Who Are You? 5 Reasons You Need A Personal Brand

This morning, my friend Debbie Mitchell tweeted a piece that was in The Huffington Post, written by a friend of hers, called “Brands “R” Us; Identity Crisis in the Age of Technology. Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist, interfaith minister, writer and public speaker with a book coming out in October.

She writes in this post about recent meetings with publicists and friends, many of whom are asking her about her “brand” and social media activity. Questions like does she have a blog, does she respond when people leave comments, is she on Twitter, Facebook and if so, how active is she?

All of these lead Ms. Colier to write , in part:

I blog on a variety of topics: spirituality, technology, psychology, parenting, a potpourri of material. The majority of the comments that I receive (not on the blog page, but in life) are about how I can become better known through my blog — use my writing to become more famous. Friends and colleagues ask if I am following enough people on Twitter (so that they will follow me back), whether I am responding to the people who comment on my blog (generating my fan base), and if I am posting helpful quotes on Facebook to promote my message. Mostly, people want to know how many followers I have. Every now and again someone mentions the material itself, but it is by far the exception. The dialogue is about using what I have to say in order to say something about me. Am I missing something… aren’t they the same thing?


Whether Ms. Colier believes it, we are all “brands”, some better defined than others. Your personal brand can be thought of as your outlook on life and while I’m no Life Lessons subject Ted Rubin, I have had a bit of experience in this realm. So here are Good Enough Mother’s 5 reasons everyone needs a personal brand.


I want to know when I go into the grocery store and plop down  money for this:


when I open it, I am not going to find this..


There’s no chance I am going to confuse Wendy Williams for Oprah and even though each is comprised of a bunch of letters, I will immediately know the difference between HGTV and MSNBC. The point is each of these entities is clearly identified in the mind of the consumer. Ms. Colier laments the look at me society. You’re darn right we’re looking at you. And you know what else? We’re going to kick some tires before we decide to buy.

Read more:  Monday Morning Motivation: How To Build A Brand In 5 Easy Steps



Ms. Colier has a  website and that’s important. Why? Because people are busy. They have full lives and you need to tell them why they should spend a little time with you. If Ms. Colier’s ultimate goal is to get me to open my wallet and spend 15 (or more) bucks on one of her books, I need to know a bit about what I’m going to get. Why not excerpt a chapter or two (or at least part of a chapter) on her website? Give me the literary version of an afternoon at Sam’s club. I want to taste before I commit.

Read More:  Monday Morning Motivation: The Best Is Yet To Come!


Rene On The Doctors

Whether you’re trying to sell books or yourself to a prospective employer, it needs to be clear to them whether you are the right person for the job. I think of a blog, not as a necessary evil, rather a living, breathing business card. I have booked more speaking engagements, TV appearances, have a book in the works, write a syndicated column, go out on auditions, test product, travel, and have sold more books with my website than I ever did using the esteemed talent agency I did for 15 years. On my site, there are podcasts, videos, writings, rantings, photos and ways to reach me. In short, if someone wanted to know more about Rene Syler, good ol’ Google will bring them to my doorstep. I’ll take it from there.

Read more:  Monday Morning Motivation: If You Build It (WELL), They Will Come



Creative Commons/EU Social Media Dude

Creative Commons/EU Social Media Dude

According to her bio, Ms. Colier’s last book was published in 2001. A lot has changed in that time; there has been a veritable sea change in how media is consumed and disseminated. The consumer is in the driver’s seat, much to the chagrin of the people who push content using old media. I hear a lot of people asking publicists to get them on The Today Show, but is three minutes at 8:25 (with moms listening with one ear as they rush to get kids out of the house) going to get you the same return as say a social media campaign? What if it goes viral, in which the people you interact with turn into evangelists? Will a three minute segment give as much as a campaign that will live in perpetuity? I don’t think so.

Interaction is a critical part of branding and social media (um, SOCIAL, hello!). It’s not about getting more popular as Ms. Colier contends publicists have told her. No, you use Twitter and comment on your blog to better serve your audience, community, tribe or whatever you want to call those who are like-minded. You need to know if you’re writing and talking about the things that will make a difference in the lives of those you are trying to reach, assuming that’s what you want to do. But if you don’t know what they’re saying, how they’re living, what issues are germane to their lives, how can you do that? Isn’t that essentially a one-sided conversation with you shooting in the dark? Yes. Yes it is.

Read more:  PLAY NICE! And 9 More Life Lessons From Disney



When people come to they know they’re going to get a couple of things. They know they’re going to laugh, maybe think a little, perhaps get a little bit angry but in the end, they’ll be engaged. They depend on me to give a unique perspective on the day’s events and life in general, all through the lens of Good Enough Mother. Will everyone like/agree with me? Nope, but I daresay they’ll know me after spending some time here.

One final note. Good Enough Mother was published by a division of Simon and Schuster, a huge publishing house (you can get a signed copy here if you’d like. Always selling…). For the first month, I was at the top of their priority list, chatting on the phone everyday, making arrangements for media appearances and book readings. It was a heady feeling. But after 30 days or so, they had other books to push, other authors to pay attention to. I’m not trying to rain on Ms. Colier’s parade; I’m just saying this is the way it goes (unless of course, you’re a Dan Brown or Jeffrey Deaver). This is yet one more reason you need to build your own buzz, your own community, your own following, which will be there long after the next book pushes yours out of the way.

Read more:  Monday Morning Motivation: 5 Signs It’s Time For A (Career) Change


Brand is not a dirty word but if it sounds too commercial for you, change it; use the word philosophy. The point is everyone stands for something. Why would you not want to share that?

What about you? Do you have a website or blog? What is your personal brand and do you think it’s important to have one?

[editor’s note: We originally ran this piece on April 17, 2012 – but we thought you might need a refresher!]

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