The moment you decided on a name for your business, you started creating a brand for your company. Your brand — no matter what product of service your company offers — is crucial to your marketing. Every transaction your business makes affects your brand: if you provide good customer service, you’re building your brand just as much as if you take out an ad or give a speech. But there’s another kind of brand that you may be building, whether or not you’re aware of it. Just as people associate a brand with your business, they may also associate a brand with you.
Your Personal Brand
It’s not uncommon for a small business owner to do business under his or her own name. John Doe’s business, for instance, might be Doe Consulting. That approach guarantees an intertwined brand, and makes associating yourself with your industry relatively easy. Anything you can do to associate your name with your industry, from writing a blog to just chatting with friends about the topic, adds a little to your personal brand, bringing your company along for the ride. If you’re willing to put some work into crafting your personal brand, you can make yourself the go-to-guy or gal in a particular niche — and, as long as your business operates in that niche, you can build it up by association.
But is tying your personal brand to your company all that it’s cracked up to be? If you attach your name and your personal brand to your small business, you can create a brand relatively quickly — but it’s easy to wind up with your personal brand entangled with your business brand. While it may seem that you’re comfortable with that arrangement now, there may come a day when your business’ brand needs to stand on its own. Even something as simple as launching a new product can be complicated if both you and your business are known for a narrow niche.
Your Business’s Brand
On the surface, branding your business separately from yourself may seem more complicated. After all, you’re managing two brands at once. But the fact of the matter is that you can develop very different brands for both yourself and your company at the same time. That’s at least partly due to the variety of branding methods available to you. Some, like sending out a company newsletter, are more useful for creating a business identity. Others, like public speaking, lend themselves more towards building a personal brand.
On top of more traditional branding techniques, the web has created many opportunities: websites, social networking, blogging and more. And you aren’t limited to just one website or one account on a social network. If you need to set up online brands for more than just your business or yourself, you can do so.
Personal Brands and Business Brands
When it comes to developing your brand, you get to make the choice on how closely you want to connect your business brand to your personal brand. But whichever route you choose, it is important to build a solid brand for your business. The elements of your brand are crucial to the ways your existing customers recommend you and your future clients find you. As people become more and more reliant on the internet when searching for even the most local of services, like pizza or a plumber, your brand may become the only way they can find you.