Should you promote yourself as a person or promote your brand?

When it comes to advertising and promoting your business this is a question that comes up from time to time especially if you are now starting out. As with almost everything in life there are pros and cons with each option. However there are a number of key points that should be factored into making your final decision:

Are you a people’s person?
You have to be 100% honest with yourself. Are you a people’s person? You may be a nice person and get along well with others but in your personal space is that who you really are? Do you like the spotlight? When you become the face and the person behind the brand there’s no fall back plan! There’s no one to blame if you mess up simply because you embody your brand. People who are the face of their brand should be confident, charismatic and comfortable with attention. If you do not fit this description that’s ok, but you may need to find someone with these characteristics or promote your brand instead. It’s about being honest with ourselves!

Is your personal life socially acceptable?
Don’t let this question put you on the defensive. Instead keep an open mind and answer it truthfully. If you are the face of your brand you are open to public scrutiny. You may be asking yourself well what does my personal life have to do with my business? The truth is, everything. Whether we want to admit it or not, someone out there wants to see you fail. If you are living a questionable life while being the face of your brand it could hurt your business to the point where it’s almost impossible to recover. Question. Would you go to or recommend a gynecologist who was accused of being a pervert? Exactly! No one is perfect. But don’t let your personal life ruin good business.

It depends on the industry you are in…
Any business or venture can be branded but some are better served with a human at the fore front. This is especially true if you are in the entertainment industry for example, a DJ, Calypsonian or a Comedian (shout out to Seth!). A brand can help, but in these fields you are the product so you can’t avoid being the face of your brand in this instance.

Building a brand takes much more time because you have to build a story behind it and get people’s attention. If what you are doing is just a quick hustle to make some money on the side then this may not be the ideal route to take. If you do not see yourself doing what you are doing now in the next five years the effort may not be worth it. But if you do, a brand can attract clients and generate leads that you otherwise could not have gotten.

Another factor to consider is scale. How big would you like the business to grow? The biggest players in the market are always brands. It’s never a “one man shop.” If the sky is the limit for you and your business, building a brand is the ONLY route you should consider. In Bajan: Ain’t no 2 ways about it!

They are advantages and disadvantages regardless of which path you choose. Analyze yourself and your situation as carefully and as honestly as you can. When all else fails trust your gut. What do you really want to do? Which do you prefer? My friends, I leave you with this quote: Know yourself, know your worth.