Neil Patel

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Personal Brand VS Corporate Brand: Which One is More Effective? 

I have both a personal brand and a corporate brand.

If one would have to say, my personal brand is stronger than my corporate brand.

It’s been around longer, plus I have more followers.

And one could say it is easier to relate to a warm, fuzzy personal brand versus a cold corporate brand.

So, which one is more effective in driving revenue?

At the end of the day, even for marketers, revenue is more of an important metric than followers or visitors.

But before we dive into that, let’s look at the stats.

The Neil Patel personal brand

I’ve been building my personal brand for roughly 18 years.

Not intentional for all those years, but nonetheless I’ve been building up my personal brand for a long time.

Here’s my follower count on the main social platforms I use, plus some other stats.

  • X – 450,500
  • Instagram – 467,000
  • Facebook – 1 million
  • YouTube – 1.2 million
  • TikTok – 120,100
  • LinkedIn – 552,462
  • Podcast – 1.6 million monthly listeners
  • Blog – 3 million visitors a month

On top of that, I’ve spoken at over 100 conferences over the years.

I’ve written 6,149 blog posts. Roughly 1,500 were in English, and the rest were translated and transcribed by my team into other languages to grow my brand globally.

And no joke, I’ve published over 32,000 social posts. Although it’s not that much work to publish that many social pieces due to content repurposing and the sheer number of social networks.

Now let’s look at my corporate brand.

NP Digital

My ad agency is called NP Digital. It’s 6 years old.

The “NP” in NP Digital stands for “Neil Patel” which you probably already figured out.

Now let’s look at my corporate stats:

  • X – 2602
  • Instagram – 1290
  • Facebook – 6200
  • LinkedIn – 78,000
  • Website – 21,473 visitors a month

As you can see, there is a big difference between the stats from the personal side and the corporate side.

Now let’s look at our revenue at NP Digital.

NP Digital revenue

NP Digital has been around for roughly 6 years.

But for the comparison of my personal brand versus our corporate brand, let’s look at the first 3 years of the business.

After that, it ended up staying the same, which I will explain in a bit.

  • The first year we generated $5.1 million in revenue.
  • $18.8 million in our second year.
  • $33.7 million in our third year. 

Here’s a graph that shows our revenue growth over time.

Now, can you guess what portion of that revenue came from my personal brand versus my corporate brand?

In year 1, all of the $5.1 million in revenue came from my personal brand.

No joke, every single penny came from my personal brand.

In year 2, roughly $10 million of the $18.8 million came from my personal brand.

The rest came from things like press, creating industry trend reports, RFPs (request for proposal), building relationships with companies that recommend agencies, winning awards for the results we provided our clients, and hiring people with potential client relationships.

The hiring of people with potential client relationships was super effective… it helped a lot in the early days, although it took time for it to work.

It helped a lot of CMOs and decision-makers to get to know who we are. And eventually (years later) some of those companies became customers.

In year 3, of the $33.7 million in revenue, roughly $10 million came from my personal brand.

The rest came from previous efforts to build up the corporate brand like getting press and awards and some of the other stuff I mentioned above.

At this point, people really started to get to know the corporate brand.

And if you fast forward to today, my personal brand still drives revenue. Roughly still $10 million of our annual revenue.

We are much larger now and our corporate brand is getting out there, which is causing us to get a lot more RFPs. Which tends to be the larger contracts we close and how we generate the majority of our revenue.

Even with my personal brand being much larger than our corporate brand, we never really got any RFPs from my personal brand.

Once we started building our corporate brand we started to see them roll in.

Conclusion

If you look at the biggest companies in the world… Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Pepsi, Proctor and Gamble, etc… they are all corporate brands.

Sure, you can build a big personal brand like a Kardashian, which is great, but they don’t generate anywhere near the revenue a strong corporate brand can generate.

This doesn’t mean a personal brand isn’t effective.

I’ve used it to kick-start my corporate brand.

A lot of corporations like Beats by Dre used a lot of personal brands (celebrities) to create something amazing, and then they eventually sold it to Apple.

So ideally, you should leverage both to their maximum potential.

Which one are you focused on building? Personal? Corporate? Both?

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