Personal Branding vs. Business Branding

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Influencer culture is huge and it’s still growing. With that growth, the term ‘personal branding’ has kept growing legs. It’s not a new thing, but I think it gets a little bit of confusion. But before we dive into these two things, Imma share my views on what branding is and what it isn’t.

A BRAND IS:

  • A feeling of familiarity. A space of welcoming.

  • Friendship, relationship, conversations and interests.

  • Community.

  • A solution to help empower you, make you feel better about yourself, your situation and help you get to where you’re trying to go. A way to let you be your own hero.

  • An experience. A story.

A BRAND ISN’T:

  • “Just a logo”, expensive nor cheap.

  • A perfect grid, imagery or social media profiles.

  • Willy Nilly graphic design with free/cheap/perfect photos.

  • A website.


Okay so now let’s get into personal branding and business branding. What are they and which one do you go with? Personally, I think it takes a little bit of both. If you already have a business, it wouldn’t hurt to start building your personal brand. People buy from people and trust those they feel connected to. Having a personal brand can ultimately help leverage your business. Creating a following around who you are will help introduce your new friends to your business(es)… and vice versa, too. Let’s dig into some thoughts on the pros and cons to personal branding quick.

Personal Branding Pros:

  • It’s easy for it to grow with you as you change. If you have a hobby or career change on your entrepreneurial journey, it’s a smoother transition.

  • You don’t have to worry as much about presenting your team, because it’s mostly you.

  • Easier affiliate and sponsorship/ad opportunities.

  • Much more personal connection.

  • For the most part, it’s should be easy to be yourself.

Personal Branding Cons:

  • You’re the face of the brand. If you eff up – it’s on you. But also if you do great, that’s also on you. But either way – it’s you.

  • Personal and privacy boundaries could get cloudy as you’re speaking on behalf of your brand. So if you like privacy, make some very clear boundaries.

  • It’s easy to gain trust but if you make a mistake you’ll lose trust from your followers. Fast and hard.

  • It creates vulnerability to be yourself which might be hard for some.

I do believe that if you have a business already and you’re started your business brand, it’s a good idea to start building a personal brand. As mentioned above, people buy from people. So by creating a more open space on who you are as a person, you’re inviting those same people to your business(es). As for a business brand, it revolves more around a group of people who are all working under the same mission and serving the same product/service. It’s beyond you as the owner. Here are some thoughts of pros and cons to business branding:

Business Branding Pros:

  • You can build a stronger loyalty base within your own work culture as you start growing your business and bringing in employees.

  • You have more people who can be the face of your brand rather than have it be just yours.

  • You can still use and sprinkle in personal branding.

  • Opportunity for more credibility.

  • Stronger longevity and opportunity to become really, really good about the thing you’re offering.

Business Branding Cons:

  • Ultimately it’s about the one thing your business offers, sells or makes.

  • It’s a lot of work to keep consistent.

  • It’s more expensive.

  • You definitely have to be okay with letting others to lead.

  • You have to have solid clarity on what your brand is so everyone else working on your brand can speak the same.

Ultimately a personal brand is you. It’s your lifestyle, your interests and hobbies. A corporate brand or business brand is about the business and less about you. That’s not to say you can’t intersect between the two. You can certainly include your face, your story and your life in a business brand. That’s something I always recommend regardless. Because again – people buy from people. They trust people more than businesses. I believe you should have both, but ultimately it’s up to your own personal preference. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do you see your business evolving? How do you see it growing? Do you have employees, a team, a brick and mortar?

  2. How do you want people to see you? Do you want people to see your name and your face directly related as your business, or would you rather have your business be the face of everything and you’re the leader of it?

Can you have both? Yes. Do you need to have both? Yes and no. Your face and your story will always have immense value to building your business and the trust/relationships that bind to your audience. If you’re an author, speaker, artist, writer or a solopreneur so to speak, a personal brand is a great start. You can change it as you grow and you can build a new business based on what you’ve created. All that said, you can also start with a corporate/business brand first to build credibility and then start your personal brand to dip into your other passions, talents and hobbies.

There’s not really a right or wrong, it just depends on what you prefer. I hope this helps you. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

As always, cheers and happy branding,

– Carly

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