How to Brand Yourself

Red Parasol

In my last article, I talked about how you are a brand so you should act like one.

Starting today you are a brand.

How to brand yourself

1. Ask yourself what is it that your product or service does that makes you different. In 15 words or less. Take the time to write them down, and then take the time to read it again. Go on. Stop reading this. Start writing.

Here’s what I came up with:

I identify and build things that help people kick ass.

I started by writing down qualities and characteristics that distinguish me from others within my world. That phrase is important… “within [your] world”. You don’t have to rebel against the world. You just have to be different from the people within your sphere. Be compelling. What’s your most noteworthy trait? Ask other people. I did, but I asked them twice.

Think of the big brands now. Every company works on a “feature-benefit” model. Each feature in their product or service has a distinct benefit to the customer. What distinct “feature” do you have and how does it benefit the people around you? What do you do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinctive value? What do you do that you are most proud of? What can you brag about?

Last question. What do you want to be famous for?

I created the first keyword-filtered RSS feed, which gave the world a faster way to receive timely information critical to their success (aka “kicking ass”).

I want to be famous for making people’s lives better (in many areas).

2. You must make yourself visible. Without visibility, you can’t be distinct. Sign up for extra projects (if you’re a developer, that means open source stuff). Teach a class at a community college, contribute to a local or professional column as a writer, get on panels at conferences, make a presentation at a workshop. Pay attention to and help your colleagues all the time.

3. Understand that influence is the economy. Look at Seth Godin. That man has more influence on people’s lives than we probably know. His blog posts, books, speaking engagements and more have been the start of generations of innovators. He spreads ideas like wildfire. He has branded himself.

Your new economy, how rich you are, is dependent on how many people you are able to influence. You can track that by your readership, number of people who attend your panels, workshops, and classes, times you’ve been quoted, etc. Track it, love it, increase it.

Credits: Much of this article has been sampled from Tom Peters brilliant article on Brand You. Photo credit goes to Compound Eye

Do you have tips or tricks to branding yourself? What has been successful for you? Please, share them in the comments of this post.

[tags]personal branding, howto, diy[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

2 Comments on "How to Brand Yourself"

  1. Dan Schawbel says:

    It’s all about your total perceived value in the eyes of your audience.

  2. Tom says:

    Initial thoughts on a brand …
    I excel and developing systems into excellent and efficient machines …
    I need to give it some more thoughts.
    I love the concept of personal branding. I started using a website called to create a professional profile = branding myself. It has helped to tell the world of professional and personal experiences.
    Thanks for the thoughts.

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