Creating a compelling personal brand is one of the best ways a small business owner can encourage customer loyalty, attract new clientele, and move their business forward. People love to do business with a brand they have a personal affinity with. Learning to tell the story of who you are, why you went into business and what value you offer will keep customers engaged and coming back for more. Here are 5 tips to help jumpstart your personal branding efforts.

1. Know Your Story Backwards and Forwards

At the heart of every great brand is a compelling narrative. How do your personality traits, your passions, your skills, your hopes and dreams characterize the way you do business? Is there a unique problem you’re trying to solve? What makes you the best person to solve it?

Once you’ve answered these questions, practice telling your story to a friend. See if you can condense it into 30 seconds or less to make sure you’re always ready to share it anytime, anywhere.

2. Make the Most of Your Website

A personal website functions like a resume. It shows what you’re interested in, what skills you have to offer, and gives viewers a sense of your competency. Use visual design elements that echo the tone of your personal story. WordPress is a great platform for creating a personal site, but there are lots of alternatives like Weebly, and Squarespace.

3. Don’t Skimp on the Visuals

Your audience will make snap judgments about you based on visual cues from your website and other media. Make sure that public photos of you are consistent with the image you’re trying to portray. It’s not a bad idea to invest in a session with a professional photographer. Sharp photos will make you appear more competent, and a great photographer can help bring out the unique elements of your brand’s personality.

To create instant brand recognition, consider getting a logo professionally designed. You can even have your designer tie your logo design into the rest of your website, blog and marketing collateral.

4. Harness the Power of Great Content

Producing quality content on a regular basis will help you establish yourself as a thought leader and a valuable source of information for customers. Demonstrating your expertise through helpful content will help you attract new customers, especially if your content is valuable for them before they even begin doing business with you.

Keep your blog current by posting as often as you can. You can share industry news or how-to articles that show off your experience and skills. You can also try including multi-media content like videos, podcasts and infographics.

5. Keep Your Social Media Profiles Consistent

To establish a strong personal brand, you need to make sure your entire public social media presence is harmonious with the theme of your personal brand story. Make sure your personal social media accounts are private if they do not help establish your brand. Be sure to present a consistent image across all the social networks where you post branded content, and incorporate the visual elements of your blog and website.

Put these five tips into practice and your personal brand will be in great shape before you know it.

Based in Santa Barbara, CA, ONTRAPORT is an all-in-one small business management platform that integrates all the software tools an entrepreneur needs to start, systemize and scale his or her business. For more information, visit and follow at @ONTRAPORT. If you want more inspiration about finding your personal brand story, take a look at ONTRAPORT’s free guide, Leveraging Your Personal Brand to Advance Your Business. It includes a worksheet designed to help you clearly define your personal brand, as well as more ideas and strategies to help you share your story with the world.