People get really stuck with naming their brand. There are many approaches and elements to consider but first let’s look at the beauty of personal branding and what it could mean for your brand.
Is your current branding holding you back? Are you hiding behind it?
When I first stepped into the world of entrepreneurship I had years of design experience within the corporate world, all part and parcel of me; working solidly towards the goals of the company and really proud to be a valued part of their brand and identity. Going it alone however felt like starting completely from scratch, as an unknown entity. Having a brand name to invest my creative ideas behind felt like the natural fit. It wasn’t so much putting me out there, front and centre, but placing my brand in the lime light. It’s so much easier talking about your brand as a separate entity than to talk about you as yourself.
In hindsight perhaps I’ve been hiding behind the brand name, however, at the time it felt right. It felt more established, trustworthy, scope to grow and evolve. And to be honest it’s pretty scary putting yourself out there, even behind a brand name.
So why is personal branding so key?
A lot of my design work is working directly with individuals and small/medium companies. They choose to work with me, not because of my brand name but because they trust me as an individual, they like my creative approach and style. We share similar values. They invest in me as a designer, for my experiences – just as me. It’s sounds obvious I know, but it feels like a little revelation! Hence a rebrand, as a personal brand, has been happening behind the scenes as we speak.
There has been a consumer shift within the last couple of years towards preferring to work with a ‘personal brand’. People are searching for that authentic connection. You see, people really value and enjoy getting to know the person behind the brand. Hearing their stories, their challenges and achievements. They like to know who they are talking to. Who they will be working with.
It’s a much more personal approach. Creating a unique advantage over the big brands (who have a whole team of people behind them). Just think how many times you’ve had an initial meeting with a company representative, then someone different handling your actual order or your account, and another person again for correspondence, and so on. If you could choose to work with someone directly through the whole process, how would that feel? You know your brand values better than anyone else and commissioning work should always feel like a collaboration.
What is personal branding for business?
Think of a photographer.
More often than not a photographer will use their name as their brand. This could be a signature style, or typographical logo featuring their name, or a monogram design created around their initials. Their website will often be under their own name as well.
- They will personally be the one who meets you to discuss your needs and what you want to achieve.
- They will personally be the one who captures the special and magical moments from your day.
- The one who optimises the photos to make them perfectly ready for you.
Using your own name helps people to relate to you, as a defined personal entity in your own right. You’re comfortable as you. The value of all the parts; your skills, your experiences, your personality; are what define you and give you your uniqueness.
Should you rebrand as a personal brand?
Does working behind a brand name give the false impression that your brand is a larger company or agency? Might that put people off from reaching out and connecting with you?
- Look to your brand values.
- What product or services are you offering, and how are you providing them?
- How do your customers interact with you? One to one?
- What do your customers value about working with you?
Personal branding is an authentic ‘okay – this is me and this is how I can help’. Presenting yourself out there, (with all the vulnerabilities that that brings), and offering your unique services to the world.
Your passion made authentically visible.