I get asked regularly how it’s best to brand yourself online when you have multiple passions and business ideas: multiple websites or just one?
For that matter, when you start asking about starting multiple websites do you also start multiple branded social media accounts, too?
This question arises when you have multiple interests, you’re a multi-passionate entrepreneur with many skills and you want people to know you for a specific skill or service without confusing the marketplace.
Let’s take a look at this multiple site dilemma a little closer, and come up with an answer for your particular situation, shall we?
Multiple Websites for Multiple Brands: Yay Or Nay?
Do You Have An Existing Brand Online?
If you already have an existing website and brand around one of your skills or services, I recommend simply adding your other passions to your current website.
This way people will know you for your main skill or brand, but they’ll also know that you have additional interests that they can come to you for.
Most of the time, one of our skills and passions take the driver’s seat and earn us a majority of our income. I look at my multiple web sites and businesses, and the 80/20 rule definitely applies, with NLMedia bringing in 80% of my income and RawFoodsWitch bringing in approximately 20%.
As multi-passionate entrepreneurs it’s natural for us to want to turn all of our passions into businesses. But it’s also okay to have passions that are hobbies for us, and these hobbies don’t need their own websites.
Instead of creating multiple sites for each of your hobbies or passions, you can dedicate a corner of your website to it. It can be a weekly blog post about your hobby, or an “other” page that has your hobby photography portfolio.
The bottom line: people want you.
You are the magic sauce that people show up for, so if you mix in multiple passions it only gives people more access to your amazingness.
Do You Plan To Sell This Business?
If you see the business you’re about to start as a company that you’d like to sell down the line, or have someone else take it over and run it, then I would recommend setting up a separate web presence.
I would not recommend your name as the brand if you plan to sell or transfer the operation of your business over to another person. I would choose a separate domain name along with separate social media accounts, and email list accounts, too.
One of the drawbacks of having a separate brand is that it takes much longer to update all of your accounts, and keep blogs fresh and regular on different sites. The benefit is that you can split from the site without too much fuss.
Using Your Name and Branding As Yourself Online
In the modern hyper-connected world, your name is your brand. Whether you run your own business or work for someone else, you should be aware of what comes up when someone searches your name online.
For that reason alone I think it’s important to secure your domain name, or at least make sure that you’ve got a profile on LinkedIn that shows you in your best light.
If you plan to be the “face” of your company, then it also makes sense to brand as your name online and on social media. People want to do business with other people, and being “you” online is definitely one of the easiest places to start.
It’s also got the added perk that when you’re your business, even if your services and focus change, you won’t be changing. I’ve personally changed websites far too many times since I started making websites at age 12, but you can bet that this domain isn’t going anywhere.
If your name is already taken, try using a word to describe your business further. Take HeatherPierceInc.com for example, or YourNamePhotographer.com.
Multiple Websites Might Work For Your Business Model
I’m a huge proponent of making business decisions based on the business model that you want to build.
If you enjoy curating and editing content, you might build an online business as more of a magazine model. This means that you’d start or collect multiple publishing platforms, each with their own brand.
You might start each of these sub-companies and use a combination of advertising, affiliate marketing, product or membership sales, and just keep adding these to your portfolio of sites.
If you’re a serial entrepreneur this might be a great way to build yourself a number of profitable businesses. I’d just make sure that you’re also great at building a virtual team (or even a local team) to help you manage and edit the content for each of the sites.
How Did You Solve This Dilemma?
Leave a comment below and let me know… how many different websites do you have? Would you have solved the multiple websites dilemma differently?