There is no doubt that there are many benefits available to those rare individuals who naturally possess a charismatic, disarming persona. And entrepreneurs are quite likely to already be keenly aware of this simple truth.
Establishing a strong, trustworthy persona that closely aligns with your startup’s goals and objectives is important, but it is worth noting that a persona can only take you so far.
Once you have developed a sound business model and assembled a talented team to carry out the company’s core functions, it is then an appropriate time to consider establishing the persona that will become closely associated with your company’s brand as your startup initiative moves forward.
Establish Your Persona Early
As a startup founder, you must consider the benefit of establishing your brand’s persona early on, particularly if you intend on turning to outside resources for funding. Venture capital firms and angel investors, for example, will simply be more likely to meet with you and potentially offer funding to you if they are able to believe in you and your persona as much as you believe in your core business concept. In fact, a founder’s persona is often the deciding factor when investors feel some level of uncertainty in deciding to move forward with a partnership.
The Importance of Authenticity and Long-Term Vision
When establishing this persona, don’t ignore the importance of presenting an authentic version of yourself that remains in keeping with the long-term vision you have for your new initiative. A startup persona should only highlight or emphasize a set of specific qualities you already possess. After all, any attempt to present an inauthentic or obviously contrived persona will not only be immediately transparent, it will also cause substantial and entirely unnecessary harm.
Brand Building, Recognition, and the Role of a Persona
Ideally, the persona you establish will ultimately come to be associated with the innovative solutions your company has successfully delivered to consumers or the general public. As you build your brand and establish your persona, be mindful of the manner in which you discuss your company’s role in developing the innovative solutions for addressing the issues you perceive as most important. This will ensure your persona is inseparable from not only your company and its brand, but also from the positive societal contributions for which you and your company are responsible.
Mentors and Mentees
In entrepreneurial circles, it is a well-known fact that mentors are a key component in ensuring the success of a new startup. There are many reasons for this, including the simple fact that mentors are able to provide you with guidance as you attempt to navigate the early stages of an entrepreneurial endeavor. Since mentors are already familiar with the potential missteps commonly made by entrepreneurial newcomers, this guidance is incredibly valuable and ensures mistakes are avoided whenever possible.
As it relates to a persona, the presence of a well-respected mentor immediately establishes a connection in which the goodwill built up by the mentor is at least partially transferred to the mentee. Once you have established yourself and have reaped the rewards of such mentorship, it is particularly beneficial to offer a similar kind of mentoring to a new startup founder. This creates a sort of entrepreneurial leadership tree in which the outstanding reputation of a single member effectively enhances the standing of all other members.
Creating a Lasting, Meaningful Connection
Ultimately, the persona you present to the public must succeed in creating a lasting and meaningful connection that contributes to the long-term success of your company. As you develop your persona, take care to consider how it will help in establishing an emotional connection with your target base of consumers.
A solid entrepreneurial persona will indeed open many doors to you, and it is certainly necessary that you take a thoughtful approach in developing and establishing the ideal persona. It is worth reiterating, however, that your persona can only contribute so much toward your startup’s success, so take steps to ensure that your entrepreneurial approach is appropriately well rounded.