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I was recently asked my thoughts on how to juggle a personal brand with a business brand.  Branding is differentiation and personal and business branding are about creating perceptions that differentiate a business from others in the same space.

Let’s first take a look at a Personal Brand.  A personal brand is:

  • Your personality infused into your business
  • You as a person
  • How do you differentiate yourself from others in your area of expertise
  • The impression you give others
  • What others say about you when you are not present
  • The perception others have of you
  • An emotional connection between you and your ideal audience

A business brand is:

  • A perception of a service or product, an organization, or an experience
  • Emotional connection to a product or service
  • Individual personalities aren’t present
  • No human to human association with the brand
  • Unidentified faces may be used in marketing, but the perception is one of the user, not ownership of the brand
  • A captivating story 

The combination of a personal brand and a business:

  • Human personality is infused into the business
  • Putting a face or faces to the business
  • The person(s) behind the business shines through to create an emotional connection with the business
  • Perception of the business as a personality within an industry, not just a product or service
  • Differentiation of your product or service using personality as a core differentiator

Depending on your business, you have a personal brand, a business brand, or a combination.  Let’s look at different business types.


  • You must be the face of your brand
  • The perception of your business is based on you as an individual and how you present yourself online and in person
  • You have a personal brand
  • Your personality infused into your business is what makes the emotional connection with your ideal audience
  • The impression you give is what will build the know, like, and trust factor or turn people away
  • If you are a service provider, you are your brand

Small Business Owner

  • Product

    • If you have a product, your brand is probably built around client use of that product
    • Your personality should be infused into the business through imagery and copy
    • As the owner, your headshot should be on the home page of your website and featured on social media platforms with the product
    • People buy personality more than they buy products so infuse your personality and those of your employees into the business
  • Service

    • If you are a service provider, you must be the face of your brand so that your audience can get to know you, like you, and trust you
    • Infuse your personality into the service you provide by having your image on the home page of your website and on your social media platforms
    • People will not hire you to perform a service if they don’t know who you are, don’t have an emotional connection with you, or don’t trust you

The Bottom Line is Differentiation

The bottom line is that whether you are a personal brand or a business brand, differentiation is the key.  You want your audience to have a positive perception of you and your business.  That perception is the impression on the senses and the emotional experience of the customer.  Likewise, you want to showcase the unique qualities and skills that differentiate you and your business.

You can read more about personal branding here and learn the five components of personal branding here.








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