If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes learning about sales or marketing, you’ve probably had the importance of “creating a brand” shoved down your throat by now. An online presence is arguably the most important thing for any business (or individual) to master. Not only do digital platforms make it easier for you to expand your reach, but they’re often the first place prospects will go to find out more about you—from LinkedIn to Instagram to Google.
However, there’s a question many people are neglecting: Do you need a business brand or a personal brand? Drawing on my own experiences, I’ll guide you through some key considerations, along with an option you might not have realized was on the table.
KNOW YOUR END GOAL
At first glance, it might seem like you should answer this question by figuring out if you’re primarily an influencer or a company. Yet the answer you give today might not reflect where you want to be. That’s why I recommend figuring out where you envision yourself in the future.
If your sole focus is boosting sales and revenue and you’re not interested in receiving personal recognition for your company’s success, you’ll probably be better off with a business brand.
But if you like the idea of gaining a little fame and maybe making a career out of public speaking, coaching, writing books, or anything else along those lines, a personal brand would probably be better suited to your needs.
Still unsure? It might help to get a better idea of what each route consists of and how to make it successful.
THE PERSONAL BRAND
As the owner of a YouTube channel where I talk about my tips for running a recruitment business and a whole host of other ways to cement my online presence, I feel fairly qualified to speak on this one.
Going down the personal-brand route means that you need to go all-in on the marketing to get your name everywhere. Considering that only a fraction of the people exposed to you will ultimately go on to become customers, maximizing your reach is everything—you need to consistently put content out there to gain some traction.
A personal brand can be a great way to put your authentic self out on the internet and make some money from it. Many people find this appealing because they can show their sense of humor or challenge the status quo if that’s what makes them tick. It’s also perfect for those who are averse to being overly commercial, or who simply want to do something more stimulating and creative than creating dry corporate content.
THE BUSINESS BRAND
Although owners of a personal brand want to make money and sales, they go about things in a somewhat indirect way, focusing on building their followers and views first and foremost. That changes if you’re creating a business brand. While you’re still creating an online brand with content that you want people to see, the direct aim of every post is to make a sale.
While some might like the idea of putting their authentic self out on the internet, not everyone is comfortable with it. Even though having a personal brand doesn’t mean you need to reveal everything about your love life and greatest insecurities online, you will have to show your true personality to some extent—and be prepared to receive criticism for it.
Also, running a business brand can also be easier and less exhausting. No need to worry about coming up with an innovative new content idea that will allow your personality to shine through, or to worry about filming in good lighting. You can just slump on your bed and create a Canva infographic about the importance of skincare products, marketing automation tools, or whatever else applies to your company’s offering.
THE HYBRID BRAND
There’s also a third option: the hybrid brand. This is actually the route I resonate with the most.
Although I have my personal YouTube channel, I also have business accounts for my companies, and there’s plenty of intermeshing between the two. I don’t go out of my way to promote my business brands in my personal content, but there are times when the two link together, and having my personal brand is definitely great for my content.
However, to some extent, you’ll still have to figure out where your priorities lie.
YOUR BRAND, YOUR CHOICE
So, what will it be—a personal brand to get your name out there in the world, a business brand to let your products or services speak for you, or a hybrid brand to get the best of both worlds?
Either way, one thing is for sure: Your online presence is non-negotiable, so it’s time to get grinding with the content.