How to choose a personal branding theme when you have diverse interests

Since my book KNOWN came out, many readers have reached out to me expressing how it has changed their lives and their businesses.

However, one area where some are getting stuck on their journey is choosing an ideal personal branding theme (I call this your sustainable interest). Most people have many wonderful ideas, hobbies, and passions. Today I want to provide advice on how to sort through all the options and define what is right for you.

First I want to re-state why it’s important to focus on one core theme. The idea is that over time you will create content in a way that attracts an audience that can make your dreams come true — whether that is finding a job, starting a speaking career, writing a book, promoting a charity, or whatever your heart is driving you to do.

To accomplish that, you must remain relevant to that audience, so you can’t be jumping around from topic to topic. You need to stick with a certain theme and be prepared to explore it for years.

In my book and Workbook, I have lots of exercises to help you focus on that theme. But if you still can’t choose, here are three ideas to help you:

1. Bring in the stories

I am a person with a lot of diverse interests myself. I like sports, history, art, travel, and literature, to name a few.

But my topic is digital marketing. I think there are three special angles to my writing:

  • I have extensive experience to draw on
  • I love exploring the human angle of marketing and strategy
  • I am unafraid to speak the truth and offer unique and entertaining views

I’ve written more than 2,000 posts now and one of the ways I keep it interesting is by bringing in all of my interests to tell stories and teach lessons.

  • I told a story about an observation from a London museum that led me to believe that the internet would ultimately be used as a weapon of war (this was before the widespread cybercrimes we see today).
  • I wrote about how a mistake I saw on a basketball court provided a valuable leadership lesson.
  • I used a personal experience of grief to explain how to stay strong in a business setting when your mind is experiencing panic.

The key idea is that you can stick to one theme but bring in many of your life experiences to keep your content fresh and fun. You should have a consistent theme but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon other aspects of your life. Bring that into your content!

2. The core is inside you

I find that when people can’t decide on a theme among many disparate interests, there is always one core passion at the center holding it all together.

For example, I was helping a young HR professional who told me “I have so many diverse interests, I can’t possibly decide what to write about.”

She was a martial arts instructor, a grief counselor, management consultant, and an extreme sports enthusiast.

I asked her to describe a time in her life that made her come alive. She told me some examples and said “I love it when I help people face their moment of courage.”

“That’s it,” I said. “You help people find their moment of courage.”

This was a breakthrough for her — a key personality trait that was right before her eyes. Sometimes it might take talking through your interests with somebody to help you find your one core sustainable interest.

3. Maybe YOU are the difference

One of the key points of my book that seems to be overlooked is that often a point of differentiation doesn’t come from narrowing down into a niche or becoming an expert in a topic (although those are options). Sometimes your point of differentiation is … you.

I am in a very crowded content space but I can stand out to my audience because of my unique perspectives, lessons, and writing style.

There is nobody like me … and there is nobody like you, either.

Yes, it is hard to stand out in a crowded world. But don’t be afraid to jump in because you just might find an audience who appreciates your unique perspective.

The important word here is “unique.” I stand out because I write about things nobody else is covering. You simply can’t blog about what everybody else is talking about and get away with it. Add your own story.

Any way, I hope that helps. I want to leave you with this piece of advice … If you’re struggling to define what you want to be known for, stop obsessing and just start. Chances are you’re not going to get it perfectly right the first time any way so just go for it and see what happens.

Creating an effective personal brand isn’t about being perfect, it’s about the journey and a willingness to adapt, adopt, and adjust as the world tells you what it loves about you most.

Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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These 10 personal branding giants created our influencer-happy world

1. Hector Boiardi, 1929

Boiardi (boy-ar-dee), a Cleveland chef, sold take-home meal kits of his dishes due to customer demand. During World War II, he canned his pasta meals for servicemen, popularizing Italian food.

The impact: That’s Boiardi’s face in the Chef Boyardee logo, making him godfather to celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Rachael Ray.

2. Andy Warhol, 1962

The painter turned Campbell’s Soup into art and brand-ified celebrities with silk-screen portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and others.

The impact: Warhol’s 1968 observation that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” has become the rallying cry for aspiring social media influencers and reality-TV stars.

3. Muhammad Ali, 1966

The outspoken heavyweight boxing champion conscientiously objected to being drafted to fight in Vietnam—at great personal cost.

The impact: Ali helped turn public sentiment against the war. Today’s star athletes, from LeBron James to Colin Kaepernick, risk their broad appeal to speak out about racial injustice.

4. Betty Ford, 1974

Shortly after becoming First Lady, Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She bravely shared her story, removing the stigma around the disease and treatment.

The impact: Ford’s candor helped save countless women’s lives. She would go on to do the same for alcoholism after she admitted her addiction.

5. Martha Stewart, 1980

The stockbroker turned caterer published her first cookbook, and its success led to dozens more, a magazine, TV shows, and housewares that still gross hundreds of millions in revenue.

The impact: Stewart’s embrace of multimedia paved the way for every lifestyle doyenne since, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Brit Morin.

6. Richard Branson, 1985

Branson, who owned a record label, attempted the fastest nautical crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, the first of many stunts that made him famous.

The impact: His swashbuckling style doubled as good marketing for his Virgin brand. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk mimic Branson’s playbook, including following him into space exploration.

7. Oprah Winfrey, 1986

Winfrey’s mix of charisma and vulnerability as a national daytime-TV host inspired viewers to buy anything she endorsed.

The impact: Winfrey’s advisers—including Drs. Phil and Oz—became personal brands in their own right. Her hardcore fans now hope she’ll use her pulpit to run for president in 2020.

8. Tom Peters, 1997

The business author and consultant posited in Fast Company that employees needed to think of themselves as brands, “creating their own micro-equivalent of the Nike swoosh.”

The impact: Spend a few minutes among thought leaders on LinkedIn to see how white-collar workers have embraced Peters’s vision.

9. Beyoncé, 2013

The pop superstar reaped the power she’d accrued in her career to break the old model for album releases, dropping Beyoncé on iTunes at midnight with only an Instagram post publicizing it.

The impact: Beyoncé set sales records and a new standard for how stars launch new work, inspiring Drake and Taylor Swift to follow suit.

10. Kylie Jenner, 2018

In February, the reality-TV star and cosmetics entrepreneur tweeted that she no longer opened Snapchat, adding, “Ugh this is so sad.”

The impact: The tweet catalyzed concerns about Snap, and its stock lost $1.3 billion in value, reinforcing that personal brands can be even more powerful than the platforms that build them.


Episode-2235- Total Freedom Though Honest Personal Branding

Tweet I don’t talk about it much but I am told oh 20 times a month on average things like, I am doing it wrong (as in this show) Someone is going to contact my sponsors to tell them I am offensive If I continue to do things this way it will be “the end of TSP” I need to think like Reagan and build a “bigger tent” Get this one, “I have a public responsibility to make TSP more listener friendly” Oh and it just goes on and on and on and on The real irony is when some dip shit gets offended, tells me off and I tell them to go screw and they say something like, “wow what happened to you, this isn’t like you”.  I am very tempted to ask these people what the hell they are smoking and could I please have some. Take a look at our disclaimers and policies page, the current version of this page was published on 1-1-11, hey I like numeric patterns.  One of the most recent pathetic mental breakdowns was from Episode 2223, where I used the “F word” about a dozen or so times to drive home the point about how schools are creating these school shootings and the fact that 5,000 youths a year kill themselves and over 30,000 attempt suicide.  Now pardon my view but if there was ever a place for the F word, that is it! That said I generally don’t use that word on the air, so when I did I did the following… Marked the episode explicit Announced on air that it was coming and to skip ahead if you didn’t want to hear it Now keep in mind in my disclaimers it says among other things, the following and has since January of 2011, which is seven years ago! “We believe in freedom here, if you choose to listen to our show you do so as a free human being on planet earth and therefore we are not responsible for any “mental anguish”, “mental trauma”, “feeling of being offended” or any other emotional problems that you get from doing so.” I have to say that is about as honest and clear cut as it can be!  The beauty though of always being yourself is when such assclowns attempt to harm you, all they can really do is build you up, and that is the magic of building honest personal brand.  The key word there is honest!  Anyway since I am going to be gone until the 25th on vacation after today I thought may be we could have a fun show and one that can change your life if you choose to act on it. Join In Today to Hear… The two recent incidents that inspired today’s show The reason I even use “vulgar words” on the air I am not saying to be like me, or anyone else Understanding what a niche is today vs. in say 1990 Why the last thing on want today is a “bigger tent” The 1,000 true fans model is for everyone The difference between true fans and “fanboys” The harsh reality, time not money is the most valuable online commidity Here is everything you really need to know about business There are only two types of products Needed Wanted All products are one of three things for customers Entertaining Profit Yielding Life Changing When you have all three it is the Golden Trifecta Everything you need to know about marketing in two phrases Marketing is telling your story Effective marketing is getting other to tell your story Everything you need to know about sales Make it easy to buy from you You are selling more than products and services You are always selling, whether you think so or not In the end, there has never been a better time or one with more opportunity than today Resources for today’s show… Join the Members Brigade The Year 139 Join Our Forum Walking To Freedom The Granddaddy’s Gun Club Bullhead Fishing Forum – A new little site I started Unhappy Customers Make Him Happy and Rich – NY Times Article about John Willis High Hopes – Song Facts High Hopes – Pink Floyd Sponsors of the Day Ridge Wallet Butcher Box Remember to comment, chime in and tell us y[…]

Monday Tips – Stand Out With These 4 Top Personal Branding Tools

Improve Your Personal Branding with These 4 Great Resources

Stand Out With These 4 Top Personal Branding ToolsMonday Tips is a short list of the best finds across the internet to start your week off right. Today I have some personal branding resources to help you build a better business online. Here’s four links with tips and tricks to kick start your Monday.

Building a loyal following is not difficult when you know which tools to use. Connecting with the right people can help you spread word and find new clients. There are several resources that can improve your networking with better results. Would you like to increase your brand awareness? Take advantage of these resources, and let me know how these work for you!

1) Become the knowledge source – Passle

Build relationships with experts who will recommend your brand. Passle helps by focusing and engaging with your community who can then experience your own expertise in your industry. Find targeted articles to re-purpose on your blog, announce the latest events and news for your brand, find relevant content for your audience, and more.

2) Connect with quality industry leaders – Xing

Would you like to engage in a smaller social network for more targeted connections? Newer on the networking scene from Germany is a website similar to LinkedIn called, Xing, but with more of a simplified format. This is a good resource resource for employers and job seekers alike with access to high level professionals in both business and the media.

3) Online reputation management – Brand Yourself

Want your blog to appear in Google search results? Then you will enjoy Brand Yourself, which gives you an opportunity to submit three profiles such as a website, social media profile, ect. for free. This is one worth checking out especially if your personal brand is newer.

4) Create an online business profile in minutes – Strikingly

Would you like to showcase your brand but don’t have a website up yet? A good service to use in place of a blog is called, Strikingly. Brands and businesses can set up a page showcasing a biography, expertise, and connected networks. Use the free version or purchase a domain name that can be moved later to a WordPress installation.

Hopefully you will find these personal branding tools useful to your online marketing strategy. Are there any that you would like to add as well?

Have fun with these Monday Tips and Tools.

Wishing you a FAN-tastic week!


The post Monday Tips – Stand Out With These 4 Top Personal Branding Tools appeared first on Susan Gilbert | Online Marketing Strategist.


New Smyrna Beach personal Branding portraits

And why they are better than headshots for real estate professionals

Are you wondering what a personal branding Portrait even is? Many professionals hire a photographer to create a headshot for their business cards, marketing material and website. Being photographed for a headshot is sort of a necessary procedure for many careers.

Real Estate agents and professionals know the necessity of a quality headshot because it’s important that they are well known in their communities. As New Smyrna Beach headshot photographers, we recognize how useful a headshot is!

New Smyrna Beach personal Branding portraits can incorporate the lifestyle that is associated with New Smyrna Beach. 

Headshot vs. Personal Branding Portrait

A headshot, as you may have seen them, are typically taken in a studio with a neutral backdrop. They are intended to look very polished and professional and focus on just your face. They serve a purpose and they are a necessary part of building your career.

Personal Branding portraits can incorporate more of what you do and what you like. They can be more environmental and include more information about what you are passionate about. They tend to be more relaxed and creative than a traditional headshot, which allows you to open up more about who you are as a professional and a person.

Why professional Branding portraits are better than headshots for real estate professionals

Florida is a popular destination for vacations but it is also the third most populated state in the country. Albeit it has something to do with the sunshine, beaches and theme parks galore!

We always hear real estate agents saying “location, location, location” so, it would make sense for them to be photographed in the location that they are trying to sell. But that isn’t always the case!

When I drive down the road, I see real estate ads everywhere. Sometimes I look at an advertisement that was taken on a green screen and I can’t help but wonder why location wasn’t important in this instance. There is an authentic Florida beach right down the road!

Headshots are great and they serve a purpose. What they don’t do is tell your potential clients what you are passionate about and what you do.

Personal Branding portraits will convey a stronger message to your potential clients about the importance of location and how it influences their lifestyle. Which is why personal Branding Portriats are so much better than headshots for real estate professionals!


In our smaller beach town of New Smyrna Beach, people enjoy boating, fishing, surfing, paddling, golfing, birding and immersing themselves in the outdoors. When they are looking for a home, it is important that they can enjoy that lifestyle and they want to see that you can give that to them!

Personal Branding portraits can show off that you are also passionate about the same lifestyle choices. If you also enjoy boating, then take a portrait on your boat! You will convey a more authentic and trustworthy message by showing who you really are and what you care about.

If you love the beach and you believe that everyone should have a beachside home then take beautiful portraits on the beach at sunset!

If you enjoy being outdoors and want to help others have a similar lifestyle then it’s helpful to showcase that in every way that you can. If you only have one traditional headshot with a white background on your website and marketing material then that doesn’t convey anything but that you are a professional real estate agent.

The key is to be authentic and true to what you do and how you do it. Your clients will relate to you and connect with you on a much deeper level because of it!

How to use your personal Branding portraits

Social Media
Business Cards
Marketing Material
Billboards and signs

Get together with your office or partners as well to be photographed as a group! For New Smyrna Beach travel tips, check out this guide to New Smyrna Beach.

The post New Smyrna Beach personal Branding portraits appeared first on Daytona Beach Photographer | wedding Photographer Daytona Beach | professional photographer Daytona Beach | Hinson Photography.

Ivie Ogbonmwan: Personal Branding in the Workplace

For a very long time, I believed the term personal branding applied to just entertainers and entrepreneurs. Boy, was I wrong?!

As I studied my candidates and clients, I recognized that each and every one of my faves had some sort of brand.

Jide was known as the life of the party at work, never a dull moment with him. Kike was known as the ‘go-to’ girl, she knew everything, every place, and everyone. Samson was the nerd, would never socialize, but could be relied to get the work done no matter how difficult.

While branding came naturally for some people, many others have had to deliberately work at it. With the marketplace being so competitive, it became imperative that I had consciously help my candidates choose a brand and work at it.

In the marketplace, there are three important keys to personal branding.

Mediocrity is no longer permissible. My best candidates are still the ones known as the top performers, and this is not based only on academic knowledge. What will set you apart from the many others at your job is the effort you put into excelling. How well do you perform at work? How competent and skilled are you at your current job or the one you are vying for? How have your appraisals turned out in the last one year? Are you deliberate about self-development? Are you intentionally acquiring new skills?

What do people think of you at work? How will your boss, colleagues, and subordinates describe you? Are you perceived to be the office gossip, snub or life of the office? Are you seen as friendly, empathetic, thoughtful and a team player? Have you developed human relation skills and emotional intelligence to manage your relationships better? Are you the unapproachable boss?

Do the people who matter know you? How visible are you within your organization? Are your skills and competencies noticeable in your work environment? ‘I am an introvert’ is no longer an excuse. Do you participate in office events and activities? Do your bosses know you? Some call it ‘eye-service,’ I call it work-place wisdom. Find a way to get involved in other departmental projects and activities.

Please note that one does not cancel out the other. You must deliberately work at all THREE. As it is possible to be a top performer, but your bad attitude will give you negative exposure.

Be intentional about the brand you portray as a career individual as it will help as you navigate your career journey.

The post Ivie Ogbonmwan: Personal Branding in the Workplace appeared first on BellaNaija – Nigeria breaking & top news to the World 24/7. Read Today.