When building a business, branding is critical to a successful marketing strategy and increasing trust among your target audience. Every business needs branding, but not every business owner needs personal branding.
Knowing the Difference
Personal branding means you market yourself as part of a business (or career). At its most basic interpretation, self-branding suggests that success from self-package.
Essentially you’re selling yourself.
When you’re branding your business, you’re putting the attention on that business as opposed to on the individual. Here’s where you can make a choice about embracing both, or choosing one over the other.
If your business models includes sharing information about the individuals behind the company, their skill, and prowess (particularly your own) then that’s an area where a cross over is appropriate. When you build brand equity in yourself it shores up your business brand.
If you want your business to be more corporate focused where the attention is on entire times, the product and services and not on you, then working to build your personal brand isn’t really necessary.
The Benefits of Personal Branding and Business Branding Together
Embracing your personal brand isn’t a bad thing; you just have to recognize that once you put yourself in the spotlight everything you do reflects on your business brand. That’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you’ve got a particularly wild side.
Growing your personal brand next to a business can attract business partnerships through network, it helps you establish credibility as you build a human touch to your business and it can lead to tremendous lead acquisition as your own character and charisma draws individuals to your business.
However, there’s two sides to the coin.
When you start bundling your personal brand with your business brand and choose not to keep them separate, growth and change can be difficult. For example, if you’re personal brand is deeply engrained in a business, and that personal brand is one of the reasons many customers or clients work with you, it could be difficult to retire and sell a business or move on to something new.
Whoever takes your place has big shoes to fill, and customers & clients may not be so comfortable with the loss of the personal touch you wove into the business.
Sometimes it’s in your best interest to just keep them separate. If you have a product or service that is branded on its own, capable of being managed by other individuals if you walk away, then continue to build that brand.
If you are the product or service (such as a professional copywriter, craftsman or skilled tradesman) then that’s you. That’s ALL you. That’s when you want to brand yourself.
Doing both is possible, you just need to find the separate parts of the business that are just you, and the parts of the business that are virtual – unattached to any specific individual. Preplanning and strategic brand building will ensure the future value of your business, no matter what you choose to do with it.