Jeremy asks, “How should content entrepreneurs think about their personal brands and their businesses?”
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Christopher Penn 0:13
In today’s episode, Jeremy asks, How should content entrepreneurs think about their personal brands and their businesses? Should they be separate? Maybe it depends it this is one of those questions where it depends is the answer.
Because it depends on the situation? It depends on your brand’s focus.
It depends on your overall strategy and outcome.
What kind of business objective Are you going towards? Right? If you want to run a lifestyle, business, meaning a business, where it’s it’s part of your life, but you have a life outside of it, and you want to a business is profitable, but not necessarily you’re looking to exit or sell or, you know, 10x, your return or whatever, crazy things people are saying these days, then having that personal brand reinforce your business might be the thing, right? There are a lot of people who make very successful long term businesses on their personal brand.
Right? There their name is the business.
Take somebody like Arnold Schwarzenegger, right? His entire business is his name and his brand.
Other businesses, if the intent is to sell or to transition, or to flip it or something, yeah, your personal brand being deeply entangled with it can cause issues, because you then have a difficult time transitioning that business to somebody else, right? Once you’ve sold it off, a lot of the value is in your name.
And you might have difficulty getting a buyer, even if they perceive that too much of the value is is tied up in your name.
And they know that the name is not going to come with the business not in the long term.
They might say yeah, we’re we’re either not going to buy your business, or we’re going to offer you less than we would have if the business was truly portable.
So it depends on your exit strategy.
For marketers who are working inside of a business, this is where it gets really sticky.
So for a number of years, I loaned my personal brand, my name and stuff to different companies, blue sky factory, what counts, shifts, communications, et cetera.
And those businesses did very well with the brand and the audience that I was gathering.
But every time I made a transition, my audience went with me and didn’t necessarily stick with the business.
From my perspective, that was a good thing.
From the businesses perspective, less so.
But also, because a lot of the folks I worked for were not particularly thinking about the long term strategy, they were really thinking about shorter term results, it wasn’t a substantial long term problem, I still provided a lot of value to those businesses, and things.
So if you work inside of a business that you don’t own, you are not a decision maker.
And you do have to think about your personal brand.
And how tied to the business it is what is it that you are known for? What does it you want to be known for? And how tightly coupled is it to the business? If it’s something that you want to be able to move from company to company, when you’re in your space, you’d be very careful about things like your employment agreement.
You need to have a lawyer looking at your employment agreement and making adjustments to it.
So at the last two companies I worked at before I signed on as an employee, I had my lawyers look at the employment agreement.
And we made some stipulations, we said these things are work for hire, meaning that I work for the company and these are the things that become the companies.
These other things are not my personal newsletter is not part of the company.
My at the time I only podcast marketing over coffee, not part of the company would never be part of the company.
And the employer had to sign off on that.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to work there.
Or I would have had to make concessions, one of the two.
But fortunately, everybody agreed.
Okay, that was good enough that we kept these things separate from these things.
If you work at a company right now, where you haven’t looked at your employment agreement in detail, I would.
I would look very carefully to see how widely scoped your employment agreement is.
If the company says everything you do is ours, including what you do outside work
Christopher Penn 5:01
might be time to change companies.
Right? And as you do make sure that the next company you work for when you get that agreement, you have a lawyer look at it and say, Okay, we’re agreed that the stuff that you do on company equipment during business hours is the company’s you don’t have a claim to it.
But everything you do outside of the company on your own time on your own equipment, that’s yours, and the company has no claim to it.
Right? That’s something that you have to think about very carefully.
Because there are a fair number of companies that do have an all inclusive clause in the employment agreement, saying if you come up with anything, if you create a, a million dollar YouTube channel about basket weaving, right, and the company makes concrete, you know, relationship, the company can still lay a legal claim to your YouTube channel.
If you signed an agreement that says everything and anything you do will come as companies.
So look real carefully.
At the agreements, you sign and hire a lawyer, right? Find a lawyer, hire a lawyer.
Because it’s expensive upfront, but it’s really expensive on the back end, when you’re in court being sued, if you don’t straighten those things out.
So if you are planning an exit, disentangle your personal brand as much as you can, if you’re not if you’re planning on making it a long term bid, you might not have to, and if you don’t own the company, be very careful about keeping your personal brand and the company very much Church and State keep them separated if you don’t want some serious headaches, so really good question.
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