The idea of personal branding is new and confusing to many people. Some people can more clearly understand the term reputation or personality. These are two important parts of your personal brand.
If you are a one-person business owner such as a solopreneur or consultant, it’s likely that your personal brand and business brand are closely entwined. In fact, your business name may be something like: Jane Smith, Inc. Or Smith Law.
Even companies with employees often have a founder that is the most visible face of the business.
Successful people transform into brands
Some examples of personal brands that represent a business brand include:
- a freelance web designer who works on their own
- an artisanal baker
- the senior partner in a small CPA firm
- Martha Stewart, Oprah, Emeril Lagasse
Look big or look personal?
Some new business owners feel almost shameful about how small their company is. They try to hide the size of their firm by using pronouns like “we” on their web site, even if there is really only one person.
There can be reasons to do this—larger companies tend to work with other larger firms. There is inherent risk with companies that have no track record and no type of backup plan in place. However, there can be many positives to highlighting the personal qualities of your team leaders, or even exposing the fact that you are a one-person firm.
There can be real value in having a real person represent a company. People feel more connection with other humans, rather than faceless corporations. When a big company messes up, customers have little sympathy because they are expecting perfected automation from the big machine. However, most people realize that other people have personalities, make mistakes, and also have real passion. Many people prefer to do business with a real person or a local, small business owner.
Tip: We ask you about how tied your personal brand is to the businesses brand so that we can give you the best and most relevant advice on how to brand and market yourself.