What is Personal Branding? MarketingMel speaks to Elite Strategic Partners

MarketingMel speaks on personal branding to the Elite Strategic Partners.

MarketingMel speaks on personal branding to the Elite Strategic Partners.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Warren Buffet

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to the Elite Strategic Partners group last Tuesday in Johnson City.  This group of business and community leaders gets together for lunch three times per month to share referral sources and hear from guest speakers. The ESP group is already gaining a great reputation for its members (way to build that brand!) WHile I was there they contributed a $500 check to Rise Up, an organization that mentors young people.

My topic was “Powerful Personal Branding” which I define quite simply as the sum total of your online and your offline reputation.  It is how others perceive you! Here are a few other tips from my talk.

  1. Focus on Your Strengths– There is a great book called Strengthfinders by Clifton and Buckingham that urges us to focus on our five core strengths. I enjoyed joking with a CPA in the crowd that people like her will always find employment when there are people like me around! The point is, hire someone who’s really good in your weak area so you can focus on what you do best (in my case it’s strategy, not accounting!)
  2. Get Media Exposure-I love to say that “media begets media” and it is really true. Once you appear TV or radio or you’re quoted in the newspaper you are seen as an “expert” and a go-to personality.
  3. Blog Your Expertise- Blogging is a great way to keep your web site fresh and push you up in the search engine rankings. You are bound to have a keen knowledge of something that others want to know more about. Share it regularly on your blog. And if you can’t think of ideas, invite a guest blogger to come on board from time to time. It’s great exposure for them and for you.

These are just three of the 15 tips that can be found in the Personal Branding Tool Kit, created by Maria Peagler and me, that is now on a back to school sale! We’ve reduced our price by $50 to a great rate of just $47 for an easy to follow infographic and tips, action plans, an mp3 of our webinar, transcript and a “ready-set-go” plan to carry out the 15 steps to building your personal brand. Just click this link and use the promo code “school.”

Do you have your own personal branding success tips? Please share them here.


  • Great tips, Mel. I think focusing on your strengths is a great way to establish your brand. Each of your tips are very important to personal branding.

    • maryellen says:

      Tiffany I am glad that you found the personal branding tips useful. It’s something we all keep on top of and I enjoyed sharing with the small businesses.

  • Great Tips Mel! The Warren Buffet quote is so true! The Personal Branding Tool Kit sounds like a very helpful resource!

  • Mira Dessy says:

    Thanks for sharing this, the book sounds like a great one, I’m going to have to add it to my reading list.

    • maryellen says:

      Oh yes the book Now Discover your Strengths by Buckingham and Clifton is an outstanding read and worth it for anyone in any business. Definitely one of my all time favorites.

  • Lisa Manyon says:

    You brand carries over to all aspects of the experience people have with you. Great tips to keep it real and get exposure.
    Write on!~
    Lisa Manyon

  • Betsy Baker says:

    I’m just jealous you get to meet 3 x a month with your business building buddies. 😉 I certainly agree with all 3 of your points but I especially love tip #3 because I think it’s a perfect way to blend both #1 and #2 in there. Blogging is critical to establish yourself as a “go-to” expert in your field.

    • maryellen says:

      Haha thanks Betsy! I was actually a guest several times with them but I also like the concept of three times a week get togethers. Familiarity breeds business success!

  • Sue Painter says:

    I’m hearing a lot of talk about focusing on personal strengths. I believe this is true, along with building strength were we as business owners are weak. We need to know and use both sides of that equation – even if we hire to our weaknesses.

    • maryellen says:

      Sue, yes we cannot all be strong in everything. Best to hire out our weak areas (or marry them!) My husband is great at accounting, a definite weak spot for me.

  • Bill Painter says:

    Focusing on your strengths also helps you emphasize areas where your target audience is looking for help in their own business. Being too much of a generalist will not make you stand out or be unique.

  • Mitch Tublin says:

    Warren Buffet offers great advice. Yes keep your focus on your strengths.

  • Focus on your strengths is the BEST advice I received early on in running my business. I was spending so much time trying to improve my weaknesses … when I should have been looking for other people to do those tasks! Once I began focusing on only strengthening my strengths, and delegated the rest, my life got much easier and my business grew much faster.

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