I hear this question a lot:
Do I brand me or my business?
As if they were mutually exclusive. For some they are. The owner of Nike doesn’t plant their photo all over the sneaker boxes. But we’re not talking about Nike, we’re talking about your personal brand.
If you’re an ambitious blogger, creative entrepreneur, media personality or lifestyle consultant then your personal brand is your brand.
Let’s look at a major corporation like News Corporation. It’s an international media conglomerate. It has since split up BUT the architecture of their business is what I want to highlight. You see, News Corporation was the umbrella.
They had multiple brands under the umbrella. Many you have heard of. Their holdings were in the following industries:
- Books: Harper Collins
- Newspapers: The NY Post, Wall Street Journal
- Music and radio: Fox News Radio
- Sports: Colorado Rockies (15%)
- Studios: 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures
- TV: Fox, MyNetworkTV
- Satellite television
- Cable: Fox News Network, FX, National Geographic Channel (67%), YES Network (49%)
- Internet: Hulu (27%)
- Other assets
There are a TON of properties that were under the News Corporation umbrella. Even though they were able to operate independently of one another, each brand belonged to the mother ship.
Now take a look at what you do.
- What is your brand?
- Do you have multiple projects or businesses that you want to pursue?
- Do you have stand alone offerings such as group programs, e-courses or training that you pursue?
- Do you have multiple blog topics that feel like you have no focus or direction?
When you are the umbrella, all of the extensions to your brand fall into place. You can offer life coaching services and open up an antique home furnishings pop up shop. They may not relate to one another but they have one commonality – YOU.
It makes starting a new initiative easier. It makes connecting the chaos of your mogul vision much more clear.
How does one position their personal brand as the umbrella?
You can start it off with your namesake URL. This is often your personal name. It’s ground zero for everything you do. As you grow and scale your business, you make sure it reflects on your primary URL. For example:
By day she teaches others how to organize the chaos in their lives.
By night she loves to run up hills with Jack.
She sells professional organizing services to busy moms and blogs about traveling the world with her BFF Jack. On one of her trips abroad she fell in love with jewelry making and now has her own collection of sparkly earrings.
Home, About, Services, Testimonials, Resources, Tips, Contact
Travel, Abroad, Photos, Videos, Sponsorships
If Jill restructures her brand so that she becomes the umbrella, her consolidated web presence looks like this:
Home, My Story, Work with Me, Managed Chaos, Resources, Directory, Travel, Shop, Raving Fans, Contact
Notice how the consolidation factors in all elements of all 3 brands into one easy to follow website. The word play on her name “Jill Doe” is to bring her “ESSENCE” into her namesake URL. “Managed Chaos” becomes a signature program so that she can scale her business from one-on-one work so she has more time to travel and create earrings.
Because Jill’s the umbrella, consolidating her different websites allows for cross pollination. She can promote her shop within her travel posts. She can also show busy moms what life looks like when the chaos is better managed.
(All of these URLS are examples and not real websites. If this looks like your own dilemma, feel free to take the idea including the URL name suggestions.)
When you are the umbrella, you set the foundation for a kick-ass empire which is more focused and structured than being that person with a bunch of websites.