Robert Herjavec Shares Why You Don’t Have to be a Shark to Create Success

As an avid watcher of Shark Tank, I jumped at the opportunity to attend an AOL Build taping with “Nice Shark” Robert Herjavec. For those of you who don’t know Robert, he is a successful entrepreneur, cyber security expert, and investor, having come to this country as an immigrant with nothing, and is now worth over $200 million dollars. He was talking about his new book, You Don’t Have to Be a Shark: Creating Your Own Success.

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After seven years of being on Shark Tank, Robert observed that “…people are afraid of sales”. Many people think “sales” is a four letter word or has a sleazy connotation. This inspired Robert to write a book that teaches non-business people how to sell. Herjavec believes you must learn how to sell yourself to create your own success.

Here are some key takeaways from the interview relating to self-promoting your personal brand:

1) If you don’t learn how to sell something… especially yourself…you are not going to be successful in business, at your job, or in relationships.

2) You don’t have to be pushy or arrogant, but you must have confidence in what you are selling.

3) Nobody wants to do business with people who don’t even believe in themselves.

4) Be great at something that you are passionate about.

Watch below the full AOL Build interview of Robert Herjavec on You Don’t have to be a Shark: Creating Your Own Success.

What impressed me about Robert is that there is something relatable about him and his story. To go from someone with nothing to make it big in business is the American dream, even though he’s Canadian. He has done this with passion. Robert shared a story about one of his first computer jobs he got out of college which he had no training for, but he showed he had the passion. He told the boss that he was willing to work free for the first six months until he learned the skills necessary to succeed, and then they could decide to pay Robert if he gave them good value. Robert bet on himself because he believed in himself. On Shark Tank, he regularly invests in people who believe in themselves. It is this passion, this authenticity, that can make you stand out from the crowd in business, or in any endeavor in life.

About Andria Younger

Andria Younger is a personal brand strategist and marketing consultant in New York City and ranked in LinkedIn’s Top 25 for personal branding. Follow Andria on Twitter or check out Andria’s personal branding blog at

“Beeing” Full Frontal: Samantha Bee and Making Your Point

As a personal brand strategist, “the backstory” on how individuals take a passion and turn it into a successful business always fascinates me. Often, a life-changing event led people to pursue a particular profession. Being a New Yorker, one of the opportunities I take advantage of is going to AOL Build interviews at AOL Headquarters. I recently went to see Samantha Bee talk about her new TBS series, “Full Frontal”.

As an avid viewer of the The Daily Show with John Stewart, one of my favorite correspondents was Samantha Bee.   Many alumni, such as Stephen Colbert Steve Carell, and John Oliver have graduated from The Daily Show and gone on to achieve great success. Just like Colbert, Carell, and Oliver, Samantha Bee is charting new territory as the only woman in the late-night show field with her new TBS series “Full Frontal” which airs on Monday nights at 10:30 pm ET.

Click here to watch the AOL Build’s Samantha Bee interview:

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At the AOL Build interview, Bee shared her journey and the process of creating a new show that offers a unique, satirical take on weekly news and explores in-depth stories that have been largely overlooked by more traditional media outlets. What I’ve always liked about Samantha is her strong point of view and comedic take on politics. At first, she mostly tried to be quiet and fit in at The Daily Show. Samantha shared it was Jon Stewart who really encouraged her to find, explore, and develop a strong point of view. Being able to have a convincing, controversial point of view takes a lot training and boldness, which is what she had at The Daily Show. As she said at the AOL Build interview about the show concept:

We wanted our show as authentic as humanly possible, and we hoped other people would go on that journey with us. It turns out other people will go on that journey with us, which is very rewarding because we know we have a strong point of view.

Personal branding is all about you being at the center of your brand and having a unique perspective/voice to stand out from the competition. Here is what I took away from Samantha Bee’s interview on building a strong point of view:

  • Don’t be afraid to have a point of view. Make it strong and real!
  • Go out in the world and talk to people who disagree with you.
  • If you’re going to create something (i.e. a business, TV show, etc.), create something you enjoy and are passionate about.
  • Don’t get caught up in what people might think who do not share your opinion.

Questions: Is the point of view of your brand clear to your audience? Do you keep your point of view strong and real?  Share your answers on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Andria Younger

Andria Younger is a personal brand strategist and marketing consultant in New York City and ranked in LinkedIn’s Top 25 for personal branding. Follow Andria on Twitter or check out Andria’s personal branding blog at


3 Things Your Website Must Do to Communicate Your Personal Brand

As a Personal Brand Strategist that has worked for entrepreneurs, founders and consultants, I often get asked the question,

“What are the most important things I need to do to communicate my brand on my website?”

If you are in the midst of creating a personal brand or reinventing your brand, it’s critical to remember that this process is all about YOU. Your brand is essentially you telling your story in your own voice. No matter what you are offering to prospective clients, you must be the center of your brand.


And for those who are looking to position themselves as a paid expert, generate leads for services, or sell products, a website is a must, but only if it is properly branded. When done correctly, it will be the foundational centerpiece of your business to market, promote and monetize your brand.

One person who does this extremely well is Michael Hyatt, who is a virtual mentor, author and professional development expert. He has mastered the art of the personal brand, as you can see here.

Website by Michael Hyatt at

Website by Michael Hyatt at

I really like Michael’s website because it’s clean and simple, and he uses highly quality personal photos that capture his energy. You can immediately see the type of mentor he is from these pictures alone. In addition, the tone is warm, inviting and friendly. And most importantly, his site clearly communicates that he is an expert in personal and professional development, while at the same time showing what his brand stands for.

3 Things Your Website Must Do to Communicate Your Personal Brand

1. Be clear about what you do. Companies and people pay for expertise and accessibility. If a person visits your website and can’t figure out what you do, they are not going to hire, refer, or recommend your services. CLICK! They just moved on! Communicating a consistent brand message across all platforms (print, social, content, speaking and pr/media) is essential to your personal brand strategy. I have found this step alone, being clear and consistent about what you have to offer, has of helped most of my clients to be able to increase their consulting fees by up to 50% in one year alone.

What to Avoid: Don’t just list everything you can do on your website. I see this a lot with my highly accomplished clients. You might think it makes you look impressive, but it comes across as unprofessional, “small player” and, even worse, generalist (the kiss of death for a paid expert).

Tip: Focus in what you enjoy doing vs. everything you can do (there’s a difference). Write down, in five words or less, exactly what you do, and stick to that. For example, “strategic marketing strategist.” It’s simple, clean and to-the-point.

2. Connect on a deeper emotional level. People buy from people. There’s an emotional element to making a purchase or hiring an expert. A website needs to communicate a personal brand that is trustworthy and authentic by connecting to people on a deep, emotional level. This can be done through shared experiences, passions, challenges, and interests.

This is what I call Interest Breeds Authenticity. Think about it. Who would you trust more and hire, someone that shares similar interests, passions and experiences as yourself or someone that just uses generic messaging, buzz words, stock images and the same old same old? Building an emotional connection through shared interests gives you a unique competitive advantage over your competitors, especially when trying to “play big” in the wider marketplace.

What to Avoid: It’s always good to understand what competitors are doing, but don’t let competitors define who you are or what your website looks like. Your website needs to reflect you who are as a person. It should showcase your unique perspectives, skills and talents.

Tip: Do you share a common interest, passion, or hobby with your clients and target market? One of my former clients, Jonathan B. Smith, is a high- growth business expert, author of Optimize for Growth: How to Scale Up Your Business, Your Network and You, as well as a pilot. I was able to combine his business expertise with his love of flying into beautiful, captivating homepage images that showcased both his personal and professional sides. We also worked on creating a blog post connecting flying to scaling up businesses, which made him stand out from his competitors in a unique way.

Website by Jonathan B. Smith at

Website by Jonathan B. Smith at

3. What is the story behind your brand? Personal branding is all about telling your story in your own voice. It’s important to share the story of how you become an expert or authority in your field, or what brought you into this particular business in the first place. You also want to share the mission of your brand, particularly if it’s personally motivated. And don’t just do this once. Its important to tell your story in a variety of ways across different platforms such as videos, photos, blogs, podcasts or on your website.

What to avoid: While you want your website to be personal, you need to be careful not to share too much information in a way that could jeopardize your reputation. Only share personal and professional experiences that tie directly to what you are trying to accomplish with your business and leave the posts of your most recent vacation or night on the town to your private accounts.

Tip: For inspiration on how to use storytelling as part of your branding strategy, look at other websites outside of your industry. Can you incorporate some of their storytelling styles and branding elements into your own website? For example, a leadership development strategist might look at websites of top celebrity wedding planners.

Remember, when it comes to developing a successful personal brand strategy to monetize your expertise and “play big” in the marketplace, it’s important to develop a personal brand strategy for your website which clearly communicates who you are, what you do and why you’re different. It’s that personal connection through your website which is going to set you apart from your competition, position you as a “go to” expert and put you on your way to building a successful personal brand.

Question: What is your personal story of how you became an expert? Share your answers on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Andria Younger

Andria Younger is a personal brand strategist.  Andria provides personal brand consulting services to entrepreneurs, consultants, CEOs, and founders on how to brand and market themselves as paid experts, as well as coached them how to “play big” in the B2B marketplace. Follow Andria on Twitter or read her personal brand blog at

Personal Brand

Personal Brand

Your personal brand, especially in the context of owning or running a small business, is the image that the public sees when they hear your name.  Think of the word, “Coke.” You get an instant image of a red can of soda with writing on the side.   That is because the company that owns that soft drink has spent millions of dollars and several decades constantly building, maintaining and strengthening their brand.  To relate this back to our context, what do people think of instantly when they hear your name, or the name of your business?

One way to finds that out, is to consult with people that you trust and ask them for their descriptions of you and your brand.  You may get a variety of answers, but it will give you a good cross section of opinions to start with.  Another way to uncover what your brand has become is to listen to the way people describe you when they are talking about you, or introducing you.  What descriptive words are used?  What points do they include or emphasize?  This will give you another building block to use later when you set out to polish your personal brand.

You may find that you have no significant branding in place, and you need to build one from scratch.  This is where you need to decide what you want the public to think of when they hear your name.  What values do you have that you want others to be aware of?  Decide what is important to you, personally and in business, and make sure that you let others know.  Decide what your actual skills are and what talents you have that you will offer to others for their benefit.  This will help you determine exactly what service you are providing and how you are providing it.  Holding your own performance to the highest standards in delivering these services will then help to create a brand that will be well known, and that you can be proud of.

3 Signs You’re Leaving Money On the Table by Not Investing in Your Personal Brand

Are you leaving money on the table because you don’t know how to brand and market yourself?  This is the #1 problem I see with my clients.  They are incredibly talented and smart people, but they just don’t know how to position and market themselves.  I believe any individual or small company can compete against the “Big Boys” with clear messaging, branding, and the know how to build and leverage connections.

What is the Return on Investment on Personal Branding?

1. In some cases, this can allow you to command 20-30% higher fees for your services and speaking engagements.

2. Creates a system and process to build momentum by generating organic leads,  gives you free advertising, and reduces the cost of acquiring new customers.

3. It allows you to “Go Deeper”.  These are services, such as consulting, training, or licensing your intellectual property for company wide training programs, which allows you to charge 6 or 7-figures for your services.

4. Through content, such as speaking, blogs, EBooks, articles, you establish your authority, build reputation, and position you as a “Go-To” company.  This creates word-of-mouth marketing and makes people ask “What else can you do for me?”

3 Signs You Are Leaving Money on the Table:

1. No Substance or Unprofessional Looking Website – I recently met with a prospective client and their business development person said they were too embarrassed to refer people to the website.  Ok…that’s a problem!  I asked why. “…it looks unprofessional, too confusing, and has too much information”.   A lot of my clients have this problem.   If your target market is a senior corporate executive, I’m a strong advocate for less is more, and keep it clean and to the point. Your message platform and design must convey, “What’s Your Story” (visually and written),“Who You Are”, and “What You Do”.  Also, most people will view your site on mobile devices (iPad, tablet, or smartphone), so your site should be a Word Press responsive design.  You don’t have to break the bank in website design, buy a Word Press template and have it customized.  This alone can save as much as $3,000 is design costs.

2. It Takes More Than 7 Seconds to Explain What You Do – We live in an ADHD, instant gratification, and 140-charter world.  Which means…you have 7 seconds either in person or on your website to tell them “What You Do” and pique their interest.   People don’t have time to “figure you out” and will never buy nor recommend your services to other people.

3. Stuck On 90s Marketing Methods – If you are still relying on 1990s traditional marketing methods, such as trade shows, cold calling, paid/rented email lists, print ads, or banner ads, this only is responsible for less than 10% of clicks on the web.  Today, it is essential to use content (i.e. blogs, videos, EBooks, white papers, Webinars, press interviews, and articles) to gain attention, establishing your reputation and authority in the marketplace.  Today, marketing content is responsible for 90% of clicks on the web and has a lower average cost for acquiring new customers.

Don’t leave money on the table in 2014!

Are you struggling to be seen as an authority or as a market influencer? Or spending a lot of money on marketing and not seeing any return on investment? Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to branding and marketing? If you are serious about taking your personal brand to the next level and need help,  send me your questions.  I would be happy to answer them.  Sign Up for my Free Webinar Silent Branding Tactics of Successful Speakers on January 14th, 2014