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How to Hack Your Personal Brand Online

I’ve been writing and speaking about personal branding for a while because there is just so many misconceptions about the topic on the Internet I wanted to debunk. I also noticed that ‘personal branding’ or ‘self promotion’ got bad stigma over the years.

Have you been bombarded with tweets from the folks who call themselves ‘gurus’ online? Well, make no mistake, personal branding is not about what you say about yourself – it’s about your content!

In his recent post on the Fast Company blog, The Rise of the Superconnector, NY tech journalist and COO of Contently, Shane Snow, noted:

According to a Twitter bio search on FollowerWonk, more than 180,000 people identify themselves as social media gurus, mavens, experts, and ninjas. Thousands more declare themselves “networkers.” Truth is, even we non-“networkers” are more connected than ever.

Shane Snow developed a strong personal brand through content marketing – he writes frequently on top media outlets and Linkedin Influencer platform – which allowed him to build an grow Contently to a multimillion dollar business. In another example,Leo Widrich, co-founder of BufferApp, which is a social media tool that allows you to space out your social media status updates, used a strong guest blogging strategy to acquire the first over 100,000 customers for BufferApp in 9 months.

I also realized it early in life. In every job and at every stage of my life I had unique content that gave me an edge, and eventually propelled me ahead of the pack.


5 Truths About Personal Branding Online

Here are the the 5 truths about personal branding on the Internet I’ve learned over the years:

#1 Being interesting isn’t just about learning how to become a good conversationalist. You need stories to tell.

#2 You need to offer your network or your company something of value to differentiate yourself.

#3 Your content is your work portfolio. It’s your differentiator. It’s what makes you stand out among the timid masses no matter who you are and where you are from.

#4 It shows you’re interested and involved in the world around you.  It shows your expertise. It’s what makes you interesting in life, and on the Internet.

#5 It’s the message that will make your personal brand stand out, attracting others to become part of your network.

Now, Google your name. Does your content come up? I hope it does. It’s your zero moment of truth.

Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, describes content as ‘a cause, and idea, trend, or skill—the unique subject matter on which you are the authority.’ He explains further:

Content involves a specialized knowledge. It’s knowing what you have that others don’t. It’s your expertise. Being known is just notoriety. But being known for something is entirely different. That’s respect. You have to believe in something for people to believe in you.

How to Hack Your Personal Brand: Resources

I wanted to share with you a couple of my popular blog posts, ebooks, and podcasts on the topic of personal branding “from SEO perspective.”

Personal Branding Podcast

I was recently invited on the The Brand New You podcast, and had a great chat with a career coach Ryan Rhoten about how personal branding and digital technologies, such as social media, blogging and Google, impact careers; and how to use them to your advantage. We covered a bunch of actionable insights on how to grow your online visibility.

To listen to my audio podcast, mouse over the title (first episode on the top) and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to The Brand New You podcast here.

personal branding podcast matthew capala

Free Personal Branding E-Book

Do you want to get ahead of the pack in your careers? The secret is in online entrepreneurship and building relationships with others. The two go together.

Published on Medium, a better place to read and write, Away with the Average: How Online Entrepreneurship Created Unique Advantage for Job Seekers, is a collaborative free e-book about personal branding. Constantly evolving, its content is live. Every sentence is a tweet or a conversation. Hope you enjoy it!

away with average personal branding ebook

Personal Branding Blog Posts

Here is a collection of blog posts I have written last year about personal branding, hope you will enjoy them!

8 Personal Branding Hacks to Increase Your Online Visibility

How to Become Someone Worth Talking To, Or Even Better, Worth Talking About

How to Become a Confident Public Speaker

How to Become a Rockstar Blogger and Monetize Your Passion

7 Proven Tips to Use SlideShare for Personal Branding

Are you anxious about self-promotion? You shouldn’t be, stop talking about yourself, and start building things and talk about them.

Would love to hear from you, share your story in the comments, and promote yourself!

3 replies
  1. Don Purdum
    Don Purdum says:

    Hi Matthew,

    You nailed this one!!!! I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s not what you say about yourself, but what your content says.

    Recently, I had the opportunity to write on two popular blogs. What was interesting to me was how many people that were familiar with me commented that they thought it was me and how much the site owner sounded like me; only to discover when they got to the bio at the end it was me.

    I shared the power of how our brands are built through our writing in a recent blog article titled “Successful Blogging Tips for Service Based Businesses” where I shared a screen capture of it.

    I have to admit, as people are seeing my work in other places like SEMrush,etc, it’s exciting to see that what I planned over six months is coming to reality right in front of my eyes!

    That’s why I agree with you so much, I’m living it!

    I hope you have an incredible weekend Matthew!

    ~ Don Purdum

  2. Brian (@bbrian017)
    Brian (@bbrian017) says:

    Having a personal brand online is very important. Most of the top bloggers I know focus more on their personal brand. More valuable their brand is, more they are able to engage with their audience. Focusing on the personal brand also results in higher authority and credibility.

  3. Pinki Chaurasia
    Pinki Chaurasia says:

    Hello Matthew,

    This is very decent article.I really like your described style with images. It is very helpful for me.After reading all points, I enjoyed.I will pass it with my all friends.

    Thank you,


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