example.

Regardless of size, brands give buyers a sense of personalization by actually being personable. Consumers want a certain degree of comfort and personalization when they're purchasing products. With this in mind, the ability for users to connect a business to a face matters.

Putting yourself out there isn't always easy. You may feel that you work better behind the scenes, or perhaps that you do enough networking offline. Remember, though, that the dynamics of consumers and the Internet have done a one-eighty within the past decade. Users are embracing their identities online and are no longer hiding behind the anonymity afforded by a keyboard.  Likewise, your business cannot afford to hide from its potential customers, can it?

How Can I Make a Name (and Face) For Myself?

Thankfully, social networks and modern blogging has made it relatively simple to give your business a face. The process normally begins by building an organic social presence for yourself (and possibly your employees) in addition to that of your business. Your bases should be covered namely through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, respectively.  Facebook provides massive reach for you and your business, meanwhile Twitter allows for quick engagement and LinkedIn lets you create a more “professional” hub for your connections. Through your social presence, you should look to establish a sense of authority and a clear tone for what you represent as a business owner.

Your company's blog is arguably the most powerful weapon in your business' arsenal when it comes to growing your presence. With insight to share and place to sound off, you can cover plenty of ground through effective content creation alone.

You may also give insight to your company's team, culture, office and history through social media and your company's website.  Moz (formerly SEOMoz) provides a solid example of how to personalize your company by providing such insight.

More likely than not, you and your business require some sort of slant or niche in order to stand out from the crowd. This requires you to interact with others in the social sphere. Be sincere and make a statement; there are too many “yes-men” out there attempting to establish themselves yet fall flat because they're afraid of making waves. Banal comments and reblogs with a simple “Good post!” or “Great job!” aren't going to cut it if you're looking to make a name for yourself.

Likewise, don’t get carried away or become overly aggressive when it comes to establishing your face online. There are many opportunities to make mistakes or put yourself in the midst of a PR nightmare.  What you say through social matters and doesn't disappear once you log off. Be a professional first and foremost. Both offline and online, appearances matter.

Bring Your Own Buzz

Developing a personality and a memorable face for your business has the potential to build a certain buzz or “it” factor. For example, Facebook gained notoriety because Zuckerberg was essentially a kid doing it all on his own.  You have a story to tell, sure, but you also have a story to sell. Whether you’re working from rags to riches or against all odds, use your business as a platform to craft a narrative. While your business isn't all about you, having a solid story helps to give your business a bit of heart. What's your story?

The Bottom Line

Put yourself out in the open alongside your business. Users want a personal touch when it comes to who they're buying from. Giving your business a face has plenty of benefits yet presents a number of challenges; however, the modern entrepreneur thrives on such personalization. Ask yourself; what sort of face is your business putting out there?

About the Author

Brent Barnhart
Brent Barnhart is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. He covers a wide variety of topics through the written word, including content marketing, Internet marketing and small business trends. ChamberofCommerce.com is dedicated to helping small businesses grow their presence on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
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