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The Perils of Personal Branding… David Lindley, Edition 6

Is personal branding overrated? Well, potentially!
The Perils of Personal Branding… David Lindley, Edition 6
Perhaps an intentionally provocative title for this article, given the seemingly ever-increasing popularity of personal branding in the industry.

Don’t get me wrong, personal branding is an essential strategy in this day and age, whether you are running your own business, self employed, or employed.

It gives you the ability to fast-forward relationships (as customers feel they already ‘know’ you), cements your value in an organisation (adding security to your role if you are employed), and gains more attention than corporate branding does.

For example, Richard Branson has 100x the followers on social media as the best performing social media of the Virgin brands, as ‘people buy people’. After all, its called ‘social’ media, not ‘corporate’ media for a reason…

However, a slightly more contrarian view of the merits of personal branding
came out in a conversation with marketing expert (and contributor to this newsletter), Simon Leadbetter, when he appeared on our podcast, Property-Porn Stars, where we discussed personal vs business branding.

Simon emphasised the need for balance. So whereas in the past, there was no real personal branding in the industry, it has perhaps gone too far the other way, branding becoming JUST the person!

Simon says you are missing out if you don't combine the power of a wider, company, brand with your personal brand. The company brand builds trust, credibility, awareness, and sets expectations for the service you deliver and to which market sector you deliver it to, as well as differentiating you from your competition (hopefully!).

Then, people buy your personal brand is them knowing you before you step through the door; your fame locally, building rapport, reputation familiarity and accountability.

His advice, and I would strongly echo this, is that the most powerful strategy is to give clients the best of both worlds, combine your personal brand with a desirable and a differentiated company brand.

So, taking Northamptonshire as an example, Marie Fritz (who is the Managing Director of By Design in Northamptonshire) brands her company locally as ‘By Design homes from Marie Fritz’.

Her personal brand, as well as her national, premium company brand, combined together is the perfect combination.

To say it is working is an understatement… Marie is already almost oversubscribed in her new business, and only a few months in is already taking on her own team members underneath her to grow even faster.

To check out the full conversation with Simon on our Podcast (which I would recommend!) click the link here, or at the bottom of this month’s newsletter.

David Lindley.