How to Go from Influencer to Brand Owner
So many influencers make the leap from brand promoter to brand owner. Here’s how you can do the same:
1. Test Your Audience
Your followers are a great testing base and they’ll be your most loyal customers. What are they most interested in? What types of content do they engage with the most? What do they know and love you for? These are all great brainstorming techniques to help you create your product line!
Tip: Test their answers. Start with a pop up or a beta launch and see if people will actually buy it. There’s your proof of concept!
2. Start Your Company
You’ve probably heard about something called Limited Liability. It’s what you get for registering your company with the state and following certain formalities. It's a big deal because without it, your personal assets (like your car, house, and bank account) are considered company property. That means they can be taken by creditors to pay your business debts. With limited liability, only your company assets are at risk.
Youʼll start by completing the state paperwork to register your entity. First, you'll need to decide what kind of entity is the best fit for you. If you haven't decided yet, check out our guides to Sole Proprietorship, Partnerships, LLCs, C Corporations, and S Corporations.
Now you're ready to register. If you are registering an LLC, the form is usually called Articles of Organization. If youʼre forming a Corporation, the form is called Articles of Incorporation. You can find these on your stateʼs corporation agency website. Youʼll also need to choose a registered agent, principal place of business, and business purpose. Keep in mind that all of this information, including your address, will be public.
3. Trademark Your Brand
When you have a wide following, you need to protect your brand before you announce it to the world.
A trademark allows you to own your brand exclusively. It means you're the only company who can use your company name, logo, slogan, domain name, personal name, product name, or hashtags. Here's why it's key: without it, you can be sued, forced to rebrand, or have your customers stolen by copycats.
Trademarks operate on a first to file system. That means the first person to file the trademark gets the exclusive rights to use the name. So if someone else files first, they’ll own the rights to your name and you won't be allowed to use your brand anymore and you can be sued for using it. So lock it down before you announce!
Here’s how to get started with trademarking.
4. Promote It!
Put your influencer knowledge to good use and start promoting your products on your site, the brand site, and other influencer accounts. Your local following will be so excited about your new brand and eager to support you!