Personal branding is all about creating and communicating your professional image to reflect your personality, skills, and expertise. It’s the way you insightfully express to the world what you know and how you use what you know to create value. But sometimes a single person requires two completely different brands due to the needs of disparate professional identities. This is common for professionals who have their day job, but wish to pursue side projects in areas unrelated to their primary industry.
Whatever the reason, if done incorrectly, splitting your identity can lead to the alienation of part of your audience as you look to promote two separate aspects of your professional self. There are a few different ways to approach this hazard and each is customizable to work in whatever way you choose. Just pick the one that works best for your situation and tailor it to your own personal identity.
Option one is to do some brand analysis to figure out just what features of your brand need to be promoted. Some aspects may need more promotion than others. For instance, if you already have outlets for marketing one of your brands (through advertising, for example), you probably shouldn’t spend as much effort pushing that identity. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the promotion of both identities concurrently, but that you can spotlight your weaker brand while including your stronger brand on the periphery (like including it in your social media bios).
A second option is to completely isolate your two brands from one another. Unlike the previous option, here you will keep both identities totally separate. To this end, you could create multiple social media accounts, each focusing on one or the other brand. This isn’t to suggest that you’re living two secret lives with two audiences hidden from one another, but that your brands are largely independent and only reference each other passively. For example, you can share links from one set of professional interests on the blogs/websites/social accounts of the other but without explicit promotion.
In contrast, the third option involves merging your brands to create a more complex professional image. This is typically the more popular option because many people lack the time and resources to manage and maintain separate identities or do not wish to isolate their audiences. Merging simply involves identifying each brand in all of your branding efforts, sharing social media accounts and websites, and communicating information from each of your professional images alongside the other. As long as you keep your messages distinctive, your audiences should be able to cull the information relevant to them and ignoring the rest.
Promoting yourself is always a balancing act even with just a singular focus. The promotion of multiple images requires you to take additional steps to decide the best way to manage your separate interests without alienating your audiences or overextending your efforts. By choosing the option above most manageable for your situation, you can find your balance no matter your end goal.