Here’s how small business owners can make personal and business brands work together, building a distinctive brand with a strong identity.
Building catchy, distinctive business brands is critical for every company. Customers can better grasp who you are, what you do, and why you do it if you have a strong brand identity.
However, many entrepreneurs conflate their company’s brand with their personal brand. While combining them may work for a select few, it isn’t the best method for most people. And it can affect worker numbers as well.
Separating your brand from your company enhances your business while also allowing for individual liberty and professional progress. This advice is from experts with experience as a creative brand strategists and coaches for small companies and startups.
If you have a public persona of any kind, experts strongly advocate developing a distinct business brand. Likewise, sharing insights into personal life via a “personal, professional” brand platform.
This is why.
You’ll be able to expand your horizons outside your business.
Many entrepreneurs write a book, become public speakers, or start a new business initiative. Your professional brand is an ideal venue for sharing and promoting this work while keeping the company running smoothly.
You may improve your company’s brand by doing one thing. Separating your professional interests from the core goal of your firm boosts the brand of your organization by making it more focused and deliberate.
You’ll improve your brand’s development potential because you want the company brand to exist on its own, without you, even if you feel like you are your business at first.
Therefore, if you have ambitions of building a team or even being purchased, you want the business brand to stand on its own without you.
However, your professional success should not be contingent on the success of your company.
You are more than a business.
Employers, customers, and partners all want to have a better sense of who you are on a deeper level.
- What are the issues that you support?
- Do you belong to other professional organizations?
- What other creative pursuits or hobbies do you have that help you be who you are?
Convinced? Great. Here’s how to go about it.
Develop your professional identity.
Think of enlarging your professional brand as a Linkedin profile. It’s a professional internet persona that extends beyond your organization or corporation.
People sometimes mistake this with a personal brand. Nevertheless, it’s essential to differentiate them.
Some people have trouble deciding what to keep private and share with the world.
Ask yourself, “How much of myself do I need to be genuine without feeling like the rest of the world knows everything I’m up to?” (The “personal branding” approach to social media that many people take.)
One answer has been to create a “personal professional brand.”
Do you publish causes you believe in? Do you promote initiatives you’re involved in? Are snippets of your daily life on your website and social media?
For instance, images from a recent vacation or a snapshot of the family. This personal, professional brand would assist conveying a more extensive narrative of who I am if I were applying for any form of employment, collaboration, or client transaction.
Are there any exceptions to this rule?
Yes, of course! Having a single brand makes sense if your personal, professional brand is also your business brand — as many writers, lecturers, trainers, and thought leaders do.
Otherwise, keep them apart but point them in the same direction.
Here’s how it might go.
Create a professional personal website.
As a home for your own professional identity, one can suggest obtaining the domain name yourname.com (or something similar). You don’t want to manage a website like this in addition to your company’s website…do you?
Show up on social media, but just where you want people to see you.
As a small business owner (particularly one who reads this site), you’re probably aware of the value of social media.
You’re probably also worried about keeping track of your company and personal accounts on several platforms.
A little remark about LinkedIn while we’re on the subject of social networking.
Many individuals choose “Owner of Company” as their default title. Yet, adding a few more adjectives about who you are and what you excel at is essential.
If someone is looking for an expert or speaker and comes across your profile, they will better know who you are outside of your company.
Develop your thought leadership skills.
Find ways to offer your knowledge. Things like publishing articles or presenting on podcasts are a beautiful approach. It will boost your company’s and personal professional brand’s awareness.
You may and should mention your firm when these possibilities arise. However, you should also discuss your principles and what you stand for as a professional outside of your present position.
There was a recent interview on a podcast where people discussed their brand philosophy. It was said, yes, they do that every day at work.
But it’s also good advice to counsel other businesses or serve on advisory boards. Outside of your business, it’s a part of who you are.
Don’t be afraid to show off your personality.
What makes you a little bit eccentric? Is it simple for others to connect with you, both for companies and individuals?
So, while you build your unique professional brand, don’t be hesitant to show off such qualities!
Do you like ice skating? Do you have a massive Star Wars miniatures collection? Those enjoyable pastimes may not be able to take center stage in your company’s branding.
Still, they will provide a layer of appeal, curiosity, and connection to your professional brand. After all, they’re what distinguishes you from the competition — and that’s what branding is all about.