Personal Branding Advice From My Mom

William ArrudaWilliam’s Words
By William Arruda

A note from the Founder of Reach Personal Branding.

Personal Branding Advice From My Mom
Because this is our 10th anniversary year, I have been going through content I have created over the years to look for trends and see what was most popular.

One of the most popular articles I ever wrote was titled “Personal Branding Advice from My Mom.” So I am reposting it here so you too can benefit from Mrs. Arruda’s words of wisdom:


When I think about personal branding and what’s necessary to build and express a consistently powerful brand, I’m amazed at the relevance of much of the advice my mother shared with me and my friends during those early sandbox years. Since you weren’t able to share my sandbox, here are a few valuable pieces of advice from my mom. Back then, my friends called her Mrs. Arruda, but you can call her Barbara. Here are Barbara’s personal branding tips:

Just Be Yourself, Honey.
 Where it fits in the Reach 1-2-3 Success! Branding Process: Brand Discovery – Authenticity.

Strong brands know how to use who they are (their strengths, passions, values, vision, etc.) to get what they want. Understanding yourself and maximizing your greatest strengths will enable you to project an enviable brand image. But don’t worry, even though others may envy you, they won’t be able to copy you if you base your brand in authenticity. Watch this video: Authentic Personal Branding.

Sharing is Caring.
 Where it fits in the Reach 1-2-3 Success! Branding Process: Brand Environment – Networking.
Giving to members of your network will ensure they’re ready to support you when you need them. Sharing an article, a web site or a new tool to help them succeed will help you build and maintain a strong professional network. The most successful networkers know that giving to their network is the best strategy. And the strongest brands have powerful networks.

You Have Two Ears and One Mouth, So Listen Twice as Much as You Speak.
 Where it fits in the Reach 1-2-3 Success! Branding Process: Brand Measurement – Feedback.

Strong brands are obsessive about asking for and listening to feedback. People will tell you what you need to know to evolve your brand, but you need to be paying attention. So listen when people introduce you, listen as they describe what you do to others and most importantly, pay attention when they share a direct piece of feedback that could be the key to understanding your professional reputation. Remember, you can get a complimentary 15-day password to 360Reach here. Watch this video to make the most of your 360Reach assessment: 360Reach Personal Branding Assessment.

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions.
 Where it fits in the Reach 1-2-3 Success! Branding Process: Brand Environment – Surroundings.
Everything in your brand environment says something about you. Your first interaction with someone conveys a powerful brand message. Your appearance, the business tools you use and your office are sending mini brand messages about you. Ensure the messages you send bolster your brand.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get.
 Where it fits in the Reach 1-2-3 Success! Branding Process: Brand Communications – Visibility.
If you want to speak to a specific group, want an article in a particular magazine or want to provide some value to a specific organization, just ask! I re-learn this lesson over and over. It’s amazing what you get when you ask for it.

You Can Be Anything You Want, You Just Need to Want it Badly Enough.
 Where it fits in the Reach 1-2-3 Success! Branding Process: Brand Discovery – Goals.

All achievements start with a goal. Successful branding requires that you know your goals so you can direct your energy toward them. Your goals give your brand direction. So you must be acutely aware of what you want – what you really want – before embarking on a brand-building program. Have you identified and documented your goals? Watch this video: Turn Your Goals Into Gold.

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2 Responses to “Personal Branding Advice From My Mom”

  1. This is a great post William! You know the saying, “Moms know best”. My mother always told me “it can’t hurt to ask.” I have stood by this my whole life and she was right. The worst thing that can happen is someone says “no”. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. William, Thank you for sharing your mother’s words of wisdom. She was obviously quite wise.

    As a child my creativity made me seem like an odd duck to others. Like your mother, my mother also encouraged me to be myself – even when it was challenging. Fortunately our parents knew we would be adults a lot longer than we would be children.

    The gift of being able to make creative connections that others are unable to make allows me to help executives transform what inspires them into a better life.

    Anne-Marie Ditta
    Chief Career Officer
    MyCareerCoach
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