Personal vs Business Branding

Your handy guide to choosing the right branding path for you

Read time: 2.5 minutes

Being a solopreneur means building a business around yourself.

This can materialize in different ways:

  • You do freelance work.

  • You provide coaching services.

  • You sell digital or physical products.

  • You run a SaaS business or an agency.

…or any combination of these.

One Common Question

One question I hear a lot from solopreneurs:

“Should I use a business name or my own name?”

Which is really part of a larger question:

“Should I build a business brand or a personal brand?”

For freelancers and coaches, personal branding is usually best:

  • Use your own name

  • Use “I” instead of “we”

  • Use a headshot instead of a logo

But what about when selling products, building a SaaS, or running an agency?

For these, it’s important to consider your long-term vision and how directly involved you will be in the business.

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of business vs. personal branding:

Branding Yourself as a Business

Reasons to brand yourself as a business:

  • You have plans to expand the business and hire staff.

  • You want your business to seem larger than just one person.

  • Your business can operate without you.

  • You have an exit plan, i.e. selling your business without having a personal identity attached to it.

Pros of a business brand:

  • Marketing can be done by multiple people, not just you.

  • Possible broader audience than a personal brand.

Cons of a business brand:

  • You may find it more difficult to differentiate your business.

  • You may face more competition​.

  • A business is generally less personal.

Branding Yourself as an Individual

Reasons to brand yourself as an individual:

  • You plan to run your business indefinitely.

  • You are directly involved in the products and services you offer.

  • You want to build your personal identity so you can keep your opportunities open.

Pros of a personal brand:

  • People trust individuals more than faceless brands.

  • You can become an expert or authority in your niche.

  • Authentic personal stories make you more relatable.

  • As an individual, you can be the face of multiple ventures.

Cons of a personal brand:

  • Building a personal brand requires more of your time and energy.

  • Messaging must stay consistent with your business to maintain brand integrity, which may limit what you talk about.

But can’t we have our cake and eat it too?

Sure, you would then be…

Taking the Hybrid Approach

Some very smart and hard-working people decide to have both an individual brand and a business brand.

→ Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vee offers a prime example of a hybrid approach, where his personal brand underpins the success of his businesses.

He takes a personal approach to entrepreneurship and has aligned his companies’ values with his personal values.

→ Torrey Dawley

Torrey shares stories of building his agency and his many client successes.

He’s always dropping massive value around mindset, strategy, and how to land ideal clients.

On the personal side, Torrey shows the fruits of his efforts — a beautiful family life and the freedom to do what he wants when he wants.

→ Joshua Ariza

Joshua Ariza runs Chomp Brand clothing line.

Joshua is naturally hilarious, delivering the best one-liners and memes on Twitter daily.

Along with this comedy are posts showcasing his Chomp Brand illustrations and products — like his new children’s book!

Of course…

If you want to do both, think carefully about your priorities.

You might need two of everything: two identities, two websites, two sets of social media accounts, etc. — and it’s easy to spread yourself too thin.

Deciding the Right Path for You

Ultimately, to know which brand path is right for you…

It would help to think about:

  • What your needs are

  • How much time you have

  • How much you can manage

  • How visible you want your personal identity to be

  • How close you want your personal and business brands to be

And regardless of which you choose, make sure to build a brand that is relatable, trustworthy, and human.

Need to get your brand started on the right foot?

Catch me on 𝕏 or reply to any of my emails.

🤖 Robert

Know someone who’d like this newsletter? 👉 Send them here.


or to participate.