Business Or Personal Brand, Can They Work Together?

Gordon Fong
Co-hosted by Datacenta
3 min readMar 14, 2023

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Maintaining a balance between the businesses we build and the personal brands we create can result in opportunities that start with the effort you put in.

Whilst it’s not a direct reflection of me and my businesses, this blog piece called “I wish I never built a personal brand.” is an interesting read, especially for those starting off and thinking about building your services around your name.

Gordon Fong wearing a hard hat

My business head wears many hats, so individual brands such as e-mango and Datacenta Hosting, along with X-Net, even have further brands associated such as X-Net Chambers and X-Net II. Oh, and there is the general limited company of Kimcell itself! I feel like the Greek mythical beast of the Lernaean Hydra.

In my personal life, my social media profiles are just as complicated as I exist as me, my karate club, a Southbourne-focused account and one that tried to cover the neighbouring wards as well.

I used to think talking about “Personal Branding” was in a self conceited, ‘look at me’ sort of way. Then I started to see the fuller picture.

My view of my personal brand is that of being a good host. Inviting, friendly, love to share, to listen, to signpost others and to connect people. That’s what I do in all aspects of life, professional or personal.

Social media can help accentuate those qualities, but those qualities must be innate. It can turn into a virtuous circle as once people know you for them, it’s easier to improve on those aspects and roles.

Whilst you can curate your social media output, into beautiful Instagram grids or AI-generated stream of pontifications for example, I don’t believe you can be styled by a consultant if you can’t pull it off. Like with fashion.

It’s about sharing the spotlight, online and in real life, so others can see what you are doing, but also the context of where and the businesses involved. It’s fine that they get equal billing or even the main stage. This opens doors.

I am a business owner and I do use my airtime to mention my businesses at the right time. I have that responsibility to the team, in return for spending time playing with Lego at a local event for example. That was about being part of the bigger picture and my business playing a role.

Lego model used as a metaphor for Convivial Corners

I recently produced a video highlighting new job opportunities that had opened up at our data centre facility at the Dorset Innovation Park. I was proud of that. It broached the topic of making our recruitment process more accessible and being open about disabilities in the workplace. It had a lot of views and shares.

The Bournemouth Echo asked to produce an article on the topic. I gently nudged them to make it about the pilot project and the group of businesses that signed up for it. That’s a good host does, right?

Gordon Fong stood outside Datacenta Hosting recording a video on disability confident recruitment.

If I didn’t have a personal brand, or any personality, then I would be pushing website audits and in a sales and marketing mode, all the time. I was doing that in the earlier 2000s. I can now say that I’ve grown up.

Be authentic, be consistent they say. Being consistent does take effort, but it is also fun.

When you get the balance right your business brand can work side by side with your personal brand. It just depends on the values you have, the will to keep going and knowing that conversations can be sparked.

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Gordon Fong
Co-hosted by Datacenta

Lives in Southbourne, business locations in Bournemouth and Winfrith. Web, hosting and consultancy.