Personal Branding for Startups
How Personal Branding Can Mitigate Risks for Startups
Vancouver provides programs and services to support new business initiatives. Of the top 10 cities on Nestpick, a global relocation website, Vancouver scored the highest on immigration tolerance and start-up density. 30% of Vancouver’s entrepreneurs are immigrants, compared to the global average of 19%.
This inspired me to co-host “Ask An Angel” Workshop Feb 9, 2017. That workshop was well-attended and the guest speaker was one of the angel investors from Open Angels, Vantec and Kereitsu. Participants were able to ask the angel questions and get answers on the following:
- Is your business investor-ready?
- Is your product or service offering well-defined and easily communicated?
- Is it easy for potential investors to grasp how your business will make money?
There was also a brainstorming session to help participants with the following:
- Need help with your positioning statement? Your positioning statement helps you to communicate effectively with your desired target audience in person and online.
- Or how to build your tribe? A tribe is a social group organised largely on the basis of kinship. It is being around people like you with whom you can connect and feel at home with.
Why Vancouver is Startup Capital of North America?
There are several reasons why Vancouver, Canada is startup capital of North America. The City has positioned Vancouver as a Startup City and in the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) report, high-growth sectors such as Tech, Digital Entertainment & Interactive, and the Green Economy are driving its fast-growing economy – the greenest and most resilient in Canada. The VEC’s work underpins this modern economy, increasing the flow of capital from target markets, boosting the availability of top talent, connecting Vancouver businesses to domestic and international markets.
While Vancouver is sometimes viewed as a hub unto itself, entrepreneurs and innovators have the space and freedom to truly think “outside the box” in a way they might not do elsewhere.
Growing Number of Vancouver Startup Hubs
Vancouver, BC also has a growing number of startup hubs with resources to help startup businesses grow with access to funding, professional services and more! These startup hubs are usually in or near the downtown core. Many of these startups are in technology, with an increased demand for service providers.
- BC’s tech hub is also located in downtown Vancouver, a proven factor in increasing overall productivity
- The sector includes: Software as a Service (SaaS), social media, business intelligence, security and financial tech, e-commerce and web technologies to take businesses online.
- The BC government announced a $100-million BC Tech Fund in 2016 to help BC tech companies access the early stage venture capital to grow and stay in BC, help diversify the economy and create high-paying jobs.
High Cost of Living Impacts Startups
However, there is one major downside for Vancouver with its cost of living. The Economist Intelligence Unit has named Vancouver the most expensive city to live in North America and a 2014 study by consultancy Demographia cited it as the second-least affordable housing market in the world after Hong Kong.
The biggest contributor to these rising housing prices are immigrants not only arriving with great wealth, but continue to earn high incomes outside of Canada. This accumulation and access to money and its investment in Vancouver property have a lead to a “decoupling of housing from local labour market participation.
Mitigating Startup Risks for Startups
Since the workshop, I’m now involved in a funded tech startup with over 30 patents-pending, as their marketing advisor (service provider) as of January 2018. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities, the potential for share prices, but the reality is that 70 to 95% of ALL startups fail. There are many strategies to mitigate that risk, but here are a few: referral programs, online automation tools and personal branding.
If you’re a service provider, consultant, coach, trainer, speaker or author, it’s important to find a way to include a residual or referral program that is complementary to your own services when you’re trading time for dollars. Your time is not scaleable. Therefore, you need a referral program that helps you generate an additional income stream.
A service provider in Vancouver, Canada can hustle hard and earn about $100K per year alone with hourly rates for consulting and / or coaching. But to exceed an annual income of $200K, $500K or more, there needs to be a back-end system for multiple streams of income. This revenue may start off small, but can grow with significance by leveraging the internet and online automation tools with a startup online.
What is Your Personal Brand?
Even if you are following a proven system as a service provider, it’s important to have a unique approach that is your “personal branding”. It won’t work if you follow a proven formula exactly as the same as thousands of others. That’s because there is no differentiation between you and all the other copycats.
- In other words, why would your prospect choose you over your competition?
- What are you bringing to the table that your competitors are not?
These questions are important with any online business. As an affiliate or direct sales rep, it’s even more critical as you’re selling the SAME products and services as your competition. You will need to differentiate yourself with your personal story.
Final Tip: Create your own bonus product or service. This is the reason why customers will choose to buy from you over your competition. Here’s my landing page for a free guide and bonus automation training: