Building an authentic and likeable online brand can be vital to a startup’s success, Girls in Tech founder Adriana Gascoigne says.
Gascoigne, who will be speaking at Pause Fest this week, says it has never been so important for entrepreneurs to craft an online presence.
“Your digital footprint is so powerful now,” Gascoigne tells StartupSmart.
“Every tweet or status update contributes to your personal brand. It’s an amalgamation of your daily actions online and it helps bolster your brand, or it can hinder it if you have a negative one.”
It’s about getting your name out there in the startup community and interacting regularly with your peers, she says.
“Talking about your personal brand, passions and purpose in life is really helpful in building your startup,” Gascoigne says.
“It can help with creating a leadership platform, with fundraising, PR, recruiting the right talent and even getting an exit.
“Especially as a serial entrepreneur it’s important to establish yourself in the community – you have to become more of a staple within it.”
Here are four things that entrepreneurs can do to create an authentic online brand that complements and builds their company according to Gascoigne.
1. Come up with a personal tagline
Gascoigne says it’s crucial that startup founders and entrepreneurs know what their goals are before they try to meld an online persona.
“You have to have a personal mission statement – something you want to be remembered for and have associated with your name,” she says.
“Focus on a certain type of subject matter where you can be perceived as the expert. You have to know exactly what that is and be able to easily articulate it.”
2. Be responsive
You should always be monitoring your online presence and interacting regularly in your chosen space, she says.
“It’s important to continuously do digital edits and to see where your name is popping up on Google and social networks,” Gascoigne says.
“You need to be responsive – if there’s an article you’re tagged in, don’t just sit there, build that dialogue and that’ll help build your name within the community.”
3. Launch a personal website
Gascoigne says entrepreneurs should also establish a personal website external to their company’s own.
“If you want to be an entrepreneur you have to focus on building your online IP,” she says.
“You should integrate anecdotes, your CV, videos and multimedia to boost your presence. It’s important to create and curate different type of content that’s in-line with your brand.”
You need to be careful to not become annoying though.
“It’s important to not just be a megaphone and take the Jackson Pollock approach,” Gascoigne says. “Think strategically about the relevant audiences and what content is relevant for them.”
4. Build a narrative
Just like a startup, founders also need to have a well-crafted narrative, Gascoigne says.
“It’s very, very important to build a strong narrative,” she says.
“You have to really capture your story in an authentic way so people understand your passions and purpose, and why you built the company.
“It’s important to have that narrative because people start trusting you and what you’re delivering, and then they trust your product too.”