Not everything you do outside of your business should relate back to your brand, of course, but an outsider looking in should easily understand your connection to your work. That’s why we asked nine members from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question.
“How should my personal brand and company brand intersect online, if at all, and why?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
Branding Tips: Aligning Your Personal and Company Brands
1. You Are Your Business
“The founders of a startup are the startup. When you’re getting going and resources are limited, invest as much time as possible connecting your personal brand with your company’s brand. Introduce yourself to the world as part of your startup’s team, engage with your company’s fans and try to live the business. Putting a face to the business is beneficial for early adopters and press alike.” ~ Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
2. Use Thought Leadership to Connect the Two
“Publishing value-driven content is a great way to align your personal brand with your company brand. You can establish both you and your company as a thought leader, which is helpful for both sides. Post the articles on both your company and personal social media accounts to maximize the sharing potential of an article. Take advantage of speaking opportunities as well.” ~ Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell
3. Customers Just Want to See Consistency
“Whether or not your personal and company brands intersect online is dependent on the relationship they have outside of the public eye. If the brands never interact in any significant way on the back end, there is no reason to do so publicly. However, if your personal brand is closely tied to your company brand, then it is important that they send the same message. Consistency is everything.” ~ Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media
4. It’s Different for Every Industry
“Being an industry leader means something different in every industry. It’s possible that having a bio page on your company’s website is plenty for your personal brand. However, in other industries (especially communications and marketing industries, where people are buying ideas and people), it’s helpful to work on boosting both your company AND yourself to build credibility as a leader.” ~ Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
5. Rely on the Perfect 160-Character Bio
“Write a 160-character bio that intersects your personal brand with your company brand (not the bio that says, ‘Tweets are my own and don’t represent the opinions of my employer.’) Mention the company you work for, and use that bio across your social media channels, personal website and thought leadership channels (Medium, Quora). A well-written bio naturally intersects the two brands.” ~ Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
6. Not Every Project Is You
“Personal branding can intersect powerfully with company branding, but not every project or product you launch needs that connection. Injecting your personal brand should be a goal when you’re dealing with projects you have a real passion for, the kinds of projects you consider to be your flagships. Overusing your personal brand on products that don’t have the right feel can dilute it.” ~ Matt Doyle, Excel Builders
7. Use Your Personal Brand to Drive Company Brand Awareness
“Your personal brand is an asset that will hold value, no matter what turns and paths your professional career takes. A strong personal brand can instantly create a strong company brand following when your audience is truly engaged. If someone is following your personal brand, they are going to immediately trust, be interested in and engage with the company you represent, present and future.” ~ Marc Lobliner, TigerFitness.com and MTS Nutrition
8. Use Social Media to Create a Streamlined Image
“I use my personal social media profiles to promote myself as the head of my company. I keep the focus of my personal posts work related, but not promotional. I also use my personal social media accounts to keep in touch with business colleagues by posting and commenting on their posts to maintain business relationships.” ~ Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.
9. Be as Human as Possible
“One of the key aspects of our company’s brand is simple: be human. Part of the humanity is demonstrating that we are simply an awesome company built by some even more awesome people. We encourage all of our employees to have strong personal brands both online and offline that just reinforces our core belief whether it is positioning themselves as thought leaders or just being themselves.” ~ Christopher Swenor, East Coast Product
Brand Photo via Shutterstock
#3 (consistency) and #9 (be human) really resonate with me. Situations will vary, but these can be applied to any circumstance.
I think it is not your choice on whether they should mix or not. They will mix if there is a person who stands for the brand. That’s just how it is.
Aira: I agree with your statement. The person behind (founder, CEO, etc.) the company, has a personal brand that should be integrated with the company brand.