A common question that arises from our clients is regarding which path is best for greater success. The answer is really quite simple; you should do both forever, in perpetuity, until the fat lady sings, until the cows come home. Now take that with a grain of salt because in reality there is a point where you could stop promoting others’ brands – but that only comes when you have no more resources (like TIME) to dedicate elsewhere – or rather when there is substantially greater gains to be had by only pushing your own products (usually after wild success).... but first things first.
The best recommendation is to continue to push both, at the same time! There is great value in being aligned and associated with other brands because they aren’t YOU! No matter how similar, partner brands have different followers, different engagement styles and value, and you can absolutely benefit from being associated with them.
We get it, your personal brand is important to you, and you may even have a great deal of self-confidence about how you built it, what you already do to maintain it, and how valuable it is.
However the logical mind argues that you might have considerable things to gain from being associated with a more varied audience and their expanded sphere of influence.
Once you have your own brand of products prepared and available on the open market, having it actually increases your value to prospective collaborators. You might even be able to ask more for your sponsorship services. The more you have associated with your name/face/brand/personality - the more value you have to offer. Similarly, it gives you another tool with which to leverage in continuing to grow your presence.
Once you launch your line, you now occupy both sides of the coin: the paid influencer promoting other products, but also the brand benefiting from an interconnected web of affiliates and collaborations. Consider it akin to ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ marketing vehicles.
Build your own product line and multiply the methods by which you can grow your presence and get paid. In this instance one hand washes the other. Focusing entirely on one strategy forgoes incredible added worth and growth opportunity for doing virtually the same amount of work.