The Pros & Cons of Personal Online Branding

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I can’t say I’ve ever been much of a fan of using myself as a brand, which is probably why I’ve never done it. However, there have been many people across various different industries that have used themselves as a brand; some successfully, others… Eh, not so much.

In case you didn’t know, personal online branding, especially when it pertains to Internet marketing, can be incredibly advantageous. In fact, it can even be easier to get a business off the ground when you’re the face of the brand. This is because people trust faces more than they trust fancy pants logos.

While this isn’t the only benefit that personal online branding has to offer, it does have its drawbacks as well.

Pros of Personal Online Branding

Catchy Names Are Easy To Brand

Think Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin or Matt Cutts. If you’ve got an interesting name that people can easily pronounce, then personal online branding is definitely an option you should consider. Even if you don’t have a catchy name, just use a pseudonym.

The Trust Factor

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, people trust faces. If you show people 2 arbitrary images, one of a face and another of a logo, and you ask them which one they trust more, most of them would pick the face. I shouldn’t need to explain the use of people in marketing, but if you’d like to read more on the topic, Hubspot has an article on a related topic called emotional advertising.

People Can & Will Recognise You

If you want to be recognised across the Internet, then personal online branding is right for you.

One problem with branding a business name is that you, the founder, will not always be recognised unless you plaster your image all over the website. For example, if you saw Muhtar Kent walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t even notice him. In fact, you probably have no idea who he is rigt now! On the other hand, when you see a Coca-Cola logo, you’ll instantly recognise it. If you didn’t figure that one out, Muhtar Kent is the CEO of Coca-Cola.

Cons of Personal Online Branding

You’re Stuck In The Industry

There are some book authors who realise how much of a problem this is, which causes them to adopt several different pen names when they write different genres. Those of you who are familiar with J. K. Rowling will probably know about her other pen name Robert Galbraith from when she wrote “The Casual Vacancy”. This is because she knows that her fans want more Harry Potter, and “The Casual Vacancy” is not Harry Potter.

You’re Susceptible To Negative Online Reputation Management

You’re always going to be susceptible to negative reputation management, but the difference here is that when someone sullies your business’ reputation, you can just start a new business. On the other hand, when someone sullies your reputation, you can’t just start a new face. You can change your name, hair style, clothing, you can even change your damn eye colour. BUT… You can’t change your face!

Without expensive surgery, that is.

Alistair Kavalt
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Alistair Kavalt

Founder at Sycosure
Alistair Kavalt takes a no-nonsense approach to life both online and offline. He's the founder of Sycosure, an online marketing company based in La Quinta, California that aims to provide small businesses with the resources they need to improve and protect their online search presence. To learn more about Alistair, visit his author page.
Alistair Kavalt
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