Building a Business Around Your Personal Brand

Mentioned in this video: Clay Collins

I know this can be a controversial topic, and I really want to hear your thoughts on it!



Hi, it’s Laura Roeder, I was just sitting outside working a little on my laptop and I was thinking about something that I wanted to share with you. I heard my friend Clay Colin say this last night and it’s kind of been in my mind. It’s a way to articulate something that I have been thinking but wasn’t really sure how to explain. So Clay was saying some people will tell you to build a business, to set it up to sell. Whenever you are doing, building your business always be thinking how you can sell it. And what Clay said is another option; a flip side is to build a business that is so centered around your personal brand that you can never sell it. When you build a business that you can never sell, you know that no one will ever be able to copy it, right? If you have a business that can never be sold, you have a business that can be copied, that cant be duplicated, that cant really be competed with in a lot of ways and I thought that this is a very interesting way to put it because in creating fame, I teach people how to build up their personal brand and even if they have a retail business or something like that, their business is still centered around their own unique personality and style even if it doesn’t have their picture on it and sometimes people would argue with me about that like how do you, what if you want to sell their business but I know for a lot of us, for me selling my core business has never really been a goal of mine and that’s okay. However you want to run your business, it’s yours, that’s what’s great about it, right? So there might be pieces of your business, it’s always good to have different pieces going on, different incomes streams going on. There might be something you can change around and sell at some point someday but if you want to build a business centered around you that can never be sold, can never be copied, never be duplicated or really compete with it either because there is no one else who is like you, right? That is another way that you can go and that is another way that you can have a really profitable and really fun business that helps out and serves a lot of people. So thank you Clay for giving me that take on this. I was wondering what you think about whether this, is this what you are doing, is this a good idea, is this a bad idea? What do you think?

[0:02:28] End of Audio

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.


  1. Poor Laura. Apparently Clay locked you outside.

    I think personal brands can still be sold, but when that happens, you have to make sure to do it gradually and you’ve established that you are no longer running the show. You are more of a mascot.

    But it might not work if you have an evil twin brother.
    .-= Kelvin Kao´s last blog ..Farewell, Analog Television =-.

  2. Agreed. (yes, I know that I’m in the choir, but still…)

    I do have spin-offs that may get sold someday, but why would I sell my core personal brand business … I mean, what the heck would I do the next day?

    What I do is my passion and not “work” anyway, and as a personal brand it moves and grows with me …. so why would it need to be sell-able? :)

    ~ ElizabethPW

  3. I actually wanna agree with Elizabeth’s comment saying. Sure you might have some aspects of your business that you do. But why you sell off your Core Business thats your Passion and love what you do. It is not work if you love it so why would you sell it off. Maybe pieces but not everything unless you find another passion


  4. Laura,
    You and I had a discussion about this months ago, and it’s made me rethink how I present my company. My business has a name and I want it to be scalable beyond me, but ultimately, what’s going to grow it is the connection that I make with moms. I can’t even imagine selling off my core business anyway… that’s no fun! So thanks for enlightening me then, and reminding me now, about how important it is (for me) to build my business around my own personal brand.

  5. Great! I have not become a freelance photographer just to sell my business – it seems pretty silly. I want to grow my brand, developm my skils and make a living out of it. One can always hire me :)
    Oh, and Laura, if you’d like a bit of lighting advice for your videos – let me know.

  6. I think there is big difference between owning a business and owning a job.

    If your company is so dependent on you (so much so “that it can not be sold”), then you don’t really own a business… you own a job. It needs you to exist. If you don’t exist, then the company does not make any money.

    This is not to say that businesses can not be created on top of personal brands. Just ask Deepak Chopra, Mary Kay, and Calvin Klein.

    But the advice to build a business on a personal brand so much so that it can’t be sold (and thereby, can’t be copied by competitors) should not extend to building a business that depends on any one person to exist.

    Thanks. Great work, Laura!

  7. I think I’m part of the choir too, but I agree. I think that when you put your heart and soul into your business (which is what you should do, if you’re passionate about it) then there’s no point in disassociating yourself from it.

    And there is always the possibility of selling it one day, but like you said, no one could ever copy it. Which is just great. :)

  8. Your site rocks! keep the usefull videos coming!

  9. 2 things:

    1. Notice how many of the larger businesses now are going back to having the “cheerleader” or CEO in the commercials. Also, when you think of certain companies, who do you think of?

    Microsoft: Gates
    Virgin: Branson
    Mass Control: Kern
    Subway: Jared (not CEO obviously)

    2. Building around a personal brand doesn’t mean that you can’t sell, or that you have to sell. I don’t see it as a tie down either.

    In fact, I just saw a commercial for the Johnny Cochran Law Firm on TV yesterday (he’s dead)… but they are still moving on his legacy.

    What about KFC’s personal brand (Colonial Sanders) or Wendy’s (Dave)… both passed.

    Building around a personal brand can create a legacy to build on AND if you DO choose to sell, there are also consulting and imaging rights that you can package in the deal… so that you only work every once in a while as spokesperson if need be.

    3. Why sell if you have other people doing all the work and you just make appearances.

    Think about your strategy and you can do whatever you want with your personal brand in business… hell, franchise it out if you want.

    Just be sure to keep your name clean. :)

  10. Love this Laura. I really have no problem with my business dying with me, so to speak. If I wanted to sell it, I wouldn’t have started it in the first place. I’m not in it for the exit strategy, I’m in it because I love what I do and when I stop loving it, “it” will no long be.

    Thanks for putting this out there.

    I sort of lump this branding question in the category with the whole leverage thing. Leverage is great certainly but not having leverage can be great too. I have some things that are leveraged but some that are not at all and I have no problem trading hours for dollars when it’s work I love, even though many “biz gurus” tell me “I’m doing it wrong”.

    I think there is room for gray in the branding and leverage realms. We just need to do what works for us now and what we want over the long haul.

    Great content as always.


  11. I love the idea of making your personal brand so personal it can’t be copied nor sold. It’s a personal brand. It should never be sold in the first place!
    .-= Deneil Merritt´s last blog ..You Gave Me A Voice =-.

  12. I enjoy your wordpress web template, where did you get a hold of it?