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Is personal branding a waste of time?

Published 10 days ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader,

I wasted a few hours this week tinkering with logos and design for a new project.

I couldn’t get the look and feel right, so I went out for a long run.

I passed some branded cattle while huffing and puffing up a country lane.

These days, Irish farmers identify their livestock with tags rather than searing a number into a cow’s ass.

Online personal branding is all the rage.

Writers, creators, and business owners try to burn their identities into followers’ minds on X, LinkedIn, Amazon, and the internet at large.

Anything to stand out.

I worked on a branding campaign for a B2B tech company a few years ago. We spent dozens of hours writing blog posts, social media posts, and advertising scripts.

The goal of the campaign?

The rather lofty aim of…

“Brand awareness”

Thousands of people watched the company’s ads, but only because we spent thousands of pounds promoting it.

We never find out how many of those viewers turned into paying customers.

A big tech company can afford to spend money on a vanity branding project.

But for the rest of us?

Spending time and money on branding is an expensive, painful, and time-consuming exercise.

Personal branding is a risky distraction from what matters.

I wasted dozens of hours worrying about branding.

I agonized over logos and colors schemes.

I wondered about publishing articles on my personal domain versus on the website I built for writers.

And I wasted even more time honing the perfect bio for social media.

When I worry about personal branding, I find myself huffing and puffing down a country lane, swearing at livestock.

Authors like James Patterson and Stephen King sell thousands of books yearly based on personal brands.

Fans snap up their latest books no matter what people like me say about King’s The Tommy Knockers or Patterson’s Christmas Wedding.

But that’s only because Patterson and King spent years shipping project after project. Each one of these projects is a foundation stone for their personal brands.

Write and publish content under your name, but don’t worry about trying to become the man or woman associated with one thing.

Too many writers and creators want to be the habit guy. The productivity gal. The Notion template champion.

And what happens when your interests change?

Instead, let your work speak for itself.

Pick an ideal reader or client.

Write and publish content for them.

Ask them to join your newsletter.

Make daily offers.

Follow this checklist, and readers, clients, and customers will pick you from the masses.

If you need help with any of that, reply to this email

Write on,
Bryan Collins

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My name is Bryan Collins. I'm a content strategist, copywriter and USA-Today best-selling author.

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