I’m With The Brand Part 5: The Masters of Personal Branding

Tim Ferriss, Personal Branding at its best.

We’ve talked about the concept of Personal Branding, finding your Personal Brand, developing your Personal Brand, and the things to avoid when it comes to Personal Branding. In this post, I’ll point you in the directions of Personal Branding experts. Some of these guys were working on Personal Branding before anyone had a name for it.

Dan Shawbel wrote what some consider the Bible of Personal Branding, Me 2.0. It’s a fast read full of good information. Dan has created a business around Personal Branding. His success speaks for itself.

William Arruda is another professional Personal Branding guru. His book, Career Distinction focuses on how Personal Branding can improve your career and your career prospects.

Timothy Ferriss is another master of Personal Branding. He doesn’t advertise himself as such. Instead, he’s known as a best-selling author, champion kick-boxer, fitness guru, and chef.  Yeah, he gets around. And yet, he still manages to maintain a consistent high quality Personal Brand. He does this by being a source of good information and a champion of unknown experts. Tim Ferriss spends just as much time talking up people he looks up to as he does talking about himself. His first book, The 4-Hour Work Week changed the way I look at work. His second book, The 4-Hour Body changed the way I look at fitness. His next book The 4-Hour Chef will doubtlessly change the way I look at cooking. (Notice how he brands his book with the ‘4-Hour’ thing? That’s not an accident.)  What do these have to do with Personal Branding? The information in Tim’s books aren’t specifically geared towards Personal Branding. This is true, but using many of the ideas and techniques in his book, you’ll find that you increase your Personal Brand.

As Personal Branding gets more mainstream, there will inevitably be more books and articles about it (like this one). The most important thing to remember is that you are creating your personal brand whether you’re doing it purposely or not. You’re doing it by having a Facebook page. You’re doing it with Twitter and FourSquare. You might as well take control of it.

–          Jack Cameron

I’m With The Brand Part 4: Your Boss, Your Mom, Or A Cop

I spend a lot of time online. So I suppose it’s not entirely surprising that I see people make Personal Branding mistakes every day. Many of these people would be quick to point out that they aren’t interested in Personal Branding and that they’re simply sharing their lives online with friends and relatives. That may very well be true. It doesn’t change the fact that some things shouldn’t be shared online. Ever.

A common piece of dating advice is that you not talk about your ex. There are reasons for this. Some will say that it’s because they’ll think you’re still hung up on your ex. I say it’s because they are picturing you talking about them after the relationship. No woman likes it when you call another woman a bitch. And yet, if you go to any random Facebook, you will see people trashing their exes or having actual online fights with someone they’re dating.

Another common mistake is trashing your place of employment. Sure, you might work with a bunch of people who make brain damaged monkeys look like the control room at NASA.  You might be the only one there who isn’t on drugs. Or maybe just the job itself sucks. We’ve all had the shitty job with the stupid coworkers. Some of us have had that job for years. Complaining about it online may be cathartic, but it’s not going to help you get your next job that’s not as shitty.

Yes, it’s cathartic to just go off on a rant about all of the ways you’ve been wronged both personally and professionally. It feels good to get some of that off your chest. But trashing other people is never the way to get past them in the long run.

This does not mean you shouldn’t share your bad day with the world. There are ways to do it that aren’t going to hurt your future relationships or jobs. All you have to do is use this rule of thumb: Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t say to your boss, your mom, or a cop.

If someone is being a moron at work and making your job difficult, it’s better to say, “Managed to make some progress on the project despite challenging obstacles.”  Really, when it comes down to it, Personal Branding is just good personal public relations. What you’re trying to do is say what you want to say without causing any unintended problems.

It’s fine to have an opinion. It’s fine to be angry. Just be sure that you’re in control of that anger and use it wisely. Count to ten. Then figure out the most creative way to say what you want to say.

This is the fourth part of my Personal Branding series. If you’ve come this far, you’ll want to read tomorrow’s fifth and final post where I point you in the direction of the Personal Branding geniuses. I know quite a bit about Personal Branding but it’s all due to reading and watching these guys. See you tomorrow.

–          Jack Cameron

I’m With The Brand Part 3: Creating Your Personal Brand

Odds are that there is something you do better than most other people. Or maybe there’s just something you love to do. Whatever the case, this is what you need to center your brand around. When it comes to Personal Branding, there’s a school of thought that you should find a particular niche and become recognized as an expert at it. That’s not a bad way to do it but I don’t entirely agree with that. If you were an expert in doorknob manufacturing, I’d be willing to bet that’s not all you ever want to talk about. You probably have a favorite restaurant. You probably have an opinion on the White House, even if it’s on what doorknobs they use. My point here is that real people aren’t niches. Real people have a variety of interests and it’s okay to talk about those.

You do not need a niche. You do need a center. If you’re a musician, then it’s your music. If you’re a writer, then it’s your writing. You want your Personal Brand to not just be about you but also about what you love. From there, you can branch out to whatever it is you want to do.

The key component here is consistency. If someone comes upon a page you created online, it should be easily recognized as one of your pages. There are a number of ways to do this. One of the simplest ways to start is by having your photo be the same photo regardless of what site you’re on. This makes it so if someone stumbles upon your twitter account and they already know you on Facebook, there’s no question that yes, this is the same person.

If you’re more into graphic design than I am, you can also help establish your brand by using similar color schemes. This is more difficult on some social networking sites where their company colors tend to be on your page.

When it comes to actual content, quality is much more important than quantity. If you have nothing to say, don’t force it. And if you write something and it isn’t up to your standards, leave it as a draft. Maybe you can rewrite it later.

Finding what you want your brand to be isn’t easy. Tomorrow we’ll talk about common mistakes and what not to do when you post things online. And then, finally, we’ll bring in the experts and I’ll show you some of the gurus of Personal Branding who’ve turned it into an art form.

–          Jack Cameron

I’m With The Brand Part 2: Identify Your Personal Brand

Before you start working on your Personal Brand, you need to find what is already out there. Googling yourself isn’t just for narcissists. Have people written about you? Are you a feature on dontdatehimgirl.com? Is someone with your name a serial rapist in five counties? What embarrassing photos, comments, or blog posts can be found and attributed to you? It’s best that you learn the answers to these questions before someone else does.

Set up a Google Alert for your name. See what comes up over the course of a couple of weeks. For those who don’t know, a Google Alert sends you an email of new search results for a specific search. If you have a common name, you might want to put your name and the city you live in into the Google Alert.

You should also do searches with Bing and Yahoo and other search engines just to see if anything different comes up, but Google is where you want to focus most of your energy because that’s what most people use.

It may be that you have a name that is too common. Or it may be that someone else with your name has already done a fine job of creating a Personal Brand. If this is the case, you need to find a way to make your name unique. For example, the name on my birth certificate isn’t ‘Jack Cameron’. It’s ‘John Cameron’. When I checked a few years ago, I was able to find six John Camerons in my hometown of Tacoma alone, including my own father. JohnCameron.com was already taken by a Canadian singer. There’s a John Cameron in Hollywood who frequently works with the Coen Brothers. From a Personal Branding perspective, John Cameron was a terrible name.

However, Jack Cameron had less clutter. Oh there are plenty of Jack Camerons out there. The Cameron Clan has had no problem breeding and we’re not all that imaginative when it comes to names. But when I started online, there was a distinct lack of Jack Camerons with a significant web presence.

Once you’ve found the name you want to use for your Personal Brand, it’s time to claim it. Purchase the domain of your name. You may even want to purchase the variations such as .net, .org and the like. However, this is a lot like Google in that if you get .com, the rest doesn’t really matter. Yourname.com is what people are going to go to first.

Go to http://namechk.com/ . Type in your Personal Brand name. How many of those are available? You don’t have to take them all, but it’s good if you can at least get Facebook, Twitter and other massively popular social networking sites. Many of these you’re going to want to log in and register simply so no one else can. You don’t necessarily have to use every one of them. You just want to attempt to avoid any branding problems in the future.

Inevitably, there will be some sites where your Personal Brand name is already taken. That’s okay. Just add one word. That word should be the one thing you want others to know about you. If you don’t know what that is yet, that’s okay. That’s what Monday’s article is all about.  Now that you’ve established what your Personal Brand is called, it’s time to work on what your Personal Brand is. This is the most important part of Personal Branding and it takes the most work. In the meantime, you can find me at:





– Jack Cameron

I’m With The Brand Part 1: What Is Personal Branding?

I want to take a few days and talk about Personal Branding. I am not an expert on the subject and if you’re already fairly knowledgeable about Personal Branding, you probably won’t learn anything new. If you’re someone who doesn’t know what Personal Branding is or just someone who plays around online a lot, then this information could be incredibly useful to you.

You don’t have to be selling something to have a personal brand. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you have a personal brand. Your personal brand is what you tell the world about yourself online and offline. It’s you’re reputation. You’re creating it every day whether you mean to or not. Personal Branding is taking control of your personal brand and making sure that you project what you want people to know and eliminating the things you don’t.

Before we go much further, please take a look at the image below.


Every now and then you’ll hear people freaking out about online privacy. The simple truth is this: If it’s online, it’s not private. You can play with your privacy settings all you want. And it is good to check them from time to time.  However, if you’ve gone to the trouble of posting it online, someone has probably bothered to read it. If they can read it, they can link it or copy it and send it on to others.

Once people actually accept this, the natural reaction is to not post anything at all. I mean when you think that every little comment you make might be read by your boss, your next potential employer, your boyfriend, your girlfriend your mom, or stalker you might get a little shy about posting anything that might tell others where you live, what you’re doing, where you like to go or any of the other fun things you’ve been posting about. While this reaction is perfectly understandable, it’s not very useful.

No matter what you do, people who might employ you or sleep with you are going to Google you. They are going to look for you on Facebook. They are going to find what they can find from the comfort of their computer and smartphone. Welcome to the 21st Century. Now rather than trying to hide or being afraid of what they might find, why not give them exactly what you want them to find? This is the digital equivalent of showering and putting on good clothes.

Now that you’ve got an idea of what Personal Branding is. Tomorrow we’ll talk about how you get started taking control of your Personal Brand.