Personal Branding

September 25, 2019

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called you.

Why is personal branding important?

Whether we are aware, or not aware, everyone is a brand and others will judge us on our reputation. Whenever we praise or criticize our parents we are acknowledging his or her brand, “My mother was a hard worker…”, “My Father knew a lot about machines…” or “He is a liar…”. Personal branding is important because it’s how others view and perceive us.

Cynthia Spraggs is Mentor, client and friend – her personal brand is strong – leading a team of other outstanding individuals with her company sales beacon The future is friendlier with salesbeacon

Today, personal branding has become more complicated than before because we have two types of reputations, a tangible brand that involves those who have had personal experiences dealing with us and intangible which deals mainly with how we show up online. Forbes has written articles on personal branding dealing with the tangible reputation while there are countless of branding companies dealing and helping with personal branding online.

I had a headshot session with a customer, I won’t mention his name, “John Doe” was a redhead and 22 yrs old, he was an executive for his Father’s company and lived in West Vancouver. Another person in his early twenties with the same name and red hair was convicted of sexual abuse towards minors. My customer, “John Doe” from Vancouver needed a headshot so people googling his name would know that he wasn’t the same person. I helped him open up a few social media sites all with his name and address so anybody googling his name may easily realize that “John Doe” in West Vancouver was not “Joe Doe” the sexual abuser in Calgary. Hopefully, we won’t have the same problem but it’s important to take control of one’s brand online.

What do you do so your tangible brand and intangible brand is perceived as you desire?

Strategies for Personal Branding

How are you fairing as a personal brand? What can you do about your brand in a career or personal life? We may not be able to see it, but others do!

During my first few years with Art of Headshots, I would often ask business professionals in a room where I was invited to be a guest speaker the following questions;

“Who, here has invested in a branding headshots?”, in a room of about 30 people we might see about 5 to 7 hesitant hands. My next question would state the obvious “Have researched somebody on google through your smartphone, iPad or desktop in the last week? For business or personal reasons? And if so please stand up, don’t be shy”, over 90 percent of the room would stand up giggling. “Alright, is it fair for me to say that if you are all googling others! Then, somebody is also searching for you – online. How do you show up on google’s search?”. Do the same, google yourself and decide if you are happy with the results?

The website has established that we will be researched online for every stage of our lives. Seventy-five percent of hiring managers screen job applicants online, sixty-five percent of people look up freelancers online ( I wonder if this is a little outdated, personally its ninety-five percent for me, I read reviews before hiring anyone ) and eighty-five percent of businesspeople look up the CEO and about us page.

Your personal brand in business has a tangible and intangible perception. The tangible perception deals with those who have personally experienced you, your personal brand and intangible would be how they find you -online.

How to improve tangible Brands

Forbes recommends the following ten ways for improving your personal brand.

1 Tell a story, “The most effective personal branding strategy these days is to build a narrative – single character monologues are boring in Tinseltown, and even more boring for your personal brand”, Allen Gannett.

2. Be consistent, “Ensure that your personal brand promise stays consistent, both online and offline”, Fyiona Yong.

3. Be ready to Fail, “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot from that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you”. Walt Disney

4. Be Genuine, “People can see right through a disingenuous act”, Monica Lin.

5. Have a focus, “Too many people are unfocused when it comes to press and coverage, trying to be everything to everyone”, Cooper Harris.

6. Create a positive Impact, “My quick tip on personal branding is to remember you are your brand, no matter what your current job is, what project you happen to be working on at any one time or whatever the priority happens to be today… always keep in mind the impact you leave on others and remember all we have is our own reputation and that’s our brand, so be awesome to each other!”, Jacob Shwartz.

7. Follow a successful example, “People interested in personal branding need to start marketing themselves like the celebrities and influential people that they look up to every day”, Jason Wong.

8. Live your brand, “Your personal brand should follow you everywhere you go. It needs to be an authentic manifestation of who you are and amplify what you believe.” Tim Salau

9. Let other people tell your story, “Personal branding is the story people tell about you when you’re not in the room.” Jessie Maltin

10. Leave a Legacy, “Building a personal brand is much bigger than building a business. The only exit strategy is legacy”, Blake Jamieson

It can be a mythical task, but if you have a path, tell your story and be consistent. As you grow on your journey, one will hit walls and it’s okay, be ready to fail, fail forward. Nothing attracts others more than a genuine human being, a focused person creating a positive impact on our World. Follow a successful example, live your brand so other people can tell your story and it will be your legacy.

How to improve intangible Brands

Here are a few things one can do to control how people find you online. Subscribe to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter amongst all social media sites

  1. Subscribe to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, amongst other sites
  2. Get a branding headshot
  3. Communicate well
  4. Write accurate bio for your sites ( social Media )
  5. Ask your fans to review you
  6. Contribute online in the areas that interest’s you
  7. Sync all your social profiles and websites
  8. Connect with others
  9. Be credible
  10. Be active

Subscribe to all the social media site’s so you will show up first for a query for your name with your branding headshot. Communicate well with an accurate bio for all social media and sites, if in business ask your fan’s for reviews so others can understand your brand. Be credible and active to improve the optimization of your content.

An afterthought

Since I wrote this article a week ago as of today, September 25th, 2019, I have concluded that I can not agree with everything written by Forbes regarding personal branding because one can be a strong brand as a villain or hero and still have a powerful brand, its unfortunate but true. We should all strive for being a brand that helps the World however, personal branding does not differentiate hero or foe. ie for some a glass of Coca Cola is the greatest drink in the World, while others believe it to be poison and the same point of view applies to McDonald’s.

The most recognized self-branding identity today would be Donald Trump dividing America with views of him. Some believe that his moral values are not synchronized to the American standards or that he is hurting the planet, while others revere him as the Man to make America Great Again. No logic or argument can change the opinion of his fans or anti-fans, nonetheless, his infamy or famous brand is the strongest self-brand today. Whether you love him or loathe Trump he is being discussed in every corner of the Planet.


Whether we want it or not – we are a brand. We can let others chose how they perceive us or we can strive to be our best and show up impeccably virtually or face to face. Chose wisely and be genuine.

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