Real-Life Lessons From One Woman’s Personal-Branding Efforts

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This morning, I was all prepared to write about personal branding for this week’s PR Insider when, lo and behold, an email popped into my inbox that made my points even better than I could.

It was a completely unsolicited testimonial from a client who wanted to acknowledge how our efforts played a part in her success. I’d like to share it with you, but for a good reason that will be clear in a moment. She said:

“I’ve worked with EMSI for over 4 years. My publications have made it into major print – Inc, Wall Street Journal, Leadership Excellence, AMA and others. The media campaign resulted in becoming a best selling author for my leadership books, twice. Now I write weekly for the 6th largest newspaper in the country. Their expertise, wealth of media connections and fun work ethic has made gaining the visibility for my company easy and built my foundation of thought leadership. As a result my business has grown, I am a sought after speaker and I can spend time doing what I love to do, working with clients and running my company. I’ve referred them to others, including my own personal clients who had the same success. My next book will be coming out in 2017 and EMSI will definitely be on the journey!” – Debora

Excuse my bragging for a minute! Yes, my staff and I loved the generous praise she showered us with and yes, I love being able to share it with you because I’m so proud! But, the real reason I’m bringing this up is her email carries lessons for those who have a desire to build their personal brand, yet wonder about the value of a public relations campaign in accomplishing that.

These lessons were the very ones I planned to share with you until her email interrupted me (and it was a much appreciated interruption!), giving me real-life examples that went straight to the heart of my message.

As I read her email, four things jumped out at me in terms of what had been beneficial to her:

  • An ongoing effort. The first thing she said is that she worked with us for four years. She understood that building your personal brand is not a one-and-done deal. It should be an ongoing element in any marketing strategy. Too often, I’ve seen people successfully gain some media recognition, but then call it a wrap. Somehow they think that last year’s publicity should be enough, but that’s like saying a visit to the fitness center a year ago should suffice to keep you in tiptop shape. In reality, your efforts to build your personal brand will fade quickly if you don’t keep it up. Remember, if you manage to stay on the media’s radar, you also will stay on the radar of their readers, viewers and listeners. That’s a lesson this client took to heart.
  • Third-party endorsements. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I always stress how valuable it is to your brand to be quoted as an expert by the media. This adds to your credibility because these publications serve as an implicit third-party endorsement of your expertise. In this case, our client wrote that she owes a good chunk of her success to the fact she has been quoted in numerous top-tier media outlets.
  • Leveraging your publicity. Our client wrote that the visibility and credibility she gained helped position her as a leader in her industry. Her business has grown and she has become a sought-after speaker. She definitely understood the value of getting the most mileage out of the publicity effort. You, too, want to make sure you get the greatest value out of your media successes because they can help you land more clients or advance your career. One great way to leverage your publicity is to use your website and social media to link to the articles and appearances.
  • Professional assistance. Some people take a do-it-yourself approach to PR, and while that can work to a degree there’s definitely something to be said for finding a PR team with the skill, experience and connections that your average person simply doesn’t have. In this client’s case, because she has a team to handle PR for her, she says she’s able to focus on other priorities, spending more time, as she puts it, “doing what I love to do.” (I loved hearing that!)

It’s always rewarding for me to see a client succeed this way. And what’s even more gratifying is that she understands the value of the PR we’ve secured for her, knows how to leverage it and realizes it’s an ongoing effort to grow her personal brand and stand out from her competitors.

Isn’t it great when “you’ve got mail?”


P.S. If you need a seasoned PR team to help with your personal and/or corporate branding efforts, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215 or Click here to get your Free Media Analysis. We’d love to talk to you!

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