After several years of promoting my own websites for affiliate marketing and seeing some moderate success with residual income, last year I was approached by a few people I know to help get their businesses online and visible. I built their sites, did some online promotion and got them on the first page for their niches with what I felt was a small amount of effort. They generate real targeted local business leads from the sites I built and maintain. After reading quite a bit in this forum about getting clients I've decided to stop getting only unsolicited word of mouth business and start to actively pursue bigger fish with fatter wallets. Referrals, networking, approaching clients directly. See this forum if you're lacking ideas in this dept. Now I'm faced with a realization... Until lately I was just an other anonymous internet marketer with CPA squeeze pages, Affiliate sites, Micro Niche sites, MFA sites etc. Anything that converted well and was not too much work. Just your average, faceless grey-hat web jockey. The people/clients who approached me initially all know personally. Now that I'm after bigger fish and actively starting to hunt down potential clients I realized that I do not have a website. That's right, me, mister web builder, internet marketer, blogger does not have a personal website other than social, IE. Facebook, LinkedIn YouTube, etc. This has led me to try an determine which would be best for getting started in the Local SEO game. Build a company brand or market myself. Should I try and create a company brand? Should I essentially make myself look larger than I am (I do outsource so it's not all lies). Register a business name and get all branded up like the Marlboro man.? Or would it be best to sell my image, my personality and expertise. Essentially a personal brand that can be a sort of local expert if you will. There are good points to both sides of the equation. Company Branding - Fake it 'til you make it factor. In most of my previous business experiences, both offline and online I found it valuable to always make is seem like you're a big player. Someone with a posse to back you up and you're not just some loner punk or fly-by-nighter. Using the word "WE" in your copy. - Fit in with the big boys. Business owners who are experienced and used to spending money on advertising want to hire firms who are professional IMO. They're not easily lulled into a deal with a single, solo artist or free agent. Or are they? If your client is shopping for a firm to handle some stuff, you might just catch some trickle down from the big player's own advertising. - Level of anonymity can make you feel a bit gutsy and allow you to do things a tad more aggressively than normal. Like wearing a mask. It's not you at the trade show, it's your business. Personal Branding - Getting Your Name out there. Being an independent consultant can be a good way to get started, get known and get referral business. - Your name goes with you. If you decide in future to start up a or join bigger firm you can easily leverage your branding to help you. - Existing Reputation. You leverage all the personal qualities that already make you a good salesman or respected in certain circles. If you know lots of business people already, like I do. If you're good a public speaking, sales and general BS'ing then don't leave that behind for a company name. - Honesty. clients will figure out you're a one man show pretty fast. Better to not make them feel duped. I'm leaning toward personal branding, but I'm not sure. What do you say?