A question that gets asked all the time is how important branding is to online business success. Is branding really even all that important? Can you build a successful online business without branding yourself?
Well, everybody has their own opinion on this topic, and I certainly think that branding yourself doesn’t hurt. Think about it, if prospects have a way of identifying with you, via your brand, it should help you to make more sales. But is it crucial to online business success? This article is going to take a slightly different look at branding that you might not have seem before… by playing devil’s advocate, so to speak.
Let’s look at what was once a very well “brand” in the world of internet marketing in the early days of the Web. I am talking about the “Rich Jerk” as he likes to be called. He’s not as big of a name today, if not disappeared entirely, as he was when he first rose to stardom but it’s hard to argue the impact he’s made on internet marketing. His “I’m better than you and I know it” style was pretty bold at the time.
He held nothing back, insulted his site visitors, and basically told you that if you weren’t going to listen to his methods of making money online you should just leave his site and never come back. He wanted nothing to do with you unless you were set on buying his product. Did it work? I’d say it did because he made a ton of money and built a huge name for himself. However, how many people did he ultimately drive away by branding himself in such a way?
You see, branding is all fine and dandy, but you have to remember that the brand you choose is going to follow you for life. Once the Rich Jerk chose to pass himself off as a complete and total jerk, there was no turning back. Imagine if one day he decided he doesn’t like being branded that way so he said, “I’m sorry for being so rude. Here is my new nice and kind personality.” Would anyone buy it? I doubt it. And, for that matter, how many people would be confused and not know which of his “brands” are really how he is? So once you choose a brand for yourself, whatever that brand may be, understand that it will be with you for life. [Editor’s Note: The original “Rich Jerk” has since abandoned the persona and now uses his real name with a much more “mellow” tone in demeanor and writing style]
Therefore, it is very important to do a lot of thinking when it comes to choosing how you want to brand yourself and your online business. Do you want to be known as the nice guy next door whom everybody can feel comforting asking for help, or are you the expert who is smarter than everyone else in the world? Are you going to be arrogant or humble? Every decision that you make will attract certain prospects and push away others. No, you can’t please everybody, so don’t even try. Instead, just be true to who you are… or at least who you want to brand yourself to be.
To summarize, branding can very well differentiate you from the rest of the pack and help your online business succeed. Or it can be your downfall and keep you from succeeding if you’re not careful.
About the Author:
- What is Branding?
- Successful Brand Development: Branding Strategies for Your Small Business
- How to Raise Money to Finance a Franchise
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- Why is Personal Branding Important?