CHAPTER 9Branding in the Digital Age

Open a private browsing window (so that your browser doesn't pick up any previous searches) and Google your name and/or business name. This will allow you to see the first thing someone will see if they do a Google search for you and/or your business. Are you happy with what they will see? If not, work hard at changing. Fix your SEO, hire a reputation manager, seek advice from a digital agency… do whatever it takes to ensure that the first thing people see when they Google you is the brand message you want to portray.

These days, unless you work actively to maintain the separation, it is very hard to separate you the person from your business brand. In most cases it's advisable not to separate you from your brand while you are establishing it. You want to be known for your skills and personality, but you may, one day, want to apply them to a new brand. Furthermore, oftentimes people want to put a face to the business so your image is important. To begin with, you are most important part of your business branding. If part of your business is you, your personality and your expertise, then you, yourself, are a brand. You may be linked to that particular business at this moment in time, but if you sell that business or start a new business, you want to be able to take “brand you” with you.

Anita Roddick became famous for starting The Body Shop, which became a recognised global brand, but as time went on, the entrepreneur became a brand herself, ...

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