Tips for creating a smoking personal brand

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A few days ago, I was lucky enough to participate in the Social Media Arizona conference, a day-long event for corporate employees and entrepreneurs who wanted to learn how to use social media effectively in their business.

My presentation was called How to amp up the personal in your brand. I uploaded it to Slideshare and added narration to make a 30-minute presentation which you can view here:

The presentation drew from a previous post I did for John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing during Make a Referral Week. The original post is here.

I think the keys to having a successful personal brand are:

  1. Clarity.  Say what you think and mean what you say.  Personal branding is nothing more than amplifying who you really are. Don’t try to get fancy and mix a bunch of “strategery” in your communications, just speak clearly and plainly. I expand on this topic in detail in my post Let the wild rumpus start.
  2. Spice. Bring out your own unique flavor in your communications. If you are bold and spicy, celebrate that. If you are smooth and subtle, enhance that. We all have spice, and people want to experience yours.
  3. Polarity. Guy Kawasaki told me long ago “controversy is good.” You do not want to serve the whole world, and if you try to, your message will come out bland and boring.  Serve your people. If you feel you have to change yourself or your message to be accepted at work, change environments, don’t change yourself.
  4. Reality. People want to know about you as a real, live human being. Don’t be afraid to share some parts of your personal life online if they will help people to understand who you really are. No one wants to befriend/do business with a slick corporate robot. Example of my very human shortcomings: Crafts from hell.

What makes you feel connected to someone online or in person?

Links referenced in Slideshare:

Cindy Willick’s liberating YouTube video Body Image
Jeff Moriarty
James Andrews
Whole Foods CEO Op-Ed fallout


I can’t forget my girl Colleen Wainwright, aka Communicatrix, who is the raised fist behind the You, amplified” approach to personal branding. She rocks, and demonstrates a screaming brand herself at (be warned, her people are not shy about swearing, so neither is she). 🙂

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23 Responses to “Tips for creating a smoking personal brand”

  1. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rodney Wayne says:

    Above mentioned traditional approach of personal branding entails personal sales and personal marketing, that can be a dirty business if you don’t deliver what you promise. Dr. Hubert Rampersad is focusing on authentic personal branding. This reflects your true character and should be built on your values, strengths, uniqueness, and genius. If you are branded in this organic, authentic and holistic way, your personal brand will be strong, clear, and valuable to others. You will also create a life that is fulfilling and you will automatically attract the people and opportunities that are a perfect fit for you… more and

  3. […] Tips for creating a smoking personal brand […]

  4. says:

    Tips for Creating a Smoking Personal Brand…

    Pamela Slim of the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog talks here about creating an authentic personal brand and how it can help your business. Slim has included not only a text post with bulleted tips but also a slide show with audio on the topic that she…

  5. Great tips, I love number 2, add your own flare and personality to your brand and you’ll be glad that you did. Anything that will make you stand out above the competition will be beneficial. Thanks for posting these!

  6. […] Pamela Slim explained how to create a smoking personal brand. […]

  7. Bernadette says:

    Great tips! I personally agree with #4. I have friends and collegues who don’t want to share personal information but I love sharing “bits and pieces” of my personal life with my clients (and potential clients). It gives “life” to an often times boring industry (I’m an accountant).
    .-= Bernadette´s last blog ..LLC or INC? – Which Entity is Right For You? =-.

  8. abby says:

    It’s all about stepping out from behind the safety of our limiting habits – aka ‘cubicles’ – to announce ourselves to the world.

    As always, Pam, the insights are huge. Thanks for this.
    .-= abby´s last blog ..Breaking habits… =-.

  9. Wow! This is very timely. I am in the process of reissuing my blog under a new name and I am focused on branding. The tip on polarity really spoke to me because I have been on the fence about expressing Spirituality on my blog. However, I am leaning to doing so. After all, I do believe that we are all spiritual beings and that affects my coaching.

    Thanks Pam!

    Iyabo Asani
    .-= niIyabo Asani´s last blog ..Rags to Riches Niche Story! =-.

  10. Re: “What makes you feel connected to someone online or in person?”

    Sincerity. Helpfulness. I like when people say what they mean and do what they say they’re going to do. It makes me appreciate them a whole lot more!
    .-= Ricardo Bueno´s last blog ..How Many People Do You Connect with Daily? =-.

  11. Rightly pointed. I believe all of us are unique and this uniqueness is what defines us. Most of the time we try to be like someone who we think will be well accepted and we lose our own persona. I believe identifying what you can add to a relationship and working out more on it can take us places rather than just trying to be we are not…
    .-= Chanda |´s last blog ..The most essential thing before you negotiate. =-.

  12. Shama Kabani says:

    I love it Pam!

    I think branding has gotten such a bad name over time. Most people think it is “woo-woo” stuff, but essentially strong brands are what stand out in today’s marketplace.

    Rock on!

    – Shama
    .-= Shama Kabani´s last blog ..What’s the Future of Social Media Marketing? =-.

  13. […] For some more insight, in case adult beverages aren’t working (or not a drinker), check out Pamela Slim’s awesome post and video on creating a smoking personal brand. […]

  14. […] When creating your own personal brand it is vitally important to make that brand stand out, catch the attention of your audience immediately and cause them to be so interested in the product or services your selling that they almost can’t resist the urge to buy them. So how does one go about this? Look below for some simple tips on creating your own smoking hot personal brand that i found on Escape From Cubicle Nation. […]

  15. Great suggestions. You are correct! No one wants to sit through a boring presentation. They won’t be back!

  16. Duff says:

    Thanks for this. I have an upcoming blog post that gives a critical view of personal branding. Yours will be a helpful resources to give my readers a positive presentation of personal branding.

    In particular I’m concerned about the selling of the self, the self as corporation, turning more and more of our conversations into markets, and the standardization of behavior as we model ourselves after corporate entities.

    Branding is PR. It’s about controlling how others view your corporation. What happens when we become nothing more than what we are selling, when our carefully crafted personal brand becomes impossible to differentiate from the changing nature of who we are? Will there be any noncommercial activities left in society?
    .-= Duff´s last blog ..The Simulacrum of Self in the Quest for Authenticity =-.

  17. Jared says:

    AWESOME Pamela.

    Can we somehow get this to the college professors and high school teachers of the world?

    I think I learned more from that, than my first 12 YEARS of schooling.

  18. […] people wanting to Escape from Cubicle Nation.  If you have 30 minutes, watch her presentation on Amp Up the Personal in Your Brand on Slideshare.  After you watch, come back and let us know how you will AMP UP your […]

  19. […] Amp up the Personal in your Brand – Pam Slim […]

  20. […] Amp up the Personal in your Brand – Pam Slim AKPC_IDS += “2273,”;Social Media AZ highlights Share This Hide Sites $$(‘div.d2273’).each( function(e) { e.visualEffect(‘slide_up’,{duration:0.5}) }); […]

  21. Jim Valeri says:


    I’ve been told by some that personal branding isn’t nearly as important as building relationships with others. I suppose that’s situation dependent, but perhaps that’s something to think about (for me anyway 🙂 ).

    But how can you remain humble, human and still able to sell what you have? I think in order to do that, we need to be in touch with ourselves so we know who we are. Then we can discover our talents, and show them off to the world!
    .-= Jim Valeri´s last blog ..Am I Crazy? That Depends On Your Definition! =-.

  22. Robin Hunter says:


    I’ve been following your blog as I’m making a career transition in the very near future. I really enjoyed this Slideshare. It gave me some great ideas to mull over as I depart fom my cubicle.
    .-= Robin Hunter´s last blog ..I’m Always Learning Something New =-.

  23. Hiro Boga says:

    Authenticity, warmth, clarity, humor, alignment, generosity, kindness: these are the qualities that help me feel connected with people. They’re also the qualities that my clients tell me make them want to work with me.

    I love the way your presentation and this post model the four qualities you’re talking about, Pam. You are clear, uniquely yourself, you take a stand for the things you believe in, and you keep it real. (O, that craft project! :-))

    Thanks for another helpful post.
    .-= Hiro Boga´s last blog ..Sailing the Unknown Sea: #1 =-.