“You’re always going to be you, until the day that you die. There’s real power in putting as much equity into your name as possible.”
Wise words from our Founder and CEO, Jessica Zweig, during Expand Your Brand, our 3-day personal branding challenge.
The question from the audience that prompted this?
“Should my company name be different from my actual name?”
We get this question a lot: which deserves the most attention, your personal brand vs. business brand? When you’re an entrepreneur (especially a solopreneur), this question can weigh on you. Ultimately, it comes down to deciding whether to create a separate name for your company or do you lean into the brand of you?
At SimplyBe., we’re all about putting your story out there and being authentically you, but there’s a strategy behind building a brand on your name alone versus creating separate brands for yourself and your business.
The answer you’re probably not looking for: there is no one answer. It depends on where you’re at and where you want to go.
But whether you’re a solopreneur or in a corporate environment, we’ve got some considerations to determine the best path for you.
The entrepreneur’s brand persona—where do you want it to take you?
Everyone needs a personal brand.
Especially in our digital age, where your online presence is increasingly important to landing a job or a new client.
Again, building equity in your own name is never a bad idea, and should always play its part in your plan. It will always be yours and you’ll always have a loyal following to boot. (No matter how your business may pivot or evolve.)
But when starting a business, consider this: is your goal to stay small, or to go big?
If going big is your end goal, scalability should always be in the back of your mind. And scaling a business on your name alone is not sustainable. You’re just one person, with only so much time in a day—eventually, you won’t be able to be in every client meeting, selling and delivering every day.
When your business is built on your name, that’s what your clients will expect—you. And that’s not sustainable long-term. If your goal is to grow, then creating distinct, but not unrelated, brands for yourself and your business is a smart, scalable way to go.
The corporate employee’s brand persona—how to brand yourself within an organization.
But what about when you work for others? When you’re not the boss?
Building your own personal brand persona is still vital. Especially in a time when the traditional resume is going extinct.
As we’ve made clear, your name is everything, especially when you’re up for that new project or next promotion.
You will always be you, and building equity in your own name can only be beneficial. We work with clients who’s challenge is exactly this—building one’s own personal brand persona within a larger ecosystem. The secret lies in positioning yourself as an expert not only amongst your peers within your organization, but as a thought leader within your industry.
It can be a tricky line to toe. If you’re worried about ruffling feathers, position this effort as an initiative you bring to your larger organization. Having strong personal brand platforms that represent your company’s values and objectives is a crucial part of any c-suite leadership strategy, and, frankly, the bedrock of a talent engagement and retention approach.
Instituting a personal branding strategy within your company’s employee programming will strengthen your existing teams, create brand evangelists, drive revenue to your business, and attract the very best new talent.
The power of elevating not just one, but many voices within your team or organization at large creates invaluable impact in your market.
It comes down to being memorable.
Branding is an exercise in clarity. But branding is also the science of being memorable.
Think about some of the most iconic, most memorable marketing campaigns that we’ve seen from major brands.
Think of Apple. Chances are that you envisioned silhouettes dancing in front of vibrant backgrounds wearing signature Apple headphones when you read that name.
So what makes an individual memorable?
It comes down to:
- Consistency—the loyalty to your unique message and style.
- Clarity—the way you communicate and share your message and style.
- Confidence—the belief in your message and style.
And these principles apply to both your personal brand and business brand. How you’re showing up—whether in a corporate environment or online as a solopreneur—must be done consistently, clearly, and confidently.
So… what’s in a name?
Simply put, everything. It’s the unique asset that you will carry with you until the day you die. How you decide to (or to not) leverage it is up to you and based on your environment.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can leverage yours, reach out to the experts at SimplyBe. today.