Creative LeadershipCreativity

Teaching Branding at GMA Week in Nashville

I’m at the Gospel Music Association’s “GMA Week” in Nashville, speaking on Personal Branding. They asked me to come and speak to professional musicians and artists on getting noticed in a media driven culture. I’m trying to get people to understand the power of a personal brand, and how to use it to make an impact in the culture. How’s the advertising power of your personal brand? What do people think of when they think of you?

In my workshops on personal branding, I stress to people that in the same way it works for corporate brands, how you are perceived in a particular industry is a critical element to your success. Here are a few tips I shared in a past newsletter:

  1. Consider focusing your business around your name. Rename the company if necessary.
  2. Make a strong design effort on your brand. Put a lot of creative thought into the look of your cards and stationary. Don’t cut corners here because it’s often the first thing people see about you and your company.
  3. A good brand is hip and contemporary, but don’t go overboard. Don’t let a high school kid design your logo. Make it appropriate for your type of business, and most important, make it personal. That means, it needs to reflect you and your values.
  4. Re-think your package: the way you dress, talk, and act. Not to be ostentatious, but to express your brand. Dress for where you’re going, not where you’ve been.
  5. Become an expert. Get involved in professional organizations. Speak and teach at workshops at conferences. (Few things will help your career as much as the ability to speak publicly).

For more information on personal branding, I highly recommend:
The Brand Called You by Peter Montoya

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  1. Air Canada's in-flight magazine, enRoute, actually had a good article on personal branding in their September 2006 issue. They interviewed "the world's leading Personal Brander" William Arruda and outlined some of his tips. Here's the link:


    So, hmmm, how am I doing at branding myself?

    1) My personal brand is Knightopia. Knight is my last name, so I guess I'm off to a good start.

    2) My website looks pretty good (I think). But I haven't carried over the "look and feel" of it to business cards or anything else (yet).

    3) Logo – Hmmm, don't really have one.

    4) Dress – I wear what my wife buys for me 😉

    5) I've spoken at a number of conferences over the years, but on a variety of subjects (e.g. the Web, Internet evangelism, communication and mission, blogging, the emerging church, etc.). So my resume in this area is pretty good, but I'm not really focused on any one particular area. It's all interrelated for me. But more focus would probably be a good thing to cultivate.

    Thanks for getting me thinking again, as usual, Phil.

  2. I was actually at Phil's seminar in Nashville this week.  Great stuff.  More than his passion for creating great art, I truly appreciate his heart for God and his knowledge of Theology.  His "rants" on the church and the lack of effective creativity in the Christian world brought me chills!  Thank you thank you thank you!  I hope and pray that more followers of Jesus Christ will take Phil's advice to heart and begin to truly create great work for their Creator.  Thanks Phil.  

  3. Make sure that if you have NO IDEA how to effectively brand yourself, hire a professional!

    There is so much more to a brand than a logo, slogan or catchy ad.

    Find someone who will walk you through it and dive into who "you" are and where "you" want to go.

    A slick seminar (no offense Phil) can get you excited, but make sure you approach this carefully. The wrong strategy can cause confusion and be ineffective.

  4. I find that information is only part of the formula. What we DO with it is the greater aspect. Phil, you have definitely give us the right information. I’m pressing in for diligence because I believe in what I’ve been blessed to write and can’t let another year go by with me living below my potential. I’ve been told I have a great book, that has already begun to impact a lot of people, but it’s the marketing aspect that I have been struggling over to be able to get the message out to the masses. Birthing a child is one thing… but raising it is something entirely different. I need to spend some time designing my brand as well as increasing my standing within professional organizations. Thanks for making me think and challenging me to press for excellence. 🙂

    Allen Paul Weaver III
    author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers

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