I am hearing a lot on this topic recently and I kind of feel like I am a little bit ahead of the pack. Using your name as your business is becoming the next big thing.
All the cool kids are doing it. I even met a lady who was working with teenagers in high school and their personal brands.
I would love to say there was some great strategic plan to choosing my own name for my business, but there was no method to my madness. I simply could not decide on a business name that I loved. My name was my name, that was that.
Before I swapped to my personal brand, I did have a business name. I hated it. It was confusing and really had no representation of what I did or who I stood for.
So from my experience of using a personal brand here are my pros and cons:
Pros of having a personal brand
It’s not a tattoo. Yep my favourite saying. Yes it’s your name, but what you actually do isn’t defined by your personal brand – you can change your direction pretty easy if you want.
As a sole trader, if you use your real life name you don’t have to register your name as a business name(mine is actually a nickname so I had to register mine).
You can be yourself (not that you can’t with a business name) but it allows you to be super personal and make really solid connections.
Cons of having a personal brand
People always ask you ‘What business do you work for?’ then it’s kind of awkward when you say, um… me, myself…errr…
Secondly, if you want an exit strategy and the potential opportunity to ‘sell’ what you’ve built, it’s a lot harder to do that with a personal brand. Potentially doable, but it would be weird someone taking your name.
Thirdly, you may be over looked for larger projects (if that’s what you want).
The major limitations that I’ve found with using a personal brand are essentially in my head. For example, I feel like I can’t hire staff, because that’s weird putting my name on things, then adding in the ‘we’. I worry that I would confuse clients when I said ‘my team’ and they could potentially become disappointed because they ONLY want to work with me.
Right now I am at the point where I am seeing everyone swap to personal brands, and I am ready to flip the other way with my web design work – and keeping my personal brand for the 10 billion side projects that I have on the go (really it’s not that many).
I’d love to know your thoughts, do you have a personal brand? Are you considering it? Comment below and let’s chat about it.