How Personal Should You Make Your Brand and Business?

June 9, 2016


“How do you decide how personal to make your brand?”

This question always makes me smile, because it’s something that people tend to ask with such exasperation. Usually, it’s a thing they’ve been mulling over in their mind, and they feel so confused about whether or not to be front and center in their business, and everyone is telling them something different.

Really though, it’s quite simple. And it’s not something that anyone else can answer for you. Because it comes down to what feels right for you, how you want to show up in your business, and how you want to position yourself.

Do you want to be known by name for the work that you do as the teacher, coach, author, speaker, creator? Or do you want your business to be able to stand independently from you?

There’s not much more thought that needs to go into this.

My business is built around me, because I want to be known for the work I do. As the teacher, coach, author, speaker, and creator. I want to tell my story and share my life on a personal level. I’ve created programs that stand independently of me as sub-brands, but I’m still the core of my business and the credited creator of the processes and systems within them. That’s just what feels right for me.

I’ve also created companies in the past that stood independently of me. A design business with a co-founder and an agency presence, as well as an interview website that was focused around a mission and a message, not me as an individual. The nonprofit I found will also be focused around a movement and a cause, and isn’t about me and my work on an individual and personal level.

Regardless of what you choose, it’s incredibly important to create a personal connection with your audience. And I know that might seem on the surface like I’m telling you that you have to show up more personally and front and center in your business, but I’m not. Personal connection is a thing that can be created whether or not you and your name are even present in your brand or marketing.

How to Create Personal Connection:

When you’re front and center in your business, creating personal connection is really about telling your story, and sharing more of yourself.

As with everything else, you get to decide exactly what and how much you share. Creating personal connection doesn’t require you to share all the ins and outs of your daily life, relationships, or struggles. But it is about being real, and showing that you’re a real person too. It’s about creating content that reflects the fact that you are indeed a human being with a story, struggles, and even flaws.

We’re all so tired of the online facades that people put out there… only sharing the positive, happy moments. The successes and big wins. The six figures and speaking engagements. We crave realness, rawness, and depth. It seems silly to some, but we desire to know what people are eating, where they are, and what they’re thinking. We long to know that they’re a real person too, and we love to peek inside their world.

I was once on a call with a coaching client who told me she loved that I shared pictures of my food and my cats on Instagram. “I just love knowing you’re a real person too, with a real life.” I certainly follow people online simply because I connect with their struggles, food choices, interior design sense, and goals. They’re willing to share themselves with me, and I feel connected.

When your business stands independently of you, creating personal connection is about intertwining your brand with the lives, dreams, and struggles of your audience.

You can create a product or service that people buy… and you may even build up a following of repeat clients and customers. But it’s not until you go beyond the surface level of what you offer and dive deep into the lives, dreams, and struggles of the people who give you money that you really build a following.

Because we crave connection, we also desire products and services and things that allow us to boldly state who we are and what we believe in. We want to buy into something more than just another product or service. We want to buy into a lifestyle, a belief, or a statement. We want to support a cause, represent our people, and vote with our dollars.

So instead of telling people what you do or how you do it, tell them why you do it. Tell them the story behind the product or service. Most importantly, show them how your products and services fit into their lives and belief systems. Your brand is more than just the colors and fonts you choose, or the logo you have designed… it’s the core essence of your business. It’s who you are. And who you are should have a clearly defined personality and voice. Proudly stated beliefs and values that are woven into everything you do.

Personal connection is how you go from being just another coach, service provider, product, or company to being a brand that fosters a strong, loyal following. A business that sparks a movement and stands the test of time.

How will you begin infusing more personality and personal connection into your business, brand, and marketing?

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