More on Personal Branding

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact. 

As you know, creating a personal brand is the first step in developing positive personal impact.  I got some very interesting questions to the post where I offered a free copy of Career Distinction, by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson.  Career Distinction is the best personal branding book I have ever read.  William sent me 10 copies, and I offered them to readers of this blog.  I have two left.  E mail me with your e mail and snail mail address if you want one of them.

When I made the offer, I told people that I would answer their questions about personal branding.  Here are three questions that are representative of what people asked – any my answers.

Question 1 – from Wendii Lord

Hi Bud:
My question is how do I develop a brand which will get me a serious grown up job without losing my youthful, happy, fun to be with nature?
Thank you,
Wendii Lord

I think you should look for a job where your youthful, happy, fun to be with nature shines through.  You have done a pretty good job of starting to extract the underlying nature of your brand – youthful, happy, fun.  Once you get the book, read what William and Kirsten have to say about the extract phase.  Sharpen up your brand, and then use their advice to figure out how to express and exude your brand. 
The trick in my book, is to figure out your brand – based on who you are – then go looking for work that is congruent with your brand; not the other way around.  You don’t want to decide on a job and then try to develop a brand that will fit that job.  If you do this, you’ll only make yourself unhappy, as you’ll be trying to be someone who you’re not.
All the best,

Ah hah!  Did you feel that… it was my paradigm shifting!!  I’ve always wondered that when I read about brands and never made it make sense to me.  Thank you so much.

Question 2 – from Sebastain Rossavik

Dear Mr. Bilanich,

I am a 16 year old boy from Stavanger, Norway who am trying to establish myself as the "positive thinking guy". I have recently to some extent succeeded in making my tagline "Think Positive!" known, but only among the people I deal with every day.

So my question to you is: How can I expand the recognition of my trademark to reach more than my friends, family and schoolmates?

I hope mailing a book to Norway isn’t too much of an inconvenience, or that the the postage will be too high.

A few days ago, I discovered that you actually write two different blogs about common sense, and I have subscribed to both RSS feeds in my reader! I am always looking forward to read your posts! Keep up the good work!

Sincerely yours,
Sebastian Rossavik

Good for you!  You’ve taken the first step in branding yourself. 
I am sending you a copy of Career Distinction that will help you further develop you positive thinking guy brand.  You have already begun the "extract" process described in the book.  The sections on "Express" and "Exude" will help you take your brand to the next level. 
I wish I had begun branding myself at such an early age.  You are off to a great start in becoming a star in your career and life.
All the best,

Question 3 – from Sarunas Arminas

i’ve read an article about this book and i would like to get one. My question is: i’m a student and i like to wear jeans and t-shirts, would my personal brand be better if i would wear a suit?
Sarunas Arminas


In the book Career Distinction, William and Kirsten teach a three step process of personal branding they call “Extract, Express, Exude”.  I think it will be helpful to you.  In the extract phase, you figure out who you are and what’s important to you.  If jeans and a t shirt are part of you (and remember, Steve Jobs founder of Apple, always wears jeans and a black shirt), you need to extract that as part of your personal brand.  This means that you will need to look for work in industries where jeans and t shirts are appropriate attire – music or entertainment for example.  However, if you are a jeans and t shirt guy, you won’t do well looking for a job with a bank.

To me, the secret of attire is to dress appropriately for the job you’re in or to which you aspire.  I suggest dressing one level up.  If you work for a company where jeans and t shirts are appropriate, wear nice slacks and a gold shirt every once in a while – it will get you noticed.

The point I am making is that first you need to figure out who you are and what’s really important to you.  Then you can focus on how to express your brand.  Your attire says a lot about how you express yourself.

Another quick observation – you use lower case letters when referring to yourself (i, instead of I).  This may be a result of using English as a second language, or it may be because you like to do it that way, or it may be because you type faster when you don’t have to hit the shift key, or it may be because of another reason entirely.  However, from a branding point of view, I suggest that you stop using lower case i’s when referring to yourself.  To me you are expressing and exuding a lack of confidence by so doing.  I assume that if you’re interested in personal branding, you want to be seen as a confident person.

All the best,

These were three thoughtful questions about developing your personal brand.  I hope that my answers were equally as thoughtful and helpful.  What other questions do you have about developing your personal brand, or creating positive personal impact?

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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