Get ready for some truth bombs in this week’s episode where I explain why having JUST a personal brand can be harming your business.
In this episode, I share the traps that are going to trip you up as you build and grow your business. So that you can start to stand out in the market with your business and truly scale.
Listen to the episode using the player above or read the blog below.
Power and Danger of a Personal Brand
This episode is inspired by my frustration of seeing so many people stand out in the market, to scale and sell because so many ‘experts’ are preaching that you’ve got to shout the loudest to be heard above the noise.
The market for coaches and experts, who I predominantly work with, is saturated and difficult to stand out because there are so many out there. There are so many talented coaches, with value and potential to change the world who are not reaching enough people and making that impact.
I am often asked: should I have a personal brand or focus on more of a business brand?
The short answer is that you need to have both. You can’t have one or the other. People connect with people. Personal brands are important, especially as a coach or an expert. You need to position yourself as an authority in your field, therefore it is important to put a face to the business.
The problem with the personal brand is that it can be limiting. If you only have a personal brand, what happens when you want to grow? When it’s only you and only you that people want to work with? They want your direct help with everything. This can become an issue as scaling becomes problematic. There are limited hours in the day and only one of you.
A personal brand will not help you to scale. It will always be you running the show, tieing you down to the business. And without a business brand, there is a lack of credibility to back you up.
How to have both a business brand and a personal brand
The travel company that I run with my partner is the perfect example of both a business and personal brand. It is not just Andy being the personal brand. I’m called the Lesser Spotted Yeti – I don’t need to have a personal brand in that business. However, other people are taking on this role, and as the CEO, I don’t need to be visible.
I don’t need to show my face because the team members are doing this role. As we’ve grown our team, we have positioned each of our team members as an expert in their own right. It doesn’t just rely on certain individuals.
How often have you seen a business grow and it’s the Director or Founder of the business that people want to speak to? People love speaking to the founder, but it is not a necessity. It’s about speaking to the right member of the team and we position each of our team as a go-to person.
This is key for you to take more of a CEO role in your business. If you want to grow, you cannot remain the doer. If you want to reach more people you have to let go of the doing and focus instead on the strategic plans to grow.
How you do keep “you” in a business without being attached to everything?
Firstly, you need to extract what you know and systemise it. I did this with a client by looking at what she does with clients, how she works with them and why that works so well. Plus, what makes the way she works so unique.
I call this the Unique Magic Bullet (UMB) of why people work with you rather than all the other options out there. It is what makes you the go-to in your area. When you find the articulation around this, you can focus more and extract a system to train others. It stops relying on you to deliver.
You can absolutely create digital products to scale but this has a shelf life and involves more of you. If you need a live element, then you need to build a business brand behind the scenes that house all the other experts who can deliver. Also, part of the business brand is the system you create. So it doesn’t matter who comes in and out of the business, is the system that comes from your founder-brain. This becomes the intellectual property that you can trademark.
Business built to last
Then if you ever want to sell your business, you have a system to sell. You cannot sell yourself. If you want to build something that leaves a legacy and outgrows you, then you need this system. This is how you will stay ahead of the curve.
The business brand needs to flourish so people can transit in and out of the business. Therefore no one becomes irreplaceable. In our travel business, we have focused that we can be replaceable. We want a business that can function without us being there. Our vision is central but we want someone to one day take over and take that vision beyond us. We want this business to live beyond us. To do this, we have to step back from the doing in some capacity.
Therefore, day-to-day running can be done without us. Likewise, if a staff member decides to leave, we have the foundations and training so another person can slot right in. This is key to the growth and impact of the business.
Staff personal brand
Having a personal brand is important. Another great example is AppSumo. I still have software through AppSumo that I use today. AppSumo is a bit like Groupon for digital software. One of these is Beacon.by that helps me create lead magnets and PDFs. It’s drag and drop, change the branding, and you get great outcomes.
AppSumo proves you can have multiple personalities alongside the business brand. For ages, one woman did all of their videos. A few months ago, they introduced a new presenter. So it doesn’t matter who does these videos, I connect with the people and AppSumo deliver.
It’s about having a face to your business and having multiple faces. You want multiple people to be the face and then you can step away.
I had an email from James Wedmore introducing a team member as an expert in messaging. That this person used his system from Business By Design. With Business By Design being the business brand and James Wedmore being the personal brand. When people come in and they don’t get to see James, it’s not the end of the world. They have an expert to support them.
You need to position other team members as personal brands, so you can step away.
If you’re reading this and thinking: “it is just me, I don’t have a team,” I assume that if you grow you will have team. It’s about thinking how you will do this in the future. You still need to extract your systems whether it’s you alone or a team. You cannot grow by only delivering 1-1. Maybe you want to create products, you don’t position your team member as an expert but position your product as an expert that follows your process.
Even if it is just you – it gives you credibility to say I have a proven process. Not just speaking to people and hoping magic will be pulled out. Think about the business processes, brand and systems that makes what you do work so well. These are the foundations of a 7-figure business or super-charging your business.
To be a credible business, you need both a business and personal brand. Having only a personal brand will make you look bit tin-pot. You need to up-level your game to stand out in the market without shouting louder. You have assets in place to stand out without standing louder.
When you have a USP, competition is obsolete. You build your business on solid USP and systems that work. This is what people want to hear. They don’t want to gamble money but know its going to a business that will help them achieve their goal.
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