Should You Develop Your Personal Brand?
Business can get over-complicated very quickly in the modern day. There seems to be a million ways to promote your business and yourself, but how should you do it?
Let’s get one thing straight – a personal brand is simply, reputation. So, should you build your reputation?
That’s not what I’m answering here though. The real question is, should you grow your business by branding yourself, or by building the brand of the business separately? Or, perhaps, both…
Are you the business?
Should you be the voice of the brand, the main focal point in your marketing campaigns, and your key selling point? Or should the brand be its own entity?
There is no right answer.
Or as I should say, both work.
Developing your personal brand doesn’t mean you need to become the next Gary Vee. It means you want to build a reputation for yourself and become well-known in your niche, so people recognise you as the person who does this or that.
You become the brand and you become responsible for the success of your business rather than the business itself.
The other route is to build a brand and get it recognised in its own right. Think Coca Cola, Nike etc. I don’t know the CEO of either of those companies, but I instantly recognise the brand. There will be small-scale examples in your local area too.
Do it anyway
Now, importantly, even if your business is a recognisable brand, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be developing your personal brand too.
With many small businesses, particularly service businesses, the owners are mostly or wholly responsible for new business generation, so it makes sense to grow your influence in your local market.
Developing your personal brand isn’t a necessity but it will always add a lot of value if you do it right.
It doubles your chances.
A new client could become aware of your business because of traditional marketing and branding activity, or because they’ve come across you personally on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Or perhaps they listened to you on an industry podcast, or your podcast.
Cast your net.
If you are the business, you will live and die based on the effectiveness of your personal brand building. If I developed Matthew Brown Consultancy Ltd for example and I was the only worker, I’m effectively promoting myself, my personal brand is all I’ve got!
When you’re first starting out, or if you’re a small business, my advice would be to go all in on one thing. One brand. It doesn’t matter whether that’s you or a separate brand.
Just pick one and run with it.
What’s your vision?
Your first job is to ask yourself, why am I actually doing this? What’s the end goal here?
That will help you shape the direction. Reverse engineer what you need to do.
Then, do it your way.
There’s no wrong answer.
Good luck. Enjoy the process.
-Matthew Brown, marketing director and co-founder
I hope this helps shape your future direction. Take a step back and consider where you ultimately want to be. Personal brands aren’t for everyone but developing yours might just be the unlock to massive success.