August 29, 2020

Want to know how to build an online business without personal branding?

Personal branding has an ick factor for some, and for others, they just value their privacy.

But, among the plethora of personal branding articles on the Internet, very few tell you the reasons why personal branding may not be the smartest option for your business.

Many business people know this. But it seems to get omitted from a lot of articles like some dirty secret. Especially among the host of people selling online courses to business owners on how to build a successful business. Why? It’s quicker to get success by selling YOU. Getting their faster doesn’t mean its sustainable or the best choice.

While many businesses of all sizes use personal branding, imagine not having to plaster your Facebook cover with sales slogans and still being successful? Sound good? Read on.

Personal branding can be used to generate leads and create more meaningful connections with potential and current customers.

But it’s not an option or choice for everyone, some people want to stay incognito when building a business or they want the business to operate with or without them.

It is possible to use marketing strategies, including social media, when building an online business without personal branding

This article is for those that are looking for alternative strategies rather than using personal branding to build their business.

Or perhaps you simply want to dial back the personal branding?

If you want to understand the pros and cons of personal branding versus business branding and if you aren’t keen on personal branding, let’s take a look at strategies that can help you succeed.

Why do businesses use personal branding?

Online, trust is a key factor in purchasing decisions.

Personal branding is a way to build rapport and trust quickly.

Think of Apple, they command higher price points, simply because their customers trust them to produce high-quality products.  They have spent a LOT of money to do that.  Think of an expert that you may have purchased a course from? Why did you spend lots of money with them? Because they established their credentials and convinced you that you would get results for your money spent.

Businesses that are just getting started, want to build trust, and rapport quickly with their leads, so they can get sales, cash flow, and income.

Do you need to use personal branding?

NO! A business can be successful without personal branding, but often there’s a combination of business and personal branding involved. Think Steve Jobs and Apple, Bill Gates, and Microsoft. Business success sometimes leads to personal brands for CEOs, founders, and employees. Guy Kawasaki used to be Chief Marketing Officer at Apple and when he stepped out of Apple, he leveraged that to establish his personal brand.

If you are selling online consulting services, and the main product is you, then it’s going to be a tougher road if you choose not to use personal branding. You are your product. It’s not impossible though.

Whichever path you choose, developing a brand strategy is a good step for any business to succeed.

That sounds complex but we’ll make it super simple further on.

Developing your branding strategy: personal branding or business branding?

There are many reasons you would deliberately choose business branding. Here’s two of the most common:

  • You want to be able to sell the business later
  • You want the business to succeed even if you take a break and hand the reigns over for a while

Your business can stand on its own without personal branding.

But, remember that personal branding doesn’t have to be all “rah rah rah look at me!”. It could simply be improving your LinkedIn profile, to showcase your credentials, and align with your overall brand strategy. Many businesses encourage staff to improve their social media profiles as they are representatives of the business.

If your business is primarily just you, and you are not comfortable with putting yourself ‘out there’, then trying to force it is going to sabotage your efforts. Developing your brand strategy, by focusing on building a business brand can have many benefits.

You can create an identity for your business through branding and leverage it to build success and work to your strengths.

Sure, you will have to work harder on developing your brand strategy and marketing, but for many, the price is worth it.

What does your brand say about your business?

If someone’s taking a look at your marketing, whether that’s your Facebook cover, an advert, your written blog posts, what do you want it to say about you? Do you want it to say: ‘we’re the cheapest’?

If you want to promote your business and reach more people, developing your brand story is important.

Your brand story is what all the elements of your marketing, when put together, say about your business. 

What makes your brand different? Why is that important? Why should a person or a business choose to spend money with you?

More than just the technicalities and details or specs, connect with your leads is valuable to create a relationship.

With the relationship comes trust. From trust comes sales.

How many people buy Apple product after Apple product, even if another product has better ‘specs’?

Knowing your brand story is important both for you and your staff as your online business grows. It’s also for your customers. If you connect well enough with a few customers, then they become both repeat purchasers and salespeople for you.

Humans are not rational with purchases, they will drive past 5 donut shops, to get to another donut shop, where they will form a queue to buy a donut. Why? Because branding and marketing taps into an individual’s desires, beliefs, wants, and needs to compel them to take a specific action. To make sales online and market your business effectively, you will need to know how to do that.

Being better is great. Being different is better. Use your branding to create that distinction.

Create your business brand strategy

It’s important to use your brand strategy effectively when building an online business without personal branding

Here are the elements you will want:

  • Write two paragraphs to describe what you want your brand to say about your business.
  • Clearly define your ideal customer and audience – again throw some words down, or grab some pictures.
  • Create a list of items you can develop to provide value to this audience, for free.  If you aren’t sure what’s important to them, do the research.
  • Write your brand story and put this on your ‘about’ page and share it with your audience. If you haven’t watched Simon Sinek’s ‘The Power of Why’ on YouTube. Take the time to do this.  People buy WHY you do it, not what you do.

Think of the 30-30-30 rule.

30% of the people will love you for you

30% of the people will hate you no matter what

30% of the people could go either way

You can create a VERY lucrative business focusing on the right 60%, and you can waste a LOT of time focusing on the wrong 30%

Want a FREE template for your brand strategy, simply get in touch and put ‘Brand Strategy Template’ in the form. We’ll send it by email 🙂

Final thoughts

Your brand strategy can be woven into all the content you create, from social media posts, to adverts to news articles and email marketing.

Content marketers have steadily adopted the notion of storytelling because its an opportunity for businesses. Our brains are wired to respond to well-crafted narrative. We all love a good yarn.

“Neuroscience proves that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and forge close, personal bonds. Your audience is programmed to crave and seek out great stories — that’ll never change.” – Hubspot, Brand Story.

All these elements work together to tell the story of your business.

Building an online business without personal branding is very achievable, its just not always taught. You may want to use a combination of both personal and business branding to get success. It has worked for many businesses very well.

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