In today’s competitive business landscape, building a catchy and distinctive brand is crucial for small business owners. A strong brand identity helps customers understand who you are, what you do, and why you do it. However, it’s important to separate your personal brand from your company’s brand for most entrepreneurs. Combining them may work for a few individuals, but it’s not the best approach for the majority. In this beginner’s guide, we will explore how small business owners can make their personal and business brands work together, while building a distinctive brand with a strong identity.
Section 1: The Importance of Separating Personal and Business Brands
Many entrepreneurs mistakenly conflate their personal brand with their company’s brand. However, separating these two aspects enhances your business while allowing for individual liberty and professional progress. Experts, including creative brand strategists and coaches for small businesses and startups, strongly advocate for developing a distinct business brand if you have a public persona. Simultaneously, sharing insights into your personal life through a “personal, professional” brand platform can also be beneficial.
Section 2: Benefits of Separating Personal and Business Brands
By separating your professional interests from the core goals of your company, you can expand your horizons outside your business. You can write a book, become a public speaker, or start a new business initiative without affecting the smooth running of your company. Moreover, separating your personal brand from your business brand allows your company’s brand to exist independently, making it more focused and deliberate. This independence is crucial if you have ambitions of building a team or being purchased, as your business brand should stand on its own without you. It’s important to note that your professional success should not be contingent on the success of your company.
Section 3: Developing Your Professional Identity
To develop your professional brand, think of it as a LinkedIn profile that extends beyond your organization or corporation. It’s essential to differentiate your professional brand from your personal brand. Determine how much of yourself you need to share to be genuine without revealing everything to the world. Creating a “personal professional brand” can help convey a more extensive narrative of who you are when applying for employment, collaborations, or client transactions. However, there are exceptions to this rule, as some individuals have their personal, professional brand aligned with their business brand.
Section 4: Building Your Professional Personal Brand
To build your professional personal brand, consider creating a professional personal website using yourname.com or a similar domain. This website will serve as a home for your professional identity outside of your company’s website. Utilize social media platforms strategically to showcase your professional brand, focusing on platforms where you want people to see you. As a small business owner, you understand the value of social media but may struggle to manage both personal and company accounts on multiple platforms. Additionally, optimize your LinkedIn profile by adding more adjectives that describe who you are and what you excel at, rather than simply listing yourself as the owner of your company.
Section 5: Thought Leadership and Personal Branding
Developing your thought leadership skills is crucial for enhancing your personal professional brand. Publish articles, participate in podcasts, and share your knowledge to increase awareness of your company’s brand and your personal brand. When presenting these opportunities, mention your firm but also discuss your principles and what you stand for as a professional beyond your current position. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality and unique qualities that make you stand out. While these qualities may not take center stage in your company’s branding, they add appeal, curiosity, and connection to your professional brand.
Building a distinctive brand for your small business requires careful consideration of your personal and business brands. By separating these two aspects and developing a professional personal brand, you can expand your horizons while enhancing your company’s brand identity. Remember, your professional success should not solely rely on the success of your business. Embrace your unique qualities and showcase them in your personal professional brand. By following these strategies, you’ll be on your way to building a strong and distinctive brand that sets your small business apart from the competition.