The Art Of Personal Branding

A How To – Personal Branding Is A Fine Art

28905-poster-10-toc-posterWarning, it will take you close to 500 words to actually get to my main point about the art of personal branding and a great example of How To. So, if you want, skip ahead. However, if you need a bit of branding history, don’t scroll yet.

A Definition

Today, everyone (well, OK, not everyone, but it sure seems like everyone) from high school students developing their college resumes to job seekers to ad agency owners like you to consultants like me, use personal branding to create their very own brand. What is a personal brand? A definition from our friends at Wikipedia…

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging. The term is thought to have been first used and discussed in a 1997 article by Tom Peters.

Do you know Tom Peters? I bet many of you don’t. Back in the 90’s Tom was a major marketing influencer and as you can see from this 1997 Fast Company article, “The Brand Called You. Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here’s what it takes to be the CEO of Me Inc.”, he laid it all out. FYI: 1997 was twenty years ago. Side note, I kinda laughed when I read how Tom boldly referred to himself at the close of the article…

“Tom Peters ( is the world’s leading brand when it comes to writing, speaking, or thinking about the new economy. He has just released a CD-ROM, “Tom Peters’ Career Survival Guide.”

Tom states (Tom!)…. Tom Peters ( is the world’s leading brand…” Cool. You know, most people don’t really have time to figure you out so go ahead and tell them that you are the guru. It works. Here is what I say (I say!) on my (as in this) website: I Am The Most Experienced Business Development Consultant.” It works (and it is true.) There…. I just personal branded. Back in the day, I studied Tom peters, read his books and watched his presentations. Look him up, you’ll see what I mean.

Oh, just in case you don’t remember 1997, note in the statment that Tom had an AOL email address and created CD-ROM’s.

Back To Personal Branding – Actually, The Art Of Personal Branding

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 8.25.25 AMI will not get too deep into the concept of how to do the nuts & bolts of personal branding because there is a very good chance that you do that and Google will return 11 million results on the subject. Plus, you probably already use one or more of the following tools to get your brand out there. Or, should.

  • A blog (if you know how to use keywords, have something to add to the conversation and write decent English)
  • LinkedIn (your profile, groups, and publishing)
  • Facebook (your profile and advertising)
  • Instagram (image marketing)
  • Twitter (yes, it still works)
  • Snapchat (people won’t remember your inanity)
  • Pinterest (amazing what people search on)
  • Medium (borrowed reach)
  • Slideshare (an underused platform)
  • Commenting (presence)
  • Guest posting (seriously borrowed reach)
  • Recommendations and referrals (ask for them)
  • Awards (third party endorsement)
  • Buffer (efficiency)
  • Buzzsumo (more efficiency)
  • Word of mouth (yup, that old thing works too)

Margo: The Art Of Her Branding Is In The Execution – Not Just The Tools

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 9.00.10 AMAll of these tools are nice. But, as is always the case, the devil is in the details. Here are the details of a personal brand I found (actually it found me) yesterday.

I have some bad habits. Instead of waking up and immediately studying Spanish (I now live in Mexico), I turn on my iPad and read my business email. So there I am in my bed (too much info?) with my iPad and I see an email from Medium that points me to… “How The Best Marketers Read Minds. How to hear the unspoken stories your customers tell themselves.” I read it. It’s an excellent take on marketing and messaging. It is very current. You should read it.

I then go, “Huh, who wrote this?” I click on Margo Aaron’s byline, I see this: “I write about the dubious underbelly of marketing and other lighthearted topics at” I like the name of the website. I like the idea of reading about the “dubious underbelly.” I like Margo’s attitude.

I then go to Margo’s That Seems Important website. I find the following:

She points out that she is a ginger and is cute (my interpretation.) Just to be clear, I would have also thought that if it had been a cute guy like Domhnall Gleeson.

She has a sense of humor: The top of the home page visual says, They say if I have a photo here it will increase my conversion rates.” Take that SEO / SEM folks.

She asks me to join her email list via this, “Please join this list so it’s not just my mom.” More humor.

I go to the About page and read her bio. Nice track.

Then I take her up on this… “If you’d like to “pick my brain” you can do so here.” Of course, I go. “Pick my brain” kinda reminds me of my Corleone Offer.

I arrive at a Clarity page where I can buy her time for $4.17 / minute. I see a couple of reviews like this…

Margo is a rock star. I gained more insights from a one-hour conversation with her than I would have in weeks of fumbling around with the marketing for my coaching service.

She has a rare acumen for asking the right questions to understand you and your offer and then translating that into a captivating marketing strategy.

The value I received from the call far exceeds her rate. If she’s amenable to helping you, don’t hesitate to work with her.

I think, sure I’ll call her.

My Point? Margo Seriously Branded Herself.


Marketing  – Margo introduced me to her via a broad reach vehicle – Medium. Somehow she got Medium to get her into my email.

Persona – Her branding delivered a smart, funny persona. Not a me-to list of attributes. She is likeable.

Smart  – She writes very well on subject that should be of interest to you.

Sales funnel – She funneled me to her bio.

Sold  – She further funneled me to her advice site.

Margot did all of this in a way I call – Unignorable.


ask_garyvee_template_Podcast_copy-1You can do this too. This is particularly important if you run an ad agency. Here’s an example…

Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary has done a masterful job of self-branding. I am sure you know his story. From wine shop to YouTube star to building the fastest growing ad agency in the universe (Gary’s words thought.)

His secret… He used marketing; a unique compelling persona; he’s smart and makes damn sure you know it; he funnels you into his books and speeches and if you are a client, into his agency. He is not timid. He has sold you. His brand sold you.

Does your brand sell your agency?



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