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Personal Brand or Build Company Brand - Off Line Marketing Discussion

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by RoscoeT, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Junior Member

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    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?
     
  2. hits79

    hits79 Regular Member

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    Why not start out with Independant Constulant first, and then if you make good income go after branding your company. I too am about to start my vertues all over again, I tried to do seo myself few months but due to family problems I had stopped. I even had a client who wanted to do an e-commerce site (had gotten client by sister recommending). I had website up, even made an company name (VitalSEO) but did not make an LLC or any real legal paperwork with the name.

    After a few months away from BHW or any SEO, i decide to once again try to do what others have done. But this time, I will do it a bit more slow, start as Independant Constulant and then once I have some income coming in, perhaps go after creating a business name.

     
  3. jiggsaw

    jiggsaw Regular Member

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    I would develop a company brand. You can still build your personal brand within your company. It's what I do and it's not hard. In the about section of your website, talk about you (your personal experiences, accomplishments, hobbies, etc.).
     
  4. the_demon

    the_demon Jr. Executive VIP

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    I would go the company route.
     
  5. freddy7

    freddy7 Newbie

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    I am saying personal branding myself, but just my own opinion. What you want is that eventually, you don't even need to go out chasing people, you should have companies referring you onto other people, and you get business through that. Easier when its just by your name, its almost like you become a celebrity in their industry!
     
  6. hits79

    hits79 Regular Member

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    Are you doing offline marketing as well and have branded yourself? Would like to ask you few questions if you don't mind :)
     
  7. freddy7

    freddy7 Newbie

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    I'm not really the right person to ask, only just getting into it myself, but its just the advice and general consensus that I've seen.