7 Examples Of Kick-Ass Personal Branding

10 Examples Of Kick-Ass Personal BrandsCan I be a brand? I’m sure it has crossed your mind at least a couple of times in the last year, specially witnessing so many people turning themselves into true web superstars in their niches.

The answer is simple: Hell Yes

But before the photography, the name, the design and all the cool stuff that goes on the front-end, there has to be a solid foundation. As Seth Godin calls it in his last book, you need to become a Linchpin. I wanted to say that because the 7 people I’m showcasing in this post are the real deal, they are not just a cool image.

The outside perception meets the inside reality. I like setting expectations straight, you do not become a brand by looking good online. The web is an amplifier, be careful with what comes up to the surface.

That said, let’s take a look at these people that have turned their names into kick-ass brands. I wanted to show people that have leveraged the social web to build trust around them, at the same time, I didn’t want to go with the obvious (before you go screaming that I didn’t mention Gary Vaynerchuk…).

Danielle Laporte

Danielle is a living brand that goes beyond the online world, she is a published author (Style Statement: Live by your own design), and more recently a contributor on the TV show Connect with Mark Kelley. She advices entrepreneurs through her “Fire Starter Sessions” and blogs at her own White Hot Truth. You can also catch her on Twitter.

Danielle Laporte - White Hot Truth

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution. I’m sure you’ve seen his Ted talk that took his name to the next level. Jamie is today a true media powerhouse. Stop by his website and while you’re there, sign his petition to make school lunches better. Also follow the revolution on Twitter.

Jamie Oliver - Food Revolution

Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau is the founder of “The Art Of Non-Conformity“, an awesome blog about unconventional living. Chris has it all as a kick-ass brand, great design on everything he puts out there, great writing style, but what I love about it is the message he delivers on his blog and products. I just noticed on his site that his book will launch this fall, I’m not one bit surprised.

Chris Guillebeau - The Art Of Non-Conformity

Gwen Bell

Here is how I will describe Gwen Bell: Influence Powerhouse. She doesn’t have a million followers on Twitter but was able to get more than 700 bloggers involved on her “Best Of 2009 Blog Challenge” with a simple hashtag. 2 places to find Gwen, her blog and Twitter.

Gwen Bell

Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields runs his own blog Awake@TheWeel where he shares great content about entrepreneurship, work and life. He is also the author of Career Renegade and more recently founder of Tribal Author, a great resources on everything related to book marketing, publishing and launching a book and more. Also follow Jonathan on Twitter.

Jonathan Fields - Career Renegade

Erika Napoletano

Anybody that refers to her followers as “bitches” deserves my immediate respect. It is a pleasure to read her just for her kick-ass writing style. She blogs at Redhead Writing, has guest-posted at CopyBlogger and you can also follow her on Twitter.

Erika Napoletano - Redhead Writing

Lewis Howes

His book LinkedWorking has establish him as the go-to-guy for everything LinkedIn. Lewis Howes is a big player of the social game, he blogs at his own LewisHowes.com and if it wasn’t work enough to run a successful blog, he’s the founder of SportsNetworker. Follow him on Twitter.

Lewis Howes - Linked Working

Final Thought

Personal branding is not just about the visual image, we have said that, but when you’re ready, make sure you have the resources in place to help you not only with good design, the right messages and the technology but to also represent exactly who you are.

If you’re an entrepreneur, YOU are more important than the current venture you’re involved in. If you work for a company, position yourself as a stand-alone brand, bigger than that company. The transparency on the new web allows you to see a person from all angles. Take a look a these people and the brand created around them to use as models to follow or, if you have your own in your industry, pay attention to them.

Now It’s Your Turn…

Suggest your own now in the comments section. Who do you think has done a great job at branding his/her own name? No matter what industry…

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  • http://www.brentter.com brentter

    I was being sarcastic about this post being just another top 7 type niche.

    the high five was indeed for u erika and it was in response to the compliments made. Hell, if I had known you aren't into high fives anymore i would have just as happily given u a “respect knuckles” instead….. now i feel like i somehow got accused of faking the high-five and at the last second jumping away going “pysch! McDoyle Rules!”…(or whatever the damn movie quote is).

    I probably should have hit the enter key after that because the remainder of the msg was not directed towards you…It was actually in jest, and yes, aimed at the writer of the post… i found some irony in the topic + reasoning he gives at the top but then continues on with this type of piece.

    now if u could get the sarcasm from the p.p.s. about the ebook then i can't help u there..

  • http://www.redheadwriting.com The Redhead


  • http://www.redheadwriting.com The Redhead

    Sometimes things are lost in translation over the interwebz.

    And in Francisco's defense (though he doesn't need me to defend him), why would a top blog NOT capture a monetization opportunity like an eBook? And with regard to “list style” blogs, I think you were there in the session at Freelance Camp where we talked about the most well-received types of blog content. Lists are hot. You write for your readers, not to self-copulate :)

    C'est ca.

  • http://www.technoskillonline.com Blogging tips

    I don't know any personal branding tips…but learned something from here..

    Great post Francisco :D

    – Sudharsan @ Technoskillonline

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  • Anonymous

    I think Annabel Candy from GetintheHotspot has done a great job on her own branding and I do love Chris Guillebeau too. I hope to improve with mine as I learn more with time. Thanks for introducing us to these amazing people.

  • http://www.integraphix.com Integraphix Chicago Marketing

    The ‘Personal Branding’ examples here are mostly ‘DBA’ rather than the person’s personal name. Red Headed Blogger is easier to remember than ‘Erika Napoletano’.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanCritchett Ryan Critchett

    Interesting examples, Francisco. It’s an art! Love J Fields. His authenticity is apparent, and that aligns really well with me. 

    I think Carol Roth does a pretty good job at personal branding. 

  • http://www.wfgreview.com/post/2011/04/18/World-Financial-Group-Convention-of-Champions-2011-e28093-Register-Now!.aspx WFG Convention

    Chris has it all as a kick-ass brand, great design on everything he puts out there, great writing style, but what I love about it is the message he delivers on his blog and products. 

  • http://www.sameerkamat.com/ SK @ Writing & Publishing Blog

    When it comes to personal branding,  Richard Branson comes to mind. He has done a fantastic job for himself and all his businesses.

  • Anonymous

    Your web site is top-notch I will have to read it all, thank you for the diversion from my classwork!

  • http://twitter.com/FenderJBass Jim Gurganious

    I follow a few of these folks but notice there are no people of color on this list-hoping to see more balance in the social media world

  • Anonymous

    I have met some really neat people through the comments,

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    I certainly want to encourage more me to comment. Thanks for the tips!

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  • http://www.appster.com.au/ android developer sydney

    Stop by his wab site and while you’re there, sign his petition to make school lunches better.

  • http://www.mybellasmile.com/ Malika

    Can I be a brand? I’m sure it has crossed your mind at least a couple of
    times in the last year, specially witnessing so many people turning
    themselves into true web superstars in their niches.

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  • http://pokeflirt.com/ Michael Vera

    This is my first time reading your website dude. And I have to say it’s totally kick butt. I’m 17 and I’m about to graduate, and I love learning more and more about these kinds of social media things. You just earned a new reader!!

  • VanessaElizebeth

    Thank you for the post.Thanks for letting me comment on it.

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  • Larry Hawkins II

    It’s great to see this list of people from almost 4 years ago and see that almost all of them are still going strong and engaged with the community. It’s inspiring for someone like me who is aspiring to establish himself in the same way that these people have. If anyone has any suggestions, or tips, in my current pursuit, I would love your input. Advice on how to make my website even more personal would be great. Thanks all!