In addition to business or product branding, successful entrepreneurs engage in a second form of branding: personal branding. Personal branding occurs when successful entrepreneurs and business owners not only create but extremely become brands. By branding yourself, you carry with you a distinct identity that transcends any single product or venture and can be applied to new opportunities and ventures in the future.
Most small business owners do not think of themselves as brands. Personal branding is most conspicuous when celebrities are involved. Take Oprah as a case in point: Oprah's name is a brand that encompasses diverse events including the Oprah TV show, O Magazine and several charitable organizations. In this way, the Oprah brand transcends a single venture or product.
As a small business owner, you may not be as visible as Oprah, but you are the heart and soul of your business. Ultimately, your consumers are buying you – more than your product or business. Your business or product brand conducts a promise to deliver a product or a service, and your brand is successful because partners and consumers trust you to deliver quality products or services. It is there before crucial to sell yourself before you sell a particular business or product. When your good name is transferable across ventures and products, personal branding has occurred.
Unlike business or company brands, personal brands often do not involve a special logo or tag line. To brand yourself, you must simply make a conscious effort to manage and focus your reputation by enacting your core values in all you do, thereby convincing others to believe in your aptitude and capability. In this way, personal branding can be much easier than branding a company! By positioning yourself as a quality brand, you open up a world of possibilities because you have an existing network of mutually beneficial relationships and potential future partners. You can then draw on this expansive network as a resource for beginning new ventures. As you build your reputation, your personal brand will stand behind the brand image of each product or venture you introduce into the market.