When you are a business owner, you are the face of your organization and, like it or not, you instantly become a public figure. This is not something that many entrepreneurs take into account when they are working toward launching their business. Yet it is an important one, as you hold the power to build or tear down your business’s reputation not only with your professional image but your personal one as well. As a business owner, you should always be acutely aware of your actions and words and how they may affect your business.
The power of social influence
If almost everyone is a potential customer, it is important to be conscious of your interactions with your own contacts. Your personal network will be the first to spread word that your business exists, as well as their opinion of it . . . and you! Therefore, from the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, you must be aware of how your personal life intertwines with your business.
While this realization may seem daunting, it can also be an amazing opportunity. By making use of your personal network, you can begin to build your professional one. Your personal network consists of family, friends, and the acquaintances you meet during the activities you take part in outside your working life, such as sports teams, playgroups, or book clubs. How you represent yourself within these social circles will ultimately influence the impression you leave of your business. This gives you an unmatched opportunity to create positive word of mouth, one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.
The online game changer
In today’s digital age, contact with your social circles doesn’t occur just in person but also online. According to Statista, in Canada, more than 20 million people are expected to have a social network account by 2018. This is one of the biggest game changers for the marketing world since the invention of pen and paper! Being aware of your online interactions and how they are perceived is essential to maintaining a strong reputation for your business.
Business complaints or rants posted on a business owner’s personal social media account may create negative attention for their business as well. As the face of your company, you are connected to your business in the consumer’s mind, and if your thoughts and opinions oppose their own, they are less likely to buy from your business. The general rule when posting online, whether from a business or personal account, is to avoid controversial topics such as politics and religion, and emotional rants of any kind. This includes not only posts directly to your account, but also comments, likes, and shares to other posts of a controversial nature.
The connection between a business owner’s personal image and professional one can be a blessing and a curse, but if managed properly, it can certainly contribute to the success of your business.