5 huge reasons you must work on your personal Founder Brand during early stage investment

by | Dec 7, 2020 | Founders & Entrepreneurs, Personal Brand

The Perth scene is really hotting up with ways to engage in communities, learning and funding opportunities if you are a start-up founder. I’ve been heading to quite a few innovation events recently… and noticed some big gaps in what founders know about personal branding… and how important it is to their start-up’s success!

For anyone who wants to learn about creating a plan for their Founder Personal Brand, connect with me to learn about the Founder Personal Brand Framework I use… but for now, here are 5 HUGE REASONS you must work on your personal Founder Brand, not just your business brand, to succeed in gaining funding for your start-up.

  • CLARITY & CONNECTION: I see a lot of passionate start-up founders. Passion is important, but so is being able to connect with people and to clearly articulate value. When it comes to explaining the value benefits of your business idea, it’s not enough to fire off a memorised elevator pitch; you need to know your business and stakeholders inside and out. On top of that – it is not just about the value proposition for your business, it’s also about why an investor would want to get involved with you.
  • POSITIONING, VISIBILITY & RISK MITIGATION: Being proactive with your personal brand shapes how others see you, increases your visibility and helps you get the results you want; it also becomes a buffer against the risk of negative publicity that is always a possibility… because you’ve created a positive impression over time.
  • BRAND CONGRUENCE: The founder brand and the business brand do overlap, and sometimes are viewed as one and the same – so your personal brand as business leader needs to align with what you want to project about the company.
  • HUMANISING THE STORY: Your ‘why’ for creating the business or idea becomes an important part of the brand story – one that people connect to, because it’s human. Your personal brand is a powerful vehicle for telling that story.
  • INVESTOR TRUST: Investors are investing in you as well as the business idea. Investors have been known to turn down a promising venture because they don’t have confidence in the founder! What are you doing to ensure you come across as a capable professional and a willing team player?

“But… shouldn’t my business brand stand alone?”

While it’s important to distinguish a stand-alone brand for your venture, in the beginning your personal brand is a powerful tool for attracting investors and advisors to get you on your way. In many cases, the personal brand of the founder or CEO continues to be important as market awareness builds, because many brands are about people’s connection to a thought leader, ambassador or personality.

Get it right from the start and speed up success

Whatever stage you are on the innovation and commercialisation journey – but especially if you are about to start looking for early-stage funding from investors, and/or to get advisers and partners on board… your personal brand as founder is one seriously important tool in your toolkit.