Top 10 Personal Branding Books


Have you been focusing on personal branding from day one but still not satisfied with the improvements you’ve made? When you feel as if you’re out of personal branding ideas, one of the best ways to gather inspiration and new ideas is to seek out other branding professionals and paid experts through books and social media platforms.

Cre8iv Branding has created a special line-up of personal branding books that will save you precious time and help keep you motivated as well as goal-oriented. You can also take that newly found inspiration to Twitter by following each one of these personal branding authors and experts with the handle provided. Surround yourself with information and success and it’s bound to rub off on you!

Read Cre8iv Brandings’ Top 10 Personal Branding Books

#1 – Peter Montoya @PeterMontoya1

Peter Montoya’s personal branding book is titled, ‘The Brand Called You: The Ultimate Personal Branding Handbook to Transform Anyone into an Indispensable Brand’ and you can expect to come away from this book with a new understanding on what makes you different from your competition, and how you can relate to customers. Montoya turns the focus from your product to something even better – you!

#2 – M L Kayser @MaryLouKayser

You will reach for Mary Lou Kayser’s branding book, ‘Personal Branding Secrets for Beginners: A Short and Simple Guide to Getting Started with Your Personal Brand’ the moment you see it. Whether you are a personal branding expert or still wondering what all they hype is about branding, this is a simple and easy to understand guide. No matter how successful you’ve been at personal branding, revisiting the basics can keep you on your A-game.

#3 – Kaplan Mobray @kaplanmobray

You’ll love the title of Kaplan Mobray’s newest book, ‘The 10ks of Personal Branding: Create a Better You’ but as you begin reading, you’ll realize this book is a gem for those who strive to better branding. Offering ten keen insights into branding today, you will come away with the mindset needed to propel your career and meet your goals as an individual as well as an entrepreneur.

#4 – Karen Kang @KarenKang

Who doesn’t love a simple five step plan? In the personal branding book ‘BrandingPays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand’, Karen Kang promises her system will help you reinvent your personal brand. This book will help you reinvent yourself and your skills, which is something Kang feels is needed due to changes that globalization and social media have caused in the world today.

#5 –Dan Schawbel @DanSchwabel

When you read the title of Dan Schawbel’s personal branding book titled, ‘Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success’, you know exactly what the focus is going to be from page one: how to survive (and thrive!) in this technologically advanced world. Schawbel offers a four step plan that includes analyzing how blogs, websites, podcasts and social networks play a part in the advancement of your career.

#6 – Timothy Clark @BizModelYou

As you discover new titles in the personal branding niche, you’re sure to come across Timothy Clark’s ‘Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing Your Career’. Clark dives into the art of productive brainstorming, using a piece of white paper to create a functioning personal business model to provides new skills, growth and change.

#7 –William Arruda @reachbranding

Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand’ is a great personal branding resource from the mind of William Arruda. In this book, you will find an easy to follow presentation on personal branding that will help anyone who is searching for the right job that is sure to put you head and shoulders ahead of the competition.

#8 – Lena Nozizwe @lenanozizwe

If you are ready to claim your fame with the help of personal branding, you should secure a copy of Lena Nozizwe’s book called, ‘Starring in Your Own Life: Reveal Your Hidden Star Quality and Make Your Life a Blockbuster Hit’. Nozizwe challenges readers to stop being a spectator and start being the star of the show while they find happiness and vitality in life.

#9 – David McNally and Karl D Speak @speakk

‘Be Your Own Brand: Achieve More of What You Want by Being More of Who You Are’ by David McNally is a second edition copy that offers a unique process to self-discovery and personal aspirations. You’ll ask yourself how closely your brand aligns with those around you, in personal and work relationships.

#10 – Dorie Clark @dorieclark

Number ten on Cre8iv Branding’s top ten personal branding book list goes to another step by step branding plan called ‘Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future’ by Dorie Clark. Clarkhelps her readers find their strengths and build their unique talents and skills to build a compelling and recognizable brand that offers many powerful contributions.

Thanks to Cre8iv Branding, research for the best personal branding books has been completed. Which book will you read first? Which titles have you already enjoyed?

Five Things Santa Claus Can Teach Us About Personal Branding

Recently, my five-year old daughter and I had breakfast with Santa at Macy’s here in New York City. Santa was in town for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and to officially kick-off the Christmas holiday season.


Watching my daughter so mesmerized and overflowing with excitement to meet Santa, telling him she wanted a Frozen Elsa Pop-up Doll and then proceeding to give him a “high five” got me thinking.

As a personal brand strategist, what branding lessons can we learn from Santa?  After all, he has one of the most iconic and recognizable brands in the world, as well as being the very successful CEO of the largest toy production company in the world.

Five Things Santa Can Teach Us About Personal Branding

Whether you believe or not, if you want to build a powerful and very recognizable personal brand, here are five things we can learn from Santa:

1. Compelling Personal Story:  Santa Claus, also know as St. Nicholas, got his start in the 4th century province of the ByzantineAnatolia, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor.  In the 16th century in England, Santa became known as Father Christmas, known for his spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, good food, wine, and revelry. Since the 20th century, Santa brings presents to good children once a year on December 24th, the night before Christmas. Also, he has been featured in numerous books, movies, and songs, making his image recognizable to multiple generations.

Lesson: Successful brands take years to build. For people to believe in you, they must be able to connect to you on a deep personal level, knowing you are authentic, and your intentions are true. Although Christmas has become highly commercialized, Santa is respected for not just “chasing the cash”.

2. Clear Brand Message:  Santa is clear on “Who He Is” and “What He Does”. Santa Claus is an expert in secret gift-giving. He brings presents to good children once a year on December 24th. Santa keeps a list of who’s been naughty or nice, and checks it twice. If you’re good, you get a present. If not, you get a lump of coal in your stocking. It’s clear and direct!

Lesson: If people can’t figure out what you do, they are not going to do business with or recommend you. Also, it’s important to be able to set clear boundaries so you can stay focused on what you do best and are most passionate about.

3. Great Team Around Him: To have a great brand, you can’t do it alone. With Santa, he has a whole team of elves that helps him, plus flying reindeers to pull his sleigh. They also look out for Santa in protecting his image and reputation. Santa even accepts diversity, such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Santa’s brand is bigger than ever.

Lesson: Ask yourself: Who is watching out for your brand?  Is your support staff willing to think outside the box? A trusted team is critical when building a personal brand. Just like your money, you need to manage and protect your personal brand and online reputation.

4.  Excellent Reputation:  Santa is not “all about himself”. He has a reputation for secret gift-giving and doing well. He is also known as Saint Nicholas, who is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students in various cities and countries around Europe.

Lesson: Successful personal brands take years to build and seconds to destroy in the court of social media if you’re not careful. When assessing opportunities or posting to social media always ask yourself “does this support my brand and reputation?” Having a reputation that can cross platforms into various fields can also have its advantages.

5.  Jolly Personality:  Santa is known for being a happy, jolly, and very likable person. His positive energy lights up the room and makes people want to be around him. When he meets children, he gives each child his full attention, which makes them feel like they are the only person in the room.

Lesson: Positive energy attracts people. When you make people feel like they are special or take the time to help them with a problem or challenge, they will be your brand ambassadors. Listen carefully to your clients and what they want. When people believe in you, they will share with others “Who You Are”, “What You Do” and “What’s Your Story” and do your marketing for you.

As 2014 comes to a close, enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season. May your personal brand stocking be filled with good will, and here is wishing that 2015 brings great joy and happiness.


Online Reputation

Online Reputation

If a potential client looks you up online, what will they see? This is an ever-increasing worry for small businesses as the internet marketplace becomes more and more dominant. Your online reputation is built and destroyed by the things you post, the websites you frequent, the comments you make publicly, and the comments that are made about you. A few bad remarks on Facebook, or a bad review on, and before you know it, your reputation is destroyed. These days, a disgruntled employee or an unhappy customer can leave a lasting impression for the world to see.

The worst part about it is that you don’t always get a chance for a rebuttal. The attackers get to fire the first shot at you from the comfort of their easy chairs. There are no filters to stop statements from hitting the internet simply because they may not be true. When it comes to your online reputation, you are truly guilty until you can prove yourself innocent. Having negative comments or remarks about you or your business floating around in cyberspace can have damaging results. In order to avoid this situation, adopt a more involved internet approach. Constantly search for yourself and your business on and other popular search engines. See what comes up as you click on the various entries that are available about you. If you find something that is damaging or negative, search around the site that posted it for remedies about getting it taken down. Perhaps you can send an email or a signed letter about the event that took place that led to the bad remark. There may be a place for a rebuttal to be logged, or a “contact us” function where you can levy a dispute. Regardless of the outcome, it is an excellent idea to stay on top of these things. Preventing bad publicity from spreading is usually easiest when it is caught early, so research your own online reputation and make sure you are safe.

How to Rebrand Yourself

How to rebrand yourself

When you find yourself in need of some major reputation repair, it may be time to start over from scratch.   When your brand is damaged beyond repair, changing your approach becomes necessary.  Rebranding yourself is not easy, but it is possible.  The following steps will get you started down the path to rebranding yourself or your business.

1.)  Uncover the problems.  How did this happen?  What incidents or occurrences led to the damage towards your brand?  Were these problems avoidable?  Knowing what happened, how it happened and how it can be avoided in the future is a major step toward rebuilding your reputation in the marketplace.

2.)  Are your products or services still needed in their current form?  Sometimes your brand suffers because you missed the mark on your initial offering.  If your product or service is no longer in demand, or if your target market is receiving that product or service from another provider, changes may need to be made at that level of your business.

3.)  Is your message being received?  What is your message to the market?  Is it being received by the folks who need to hear it?  Sometimes the chosen media we are using can impact the results of the advertising.  If your target market is listening to radio ads, and you are predominantly using newspaper advertising, your message is being missed and you are becoming irrelevant.  Changing the message or the method of dissemination may be necessary.

4.)  Do you look like everyone else?  Have you lost whatever it was that set you apart from your competition and made you unique?  Focusing on this point may be the strongest piece of your recovery.

These four steps will help you begin your rebuilding process as you work to rebrand yourself or your business.  Work through these points and use them like points on a map.  Follow them, and you will eventually arrive at your destination.

Rebrand Yourself

Rebrand Yourself

The internet, social media, opinion pages and review sites make it tough for anyone to control the possibility of negative things being said or complaints being posted about themselves or their businesses. When you reach a point where the damage has been too extensive and the wounds are just too deep, it may be time to rebrand yourself.

The first thing you can do is ask yourself if it is time for a change. Do you want to stay in the field you are in as you move forward into the future? Often rebranding means changing direction. Perhaps the way you are going about things need to change. Are feathers being ruffled because of your direct actions, or because of undesirable results? A little examination into the root causes of the problem can go a long way towards deciding how to fix it.

It is also a good idea to determine whether or not the damage to your brand was personal. If a former spouse or disgruntled former employee has done the damage, can it be overcome with some damage control? Or is it better to just rebrand yourself as something new, a brand new entity with no history as opposed to a negative history? These questions will help you make some of these major decisions.

There are plenty of professional services available to assist you with building or rebuilding your personal brand. Any of them can assist you once you decide that rebranding is what you need. Just make sure that the original brand, that took so long to build, is beyond repair before throwing all of that hard work out and starting over.

Online Reputation Repair

Online Reputation Repair

The online reputation of an individual or a business is becoming more and more important as advances in technology continue to evolve.  Our lives are displayed for the world to see on today’s internet, through social sites and blogs.  What few people realize is that the picture you post on Facebook, or the comment you make on twitter, can be picked up at any time, by any search engine, completely at random.  Once that happens, those events can be posted in any number of arenas without your knowledge.  These occurrences may turn out to be totally harmless or they may come back to haunt you.

It is a good idea to be proactive about your own online reputation, and periodically search comment sites, social media, and perform Google searches on your name and your business.  The sooner you find out whether or not there is a problem, the sooner you can repair the damage.  Once you find that some damage has been done, you do not have to handle the situation alone.  There are several excellent companies that specialize in online reputation repair that can assist you in curing your ailment.  These companies possess the experience and expertise to search out the places online that are causing problems for you, and they have proven strategies on how to eliminate the issue or minimize it.  These companies also have the tools to rebuild your reputation if needed by commenting and posting positive remarks and reviews in strategic locations throughout the various social media outlets.  If you find that you are in need of these services, act quickly, and bigger problems may be avoided down the line.

Reputation Management Services

Reputation Management Services

If checking the internet every day for comments and remarks about you or your business is leaving you cold, don’t worry.  The cavalry is on its way.  There are professional companies that specialize in offering reputation management services to help you stay safe in cyberspace.  These companies usually offer a variety of specialties such as reputation rebuilding, for those clients who have experienced damage to themselves or their businesses, or reputation maintenance, for those clients that have a good reputation now and want to keep it that way.  In addition, some of these reputation management services offer an ongoing feature to constantly cleanse your reputation from day to day.  This can range from notifying you about negative material being posted about you to actually engaging people in real time on blogs and on websites in order to steer the conversation in a direction that is more favorable to you.  Real time, active management of someone’s online reputation is a growing field, and may be just what you are looking for.

A good reputation management service also understands that business, is business.  As such you will have a few people now and then that will be unhappy.  Some of those may even leave comments or remarks on blogs or on websites.  These companies will seek out those bad comments and have them removed if possible.  If that can’t be done, then they will leave additional positive comments on top of the negative entries again and again until those negative comments are buried from sight.  A reputation management service can be incredibly helpful to an individual or a business.

How to get paid to speak

How to get paid to speak

Once you have established yourself as an authority or person of influence in your field, getting paid to speak to organizations or groups is simply a matter of marketing.  You have to get your name out in front of the decision makers who control the speakers for various functions.  You will need a demonstration video, CD or a copy of a book or a collection of papers.  Whatever your particular field is, there are people who want to know what you know that are currently in that field.  Getting in front of them takes time and effort, and a lot of mailing, calling or emailing.

For instance, if you are an expert in the field of automotive sales, you will want to gain exposure to car dealerships all over the country.  You can arrange lists by state, by city, by zip code or whatever is mist convenient and fits your business plan.  Google the names of the decision makers and send them an email with a link to a blog post or a free book you have written.  Send them a mailing with promotional materials about you and your business, along with your experience and why you think you will be able to help their salespeople to perform better.  This translates to any field of study or line of work.

Most importantly, give those decision makers a compelling reason to hire you to come speak to their group.  The best reasons usually impact their bottom line.  In the example of the automotive sales speaker, you would not tell the owner of the dealership that you want to help the salespeople make more money.  You would tell him that you want to help the sales people to be better salespeople, to bring in more closed sales, to increase HIS bottom line.  Marketing is truly everything, and it is the key to obtaining paid speaking engagements.

The NFL Crisis: Why Professionals Need Personal Brand Management

article-frontpage-9-9-0910webOver the past few weeks, you cannot turn on the TV, read the headlines, or go online without another breaking news story about a NFL player  involved in a form of violence (100 cases to date). While this crisis has exposed the serious domestic, sexual, and child abuse issues existing within the NFL, it also shows the complete lack of understanding of effective management of personal brand and reputation by those in the public spotlight and high-power business positions.

In this day and age, people are tried, convicted and sentenced in the court of social media. It only takes one action, one comment, one tweet, or one video, someone seeking 15 minutes of fame or money for your personal brand and reputation to be ruined. And this rule extends past sports and the entertainment industry to include business professionals who are in the public eye.  Just look at the recent social media firestorms targeted at Roger Goodell, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, or ousted Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich

As a personal brand strategist who helps individuals to rebrand themselves after traumatic career setbacks, the NFL crisis shows the shocking power of a personal brand…

“IT IS POWERFUL…you can either harness this power or it can electrocute you.”

Why You Need A Personal Brand Manager? 

If you are in the public spotlight in today’s world, you need a dedicated personal brand manager.  Here’s why:

1.  Personal Brand + Reputation = Money – At the end of the day, ask yourself who’s watching out for your brand?  Just like your money, you need to manage and protect your personal brand and online reputation.  This is how you earn your living. You may be leaving money on the table or losing money because of a bad personal brand and reputation.  If you don’t have a dedicated personal brand manager, GET ONE!  A good publicist and lawyer can only do so much in the clean up department.   If your management team only says “YES” to you…NO ONE is protecting your brand.   One client calls me “The Hammer” because I tell him when actions or opportunities don’t support his passions, personal brand, or reputation.  Just like a football coach, a great personal brand manager knows how to tap into your passions, strengths, and push you out of your comfort zone to take your personal brand to the next level and earn top dollar.  Just look at Michael Strahan as an example of someone who knows how to manage his personal brand and reputation.

2. Employers Only Care About Their Own Brand and Reputation – You will never convince me that allegedly Roger Goodell never saw the complete video of Rice knocking out his then fiancée in the elevator before it went public.   It is clear the NFL was hoping the incident would just go away, and their light 2 game ban came across as too lenient.  While there is no justification for domestic violence, I will give Rice credit.  He did allegedly inform the NFL and Goodell of the incident right away.  If you are ever in a media/PR crisis, you cannot trust your employer will have your best interests in mind.   By Rice and the NFL not publicly disclosing the video, it looks like they tried to hide the truth.  In the court of social media, this is conviction in seconds.   In a personal branding crisis, you must take control and be the one to tell your side of the story.  People are more likely to forgive you and give you a second chance if you immediately take accountability for your actions, be extremely open and honest, and take swift proactive steps to seek help to rehabilitate yourself or admit your comments were wrong.  Look how Michael Vick went from being a star, to being convicted and hated by PETA and others, later getting his professional football career back by cleaning up his act, becoming the poster boy for protecting animal rights.

3. Professionals in the Public Eye Are Held To A Different Standard – When you are paid big money, viewed as a role model, or in charge, and have access to the top management, people expect you to know and act better than the average person, regardless of your upbringing or past experiences. Peterson’s excuse for beating his four-year with a switch was that it was “ok” because that’s how he was raised.  It just doesn’t cut it when you’re in the spotlight!  The same was true for Joe Paterno.  While he did what was required by law in reporting the Sandusky incident to his bosses, when Penn State took no action against Sandusky people felt Paterno had a moral obligation to go above and beyond to report the incident to the authorities.  As a Penn State Alumni, I felt this way, too. The end result smeared a pristine reputation, which had taken decades for Paterno to create that bordered on sainthood.  All of his successes with his students (i.e. highest players graduation rates) were forgotten because of the depravities of one person who Joe had removed from his staff.  Also, the outcomes may have been different if Joe had spearheaded an aggressive campaign against Sandusky from the moment that he learned of this inappropriate behavior.

4. Successful Personal Brands Take Years to Build and Seconds To Destroy – Miley Cyrus, for better or worse, has been effectively managing her brand.  Remember when she was the wholesome Nickelodeon child star?  This seems like a distant memory.  Although many of her public exploits have seemed outrageous, they have been carefully orchestrated to make her seem the hero to a generation of youth, and her brand name is stronger than ever.  Derek Jeter has had a personal brand and reputation that he has developed carefully throughout his career, and it has helped him become an iconic figure.  He is as well known on the field for his exploits as he is known for his charity work through his Take Two Foundation.  There has been careful brand management of his name and reputation over the years, and as he retires, it clearly has paid dividends.

Ten years ago, there seemed to be a small market for personal brand management, that only the elite of the elite may need someone to manage their brand.  In today’s media obsessed culture, the rules have changed.  Those who learn how to manage this new world effectively can use personal brand management to bring their reputation to new levels, becoming icons in the public eye, or trusted authorities.

Has your personal brand or online reputation been damaged by online negative comments or social media attacks?

Do you know how to protect and manage your personal brand and online reputation?

Or do you have your own story of suffering a traumatic career setback and want to share with others?

I hope this post has been helpful and would welcome your comments.  If you need help in rebranding or repairing your online reputation,  Cre8iv can help.  call + 1 646.535.9450 or email.

Personal Branding Consultant

Personal Branding Agency

You’re just starting out and you have done the basic things needed to start your business. You decided on a name and registered it with the city, county or state to set up your business entity. You bought your inventory or supplies. You opened your bank account, ordered your checks and established your QuickBooks account. Now you just need a customer…

This is where the average business owner could really use a helping hand. A personal branding consultant can help you to establish who you are in the marketplace, and attract customers to what you can do. A professional agency that deals with branding will help you in a number of areas. They will also help you to prioritize which areas you need help in the most.

To begin the process, you need to be able to describe your vision. What are your services or products? How are they offered? What is their benefit to the consumer? Once these things are decided they can help you to decide who will benefit the most from your products or services. This is your target market. These are the people that you need to reach efficiently in order to succeed in your new endeavor.

The personal branding agency will continue to work with you to refine all of your processes towards that end effectively reaching your target market. They will explore the name of your business, and whether or not the name you have chosen is optimal for the goals you are trying to reach. They will look at your logo, your slogan, and any advertising you have planned to determine how it can best serve you. No stone remains unturned as the personal branding agency partners with you to grow your business successfully.