Should I build my Company brand or my personal brand online?
I have the great fortune of working with a lot of exceptional and inspiring coaches, speakers, doctors, and public figures, and I constantly receive the same question: “Should I build my Company or myself online?” Often times, these professionals will have their own company or practice, and they’re looking to either branch off and start a new venture or bring additional income and awareness to their business. So, do they keep their Company name or shine through as themselves?
Building Your Personal Brand
I’m a big believer that people like to connect with people online (and offline). There’s more openness to chat one-on-one, more transparency, and more emotion involved – and that’s all good when it comes to social media marketing.
My other reason for building your own name – it creates opportunities to build several businesses, ventures and brands under one umbrella. Let me explain. Let’s say for example, you are a yoga instructor and you own a yoga studio. Perhaps, you’re also a motivational speaker and an author. You have a lot going on, and you probably know how much work and money it will take to create and maintain a website, social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and all the things attached to all these different brands and activities.
If positioned correctly, and your brand offerings are aligned, you will have the opportunity to sell everything under one roof – your personal brand. Your following will not only come to know all that you offer, but they’ll also likely have trust for each and every one because they’ve come to know you “personally”.
Building a name could present other opportunities, like speaking engagements and publicity, that may not be available to a company. Examples of personal brands include:
- Guy Kawasaki (Canva, Alltop)
- Oprah Winfrey (Own Network, O Magazine)
- Rick Warren (Saddleback Church, Daniel Plan)
- Gary Vaynerchuk (Vayner Media, Investments)
- Marie Forleo (B-School)
- Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
Building Your Company Brand
Building a company brand takes a little more tact than building a personal brand. Because you probably won’t have the opportunity to connect with your audience in the same way as your personal brand, you should always consider how you want your audience to feel when they encounter your logo or name. Think of Lululemon – how does their brand make you feel? Empowered? Inspired? Worldly? Young? If you take a look at their social content, those feelings will undoubtably come across. Those feelings will turn into trust, and will convert followers into paying customers.
Building Both Brands, Simultaneously
If you have the time and resources, and both your Company and name are important to you, then I would definitely recommend building both brands online simultaneously. Often times, this is the case for many people I know. My strategy – pay more emphasis with the personal brand by creating great quality content, and push traffic back to the brick and mortar company. Your face will provide a sense of recognition and trust for the company (think spokesperson). Eventually, traffic and earnings will flow organically to both entities.
Here are a few tips for maintaining a personal and business brand, simultaneously:
- Build a strategy for both brands that makes sense (i.e. be personable with your personal brand)
- Create content that is individual of each brand
- Cross-pollinate networks, but don’t be too personal on your business pages
- Balance the budget in the way that makes sense, depending on campaigns or launches
- Establish a voice for each (i.e. refer to yourself as “I” as the personal brand, but perhaps “we” as the business brand)
Tell me about your brand. I’d love to hear what your plans are for building your brand(s) online.
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