Personal Branding: it’s all in the name

personal branding

What’s in a name?

The old adage is as true today as it ever was. A name is just a word, unless it is leveraged correctly. When you look across the business landscape, there are dozens of examples of business people who have leveraged their name to add value to their brand and their offerings.

For example, Donald Trump has taken his name and placed it atop dozens of buildings across the world. In fact, his name has become so valuable that he now licenses it out to other business people in order for them to add value to their brand. It is a terribly kept secret that the Donald doesn’t even own minority stakes in many of the buildings that bear his moniker.

Another great example of a business owner who has properly leveraged their name is casino owner Stephen A Wynn. He was one of the driving forces behind the development of today’s Las Vegas. He was an owner and builder of many casinos and resorts before he settled on the Wynn resorts. The resorts, which offer high end accommodations, bear his name. They do so for the added value and the insinuation of luxury that the Wynn name now carries.

Being able to utilize your name for business purposes isn’t an overnight process. Both Trump and Wynn went through decades of carefully crafting their personal image in order to make it into a tool for doing business.

So, how does a small business owner start building their personal brand early on in order to reap the benefits later on? Read on to find a few tips.

Always be aware

You need to ensure that what you put online, whether via your website or social media, is in accordance with what you want your personal brand to be. Many a time, an entrepreneur will post something to their social media in a moment of anger. This post then comes back to haunt them at the least opportune time.

Network with the right people

Success really can be dependent on who you know. Yes, people are able to become successes without the help of others. However, those situations are quite rare. Instead, you should be cultivating relationships with influential people both in your industry and outside of it.

You never know when a connection will come in handy. Oftentimes, a connection made pays back in ways you hadn’t initially intended.

Identify your brand and grow it

What do you want your brand to say about you? Some people want to build a brand of luxury, as we mentioned earlier. But your personal brand can also be a number of different things. It could convey fun, excitement, or danger. The possibilities are endless.

When you think about James Dean, do you envision a buttoned up business professional? Probably not. Instead, you think of a daredevil who didn’t pay any head to authority. And that worked for him. He was embraced by a generation of young men. And years after his death, brands are still capitalizing on his rebellious image.

Whatever you choose to do with your personal brand is up to you. However, you need to be aware that what you do now, can impact your brand in the future. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your brand is protected and conveys the message you want.

Jesse Nuttall loves writing about business and finance. When he’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you can find him out camping with his kids.


  1. says

    I have met so many people that have given me a business card with a name that in no way reflects what their business does. Sadly, they have also forgotten to include any info on the services they provide as well. I named my business The Write Content after making sure the domain was available first. I checked domain names based on a variety of words that describe exactly what we do. There’s no confusion now when I hand someone my card!!!! My advice? Think before you settle on a business name!!

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