3 Surefire Ways to Make Your Personal Brand Come Alive

by Craig McBreen · 14 comments · Branding

3-Surefire-Ways-to-Make-Your-Personal-Brand-Come-AliveDying to share your expertise to the world?

Trying to turn something you love into a cash making enterprise?

Need Brand You to bust a move?

It’s no secret I think you need a great brand presence to bring in business. But today’s post is about the lone wolf /solopreneur trying to make more than a go of it.

You want to build up zee online presence and be the wise and trusted, but slightly wild wizard people seek out online.

Well, before I go any further, let’s look at a few things in your favor …

A. Small online communities flourish.
B. The gatekeepers are withering away, and …
C. We are exposed like never before (buck Naked for the world to see).

My glass half full demeanor says this is all good, but are you making it work?

Brand You, that is?

Before another thought enters your head, stop and think about those online who are …

Absofreakinlutely lighting it up.

Making a killing in the online jungle.

Dropping sweet, candied bombs of wisdom their audience just gobbles up.

The web is ablaze with their latest and greatest.

On fire.


You want to be muy caliente, sí?

Well, read on my friend …

Three Steps to Brand You Served up Just Right.

1. Expose Your Private Parts.

No, don’t take me literally and pull an Anthony Weiner on us, but a wee bit of exposure is kinda good.

Challenge #1:

Quick, think of three bloggers you’re crazy about (I would love to know about them in the comments below).

If your list is like mine, you have three writers very adept at displaying their war wounds and past ugly business for the world to see.

Taking their mutilated, soul-crushing, broken past (life experience) and turning it into good (valuable, inspiring, actionable advice). Content that is thoroughly entertaining AND helpful.


Why not use your past experiences to craft REAL copy? Tell the world about your big mistakes and the lessons you’ve learned. There is nothing wrong with showing the world your private parts (again … not in that way).

With some 2,589,071.5 blogs on this pale blue dot (I made that up), What do you have to lose?

I can’t answer that, but I will tell you bleeding a little helps, and it’s a win-win, because:

A. It’s therapeutic for you and …

B. You’re helping someone, somewhere. Yes. You. Are.

So, go ahead, do it. (Just don’t make shit up).

2. Don’t Fear Transparency.

Challenge #1 redux:

Again … think about three people who are making a go of this online thing and then some.

How do they do it?
They bring some kind of value, of course, but what is it that makes their brand stickier than fly tape, keeps you engaged, and helps them sell widgets?

I’ll give you 10 seconds …

Yes, helpful, actionable content based on real-world experience is obvious.

And yes, they bleed, at least a wee bit, but what else?

Could it be they are genuine? Honest? … Transparent?

Sho’ ’nuff.


You could dress like a mime in drag, tattoo every appendage, and put a giant gold hoop through your nose. Sure you could, but I’m guessing that’s not you.

In “To Sell is Human” Daniel Pink writes about information asymmetry … the old “buyer beware” world where the salesman knew more than the buyer. But today we are much closer to  “seller beware,” which he calls information parity.

In a nutshell, the old “secret” information is now there for all to see, and because of technology it’s getting easier to spot the fakes a mile away.

But this is good for you and your audience, because honesty prevails in the end.

Yep, the candid, honest to goodness, genuine, certifiable you. Just do you.

If you don’t believe me, go back to your list of 3.

3. Embrace Fear (If you don’t it will stop you dead).

Think about your first roller coaster ride and what it did to you (um, for you).

My son calls it “the feeling.”

Now think about something you’ve always wanted to do, but it gives you pause because you’re terrified of what might happen. (Gulp).

A wicked scary “thing” you’ve always wanted to do, from public speaking to wrestling bears (never mind, don’t do that) … but what else is scary?

Could it be Building Brand You?

Yes, that IS scary and it’s hard to get off the rocker of life to build a brand and promote the heck out of it.

I have a history of ALMOST doing things, until I crawled out of my dream dungeon kicked the shit out of worry, and got busy.

Building Brand You involves a lot of shit kicking.

Just realize jitters are what your soul needs.

I was just listening to James Altucher interview Lewis Howes. During the interview he talks about the initial terror of conducting a webinar … a very intimidating prospect for anyone.

But here’s a guy who knows how to push himself (and others) and break through the barrier of fear. But there’s the thing … You can too. In fact, learning to embrace “the feeling” is often the only way you’re really going to make it … and in the context of this post, making it means kicking your brand up a notch. BAM!

It’s time to dig in, plant your bright flag and start building something special. Expose yourself a little, but don’t be a phony. Give transparency a giant bear hug and feed your soul with jitters.

NOW is your time.

Interested in learning more about my branding and design process? Jump on over to my email list

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen Lahey February 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

Great post, Craig! You asked about the three bloggers that make my list. Well, you’re one of them – I always enjoy your posts. The other two that jump out for me are Bernadette Jiwa http://www.thestoryoftelling.com and Anthony Iannarino http://www.thesalesblog.com.
Stephen Lahey recently posted..Thomas Ellis on ‘How to Close More Sales, Today, Tomorrow and Forever’My Profile


Craig McBreen February 20, 2014 at 11:17 am

Well shucks, Stephen … thank you.

I need to go check out Bernadette right now.

Love Mr. Anthony Iannarino. The guy is always on point (plus he’s in my book ;))

Thanks for stopping in!


Keith Laskey February 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

You have me fired up once again Craig, thank you for that! My recent heavy influences have been James Altucher (is it 3:30 yet??), Jeff Goins and Andy Andrews. You read and listen to the work of these three and you might just start thinking you can fly!

I’m still struggling with exactly where to start. And what is my passion? This morning Goins put some things into perspective. Lack of commitment and fear is what is causing me to not get started. Those are the reasons I have not figured out my passion. The good news there though is it at least I have the control over where I go next.

Thanks again Craig.
Keith Laskey recently posted..Travelers Insurance Roadside Assistance Coverage (RDA)My Profile


Craig McBreen February 20, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Hi Keith,

That’s my goal, Sir!

Fear is what stops most people.

And I’ll be honest, since I eased up on big goals and trying to find passion … the better off I’ve been. Short-term goals and a good morning ritual has made all the difference.

I’ll sure you’ll get there :)


Maxwell Ivey February 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Hi Craig; I’m sure you helped a lot of people with this post. I have started doing videos which was a scary thing. i am still afraid of roller coasters which is funny because that’s what I sell. Your advice about sharing yourself with your readers came a little late for me. My friends have been encouraging me to share more about being blind and what challenges I face because of it. This week’s post has had great response mostly from people who either talked about my being an inspiration or who said my experience with the visual social network Pinterest has helped tim to understand how to use it. Thanks again for the post and take care, Max
Maxwell Ivey recently posted..A blind person’s experience with PinterestMy Profile


Craig McBreen February 20, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Hi Max,

I sure hope so, and I will have to check out your videos.

Roller coasters still scare the crap out of me too :)

I think it’s great what you’re doing and it will certainly be an inspiration to many … happy you’re getting such great responses too.

Thanks for coming by!


Maxwell Ivey February 21, 2014 at 5:05 am

Hi Craig; its always a pleasure. on the subject of thrill rides i have told people that i am afraid of them but if someone buys one from me i will travel to its new home and be the first to ride it there. so far no takers but i am working on a mad mouse coaster from the myrtle beach pavilion that has possibilities. The owners are wanting to sell cheap. smile I am just starting to accept my roll as someone who can inspire others, and will keep the value of this in mind when writing future posts and recording future podcasts. I will be looking forward to your opinion of my videos. I don’t have the funds to visit my clients or the local amusement industry attractions as I don’t have a driver and houston isn’t big on mass trans like new york atlanta or chicago. I am seeking a volunteer intern girl friend whatever to get out there. I’ve also encouraged more of my sellers to send me videos that i can work with from home. and i recently added a donate button to the site after fighting the idea in hopes that this may work. basically between future commissions, potential banner ads, offers to list affiliate products, the donate button, and appeals for volunteers; I’m hoping to go on location soon. thanks for your encouragement. Take care, Max
Maxwell Ivey recently posted..A blind person’s experience with PinterestMy Profile


Craig McBreen February 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

You, Sir are an inspiration. Love the “first to ride” idea and the name, “mad mouse” ;)

Also, whether it’s video, podcasting, blogging, whatever … people are always looking for inspiration (no matter what your core subject matter) so I say run with it :)


Maxwell Ivey February 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm

hi craig; well i really shouldn’t have to be learning this lesson. I know i have always loved a good story, and my dad showed me over the years how much more effective a good yarn can be than a great argument. so i have come around to the other side on this. I am an inspiration and am going to use that as much as possible to generate traffic and bring in sales of my core products and services. and if along the way people want me to give a talk or write an article or just show up and remind people they can do big things too then I’ll do that as well. thanks for the encouragement. you going to go with me and hold my hand? that coaster doesn’t go upside down but it is over 85 feet tall at its highest point. take care, max
Maxwell Ivey recently posted..A blind person’s experience with PinterestMy Profile

Craig McBreen February 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

Going upside down doesn’t bother me. The big drops are always the worst ;) Sure feels good afterwards though ;)

Mike Baglieri February 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Great article – really enjoyed it… Having a hard time finding a third blog to emulate… Any suggestions for the restaurant industry?



Craig McBreen February 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Hi Mike,

That’s one industry I don’t work in (would love to though)…

This food truck comes to mind http://marinationmobile.com/

Different subject matter, but I like this:

Thanks for stopping by!


Kristen Luciani July 7, 2014 at 6:18 am

Such a great article! I’m always interested in reading tips on building a successful and sustainable blog. It’s a great way to build and reinforce a brand…IF you do it properly. Sometimes it’s hard to drag myself from my WIP to blog but it’s the best way for readers to get to know me right now!
Kristen Luciani recently posted..Desperately Channeling My Inner ChiMy Profile


Craig McBreen July 8, 2014 at 7:19 am

Hi Kristen,

Thank you! To me, the big one is Fear. Getting past that is a huge part of building a brand. Thanks for stopping in, Kristen.
Craig McBreen recently posted..How Do You Become a Successful Blogger? (4 Answers that Might Surprise You).My Profile


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