What do Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Jordan, and even “Snookie” have in common?

They are brands. Personal brands.

They stand out further beyond Microsoft, Facebook, The Chicago Bulls and MTVs “Jersey Shore”.

In our company, we are no longer “lifers” – our careers take different twists and turns along the way. One element that helps us to move up and progress further in our trajectory is our expertise.

In this article by Tom Peters “The Brand Called You”, he talks about reputational power:

Unknown“It’s being known for making the most significant contribution in your particular area. It’s reputational power. If you were a scholar, you’d measure it by the number of times your publications get cited by other people. If you were a consultant, you’d measure it by the number of CEOs who’ve got your business card in their Rolodexes. (And better yet, the number who know your beeper number by heart.)” 

You may think you have nothing to say.

You may think it’s all been said before.

But guess what? No one has heard what YOU have to say from YOUR perspective.

So how do you position yourself as an expert?

Think about it from a strategic perspective.

Take a few moments to think about (better yet, write down) answers to the following questions:

  1. What makes YOU different from everybody else?
  2. Why do people hire you instead of your competitors?
  3. What do you stand for? Name 3 values that you feel very strongly about.
  4. What core competencies do you bring to the table? Name 3.
  5. What do you want other people to say about you?
  6. What do people say about you now?

Here’s the kicker. You have to OWN it. 

You have to feel confident in your competencies. You have to remind yourself that you are helping people solve their problems.

Now, the next step is to position yourself as the expert.

You’re going to want to start with an overarching strategy for your presence and really cultivate your brand.

Enlisting a brand expert can be a very beneficial investment. I recommend Get Real Branding and Brand School. Each of these programs and brand experts have their own core expertise and I’m sure you’ll choose the right solution provider for you.

As a Social Media specialist, I urge you to showcase yourself as an expert on your LinkedIn summary.

Maximize the 2,000 word area to build out your brand.

It’s like an elevator pitch of sorts and a great way to “toot your own horn” without sounding like a braggart.

Write it in 1st person to make it connect with the reader. Write it for your ideal perfect customer so they feel compelled to connect with you and want to learn everything you have to offer.

If you’re not on LinkedIn – get started today.

From an overarching strategical standpoint, ideally you should also start your own blog and newsletter and “own” your relationships with your connections. Building this infrastructure takes dedicated time and effort to build a presence and a following, but doing so will help you build a stronger presence over time.

Obviously there is a lot more to building out your presence as an expert but here are a few additional ideas:

  • Write and submit editorial articles for the newsletters or magazines your target audience reads the most.
  • Offer your services as a public speaker at various networking events or conferences your target group attend.
  • Write blogs posts and syndicate them across all your social media sites. Find other bloggers who write for your target audience’s industry and ask if you can write blog posts for them.


  1. Invest in your brand and your story.
    Contact a brand expert or spend the time building out who you are and what makes you unique.
  2. Create or update your LinkedIn summary
  3. Write down your own marketing plan.
    Where do you want you want to say this year? Where are you going to publish it?

Now it’s your turn. What is ONE suggestion do you have to make a difference in your brand story?