This is an age-old question and one I’ve even faced myself. Personally I think both options have their good points, and both have their bad points as well.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Originally, I started by branding a business name. Tall Poppies Rising. My first action was to start a Facebook group and a Facebook page. I was quite encouraged by a few people telling me they thought the name was AMAZING.

Now, for those of you , who don’t know what this represents. There is a “syndrome” in Australia called the “Tall Poppy Syndrome”, where anyone who stands out, or makes themselves “Taller” than others will be cut down. So, the business name really fitted in well in Australia and in New Zealand, where I was based at the time.

I went with a business name before anything else, because in the beginning, I was a little unsure of my own abilities in this area.

I have no trouble being honest here. I didn’t really want to put myself out there too much for fear of being ridiculed. Even though I had been successful in business for over 20 years at this stage, I still carried a lot of limiting beliefs and negative emotions that were holding me back.

So, I went with a business name rather than my own name. The pressure was building though.

The first time I felt this pressure was at a branding and marketing retreat I attended. One of the people teaching branding at this retreat had branded herself, rather than a business name as such, and she was adamant this was the way to go.

Her argument was, that in the coaching space, people wanted to know who YOU were, not who some company was. They wanted it all to be personal, like they knew the person inside and out, and that was why branding yourself was the best way forward.

This lady pointed out to me that all the greats had done it that way. Tony Robbins, Grace Lever, Melissa Ambrosini, Marie Forleo, and so many more. I could see that she had a point.

My biggest problem still though was really being ready to put myself out there, and be Maini Homer.

The other reason I didn’t want to brand myself as Maini Homer was because my grand business plan was to build the business and then probably sell it. If it was branded Maini Homer, then selling it would be difficult, especially if I’d built up the reputation as ONLY me. And so I bucked and kicked and just didn’t do it.

Then as time went on, I started seeing some merit in doing it. I started to see myself gaining popularity in a number of areas, and started to understand that it wasn’t the business name they were loving, it was me. It wasn’t the business name they were trusting, it was me. It wasn’t the business name they were seeing in my published articles, it was my name.

I also started working with a business coach, who was adamant that it was the right way to go. That meant I had a decision to make.

The thing was I had already put a lot of my heart and soul into the Tall Poppies Rising Brand, and it was gaining traction. I didn’t want to lose all my hard work here, and so I actually decided to do both.

Now, some of you may be cringing at this point saying… But isn’t that twice the work and twice the cost? Well, yes, and no.

I personally believe that the benefits outweigh any extra work there is to do.

Not only that, if what you are doing currently is working for you, then this doesn’t have to be something you jump right into and spend a heap of time and money on. It’s something that can be done gradually.

After all, if what you are doing is working, stick with that. Over time you can do the other way, and the benefits of doing this are huge.

Not only will you be able to market in more areas, you could also market to different audiences. At the end of the day, some people will resonate with your brand, whilst others resonate more with you personally right? There is still absolutely no reason why you can’t have staff representing you is there?

Another key advantage I see in doing both is the backlinking opportunities available between sites. You can link different pages of each on your websites, so that people can flick from one to the other, and get to know both. Also, the SEO (or search engine optimisation for those who don’t know) is great, because the internet is all about links. It’s what joins it together.

It’s like the links I get to put in my articles on here. I change these up regularly to make sure I have “backlinks” going to all areas of my pages, and this can only increase my SEO right? If you google me now, instantly Tall Poppies Rising comes up, followed by my own personal links. Regardless of which way people go, they can see Maini Homer is linked to Tall Poppies Rising. So, In a way, I am really getting two bites of the same cherry right?

One key distinction I will make with this idea. Make sure that the content on your sites is different. Ensure that you have different wording, different pictures, different links etc on each one, as to not upset the balance and rhythm that is duplicate content.

So in summary, I am not sure that any one way is better than another because they all have their good points and bad points. My advice is to do both, but start with one and build that first before starting on the second one. Ensure the content is different, and this should all work in your favour.