We get this question frequently enough as a website design company that we felt it warranted a post outlining some pros and cons of creating your own personal brand when you are part of a chain company.
Whether you work for a fast food restaurant or a large corporation, your website serves as an impressionable virtual storefront that can positively or negatively impact your reputation. A website is an additional marketing tool for reaching out to clients and helps build brand awareness, so it makes sense to entertain inquiring with a website design company about your future goals.
What do you mean by “chain company”
When I talk about chain companies, I’m pretty much talking about larger brands that you are an affiliate or member of. For example, realtors who are agents for Re/Max or an insurance agent who is an agent for Allstate or State Farm. While you are your own independent agent for these companies, you have to follow a certain set of standards and requirements based on your parent company.
What are the cons of branding myself separate from my agency?
The main con is really the extra work that goes into creating a brand for yourself outside of your larger agency. This takes time, money, and effort all while you’re busy running your company for said agency that theoretically is already doing a lot of marketing and tasks to help you be successful.
There’s also the issue of an extra expense, but if you are trying to establish your own individual brand, not just subsequently support the corporate entity, then it’s an expense worth investing.
Websites are a great way for you to connect with your customers and get them up to speed on your work. Customers want to know about the company and what it does, and a website allows you to provide that information in detail.
The pros, in my opinion, far outweigh the cons. There are a lot of benefits to branding yourself separately that we’ll try to list below.
1. You will have established your name as more important than your agency.
What this means is that when you’ve established yourself “John Smith, Realtor” as opposed to “John Smith, Re/Max Realtor”, then your name becomes the brand more than the agency. Since your name will never change, you won’t lose the established placement you have in your community or online.
2. Once you are established online and in your community, the transition to your independent company is simple.
You change out some colors, logos, and marketing materials along with a few terms and conditions for your clients, and you’re ready to hit the ground running.
3. You won’t have to start from the beginning to set up a good search engine optimization for your new company.
Your search engine optimization will already be established because your website design company took the time to get set up months before you decided to leave the agency. If you had started after already leaving, then you may have to wait several weeks before your search engine optimization is where it needs to be in order to rank higher than your established competition. This can be frustrating and even costly if you try to get set up after the fact. While local SEO is easier than regular SEO, it will still take time to outrank your competitors, especially if they are with a larger agency.
4. You have a better chance of being considered a trusted company.
When your name is already set up as someone your community trusts, it’s easier for them to feel comfortable sending you business because they know you or your brand personally, not your former agency. When someone just starts out, there are times when clients feel more comfortable referring business to seasoned entrepreneurs or companies rather than someone just starting out. Having your own brand already known to your community means people will already trust you when you go out on your own.
5. You will have a known online presence.
It is important to have a website if you are part of an organization with multiple locations, like a chain store, restaurant, or office. It allows people to find locations that are closest to them and it also simplifies the ordering process by allowing customers to order the same food or services from all locations. Your website design company can even show pictures or videos of your business so customers know what to expect when they travel to your business.
So the simple answer?
Yes! Having a website helps distinguish your company from the rest of the chain. A website helps you build a better image as an individual, and can help you attract a more loyal clientele to your business. SEO (search engine optimization) can help optimize keywords on your site for better ranking to appear on search engines when ranking against your competitors in the area. So if you are interested in getting a free quote from a website design company, give us a call 🙂