How to Manipulate Personal Branding

by Jun Loayza on January 3, 2009

Personal branding is projected to be the big craze this year.  Personal branding will supposedly be the best way for you to secure a job in your industry, build your network, and further your career.  To be honest, I must agree with all of these personal branding “experts,” but one thing really bothers me.

Human psychology truly fascinates me and it is amazing how easily the human mind can be manipulated and influenced.

If you constantly introduce yourself as a personal branding expert and tell everyone that personal branding is your expertise, sooner or later, you’re going to establish yourself as the personal branding expert, just because you’ve been saying it.  I find that truly fascinating!

It doesn’t matter if my material is good or bad; it doesn’t matter if the videos I make online make me look like a complete ass; if I keep repeating that I am an expert in a subject, then people will begin to believe it.  People will begin to introduce me as, “This is Jun.  He’s a personal branding expert.”

Don’t believe me?  My good friend conducted an experiment at his office and in 6 months, he was being introduced as, “This is Derek.  He writes like Hemingway and is amazing at excel.”  How was he able to accomplish this feat in just 6 months?

All he did was keep introducing himself as “Derek, the excel ninja who writes like Hemingway.”  He just kept repeating that to everyone.  Eventually, everyone was just brainwashed to think that Derek was amazing at excel and writes extraordinarily well.  To Derek’s credit, the guy is a very good writer; just take a look at his series Success Factors.  But the point is that even a mediocre writer can just keep repeating to everyone that his expertise is writing and eventually people will start to believe it.

So what?  Why should I even care?

The simple knowledge that the human brain tends to grasp onto and believe what it is told completely changes the game.  If you understand this, then you can use all of the tools given to you to brand yourself as an expert in an easy and efficient manner.

This is the strategy to quickly brand yourself as whatever you like in as little as 6 months:

Use the About Me in all social media networks strategically

In the About Me section, write something along the lines of, “I am an expert in [insert expertise here].”  Do this for every social network out there: Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumble, Mixx, and the list goes on.  Now every time someone looks up your profile on one of these networks, they’ll quickly be reminded that you are an expert in a certain field.

Develop a blog specific to your brand

Start writing a blog about the topic that you want to be known for.  If you want your personal brand to be “The expert in Japanese Ancient Architecture,” then start writing a blog about that topic.  Furthermore, make sure the url is explicitly related to that topic.  So in this case, your url would be JapaneseArchitecture.com/blog or something along those lines become I’m sure that url is taken.

The beauty is that you don’t even have to be an excellent writer.  Just keep pushing content so that people are constantly reminded about your expertise.

Get personal branding business cards

I personally think this is super dorky, but if you want a cheesy way to further brand yourself as an expert in a certain topic, then get business cards with your face on them that say you’re an expert in your field.  So now when you introduce yourself to people, they’ll have a souvenir with your face on it that keeps repeating what your expertise is.  They won’t be able to resist remembering you as “that guy who is an expert in [X].”

Work on your sticky introduction tagline

This is the one that seals the deal.  My friend introduced himself as an “Excel ninja who write like Hemingway.”  I love ninjas and Hemingway, so that would definitely stick in my head.  That’s such a strange juxtaposition that it just sticks!

So what is your personal tagline going to be?

“Hi my name is Jun Loayza and I make films like Steven Spielberg and take photographs of nude models.”  There is no way that you would ever forget that.  Then I hand out my personal branding business cards that has a picture of my face with the tagline, “I make films like Steven Spielberg and take photographs of nude models.”  This further solidifies my personal brand.

Now when the person gets home, I follow up with him and shoot him an email with my blog and twitter links.  When he looks at my blog and twitter, he realizes that my writing and tweets are centered around film-making and photography.

I promise you, the next time this person thinks about shooting a film or is in need of some photography, my name is going to pop into his head.

The Viral Loop

As you keep branding yourself in this way, more and more people are going to know about you as the expert in your field.  Use HARO to find people writing stories about your expertise and ask them to interview you or write a piece about you.  As people start writing about you, you can leverage each new publication to get on bigger and bigger ones.

I want to try an expirement like the one my firend Derek did and document it on video.  The first thing I need to do is establish my area of expertise.  Once I got that, the expirement shall begin!

About the author

Jun Loayza Jun Loayza is the President of Ecommerce Rules. In his entrepreneurial experience, Jun has sold 2 internet companies, raised over $1,000,000 in Angel funding, and lead social media technology campaigns for Sephora, Whole Foods Market, Levi's, LG, and Activision. Find Jun on Google or Twitter

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  • http://www.brianlinton.com Brian Linton

    great post, and great blog Jun.
    I am absolutely in love with the idea of building a strong personal brand…for entrepreneurs it is the one thing that will guarantee them long term success regardless of the endeavor they are working on. For instance, if an entrepreneur wants to start a new company, he or she can rely on their strong personal brand to start and grow their new company faster than they could without a strong personal brand.

    Anyways, I’m glad I found your blog and futuredelivery.tv through the comment you left on http://www.brianlinton.com. I have another relevant article on personal branding that I would love to share here: http://brianlinton.com/?p=486

    I look forward to reading more!
    Cheers,
    Brian

    Brian Linton’s last blog post..8 Tips For Entrepreneurs to Get and Stay Motivated in 2009

  • http://polnor.net/minds Hanna

    Dear Jun, you are generally right.
    But remember one thing – you have to really take those pictures and make those films – if not… well… you can sell the fridge to the Eskimo only twice – the FIRST and the LAST time ;)
    One more thing – do not repeat the message too often – if you do it more than approx. 9 times in a row – your interlocutor can start to be bored or even worse – annoyed…
    Anyway, nice article and good luck with further studying of human psychology!

    Hanna’s last blog post..My first minipost

  • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

    @Brian – that’s very true. A person can have an occupation, lose it, gain an internship, move on, and go through many other professions in his or her life. The one thing that does stick with you until the end is your personal brand.

    @Hanna – right, you definitely do have to follow through. If you say you’re an expert cook, then you should at least follow up and write blog posts about how to cook.

    I would have to disagree with you on that one. I have seen people constantly repeat that they are an expert in something to the point of annoyance. I find it extremely annoying, but it seems like everyone else just follows that person like a lost puppy.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • http://personalbrandingblog.com Dan Schawbel

    Nice Jun. You’ve hit on a very important point here that a lot of people dismiss or ignore in the first place. You need to be the REAL YOU! It’s like dating a girl and telling her that you’re a million dollar businessman and then 2 years later explaining that you clean kitchens. The truth comes out sooner or later and you can really hurt yourself by trying to be someone else.

    Dan Schawbel’s last blog post..How to Find True Happiness and Be Successful in 2009

  • http://yukaichou.com Yu-kai Chou

    Haha, those are the times when one calls him/herself a guru. When someone says “I’m the guru in this field,” we tend to secretly make fun of him for saying that, but when we need that skills, he would still be the first person you remember too.

    I am an expert in making people more powerful, as well as commenting on Jun’s blog.

    Yu-kai Chou’s last blog post..Yu-kai’s Predictions for 2009.

  • http://www.fabulousbeyondfortyclub.com/brand-your-business Danette

    With so much competition in the world today, it is crucial that every entrepreneur or solo-professional creates their unique personal brand.

    I agree with your strategies in ‘About Me’ areas on social networks, business cards etc yet the most crucial factor to stand out from the crown with your personal branding is that it must have the ‘WOW’ factor. Everyone who hears,reads, sees it must immediately know ‘WIFM’.

    More info on your unique personal branding at
    http://www.fabulousbeyondfortyclub.com/brand-your-business

    Great post Jun

    Danette

  • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

    @Dan – The REAL you is the most important thing anyone can find. I find that most people never fully find out what they truly love to do, and just settle for a good-enough life.

    @Yu-kai – I hope you can make everyone on the team more powerful so that we can all be successful. If we’re not successful by May 2009, I’m going to write a blog post about how you’re not an expert :P

    @Danette – I don’t know WIFM off the top of my head. What is it?

  • http://polnor.net/minds Hanna

    @Jun:
    “I would have to disagree with you on that one. I have seen people constantly repeat that they are an expert in something to the point of annoyance. I find it extremely annoying, but it seems like everyone else just follows that person like a lost puppy.”
    I would underline “lost puppy” here. If one is branding towards this target group – well, the strategy is right. Although one should also check the development of such relations, make long-term research (even puppies grow up with the time ;) ) to draw the right conclusions. Perhaps using the strategy could be one of the reasons why one loses clients in the long-run…?
    And I am very happy you made this comment:
    “@Dan – The REAL you is the most important thing anyone can find. I find that most people never fully find out what they truly love to do, and just settle for a good-enough life.”
    Perhaps this is the real key to success and could be pointed out in another article you will write…? :)
    Once again thank you for starting the discussion on this (very interesting!) subject.
    Hanna

    Hanna’s last blog post..Traditional Happy New Year wishes…

  • http://prevential.com/success-factors Derek

    @Hanna While you say it is an annoyance, you need to understand you can’t just stand up on a podium and start repeating what you want to be. It has to be in regular conversation.

    Additionally, if you take take charge of your personal brand, no one else is going to do it for you. It is your job to make sure people understand who the “real” you is and the best way to do that is to communicate it to people.

    Derek’s last blog post..How to Improve Your Business With the Kaizen System, Success Factors Day 4

  • http://brandonstgermaine.tumblr.com Brandon St. Germaine

    This is one of the most helpful branding ideas I’ve ever read. A strategy that can be deployed for zero cost in 10 minutes, and will show immediate success. Bravo. Thumbs!

    Brandon St. Germaine’s last blog post..Photo

    • http://Awesome.Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Thanks Brandon, really appreciate it

  • http://www.clousfamily.com Scott Clous

    Hmm. How is this different than “The Big Lie” — as you pointed out in your story, people who have to listen, over and over again maybe swayed, but people who look at the work, and don’t hear or can tune out the message, may be less impressed.

    Personal Branding, or blowing our own horn?

    I’ve gotten my music on Itunes, where people can listen, and buy — a lot of people did, without the personal branding. I also put it up on a website for free, http://www.clousfamily.com, use social media, and did I mention for free, and get less traffic.

    If people are looking for music, they are looking for music, not people with huge egos.

    Good music is going to take me places that no amount of social networking will do… although it might get me a listen.

  • http://FutureDelivery.tv Jun Loayza

    @Brandon – Thanks. My goal with this post was NOT to show you a step by step way of making it big, but rather, to show you how easily one can be manipulated. I grow tired of all of these “self-proclaimed” experts online.

    @Scott – Well, I will respond to your “music” example. People DON’T want to listen to good music. Most people have no idea what good music is (although it is very subjective). People are brainwashed to listen to anything on the radio or MTV. Most of the music on there is pure GARBAGE. These people make music just to make money, and not for the art.

    Same thing with my opinion that the personal brand is destroyed. People just keep inflating their egos until someone will pay attention to them.

    Jun Loayza’s last blog post..Future Delivery TV: Episode 18 – Why Undergraduates Don’t Blog: Answered!

  • http://ryanstephensmarketing.com/blog/ Ryan Stephens

    So your sticky introduction tagline reads, “I’m Jun and I am an entrepreneur on a quest for uber productivity, and I’m -always- still on gchat at 2am. ;-)

    I enjoyed the post, and even more so than that your reply to Dan. The reason people like us stay awake until 2 am (and respond to everyone who left a comment on our blog) is because 1.) we really do give a shit and 2.) we want to work our asses off for a few years so we don’t have to later in life.

    Hadn’t had a chance to catch up in awhile, and just wanted to wish you well!

    Ryan Stephens’s last blog post..New Year, New Beginnings

  • http://FutureDelivery.tv Jun Loayza

    Yes, we really do give a shit.

    I think I’ll always be working hard; it’s just a personality trait. Though, what will definitely change is what I’m working on. Currently, I’m working on companies that’s sole purpose is to generate revenue for the company.

    Later, I’ll be able to work on companies that actually make the lives of millions better. That would be ideal :)

    Great to hear from you Ryan!

    Jun Loayza’s last blog post..Future Delivery TV: Episode 20 – How to be an online Vlogging start w/ Casey Mckinnon

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  • http://www.maxbottaro.com max

    this is true. There was this psychology experiment (which i forget the details of… ironic) that showed people remembered facts a lot better than the source of the fact. So even if joe-dumbass says something, after a few months all you will remember is the fact, not who told you.

    The point is people remember things, not where they came from or why. You can definitely leverage this over a long period of time

    max’s last blog post..The Naked Guy

  • http://FutureDelivery.tv Jun Loayza

    So true… most people just remember the facts. Unless the guy is just really impressive; then you just remember the guy.

    Jun Loayza’s last blog post..Future Delivery TV: Episode 20 – How to be an online Vlogging start w/ Casey Mckinnon

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  • http://www.michaelbristol.com Michael Bristol

    Great Post and very true. People will remember the sticky words in their mind that envoke an emotional reaction and resonate with them. Branded now for life!

    Michael Bristol’s last blog post..United First Financial Pre-Launches BizPack Featuring – UDeduct

    • http://Awesome.Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Glad to hear that the post helped. So what’s your personal brand?

  • http://www.topsalesblog.com Top Sales Blog

    Great post! I’m not so sure everybody will be taking advantage of personal branding, however. It does take some hard work :)

    Will Fultz

    Top Sales Blog’s last blog post..How to Sell More by Reducing Risk | Free Sales eBook

    • http://Awesome.Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      It takes a lot of hard work! How have you noticed that personal branding helps with sales?

  • http://www.fiveonline.in Fiveonline

    Thanks for providing so much information on marketing. Get more information on marketing @ http://www.thebrandsaloon.com

    • http://Awesome.Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Hhahaha… thanks for the compliment. I’ll make sure to leave a link of my blog on your company site.

  • Pingback: In age of personal branding, are we losing authenticity? « Justice for all

  • http://http:/www.thebaldchemist.com the baldchemist

    As I always say; become so authorative with your personal brand that when boring people they think its their fault.
    Nice one. Take good care. The Baldchemist

    • http://Awesome.Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      I like the way you put it.

      Become just so powerful, that people can’t ignore you.

  • Olina

    Great article! Yes, you are what you tell others who you are! :)

  • http://clifornia-primier-repairs.info/ca/ Tisecreks

    I watch this guy for year, yea he do a lot of crazy stuff, but I know he is a really good and nice person. My boyfriend got his all best fights and we probably going to pray today and watch his in ring – so sad love you Mike.

  • http://businessaccent.com Vic @BusinessAccent

    Nice article Jun,

    I must agree with all your points. However, we must not forget that honesty is still the best policy. It great to tell the people about your expertise as long as you are truly expert on that field.

    Branding is very important in building your product and company. Branding involves a lot of human behavior concern.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    BTW, there is a comment spam by netterSermot, will you delete it?

  • http://CycloneMarketing.info Catherine Lockey

    hahahaha. You are so right! I do a lot of person to person networking and see it all the time. You know what? I’m going to follow your lead.

    Catherine Lockey
    Adams County PA Digital Marketing Expert
    :)

  • http://lifelastingsuccessblog.com/ Irish Business Entrepreneur

    I love your article in personal branding it’s been an interesting read for me. But in some points, isn’t it trying to make people believe in something you are not?

  • http://snlaptops.com LaptopAces

    Thanks! Its realy cool. I think you make realy hard work.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/companies/western-dental-services Western Dental

    This is true info. It takes a lot of work to build something out of nothing.

  • http://www.kreditrechner-kreditvergleich.com karlganlertse

    Interesting what you are writing!

    Kredite

  • http://www.edu-kacja.pl prace

    Hello. I’am new here.

  • http://chrystuspan.pl Talarana

    Agreeable everybody!

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