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Personal Branding vs Business Branding - Should I Use My Name?

personal branding Nov 02, 2020

Choosing a business name is fundamental to your business operation. It's important for your brand awareness and everything you do in marketing going forward. I've helped many business owners and entrepreneurs make this decision on whether to use their personal name or a trading name and now it's your turn.


What is Your Vision?

What do you plan to do with your business? Are you going to sell it eventually? Is it something that is going to be consistent? Do you have multiple businesses? What is your vision? Because this is going to help guide you in making a choice.

You should use your personal name if you are a lifestyle brand or a service professional. What I mean by lifestyle brand is someone that is selling something that contributes to a lifestyle. It might be products, health products, things that make life easier, lipstick, makeup, fashion, anything related to lifestyle. Whether you're a service professional or in direct sales, network marketing, those types of things, you're going to want to consider using your personal name, and building relationships, and then pointing people to the products and services that you're offering.


Why Use a Trade Name?

You should use a trade name if you plan to sell your company or build your business as a separate entity, meaning that you're not necessarily the person who's directly providing the services or products. Maybe you're not the face of your company. Maybe people are not directly in touch with you, and they're in touch with your team. Especially if you want to create a different corporate culture, a company with its own values and persona, then you would want to get a trade name.

For example, you might be a wellness coach, and you consult with individuals. Well, use a personal name. However, if you are a fitness studio and you have a team of consultants, then a trade name might work better for you.


Can You Use Both the Trade Name and a Personal Name?

Absolutely. You can have a trade name and then a personal brand and use your personal brand influence and relationships to direct people to your business with the trade name. It's straightforward, and it's actually in your favor to do so.

Let's look at celebrities, for example. Tracee Ellis Ross, Jessica Alba both use their clout and influence to direct their audience to their business and passion projects. You can do the same. You don't have to be a celebrity to redirect people anywhere. There are micro and macro-influencers online right now that are earning thousands and thousands, even millions, of dollars by using their personal brands and redirecting people or pointing people to products, affiliate opportunities, service, or whatever causes movements that they're backing. It's an excellent idea to have a personal brand, and it's okay to have both a personal brand and a business with its own trade name.


What If You Have a Difficult or Common Name?

What if my name is difficult to spell or pronounce, or what if it's one of those names where everybody has that name? The URL is taken. The domain name is taken. Well, what do you do?" Well, if you have a name that's difficult to spell, it's up to you, whether you're going to get people to suck it up and learn how to spell it. It might be a little bit harder over time for people to catch on to your name's spelling, but if that's important to you, totally use your name.

If not, if, for example, your last name is tough to pronounce, then you can use a derivative or some combination of your challenging some other phrases. Such as Ask Cherene, or Cherene Says, or Cherene's Thoughts, or something of that nature, where you're combining may be your first name with some other phrases, and you find a domain for that. Hopefully, that works for you. If it doesn't, of course, you can just default to a trade name.


Those are my thoughts on a personal name versus a trade name. If you need more help cultivating your brand and understanding what you should do, how you should present yourself, and put yourself out there in the marketplace, click here to take a look at my membership offer that we gave you access to all of my course content. Also, be sure to click here and take this awesome brand personality style quiz. That helps you learn more about your brand values, interests, and visually show through design and through your messaging.


Resources to Help You Create a Personal Brand

For more in-depth information on personal branding photoshoots, and using your marketing images, check out my Create Your Brand Course or Join My Coaching Program


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