Should Your Family Be Part Of Your Branding?

by Shonali Burke on May 14, 2010

When I still lived at home, I always knew how I would be spending Mother’s Day.

My sisters and I would pull weeds, move dirt and generally labor in the yard for our mother — along with doing any other chore she could think of. We were a captive audience — she knew she could get plenty of work out of us. Presents, flowers and even breakfast in bed weren’t enough to get us out of that work. Despite it all, though, I remember Mother’s Day pretty fondly.

We’ve just seen another Mother’s Day go by, and I think it’s time to move beyond the Hallmark moments it’s associated with.

I’m not suggesting drafting your children, if you have them, into doing work for your business. Instead, it’s time to consider the role of family in your branding.

Image: Happy Worker, Creative Commons

Beyond Being a WAHM

I’ve seen more than a few women who I consider to be savvy business women label themselves as ‘work-at-home-moms.’

Being a WAHM can be a very good deal if you have a family, but I’m a big believer that it shouldn’t be part of your branding.Your website, Twitter account and all the rest shouldn’t proclaim your WAHM-hood and I’d never recommend actually involving the acronym in your business’ name.

It’s not because you shouldn’t be proud of your family, either — it’s because your clients didn’t ask.

As a business owner, you’re probably out of the job market. But if you’ve hired some help of your own any time recently, you’re probably aware that there are some questions that you simply don’t ask a prospective employee, including if she’s got kids. Employers and clients can easily assume that your kids are a priority — and they’re probably not wrong.

Doing It Right

Your family is a part of you and why you work. That goes for more than your kids, too — your spouse, parents and other relatives can be just as much of a reason. And since they’re that big a part of you, including them in your branding makes sense.

I tell plenty of stories about my family in my work. I don’t put them into my job title, but I take every opportunity to show how my family is a strength when it comes to doing business with me, if only because of the great anecdotes I have to share.

Blog posts, discussions when I’m networking and even tweets are great places to bring my family into my branding. I think you may find the same to be true.

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Regular contributor Thursday Bram offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She blogs about the shift between freelancing and business through her personal blog Thursday Bram and can be reached at www.twitter.com/thursdayb.

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