Why I don’t want a huge personal brand

For years, I worked as a marketing strategist and copywriter building other people’s brands. Funnels. Squeeze pages. Opt-ins. Opt-outs. Sales pages. Video sales letters. Email campaigns. You name it.

I understand the mindset and mechanics behind it all. I’ve done a lot of it behind the scenes, very successfully for others. Yet, if you’ll notice, I haven’t really applied it myself.

If you look at my website, it’s pretty simple. My Facebook page isn’t ‘optimized’. I’ve deleted my LinkedIn account. I don’t have any fancy certifications. My main ‘marketing’ technique is sharing free, valuable content every single day here and the occasional personal note to my email list.

So why, if I understand the ways of building a big personal online brand, don’t I do it?

I want to forever be personally approachable.

Unless you’re an asshat, there’s a 90% chance I WILL respond to your email/response/note. And I hope to always be able to do that.

I don’t ever want to be larger than life. I don’t want to be on Oprah (sorry I haven’t called ya back, O — just kidding, she… hasn’t… actually… called… never mind).

My coaching practice is based on 1-on-1 powerful conversations. The only thing my clients care about is one thing — if I can help them shift their mindset to reach their goals while living more tranquil lives.

This model suits me perfectly. I hardly ever talk about it here for a couple reasons…

For one, I really can’t work with more than a handful of people at a time. Also, I understand that what I have to offer — higher end coaching — isn’t for the masses.

Now, I’d be a total hypocrite if I said your personal brand wasn’t important AT ALL. I am, after all, writing this on Medium, in public, hoping a jillion people read it. Having a personal brand is extremely important. It’s just that it’s easy to get seduced by the big, sexy, shiny epic brands of the big internet celebrities thinking you need THAT before you start your work.

Just because it seems everyone is building a huge online brand doesn’t mean it’s a requirement.

As a matter of fact, sometimes it pays to zig while others zag. Maybe you should think small, private, and boutique than larger-than-life. Or not.

My advice here isn’t for everyone. If my model was based around a digital product where I’d have to sell a jillion of them to make a living, I’d probably reconsider.

But that’s not me. And self-awareness is the most essential thing in business (besides the other ‘most essential’ things in business, of course).

If you’ve read this and still would like to build a huge personal brand, I wish you the best. But as for me, I’ll be keeping things low-key and focusing in on the thing I do best — one post, and one conversation, at a time.


Jonas Ellison is a coach and writer who helps people find their Mojo and dismantle their self-imposed limitations using spiritual, philosophical, psychological, and practical tools. To get his short vignettes in your inbox daily,click here.

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