Whilst running my Social Media Marketing workshop last week, we came on to the subject of whether it is good or bad for a business to be ‘faceless’. There were mixed opinions in the room about this, currently my business is faceless and it’s something I have been thinking about changing. One of the women in the room said that she had actually searched for me before attending the workshop as she wanted to see who I was, and another woman said if she had seen what I looked like before she wouldn’t have attended, due to the fact that I’m young.
I have decided so far that I prefer to keep my business faceless, as I do believe the fact that I am 23 may affect people’s opinion on my ability to help their businesses. Although I started my first business venture at 16 which gives me nearly 8 years of experience, I can understand why some people would doubt this. I recently ran a workshop for a company and had a different experience, in which a lady in her late 30’s said I inspired her due to my age and the experience I have. There seems to be mixed opinions, so I took to Instagram to see what my followers think.
I asked, “Do you want to know who’s running a business?” 63% of people voted no, which I wasn’t surprised about. I don't feel we need to know who's behind a business to buy products.
I had someone drop me a message (an amazing baker), who said she feels the same as I do about whether she should post herself on her business Instagram page. She feels people may want to see who they're buying from but when people collect their cakes from her, they always ask “did you make this” again due to her age.
I wanted to explore the idea of a faceless business and the pros and cons.
Age vs Experience
Following on from the comments made previously I believe people link age to experience, I totally believe that if I was a 35-year-old male people would be more obliged to attend my workshops or ask for business advice. (next blog post on being a woman in business). As a 23-year-old female I believe some people question my ability to be able to educate them on business subjects. I personally do not have any preferences on age when learning new skills or buying from a business, but I think for other people it does matter. I suppose if I was learning how to drive a car you would want someone with experience and with driving that definitely comes with age, but if we are talking about small businesses, we should be open to buy from younger people.
People buy from people
I have always found this concept to be true and if I met someone who I got along with I would be more likely to buy their products. I sometimes like to know who is behind a brand that’s just natural human curiosity. However, I also believe that this can work in a negative way, I remember putting on club night events and some people wouldn’t attend if they knew it was me running the event. These people are known as haters and every business will have them, it's something that will always happen but it did make me consider my options when starting my new business, therefore I started Twenty Something Millennial as a faceless business. There are people who know me and know that I am behind Twenty Something Millennial, I have found I do get a lot of support, but for social media I wanted to keep an element of mystery behind my brand.
I believe the idea of a faceless business also relies on what the business is, if for example you are a personal trainer, people need to see what you look like before they buy from you. The same if you are a fashion blogger, you are the face of your business and people are going to buy from you depending on how you look. If you are selling a product such as clothing or food, it isn’t necessary to be the face of your business as the product should do the talking. I can honestly say I don’t know the person behind Nandos, and it doesn’t affect the ability for them to sell the product. You should create a brand persona for these types of businesses, so people are able to build a personal relationship with your brand rather than with you.
My vlogger friend @rialalice_ replied to my post and said she likes to know who is behind a business, especially if it is a small business. Ria buys from someone who runs a small business, she knows she is a mum with two young children and Ria buying from this woman means she is helping her to live her dream life. I agree with this opinion sometimes making a business personal means you can engage with her followers / customers and make them a part of your journey.
The concept of whether a business should or shouldn’t be faceless depends on whether you want to create a personal relationship with your customers or if you want them to connect to your brand persona.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to the question of faceless businesses, it depends on your business and your personal opinion. At the moment I want to build my brand and continue working to reach my business goals before I put myself as the face of my business.
Let me know your opinions on faceless businesses, also if anyone has any questions in regards to business feel free to drop me a message on my social media.