Do you ever wonder if it was the right decision to start a business under your name? I know that I’ve often felt envious of people who chose to do so, but I never felt like it was a good option for me (more on that another time).
Turns out this was possibly one of the best decisions I could have made because it forced me to be creative and actually develop a business brand for my service-based business. In fact, when I was naming my business initially, I didn’t even think about what type of brand I wanted to create or even know what options there were.
Within the branding sphere there are many different types of brands, but for simplicity (and relevancy) we’ll keep it to the three most common types I see for service-based businesses.
A Lifestyle Brand is all about setting an example for its clients and customers. Typically, you and the lifestyle you’ve achieved is positioned as the inspiration for your clients and helps them to set similar goals for what they want their life to look like too which they can achieve through working with you and your services.
This is a good option for abstract services like life coaching in which the outcome will have a general effect on someone’s lifestyle.
Example: Denise Duffield-Thomas
A Business Brand is simply setting up a brand specifically to deliver a certain outcome. Now, this outcome may change over time, but generally, its purpose is oriented around helping clients achieve a certain goal.
Best for most service-based businesses (and product-based businesses too for that matter) with a tangible service like websites, copywriting, business/project management, social media marketing, etc. All of these services are oriented around delivering a specific outcome.
Example: Brandequip Designs (clearly)
A Personal Brand is all about defining how you show up in the world; emphasis on you. Every single person has a personal brand in person and online whether they’re an entrepreneur or not. Branding is about affecting impressions so it’s always a good idea to develop a personal brand that can better shape what those impressions will be.
A lot of people choose to go this route when starting a business for the first time which is not wrong per-say, but I always recommend separating a personal brand from a business brand. I would recommend going this route if you want to be known for something in particular or if you are the only one who can possibly show up and do the work. A good example for this would be authors and speakers.
Example: Gabby Bernstein
Wondering Which Brand is Best For You?
A personal brand is always right for you but rarely right for your business because it can limit your options for exploring different options down the road. I recommend using a Personal Brand to help accelerate your brand authority and drive traffic to your business.
A business brand is usually the optimum choice for service-based businesses because you can always sell or start another business that is unrelated to the overall goal of that business. I’ll go more into this option next week.
Generally a lifestyle brand is not the right choice for new entrepreneurs. Lifestyle Brands are all about inspiring others with your success so it’s important to build up your successes in the field you want to inspire first. For instance, if you want to inspire and coach other entrepreneurs, you should probably have some experience as a successful entrepreneur that you can use as proof of your authority first.
Don’t overthink this stage. If you feel called to develop a personal brand, do it. Branding is about confidence and whichever option you are most drawn to is likely the one that will feel most comfortable for you to share.