Should you focus on growing yourself as a personal brand or your business as a brand? That’s one question which is constantly brought to serial entrepreneur Brett Knutson, and his answer is always that it should be your personal brand.
It may seem unconventional and counter-productive to new business owners to focus on building their own online presence rather than that of their newly formed company, but as it turns out, honing one’s personal brand has been proven to be a lot more beneficial compared to focusing solely on the business.
Sharing some insights from his years of experience, Knutson says, “Some of the most successful new companies don’t really have a large brand presence online. They just have a large personal brand behind them”.
According to Brett, If a person has a large following on their personal brand, they can launch and promote new businesses without the need of an advertising budget.
Knutson, who has hundreds of thousands of followers on his own social media profiles, uses himself as an example and says, “I literally have spent zero dollars advertising my own marketing agency Monopolize”.
By leveraging the power of his personal brand, he is able to spread awareness about his company and acquire clients just by simply talking about it on his personal account. Today his company Monopolize is a multi-million dollar company, despite being founded less than a year ago. Brett says, “That was only possible because of my personal brand and the relationships that I had built. And now, our new business is 100% referral based.”
Helping others grow their personal or business brands is the specialty of his company Monopolize. With access to the world’s most powerful influencer network, they are experts in helping brands fight the right audience.
“Even billionaires with personal brands have better access to deal flow and better opportunities to build lucrative relationships because more people know who they are,” says Brett.
Successful entrepreneurs like Kylie Jenner and Gary Vaynerchuk are two prime examples of personal brands. Both had massive followings on their personal brands (Jenner with 183 and Vuynerchuck 8 million), so when each decided to launch their new businesses (Kylie Cosmetics and Empathy Wines), they immediately had a customer base. In fact, Knutson doubts either of them spent a cent on advertising their businesses, just like him.
Another benefit of having a personal brand is ability to be able to take it anywhere you go. “If Kylie Jenner decided to sell all of her companies tomorrow, she could start a new company and instantly have it be a multimillion-dollar success because of her personal brand,” says Knutson.
The bottom line is that having a personal brand in this day and age is absolutely crucial for any aspiring entrepreneur, and not just because it’ll save you a ton of money on advertising.