The Power of Personal Branding: You Don’t Have to Like It, in Order for It to Work

We’re all guilty of doing those things we know we shouldn’t and not doing the things we know we should. For example, despite my best intentions this week and tremendously busy schedule, I didn’t exercise one bit (should be doing) and found myself on more than one occasion standing in my pantry reaching for something sweet (should not). 

But every once in a while, something monumental comes around and completely challenges the way we operate. The last presidential election was one of them.

Ten years ago, when I left my agency to launch a personal branding consulting firm, I don’t have to tell you how many raised eyebrows I received. Not only was it a new industry, the idea of intentionally positioning and marketing yourself left a lot of people uncomfortable. Soon after, the housing crash happened, the economy tanked and millions of people suddenly found themselves struggling to get--or keep work. Then, the realization slowly started to wash over some. 

“How come I’ve worked this hard...and nobody knows who I am?”

Think about how many people have laughed and joked about the fact that DT landed in the white house because he was extremely savvy at telling and controlling his personal narrative. 

In fact, millions probably believed that Trump International was a huge company with thousands of employees and offices around the globe. We know now, it is not. 

I truly believe there is very little we can learn from DT, but this is one thing and a biggie: Develop a strong Personal Brand and Control your narrative. 

1.  All About the Benjamins baby: For years, everyone from rappers to best-selling authors referenced his name when talking about the “good life.” Despite the fact that he was bankrupt multiple times, didn’t pay his contractors and and a reputation of being the most selfish man around. His reputation in the world, said otherwise. 

2.  Believed until everyone else did: Remember when you first heard DT was running? Admit it, you laughed. I did too. He did not. His self-image has always been unwavering and this is a critical point. Regardless of how you feel about him (despise is the word that is common to mind for me), this man’s belief in himself was so strong he was able to create a groundswell of people who began to buy into that belief system. Is your belief system as strong? 

3.  The idea of curation: Everything in the Trump world reinforces the message he wants you to get. I’m a rich man (nobody ever accused him of being deep). But buried underneath all of this foolishness is an important lesson I don’t want you to lose. He created the world he eventually started living. You can do the same. Hopefully, in your case it is for the betterment of mankind. 

The reality is, people who are intentional about building and managing their personal brand, get results, while others are sitting on the sidelines wondering what happened to them. 


Jennifer Ransaw Smith is a nationally recognized  Personal Elevation™Architect, Leadership Development Mentor and Personal Brand Strategist. She specializes in igniting the visibility, credibility, and profitability of professional women. If you are interested in joining her tribe of “Undeniably Fierce,” women from across the globe or learning how to Boost Your Status, sign up for her FREE Master Class at