The personal brand paradox, do I worry about the image I project or the value I bring?

I was recently able to read a very interesting article, written by Daniel Romero-Abreu and published from It's titled Beyond the personal brand: personal positioning and I highly recommend your reading, of which I extract some parts in this post.

First of all I want to see that Daniel is an authority on the subject, founding president of Thinking Heads. It has created a methodology that transcends, according to his words, personal brand management. It's about the Personal Positioning Strategy (Pps), and defines it as “a unique system of managing an individual's own personal brand and that takes as its axis of action — in front of traditional models based on the image — the knowledge that the character is able to generate”.

In the reference article, Romero-Abreu says “…Personal Brand sellers proliferate as sellers of the Fierabrás balm in el Quixote times. However, buying the creation of a brand that gives you glare is not the magic remedy to our ills”. He also states that “…the brand (Personal) should be the consequence of what one is or is worth professionally, and not the other way around”. Style is imposed on substance.

I must confess that what is happening with the term personal brand it's the closest thing to adulteration, to create a substitute. First because the confusion between personal branding (conscious management of your personal strategy) and personal brand (the result) it's common in many forums. But secondly it seems that the whole part of substance (Background) is reduced to the slightest expression, staying at the service of the way.


I imagine a being coming from another planet lands in the world, and by his own means he tries to figure out what this personal branding and personal branding is all about.

You would find a very confusing definition on Wikipedia: starts well: “The personal brand, in English personal branding, is a concept of personal development of considering certain people as a brand.” I already find it terribe that personal brand is translated as personal branding, when it should be personal brand. But also to be considered, without more, as brands.

And that's not all.. That being from another world would find more elements of confusion, as you'll see in the next experiment.

The experiment

I've been with an observation experiment for a while on the terminology around the personal brand. I carry it out from various digital platforms, like blogs, networks like Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin and Twitter. Above all, the focus on tracking Hashtags As #personal branding And #personalbranding.

I'm usually on track. Feedly a limited number of professionals I learn from and respect. In this case, I've let myself go through the current, without pretending to be selective. No, I don't intend to publish any white paper with the results of the experiment, but he's serving me to ratify Daniel Romero-Abreu's position.

Here are some of the elements associated with:

  1. Looks like this is about famous, of beautiful people.
  2. It is openly held that “brand is style”.
  3. On very graphic networks like Pinterest or Instagram, personal motivational phrases take the term.
  4. On Google Alerts, the sporting record and personal brand go hand in hand.
  5. Getting more followers on social media looks like Personal Brand Mecca.
  6. The colors you choose in your wardrobe are more important than the way you think and act.
  7. Brand positioning is your place at Google, not in the minds of others.
  8. Personal branding only exists in digital media. On the street we don't leave any marks.
  9. The word “passive income” is often linked to personal branding.
  10. And so it could go on…
Photo: Alexander Sviridov /

What is not associated with personal branding or personal branding

It's cost me a lot., out of the inner circles I follow, find personal brand partnerships or personal branding with:

You could conclude that personal brand management is often confused (personal branding) with personal marketing, with the elements that make the person more visible.

Not long ago, my good friend and mentor Andrés Pérez Ortega, in his post The slavery of numbers, referred to the many of the people who defend a strategic idea of personal branding do not appear in personal brand searches. The reason is that those who dominate the first pages are the ones who dominate SEO. Which makes you question, in The opinion of Andrew - which I share -, Google's suitability as a tool “Serious” search.

The personal brand paradox

A while ago I published the post A personal brand teacher with no personal brand? It referred to that sometimes, who talk about all this have been based on those ephemeral evidence, un investigationd. Surely, without having read books like Expertology, without having read Edward de Bono, to Al Ries and Jack Trout, To Ivan Diaz . The paradox of personal branding is that we have to worry so much about the value we bring (the background) as of “the handsome” we're on Google.

Our otherworldly being will have to do a lot of research to understand that personal branding is not just the image we project, that this, in the end, revolves around the value.

Cover hands photo by Vlue on

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6 thoughts on "The personal brand paradox, do I worry about the image I project or the value I bring?”

  1. Hello Guillem, I very much agree with you..
    I repeatedly meet potential customers who contact me in contacting them in the process of branding staff, they're confused. They think they should “Create” a personal brand for people to think of them something that they are not at first. Personally when I hear “create a personal brand” I already get all the evils.
    I share with you that there is generally talk of “personal brand” only as the result of a mere marketing strategy to achieve a goal and need to understand that there must be a previous self-assessment process to decipher what makes us unique and employable, but always consistent between who we are and can contribute and what we want to show of ourselves.

    Greetings and thanks for your posts. It's impossible not to learn anything from each of them.

    • prized Carola, it seems that those of us who are dedicated to this have not been able to explain well the process. Pollution coming from some sectors is terrible. Separating grain from straw is an increasingly complex job. But we won't give up. Thank you for your feedback and for your share “Evangelization”. A greeting!

  2. All of this we have to see within an organizational context in which some large corporations still seem to be governed by Milton Friedman's motto ('the purpose of a business is to get the maximum ROI possible') and that is therefore antithetical with the best proposals to provide personal brand values (as evidenced by the relatively recent BP crises in the Gulf of Mexico or Volkswagen and its Dieselgate).

    When new CEOs and DIRCOMs have more and more Masters in Corporate Social Responsibility instead of MBAs we will gradually see a corporate world in which personal branding as a value proposition can flourish in the increasingly less autocratic organizational culture. Let's hope so.

    • The good side to all this is that more and more new generations are governed by ethics and values and less by simple competences or for profit. I think, as suspicions, it is necessary to retire many of our current managers to make way for people who believe in the purpose, beyond money or wealth creation. Thank you for commenting, Oscar!

  3. Interesting post Guillem, I had already seen it on the net several times but only today I have been able to go in to read it and interesting the experiment and conclusions that you give us. I'm one of those who like experiments because in the end it's where I really see real data, and from there draw conclusions, so I congratulate you on it. A hug and to follow that you do very well defending the value proposition ;)

    • Thank you Claudio, I put you as an example of a value contribution. Many of your readers - including- have improved their knowledge after reading your articles or watching your lectures. And what's better, they've been applied. A big hug, Friends, we all add!


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