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How to reposition yourself after selling your business

This month, we discuss how to create a profile that accurately reflects your post-exit status. Your personal profile needs to be shaped in line with your values, credentials, and ideas, to ensure you have strong positioning at this important time. 

How to reposition yourself after selling your business

Selling your business is a big moment. You may have been building the business for years and, potentially, even decades. Not only have you spent your every waking hour thinking about the business, its success, and how to make it even better than it currently is – but it has become a vital part of your identity. You see yourself in terms of your founding and leadership role of the business.

So, as well as being a moment for celebration, selling your business can also be a moment of quiet reflection and shock. Given that your identity and profile has been so tightly tied to the business over the years, what do you stand for as a person outside of the business? What do you want to do next?

And, most importantly, how do you create a profile for yourself that moves beyond the business that you no longer own?

1. Determine how you want to be perceived

The first step is to take the time to think seriously about what you want to do next. Do you want to start another business, perhaps in a different sector, country, or elsewhere? Do you want to focus on investment or philanthropy? And, perhaps most importantly, who needs to know about you – and trust you – to ensure that you meet those goals?

You need to consider what you want to achieve, and then, from there, start working backwards. What type of image and relationship would you need to get there?

These are important questions that you need to consider before starting to think about your new public profile. By determining how it is that you want to be perceived, you can begin to plan your repositioning effectively, ensuring that your personal profile is shaped in line with your values, credentials, and ideas.

2. Rewrite your biography

After you have determined your positioning, you will need to rewrite your biography to be as reflective of your new self as possible. This needs to summarise who you are as a person – and more importantly who you are now that you have sold your business.

For example, if you are an investor in environmental start-ups, you will need to include some information about who you are involved with and why you are so passionate about the environment. If you are repositioning yourself as an investor, it would be helpful to highlight how your track-record as an entrepreneur puts you in a stronger position to be a supportive investor with the experience to make start-ups succeed.

A biography is your shop window to the rest of the world. It tells people about your previous successes and achievements, and where your interests lie. It also tells people that you are no longer the owner of your previous business, and are instead an ‘entrepreneur,’ ‘executive,’ or ‘philanthropist.’ A new biography will captivate the exciting change in your journey and tell others who you are in the post-exit world.

3. Capture new up-to-date photography

Next, you will need to spend some time capturing new and up-to-date photography. As the mantra often goes, a photograph – or video – is worth a thousand words. Photography and imagery in general is one of the main ways to shape perceptions of you as an individual. You need to make sure that your photography is consistent with your new positioning.

To ensure that your photography represents exactly who you are at this moment in time, you will need to capture photographs in a relevant environment. If you want to be perceived as a tech investor, you should capture images in a start-up’s office or a research facility with computers and tech behind you. If you are a financier, you’ll need to be seen in the heart of London, with corporate buildings towering behind you.

These images must be professional – not photos taken on your phone. They should be high-resolution and ‘press-ready,’ meaning that they can also be used in print coverage to accompany articles, press releases, or otherwise. Hiring a professional photographer is essential and will help you to capture yourself as the successful individual that you are.

4. Secure appropriate press coverage

Now that you have a set of professional photos that represent who you are, it is time to secure appropriate press coverage that will express your new positioning in more depth. Don’t forget that press doesn’t just mean newspapers & magazines, it also includes podcasts, video, and broadcast.

To secure the right coverage, you will need to gain an understanding of the key media publications that your target market are reading, allowing you to tap into your audience directly.

You should aim for long-form interview coverage, providing you with the opportunity to explain your career and views in a little more depth. Be sure to say something that is genuinely interesting and aligns with the personal positioning you determined earlier. A little bit of high-quality coverage goes a long way.

5. Consider launching a new website

Next, you might want to consider launching your own website, either under your own name or under the brand of your family office or holding company, which can act as a ‘pooling point’ for information about you, your mission and philosophy, and your work going forward.

When it comes to shaping perceptions of an individual, to many people’s surprise, evidence shows that it is actually more important than coverage. In fact, research conducted by Transmission Private has shown that when people are searching for information about an individual, the first source of information they check is an individual’s own website or company website. People trust this information most.

When it comes to launching a website, the small things make all the difference. The visuals that you decide on need to communicate the feeling you are trying to get across to your audience, including the images, video content, design, and colour theme. Additionally, consider how the language you use has a significant impact on the narrative you are trying to convey.

6. Put together a social media plan & calendar

Finally, your new positioning would not be complete without a well-thought-out social media strategy. Wondering which platforms to use? LinkedIn is a great starting point, but don’t dismiss Twitter, YouTube, and others that may be relevant. Which platforms you use will depend on the positioning that you determined previously .

Organisation is the key to repositioning yourself on social media. You should create a clear social media plan – setting out what you want to achieve and how you will do so. Without this, your social media presence will come across as messy and lacking a unified message. 

Laying this out as a social media calendar will allow you to see your planned posts for each month and more detail about timings, content, collaborations and more. Doing so will prevent you from missing key dates and enable you to maintain a high standard of content across all your social media platforms.

So, at this crucial time, how do you reposition yourself? Well, your personal profile is now shifting away from being about your past business and moving to your current interests – you need to relay this change. Think about how you want to be perceived: write a sharp new biography, capture fresh photography, secure the right press coverage, launch a new website, and finally – organise your social media content.

If you’d like to find out more, whether you are an entrepreneur, executive, or investor, please get in contact with Transmission Private for an informal, no obligation chat. Contact us via enquiry@transmission-private.com or +44 (0) 208 0641 829. You can also find all of our details on our contact page.

Transmission Private publishes a monthly newsletter that tracks the future of reputation management for private clients.

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