One of the many questions that successful entrepreneurs with personal brands often ask is: "Can I sell a business that is built around my personal brand?" The answer is yes, but the process can be more complex than selling a business with a separate brand identity.
Personal Brands and Intangible Assets
Personal brands are often built on intangible assets, such as email lists, brand recognition, and social media followers. These assets can be quite valuable, as they represent the trust and loyalty of an audience that has been cultivated over time.
When selling a business built around your personal brand, it is essential to properly protect and value these intangible assets.
Successful Personal Brand Sales
There are several examples of entrepreneurs who have successfully sold businesses built around their personal brands. One notable example is Joe Rogan, a famous podcast host and comedian, who sold his podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience" to Spotify for a reported $200 million.
Now you need to remain realistic about the value of your business. However, this sale underscores the potential value of personal brands and their intangible assets.
Here are a few more examples of highly valuable personal brands:
Gary Vaynerchuk: As an entrepreneur, author, and digital marketing expert, Gary Vaynerchuk's personal brand is closely tied to his business ventures. VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency, and VaynerX, a communications company, both rely on his personal brand's credibility and reach.
In 2021, Gary Vaynerchuk's net worth was estimated at around $200 million. His businesses, such as VaynerMedia and VaynerX, contribute to his overall wealth and showcase the value of his personal brand.
Brendon Burchard: An influential personal development coach, author, and motivational speaker, Brendon Burchard has built a successful business empire around his personal brand. His businesses, which include online courses, coaching programs, and best-selling books, all benefit from his reputation as a leading expert in high-performance habits and personal growth. Burchard's personal brand is critical to the success and value of his various ventures.
Burchard's net worth was estimated at around $20 million in 2021. His businesses, including online courses, coaching programs, and best-selling books, showcase the value of his personal brand and contribute to his overall wealth.
Like any business, building a valuable brand takes hard work, but if done correctly your business (or a businesses) will become valuable.
Enhancing Business Value
Regardless of whether you're a coach, podcaster, or other Key Person of Influence whose brand is their main asset, there are several steps to enhance business value:
Diversify revenue streams: It is essential to have multiple revenue sources, such as courses, books, speaking engagements, and consulting services. This diversification increases business stability and makes the brand more attractive to potential buyers.
Develop a strong team: A well-trained and talented team can help manage the business and ensure continuity when you decide to exit. By building a team that can run the business independently, the value of your company increases.
Establish systems and processes: Documenting standard operating procedures and creating efficient workflows adds value to the business by making it more manageable and scalable.
Build a strong brand narrative: A compelling brand story makes the business more appealing to potential buyers. Showcasing the brand's impact and its unique value proposition can increase its perceived value.
Create a succession plan: A clear succession plan is crucial when selling a business built around a personal brand. This plan should outline how the brand will continue to thrive after the founder's exit.
Packaging the Business and Identifying Potential Acquirers
When preparing to sell your personal brand, it's important to package the business in a way that highlights its unique value. This may involve showcasing the brand's intangible assets, such as customer testimonials, case studies, subscriber base, community of influence and other key indicators.
Potential acquirers of a business built around a personal brand may include:
Competitors: Competitors in the same niche may be interested in acquiring the brand to increase their market share or eliminate competition.
Complementary businesses: Companies that offer complementary products or services may find value in acquiring a personal brand to expand their offerings and reach a new audience.
Media companies: As in the case of Joe Rogan and Spotify, media companies may see value in acquiring a personal brand with a strong following to expand their content portfolio.
Investment firms: Private equity firms or venture capitalists might be interested in acquiring a personal brand with potential for growth, scalability, and profitability.
Selling a business built around your personal brand can be a complex but rewarding process. By understanding the value of intangible assets, taking steps to enhance the business value, and identifying potential acquirers, entrepreneurs can successfully navigate the sale of their personal brand-based businesses.