Can You Really Separate Yourself and Your Business?
I do not think you could ever truly and completely separate yourself from your business. Today, I am thoroughly convinced that any attempt at separation is even more difficult than ever. In fact, the attempt to separate may be a death knell to your business as you attempt to establish your brand.
Businesses have always been tied to the owners/proprietors from the earliest shopkeepers to some of the largest single purpose corporations. The owner/proprietor was responsible for creating and building the brand.
Social Media/Social Networking Makes Separation More Difficult
Social Media/Social Networking offer incredible opportunities to build and promote your business and your brand. The problem is that many business people want to separate the two and that is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible.
I constantly receive emails and posts from people that want to separate themselves from their business. I am never told why they want to separate the two, just that they do.
Why is that? Are they afraid of something? Do they think that is how all big businesses became big businesses?
I have my business, UPPROACH, but the reality is that I cannot separate it from me. UPPROACH may be the name, but people know that it is my business. Whatever name I chose or will choose; the initial reputation and the reputation that the business will have for a long time is based upon my reputation and what I bring to the table.
I have worked many years to establish my reputation and brand; why wouldn’t I want to bring those efforts to my business? Why do I want to start over creating a new brand?
Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co
We can all agree that Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co, etc are all large companies. Where did they get their names? A little research shows you that these are the surnames of the people that started the business. Just like your business; these businesses got their start based upon the reputations and even the surnames of their founders.
Microsoft, Apple, IBM
Again these are all large companies and although the company names are not the last names of the founders; the reputations of the founders were critical to the initial acceptance of the businesses. We know the names and backgrounds of these company founders. We also know that the initial reputations for these businesses came from their founders.
The truth is that our personal and business reputations are intertwined and if you think that is not so; you are only fooling yourself.
Social Media/Social Networking Sites Present Challenges to the Idea of Separation
For sure Social Networking Sites present challenges to the idea of separation. It is increasingly difficult for owners to keep themselves separate from their business. A quick search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search sites will quickly connect you to your business.
I believe that many of these people want to maintain the separate identities because they want the freedom to express themselves as they see fit in their personal life. While keeping those activities separate may be the desire or goal; the fact is the Internet may not allow that to happen. That would be great if you could do it; the reality is that the chances of truly pulling that off are slim to none.
The reality is that who we are and what we are is all over the Internet. Maintaining any semblance of privacy and controlling what people see is a figment of our imagination. Some people think because they have not established themselves on the Internet that they are therefore not on the Internet and even that is foolish thinking.
Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping business, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.