There is a debate going around that it’s better to brand yourself as an author or entrepreneur than to brand your product or company. I’ve gone back and forth on this one but have ultimately decided that in my situation, it’s better to spend time branding my publishing company and fitness business. It would be easier to just have one website and one Facebook page that displayed me in all of my wonderfullness. But there are a few reasons why I keep them separate.
- Although there is some cross over in my business ventures, like when I write a book about fitness, for the most part, the audiences are different.
- I like maintaining some semblance of a private life even though being in business makes me a public figure.
- At some point I may want to sell or pass my business on and it will be easier to disengage if my name and image are not branded.
What I’ve done as a way to sort of have the best of both worlds is to have a separate online identity for each business as well as have some places where I put my name out there and promote both. Two examples of places where I lead with my name and promote both businesses are my LinkedIn and Tumblr accounts. People get to choose which one of my products or services they want to engage with. My Twitter account is primarily focused on Azreal books but I have added that I’m a personal trainer to my profile.
There are pros and cons to everything and so my advice is to think about what you want to accomplish with your branding. If you want to become a household name like Martha Stewart or Paula Dean, then branding yourself is the way to go. But with that comes a different level of responsibility and public scrutiny. I prefer to retain my humanity and not become a brand unto myself. I operate in integrity and offer great products and services to my clients because it’s the right thing to do. However, if I have a personal meltdown or miss the mark as humans often do, I don’t want my family to suffer public humiliation because of something I did or said.
Branding is not to be entered into lightly because once its done, there is no turning back. The public does not embrace change well and they have very long memories. So when deciding on logos, color schemes, mottos, slogans and other branding for yourself or your business make sure you choose something that represents you well. Also make sure it’s something you can live with for a long time.
Until Next Time,
Nicole D. P. McLaughlin
- The Secret First Step to a Strategic Personal Branding Plan (bigpictureweb.com)
- Brand Building for Young Professionals: 6 Simple Steps (jimbarbagalloblog.wordpress.com)
- Brand Relevance In A Tech-Minded World (forbes.com)