As the role of Technology Advisor for my one-on-one clients, I get asked a lot of questions. Some of those questions aren't technology-specific but are related to tech or digital marketing in some way. One of the most FAQs that I receive, especially from my service-based businesses who are figuring out ways to productize their offerings is:
Just to be sure that you know what I'm referring to when I use the term, avatar, I am referring to the little circular or rectangular image that someone would see on any of the social media handles of your business. Many social media platforms provide you the option of the little image to coincide with a cover photo image when seen on desktop, but when seen on a mobile device, that little image is the only visual representation provided for a brand.
The simple answer to this question is that it depends. There is no perfect answer it depends on your individual situation. Now that personal branding is a thing, along with the fact that content creators, public figures, entrepreneurs, influencers, or bloggers are now considered professions, the lines have really gotten very blurred on this.
If you ask many marketing experts, their answer would heir on the side that people buy from people, so you should have your image as part of the brand. But sometimes, it actually makes more sense to have your brand become the face of your business. Although there is no exact science to determining whether you as the business owner should include personal representation within your branding, there are a series of 5 questions I ask my clients in order to help them decide what is best for their business:
2. Ask yourself what type of biz are you - a service-based, product-based, or both?
If you are a service-based business, here are some things to consider:
If you are a product-based business, here are some things to consider:
3. What are the attributes, values, and characteristics that your prospective customers have?
4. Are you a solid representation of ALL of the attributes of your business? Have you created a business that markets to a former version of yourself?
5. Do you have a logo that you LOVE? Then it might be best to put that out in front. Your prospective customers might fall in love with it just as you have.
Once you ask yourself these questions, you should have more clarity as to whether your image plays a big role in your branding. One thing that I always tell my clients is that it's okay to change your mind and swap out those avatars, as long as you communicate with your audience. I don't advise to keep switching it up, as the best way to establish brand recognition and familiarity is to be consistent.
Something else to consider is to build a personal brand along with your business brand. In today's day and age where personal branding is important for anyone who wants to establish connections with a community, it is necessary. That is also an easy way to create a clean separation between you and your business so it may be worth exploring.
I'd love to know your thoughts after answering the 5 questions above! And as always, please reach out if you have any comments.