The age of personal branding

The formal CV or resume has been replaced by this amazing new ‘Auto CV generator‘. Which is the final confirmation that we have now entered the age of personal branding. And this can be good news or bad news depending on your world view.

It’s great news for people who like to do a little more than the average person.

It’s terrible news for the average person.

So if you haven’t worked it out you, the world view of you and me is our digital footprint. Which so happens to be arbitrated by Google these days. The good thing is that we can take control of our digital footprint with a little bit of effort. The great thing is that the effort required to develop a reputable digital footprint is simpler than the old way. The old way was battling in the career world to build a reasonable CV, a CV which was very much decided by a variety of gate keepers. We can in a digital world invent specific credentials regardless of what our formal qualifications are, or our work experience is. No one can stop us. We can self publish our way to what ever reputation we desire. We can do this because the gatekeepers of yesteryear have all left the building. Gate keepers like university admissions personnel, and HR managers who kept us out of that career or industry we so desperately wanted to get into.

There are many ways to build your personal brand. But here’s a few rules I set for myself:

Own your .com address: Mine is here. If we have our own .com and some relevant content feeding to and from it it will be the first organic search result for your name in Google. This is what we want – control.

Self publish in your area of interest: Mine is right here, you’re reading it. This blog is the second organic Google result under my name.

Choose a traffic directing tool: My preferred one is twitter. It’s where I find like minds and have discussions on the stuff that matters to me.

Link all your digital bits: You’ll see my .com and my blog and my twitter all feed into each other. This is what helps the Google juice choose your footprint over other search results.

Use them: Setting them up, is not the same as populating them. If you publish regularly, then you will decide what the world sees when they search you.

What we don’t want is our facebook page to be first thing people land upon when they find us on-line, and not even our linked in for that matter. It should be our content. Here’s my favourite recent example of Personal BrandingNed – his home page totally rocks and says so much about him and what he is capable of. Make sure you click on his eyes!

This stuff matters more than anything else when it comes to entrepreneurial endeavours,  job security, pursuing life goals and our financial position. Because it is the first place people look to now when they are getting their first impression of someone. It is a asset, and an asset that we can choose to own, or let someone else own on our behalf. I know which one I prefer.



    1. Hey Geoff,

      Yep – good point that needs further clarification.

      If we post in our area of interest, then we are both proving what we know, and improving what we know. Consistently publishing what we think does both of these things by stealth. The publishing becomes the study in some ways.


  1. Thanks Sam! Exactly what you said that AMI event a while ago. What if your name is not very easy to pronounce or remember? Wishing I had a nice, easy memorable name…

    1. Well, my friend who is in the post has used the – and in addition it is more for people who already know you, so they should know how to spell it, more than say it given they have to type to search you… Either way, develop an ownable footprint.

      PS – it’s ‘Steve’

      1. Ha. Good clarification on how it is typically for people who know you and how to spell your name — followed by a ‘personal’ example…

        But genuinely, thank you for another good post on personal branding. Enjoy reading many of your posts, but you do a particularly great job with personal branding. Thank you for your insight.

  2. This is all very true. However no matter how average or over average you may be, google will always betray those (like me) who share a celebrity name. Christopher Hewett – who’s he you say. His most famous roles were a Roger Dupree in the original movie version of The Producers, and as Lynn Belvedere in the 80s sitcom Mr.Belvedere. Now when you search his (or my name) in google, aside from the many first page results he hogs, there is also the awkward suggested searches “Christopher Hewett is gay” and “Christopher Hewett sat on his balls”. I’ve switched my online moniker to ChristophHewett and am wondering how far I have to go distance myself from his presence.

  3. Agree that Ned’s new site is awesome and seems to reflect this personal brand (see his twitter icon).

    Definitely agree that the key is regular content. What is amazing is once you commit to regular content, then after a relatively short time you can look back and be amazed at what you have accomplished plus you now have a whole body of content.

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