Personal Branding

New Personal Branding Video Courses Available

Looking to learn more about personal branding, but prefer the video learning format over articles and ebooks? The video tutorial experts at may have what you're looking for with a new personal branding video course that launched this month.

Personal Branding Basics by Lorrie Thomas Ross on

Personal Branding Basics by Lorrie Thomas Ross on

The Personal Branding Basics course is hosted by Lorrie Thomas Ross, a web marketing expert, author and speaker from California, and goes into three main areas of personal branding advice:

  • Understanding personal branding - Learn about the keys to a personal brand and how to determine personal branding objectives
  • Establishing your brand - Learn how to develop your voice of authority, your online style and your online identity.
  • Growing your brand - Learn how to define your niche, connect within your community, and then create content.

Of course, my best tips for establishing and growing your brand would be to claim a domain and start to build out your personal brand on your own easy-to-manage website. So many people try to skate by on a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile alone, but the reality is that nothing beats having your own domain. 

Check out the personal branding video courses on and then go build yourself a website. 

6 Personal Branding Mistakes and What You Can Do About Them

Personal branding mistakes are like a double face palm.

Forbes recently published an interesting article by Rebecca Webber on the "6 Things That Could Be Hurting Your Personal Brand."  Webber scratched the surface about what you can do to avoid or rebound from these mistakes, but didn't take it quite far enough from my perspective. Today we'll look at these six personal branding mistakes and what you can do about them.

1. Purpose

Webber's first mistake was in not clarifying what you want to be known or hired for. She recommends deciding what you want to be. To take that a step further, I recommend (and can demonstrate the act of) putting together a personal branding statement

2. Not Sharing the Right Things

The next mistake comes from over-promoting or under-promoting yourself in social media updates, in addition to being careless in what you post. This is good advice on what not to post. Here's some advice on how to craft a personal branding social media strategy, one update at a time. 

3. You're Showcasing the Past, Not Previewing the Future

Mistake number three is the one that bugs me the most. Does your resume and Linked profile document your past linearly or does it highlight the person you want to be in your career? Pull out the experiences relevant to where you want to bring your career so that people can get an idea for who you are in broad brush strokes

4. You Don't Have a Website

Ok I lied. This is the personal branding mistake that irks me more than anything else. You don't have your own website. You'd never build on rented land, would you? Then don't build your personal brand on a social media platform alone, or worse, not at all. You can literally have your own website, hosted on your own domain, in a beautiful, mobile-friendly template, in less than 10 minutes for about the same as what you pay for Netflix each month. 

5. You Don't Meet People IRL

I can't say I disagree with this one either. It's a mistake to only build relationships online. You've got to get out there and meet people, shake hands, and have the conversations that build relationships over time. My best tip is to identify one organization in your direct industry (e.g., MnSearch is the local association for search marketing professionals) and one in your broader industry (e.g., The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association serves all digital marketing professionals) and then commit to attending at least one event for each organization per month. You'll meet a lot of great people and start to look forward to your twice-per-month geek-out nights with industry colleagues. 

6. Your Profiles Are Out-of-Date

Lastly, it's a mistake to let you blog, website, and social media profiles get stale. Take fifteen minutes per month to go through your online profiles and make updates depending on your newest updates, accomplishments, and thoughts.

What are some of the bigger personal branding mistakes you've seen people make? What advice do you have for people based on these mistakes that you've seen? I'm curious to hear your thoughts and read through your opinions in the comments.  

Personal Branding as the Cornerstone of Authentic Leadership

Adele Gulfo oversees Pfizer's Latin America division.

Adele Gulfo oversees Pfizer's Latin America division.

Personal branding is more about leadership than it is about self promotion according to Adele Gulfo, president of Pfizer Latin America. The advocate for women in business opined in a recent Huffington Post article that personal branding leads to authentic leadership  because "you're acting in a way that's consistent with your vision of who you are, what you're good at and what matters most to you -- both professionally and personally."

Gulfo describes your personal brand as "the collection of values you stand for and for offerings you consistently deliver." With this definition, it's easy to see why she thinks authentic leaders are built from strong personal brands.

The culture and direction of a company is often reinforced by the ongoing efforts of specific people who make an impact. It may start with a person or a small team of people, typically those that are driving the success and growth of a company. Values shared by these individuals tend to become associated with the success of the company and are then encouraged or even incentivized by leadership looking to re-create success at all levels of the organization.

Building a Personal Brand and a Leader

What started as one person's values grow organically until they become a part of the entire company culture. Naturally, it's easy to see how a person could be transparent and authentic as a leader of a company if they helped to seed the very mission and vision that drives it. 

Inferred within Gulfo's article is a call-to-action to be bold, passionate and focused with where you want to go with your career. You can't be a leader unless you have a vision, and you can't have a vision if something doesn't matter to you. 

Are you passionate about your life, both personally and professionally? Do you stand for something and advocate for what matters most to you in your career? If so, chances are you agree with Adele Gulfo and me when it comes to personal branding and leadership. 


3 Sure-Fire Personal Branding Website Templates

If a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, does it really make a sound? Similarly, if you want to be known for something but never write about it on your own website, will you ever make a sound in your own industry or area of interest? 

Building your own online presence is one of the first and most important investments in your personal brand, but not everyone is capable of creating and hosting a website. That's why I've been recommending for years now. It's the fastest and easiest way to build a high-quality website, and today I'll show you three sure-fire personal branding website templates using Squarespace that will have you online in under hour.

Personal Branding Website Template for the Online Entrepreneur is a website built using the Aviator Squarespace template. is a website built using the Aviator Squarespace template.

The first Squarespace template to check out is one that supports just about anyone looking to create a personal brand online. Aviator is a versatile Squarespace template that features full-page image backgrounds that are adjustable on a page-by-page basis,  full use of Squarespace's drag-and-drop LayoutEngine page-building system, and a billion goodies and integrations built right in courtesy of Squarespace. Aviator is visually impressive and supports professionals in a wide range of professions.

Personal Branding Website Template for the Creative Professional is beautifully built on Frontrow. is beautifully built on Frontrow.

Frontrow is a mostly-visual template that features full-page galleries and images, which comes in especially handy for professionals looking to showcase the work they've created. All Squarespace templates are mobile-ready with responsive design built right in. Frontrow is no exception, so it looks remarkable on any device no matter how many images you use.  

Personal Branding Website Template for the Blogger

Forte is one of Squarespace's newest templates. 

Forte is one of Squarespace's newest templates. 

Blogging is a big part of building a personal brand. Branding itself has been forever measured by frequency and reach as metrics. Personal branding is measured by the same concepts, and blogging gives you the ability to increase both. Forte is one of Squarespace's newest templates, and it comes with a gorgeous blog. 

Be Online in an Hour

In my opinion, building a website isn't optional if you want to build a personal brand. Your website is your main platform, and Squarespace allows you to focus on what you want to say instead of spending on time fiddling with technology.

The best thing about Squarespace is that you can be up and running in no time at all. Just give them your name and email address and you'll be building your new online presence using the personal branding website templates found here or one of the other two dozen Squarespace templates offered. There's really no easier way to get your own website up and running and your personal branding efforts underway. 

A Small Collection of Personal Branding Books Worth Reading

There are tons of books out there on personal branding, all with their own take. Many self-improvement, management, and organizational psychology books don't label themselves as personal branding books explicitly, but should be considered as such.

I've rounded up a collection of great personal branding books read over the course of the last few years that will help anyone become more effective and successful in managing their own personal brand. Take a look at these gems: