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Should You Brand Your Business
Be a Guru?

Guru ravidss

Are You a Guru?

What’s your goal? Do you want to attract clients because you’re a guru or do you want to draw customers due to your brand?

This is kind of a trick question, really, as both answers are correct and yet both answers are incorrect…what we called in flight instruction, a “well, it depends” question.

It depends on your business and you really, whether creating a brand is better for you or becoming a guru is better…oh and you can have both.

Today I’m talking PRIMARILY to new business owners, or business owners who’ve been struggling and can’t seem to get there from here. Let’s start by defining the difference between being a guru and having a brand.

Are You a Guru?

First question: Are you an expert in your niche? Is your way of doing X, better, quicker, cheaper, more interesting? Is it all of the above? Is it better than your competitors? Then you might be a guru.

Question two:  Do you have hundreds, or thousands, of adoring fans who’ll throw themselves off cliffs and drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid if you ask them? If so, you might be a guru…but please, be nice to people who love and adore you.

Third and final question for you wannabe gurus. Are you willing to be hounded constantly by the media, paparazzi, adoring fans, and never have a moment of privacy?

Well, to be perfectly honest, that’s not the quite the guru status we’re talking about here, but it could be.

No, when I say guru status, I’m saying you’re an expert at your niche and are willing to build a persona around that expertise? Here’s an example:

Several years ago, Steve Chou and his wife recognized a niche market not being fulfilled anywhere else. So they started an online wedding linen store. Their niche took off and Steve expanded into blogging, podcasting, and other online pursuits telling the story of how they became successful.

Today, Steve is the guru at as an INFORMATION MARKETER. As a guru he’s established himself as an expert who can not only build successful businesses online, he can also help those interested in building successful business navigate the waters.

Guru, by its definition implies not only “master” status, but also the ability to teach.

Brand—Who Are You?

Branding on the other hand isn’t necessarily concerned with teaching. Branding is imprinting your name (business or personal), your logo (this can be a graphic or a photograph), symbol or product. It’s the first impression a client or customer has of your business.

As I’ve implied, branding can be a product or service, consider Coca-Cola as a product and H & R Block as a service. These brands leave little or no confusion today as to what they provide to consumers. And it’s not just their logo, it’s also what you, the consumer expect from the brand. The same could be said and done for your business.

To sum up the difference between branding and guru; branding is what you start with. It’s the first impression and the main impression people have of your product or service. Guru status, is taking what you’ve learned, and passing that information along to other (usually in a very lucrative way).

As you begin your business, you’ll probably be more interested in branding that becoming a guru. As your business grows, you may want to teach what you know or learned. If that’s the case, you’ll be looking at guru status.

Here’s to your success!

So, what are you? Are you a brand, a guru, or both? Tell us a bit about your journey.



Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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