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Hone Your Brand

Lesson Five:

Hone Your Brand

Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own
Bruce Lee



There are many ways that you can sharpen your brand. By using the tools available to you, you have the opportunity to strengthen your brand and its influence over others. For example, you should take advantage of the opportunity to share ideas and influence others by blogging. By being transparent and authentic in your communication, you will attract people to you and to your brand. 


Blogging is an excellent way to draw people to your brand when it is done correctly. Unfortunately, you can repel people when you blog incorrectly. If you choose to blog, you must write about your passion. This passion will translate to your audience. In order for your personal brand to develop with your blog, you need to provide your biography. An anonymous blog will do little to increase your reputation online. 


How to Blog:

  • Make a clear point – Only blog if you have something to share.
  • Be thorough – Proofread your posts for accuracy and grammar.
  • Update consistently – Update your blog on a regular basis.

Blogs should not be created on a whim. They require time and effort, but they are worth the investment.

Be Authentic

Regardless of how you choose to portray your brand, authenticity is key. It is not easy to fake being authentic. People are becoming more savvy at identifying authenticity, and they are drawn to it. While authenticity might seem like an easy message to convey, many people fail to be authentic in their brands. There are specific actions you can take to improve your authenticity:


  • Honesty: Being authentic requires being honest about your values and ideas.
  • Promote causes: Authenticity requires action. Supporting charities and causes that align with your values shows your commitment to your values.
  • Show consistency: Back up your words with your actions at every opportunity, and do not deviate from your core message.

Be Transparent

Being transparent is a difficult task for most people. Transparency requires living your life and conducting your business in the open. Secrecy will cause people to become suspicious, and suspicion leads to misinformation. If you do not tell people the truth, they will create stories to explain what they do know. Transparency does not require you to share every intimate detail of your life, but it does demand you to be open and honest.



  • Be transparent in business finances. (To a point)
  • Be transparent in your communication. (Avoid double talk)
  • Share your personal life. (To a point)
  • Be transparent in your business decisions.

When you are transparent with your personal and professional brand, you gain the trust of your audience.


Networking is a necessary aspect of any brand. As the saying goes, “It is who you know.” This is particularly true when you are developing your brand. Networking can be a great boost to your brand when done correctly. When it is not done correctly, it is a waste of time. There are a few steps you can take to help develop your networking skills:


Meet people: Take advantage of networking opportunities to meet new people; do not stay exclusively within your social circle.


Collaborate: Work with others to showcase your skills.


Develop an elevator speech: An elevator speech is a brief introduction of 30 seconds to a minute. You need to include your name, qualifications, and how you can be useful.

Practical Application

Gary decided to create a blog for self-promotion. He focused on his main tasks at work, which he considered rather boring. The first blog post did not elicit many responses. In fact, there was only one response and it was lackluster. He continued working on the blog and promoting it among his colleagues. Unfortunately, the reception remained lukewarm. After a few weeks, Gary blogged about his company’s charity walk, a cause that he greatly supported. For the first time, there were multiple responses, and most of them encouraged him to continue writing similar posts.