Trends #0023 — Personal Brands

What do they say when you leave the room?

🔍 Problem

You have a brand. Whether you know it or not.

💡 Solution

Your personal brand describes how you are perceived.

Are you seen as an expert? Entertaining? Hard to work with? Friendly? Always late?

A good personal brand gives you pricing power and opportunities. A bad brand? Well…

🏁 Players

Personal Brands

🔮 Predictions

  • Billion-dollar companies will come from personal brand extensions. Kylie Cosmetics is valued at $1 billion with 12 employees. How? A white-label service called SEED Beauty.
  • The best brand strategists will create virtual influencers. See Lil Miquela with 2+ million followers, Baby Elis and Colonel Sanders from KFC.

☁️ Opportunities

  • Know your goal. Why are you building a brand?
  • Use your brand to raise money, get deal flow, lead effectively, recruit, sell and get introductions.
  • Do a brand audit. Look yourself up. Are you satisfied?
  • Show your work. Nothing to show? Document your learning process. Shane Parrish built an empire with this strategy.
  • Find your medium. Do you like to write, speak or present? One-to-many publishing leads to inbound opportunities.
  • Get repeated exposure. You see a brand 6-7 times before you recognize it.
  • Ask yourself:
    • What’s my story?
    • Who do I look up to?
    • What’s unique about me?
    • Who’s my target audience?
    • Who’s not my target audience?
    • What do I want to be known for?
    • How would my friends describe me?
    • Who does my target audience follow?
    • What do I believe that most people don’t?
  • Build brand extensions. Brian Dean has SEO courses. Pat Flynn has the SwitchPod. Tim Ferriss has 5-Bullet Friday. Avoid extensions like Colgate lasagna. Learn from Tony Hawk.
  • Use social proof. Went to Harvard? Ex-Google? A Thiel Fellow? YC Alum? We judge books by their covers. Show off.

😠 Haters

“Being good should be good enough.”
It should be. But it’s not. Power (and personal brands) stem from perception. Sometimes perception matches reality. Sometimes it doesn’t. Ask those who suffer from negative stereotypes.

🔗 Links

  1. How to Start a Personal Brand that Matters • Be vulnerable and share stories.
  2. AI, Synthetic Media, and the Rise of Virtual Influencers • The founder of AletheaAI, a synthetic media marketplace, knows his stuff.
  3. Brand Archetypes: The Definitive Guide [36 Examples] • Which archetype do you connect with?
  4. A Case Study of Top Personal Brands and Why They Work • Be credible, consistent, transparent and generous. Have a distinctive voice and message.
  5. Don’t Build a Brand in a Narrow Vertical • The top VC firms are generalists.





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