Have you ever asked yourself if you should be branding yourself or branding your business? You’re not alone. It’s a hot topic these days, and one worth thinking over.
Anyone can open a business on the Internet. The little guy has a chance. The individual can make it big. New businesses are cropping up left, right, and center.
People are feeling good these days, too. They have a shot at being someone special with their name in the lights and their work in demand. For professionals, opportunities are wide open. It’s the time to shine.
But professionals have a problem… all their assets are in their brains. When they go to bed at night, they bring their assets with them.
Consider this: If you need a break, if you want to step back from your business, or if you want to retire, your business won’t carry on. You’ll become another has-been. People will forget about you.
Elvis has left the building, folks.
Too much personal branding can be damaging to a professional. If you brand yourself too strongly, you can’t take a break, because there’s no one else to fill your shoes. Without you, your business has no value.
You can’t be replaced.
The client doesn’t want a replacement, either. The client doesn’t want Joe Fantastic to work on his project, no matter how fantastic Joe is. No, the client wants Billy Excellent, the brains behind it all, and that’s all there is to it.
What happens when Billy Excellent needs a break?
Branding Like a Corporation
Think of some big brand names: Apple, Nike, Sony… Everyone knows Nike makes great running shoes, that Apple makes fantastic notebooks, and that Sony makes good stereo systems.
People recognize the brand more than they recognize the people running the business. They buy the brand, not the person producing the item or the service. (Who wants to buy Steve Jobs anyways?)
Think back to Billy Excellent. Billy Excellent could brand his work just like a corporation instead of branding himself as the sole professional able to provide that magic.
That’s smart business. People would begin recognizing the value of Excellent Inc. – not just the value of Billy Excellent. They’d buy from Excellent Inc. regardless of who operates it.
Yes, Billy Excellent is part of that business, but he’s creating the perception that it’s the business providing the magic, not just him.
It’s the difference between building an asset and building a job.
Create a Business Asset
Start building value into your business so that potential customers think of your business name first and your name second. Get people interested in working with your business, not you.
Make sure that if you choose to walk away, your business lives on just like a big-name corporation. You can hire someone to fill your shoes and take over or run the business in your place. You create options for yourself, not obligations.
You can retire. You can move on. You can start working on building another business. Your business never dies, and your future is wide open.
And online, the future is infinite.