The heart of branding is often visual.
When I first started out online, the one thing I was irrationally terrified of was having any part of my physicality associated with my business. I’m quite shy in real life, so I wanted to be a post office box with a pen name. 

But one day I realized that every person I bought from on a regular basis… was a person to me, not a company.

I don’t shop at Walmart – in my mind that’s where the funny lady with the pigtails works. I don’t buy music, I get the latest Beyonce CD. Even with brands like Amazon, I’m going there in search of something within the collection of brands they resell. I want the next Toni Morrisson novel, not just some book by anyone.

I started becoming really successful online when I tossed away the shield of anonymity, and displayed my personage, flaws and all. If I can publish a picture with my articles, I’ll do it. When I can share my voice on audio, even better. Haven’t worked my way up to video, but I’m getting there.

And watch out when I do…

Sometimes, with larger, corporate brands, the “face” on the company isn’t a person’s. It’s a logo that invokes a personality trait. IBM has a certain personality. So does Dell, Gateway or HP.

If you’re running a smaller business, you’re not exempt from the need for a brand. At some point you must create an association between yourself and the person you want to influence, the results they want to have.

Smaller businesses especially need not just a face, but a voice. It’s part of why blogging is so successful. People buy from people, not from vague entities.

Your brand needs a face, a representative, a personality. Develop a brand and get closer to your clients.


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