Business Forum, Member Connections Newsletter

NAPW Business Forum: Personal Branding: Perception vs Reality


business forum logo_finalShare your expertise, knowledge and comments in
NAPW’s Business Forum.

Now, more than ever, establishing your personal brand is one of the most important components of your success. Proper brand management conveys exactly who you are, what you do and why you do it better than anyone else. When you build your personal brand, you are laying the groundwork for how you want to be perceived by others. There are plenty of ways to strengthen that foundation, both in person and online, to ensure your brand is leaving the indelible mark you want.

Find Your Voice
Have a message that is clear and easily recognizable; something that best represents you. Then use it in a consistent manner. A recent Forbes article suggests you think of your personal brand as a trademark, an asset you need to protect and manage.

Be a Thought Leader
Set yourself apart from the competition. Portray yourself as a thought leader by creating valuable content, whether it’s on your own blog or by contributing as a guest blogger on other sites. Post thought-provoking tweets and comments on industry articles to elicit conversations.

In-Person Impressions
Managing your personal brand in face-to-face situations is just as important as your online image. When you network, be sure to use that same voice. To show your expertise, offer to speak on industry topics at conferences, NAPW Local Chapter meetings and other events.

Online Profiles
Using SEO, make sure your NAPW profile is complete, as well as your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, since these are often the first results people see when they Google your name.

Stalk Yourself Online
Speaking of Google searches — it’s important to constantly Google yourself to see what’s out there about you on the web. What comes up first? Is it the most positive? If not, you’ve got work to do! So…

Pump Up the Positive
Good content is key! In a US News & World Report interview, branding expert Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future said, “The only sure way to overcome negative information about you online is to drown it out.” She suggests pumping up your online profiles, have a Twitter account, a blog or a podcast interview series.

Remember, building your personal brand perception is ongoing. So, create that online content, speak up at meetings and continue to network. Represent yourself in such a way that others see the value in who you are, what you represent and what you offer – becoming your reality!

We want to hear from you! How do you portray your personal brand? Tell us what has worked for you when it comes to managing your brand.

Please leave your comments below and be sure to take our poll. When you’re done, keep the conversation going on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!


Megan Bozzuto


  1. Victoria Moore
    June 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I try to consistently build up my brand by contributing fashion/feature articles to publications then announcing them on social media and by dressing in my own unique style.

  2. Kendall White
    June 5, 2014 at 12:31 am

    New Inventions, Health Strategy and Solutions!

  3. Sheri Hart
    June 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    When it comes to personal branding remember that, unfortunately, perception IS reality. Even when all you want to say is “that is not true”, you have to understand that if someone perceives you, your “brand”, or your company a certain way, that is THEIR reality and you have to work to change it for the better.

  4. Becky Downard
    June 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    We are a small company who specializes in custom training. When we first began several years ago, we decided that instead of going the route of main-stream marketing, we would work on building awareness and interest in our brand; so clients would come to us versus us cold calling them. We’ve done this by illustrating our competitive advantage over our competition on our website and building demand through past client referrals and word-of-mouth. It has been a successful approach for the last few years, but lately it seems that we need to do something more…

    Our greatest challenge has been trying to ‘keep up’ with the newest trends in brand marketing and SEO. As mentioned, we are a small company with a very limited marketing budget and even less time resources to dedicate to development of white papers and blog content.

    I would love to hear feedback from anyone who might be having the same challenges. Have folks found that certain SEO and brand recognition practices (il.e. blogs, industry mags, white papers, etc.) have been more fruitful than others?

  5. Margo
    June 8, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I think being a guest blogger about your passion for your product or anything related to it helps. Also, having your own blog is a good thing. I use mine at to provide freebies (which are actually previews or a sampling of a product) for my prospective customers.