Incorporating is the Key to Maximizing the Value of Your Personal Brand
Personal branding is a hot topic in the news lately. Forbes Magazine, for example, has been running a series of articles on how to create and grow your personal brand. See here. Another article argues that having a personal brand “… is not a choice, anymore” and that a personal brand is how freelancers and small businesses stay “relevant.” See here. Personal brands are just like all brands — they identify you as a unique commercial source of whatever goods or services or creative innovations in which you specialize. Part of the rise of personal brands is driven by the rise of the freelance labor market. Brands help you market, apply your skills creatively, engage with your existing and potential customers, and supercharge the growth of your market share. Branding involves
- Finding your signature style — like a trademark or logo
- Having a good tagline — like a slogan
- Using online platforms to broadcast yourself and what you have to offer your customers
- Much more
If done correctly and successfully, your personal brand will translate into business success.
However, there comes a point — pretty quickly — when a personal brand and personal efforts hit a ceiling. As an individual running your own freelance business, there is a limit to how big you can grow. That is the point at which you need to form a corporate entity through which you can continue to build your brand.
“Why?” you might ask. The first reason is investments. The point of personal branding is to be so successful in engaging with your customers and followers that they want to invest in you and your brand. Without a corporate form, there is no vehicle by which your followers can invest. Once formed, corporate entities become separate entities that have legal existence. Shares and ownership interests in corporate entities can be sold; investors can be attracted. Your options include: corporations, limited liability companies, professional corporations, etc. It is nice that your followers might send a few dollars as a donation, but how much better to give them a mechanism for truly supporting your brand and vision via investing. Donations are “one-off,” but investments are commitments. An experienced San Diego corporate attorney can help.
Second, every budding entrepreneur dreams of “hitting it big” and that means putting yourself in the position of monetizing your brand and business through financing and even through a sale of the business to others. This means that your brand and business must be transferable. This, in turn, means you must incorporate. The shares and ownership interests of corporate entities can be created, bought, and sold. This is the mechanism of transferability which is a key attribute of corporate entities. If you want to “cash out” or “go public,” you have to have a corporate entity. You cannot sell yourself no matter how “big” your personal brand.
Finally, incorporating gives your personal brand longevity and potentially immortality. Like all of us, entrepreneurs have pride in their achievements and want those accomplishments to prosper. To grant your personal brand the possibility of immorality, you need to incorporate. Tiffany’s is a great example here. Charles Lewis Tiffany and his sons established powerful personal brands based on their incomparable jewelry and stain glass designs. The luxury brand lives on today because a corporate entity — Tiffany & Co. — was created to carry the brand forward. In short, incorporating is the only method of maximizing the value of your personal brand.
Contact San Diego Corporate Law Today
There are many other reasons to incorporate, and if you want further information, contact attorney Michael Leonard of San Diego Corporate Law. Mr. Leonard provides a full panoply of legal services for San Diego and California businesses including corporate entity formation and annual maintenance. Mr. Leonard can be reached at (858) 483-9200 or via email. Like us on Facebook.