According to experts, this nuance has everything to do with branding, marketing, and more.

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Have you ever wondered how to turn your dreams of owning your own business into a reality? We can help. Each week, as part of our Self Made series, we showcase female entrepreneurs—as well as their quality, handmade goods—and share their best advice related to starting, maintaining, and growing your own business.

Today, it's not enough to build a business: Experts say you—yes, you!—must also be the face of that brand for it to succeed. But what does it mean to be the face of a business? Here, we explain all you need to know to represent your business in a way that catapults it toward serious success.

Being the "face" of a business, defined.

First, let's decode what it means to be the "face" of any business. All companies have a face, or a collective set of characteristics that we call its "brand." That brand, explains Emily Eliza Moyer, a career strategist and leadership coach, "is a combination of personality, values, and even an aesthetic visual identity" that coalesce to represent it. A brand can be developed intentionally, via planning and marketing, or naturally—a reflection of the current leadership behind the company.

But as an entrepreneur, you are the brand behind the business. "Your values, your personality, your aesthetic, and your face is the representation of your company," Moyer says. "There's no distinction between your brand and you. Your business is you. It doesn't exist without you." That's a very important fact to recognize, says Janel Dyan, executive brand strategist and author of Story. Style. Brand. "Because here's the truth: People invest in people—what they stand for and what impact they can have on their lives," she explains. And that makes you the most valuable marketing and public relations tool you have in your business toolbox, Dyan explains.

The important job of being the "face" of your business.

Consumers are changing the way they shop. "We read more and more about how customers buy for the leader first, product second," says Dyan. That puts a lot of pressure on you, of course, as the face of your company. But it's also an opportunity: "A leader has the [chance] to bring to life the brand's story, values, and mission in a way that builds strong emotional connections with consumers," Dyan says. "If you can create the story… you will create the value and impact."

Showing your face—e.g. building your brand—takes a lot of work. "Being the 'face' means that you do everything the brand would do: bring awareness to your business, generate leads, make sales, and drive revenue," says Moyer. "This is one of the biggest challenges—and surprises—entrepreneurs face in the beginning of their journey. Even if you have a background in marketing or sales, promoting your brand is wildly different than selling someone else's product, especially if you're used to the credibility and resources that come with working for someone else's company.”

Show your "face" the right way.

Being the face of your brand isn't as simple as a short-and-sweet "about" page on your website or a one-and-done post on Instagram. Moyer encourages entrepreneurs to take time to "know your purpose, your values, your strengths, and the vision you're building towards," she says. Then, "let that be your guide, especially in moments where you feel lost," Moyer advises.

When you have a clear vision, it's time to show your face to the world through storytelling, says Dyan. "Creating a compelling vision and presenting it well is critical to establishing the brand as a market leader," says Dyan, who also adds this critical advice about your story: "Be relatable to your customers," she recommends. "Human beings are innately wired to gravitate toward those who are relatable and honest, align with their own life stories, and believe in the same values."

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