If you work closely with someone with bright pink hair, you might begin to question whether you are interesting enough to contribute your thoughts to the topic at hand.

Followings on the internet are built on memorability, right?

I mean, if you don’t give high-energy talks like Gary Vaynerchuk, dress on-brand like Mari Smith, or sport a high-voltage cranium like Michael Port, how will people know you exist?

Not that I’ve ever had any of those thoughts. ?

Is having an indelible personal brand a requirement for content marketing success? If you don’t have that, should you throw in the towel before you start?

Building a platform around your personality

There’s a conversation I’ve had multiple times with some of the most well-known people online. People who — if you met them — might make you a little nervous. You might feel like you were in the presence of a celebrity!

Here’s how the conversation goes:

“I know I’m well-known within this group. But my family still doesn’t understand what I do. I talk to my neighbors and they say, ‘So, you make money on the internet? How does that work?’ And if all my ‘fans’ could see me in my day-to-day life they wouldn’t get so nervous talking to me.”

The internet gives us a place to build our own mini “kingdoms” of celebrity that we reign over. This process was much more difficult to do just 10-15 years ago. But now, we can gather our tribes, build our audiences, and develop our fan bases using strategic content marketing.

It’s a valid approach to an online business. But it’s not the only one.

Building a platform around your business idea

Traditionally, brands were developed to depict a product, service, or a movement — not a person.

In this more traditional approach to brand building, you identified a group you wanted to serve and you developed a brand they could connect to emotionally. The brand represented a series of experiences that would be delivered by interacting with the business.

This approach to brand building has some distinct advantages and some challenges.

The advantages:

You can craft a brand name that markets your business

When you carefully develop your brand name from scratch, you can easily associate it with the benefits you’ll deliver.

It’s less expensive to market the business

Proper names don’t say anything about your business offering, so you’ll need to spend more time and money establishing what the business is about when you base it on a proper name.

Brands built on a business idea (rather than a name) are easier to sell

If your long-term plan is to build a business you sell, it’s easier to sell a business that’s not associated with a proper name.

There are some challenges to think about with each approach:

It’s more difficult to put a human face on a set of words

When your business is built around your proper name, all you have to do is show up and the human face of your business shines through. Not so with a more traditional brand.

You have to be relentlessly present in your business when it revolves around your name

So you built a brand based on your own name. Need a vacation? Want to take a break? The show cannot go on without you. No pressure, but … it’s all riding on you.

Can you build a brand that’s the best of both worlds?

Yes, you can. And this is where content marketing comes in.

If you decide to avoid the sticky challenges that come with building a brand around your name, you can go the traditional route and build a brand around what you’ll deliver to your customers.


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These brands state exactly what they deliver in their names. And they back that up with consistent, high-quality content marketing that delivers on the promises made by the brand names and taglines.

That’s the way to have the best of both worlds: create a brand name based on a promised experience, then use content to deliver your promise today, tomorrow, and next year.

How to 10x your fascination quotient in one easy step!

You may not have vibrant pink hair on the top of your head. And you may not be beautifully bald, either.

Those qualities help your audience pick you out in a crowded room. But online, you know what really stands out?

Content that’s in tune with what an audience needs. Content that consistently serves the people who read it. Content that delivers time after time.

Feeling like you’re not quite fascinating enough to make it as a content marketer?

Find a way to be of service. Create useful, engaging, high-quality content. Go above and beyond to stand out from the crowd with your in-depth, helpful information.

That’s the brand of fascinating we need more of online.

PS: I just finished writing a book called Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience. It will be released next month. Until then, I’m going to share excerpts and ideas from the book so you can start benefiting from it now. Watch this space.


  1. Joel Harrison says

    I’ve struggled with this for a long time. Should I build a personal brand, or an actual brand. I like your point about having to be relentlessly present when it has your name on it. I’ve decided to go for a hybrid for my Methodic Content project, mostly because I want it to be about the mission of encouraging online entrepreneurs and marketers to bring social change with their work-and not about me personally. Great article Pamela!

  2. Pamela Wilson says

    Thanks, Joel. Good luck with your project!

  3. Darlene says

    I have been toying with a tagline. It’s been theDarlingPrincess: Helping Survivors Thrive. I think it’s too vague. Survivors of what? CSA, DST, Illness…
    What do you think of changing it to: Overcoming Childhood Trauma and Reigning Too
    Ya, I guess I’ll need more work on it.
    Thanks for the article. I appreciate you.

  4. Pamela Wilson says

    Here’s hoping you can find a happy medium between the two. Thanks for your comment, Darlene!

  5. Bob Bly says

    Convert like a mofo…
    I am not even surprised it is on the list.
    Really? This is what a content marketing blog should look like?
    I am getting confused with Copyblogger over and over again…

  6. Pamela Wilson says

    Bob, I know you don’t like that word or that tagline. But it’s not targeting you or me … it’s targeting a specific type of person who finds it hilarious.
    When seen in that light, I think it works.
    And I realize you don’t agree! There’s room for all sorts of opinions here, and I value yours.

  7. Lee Nourse says

    Hi Pamela,
    Thanks for the article. On-point with your perspective as always.
    Acutely aware that I’m not the “life of the party” when I walk into any room, this has indeed crossed my mind! That my content might not turn heads. I mean, it might not get clicks. Clicked on. Or Clicked through.
    The key is to give your target audience what they want and need. Bottom line then: know your audience. Find out what they want and give it to them.
    Thanks again Pam. And congratulations on your book. It was fun reading chapters as they were being created!

  8. Pamela Wilson says

    Thanks, Lee. And I agree 100%: your content is captivating when you deliver what your audience wants and needs. That’s the way to fascinate them!

  9. Jane Crosbie says

    Great article. Its a lot of fun building your brand name around yourself. And you never forget your original mission cause all you have to do is simply be you. It makes business a lot easier. Once your brand name is established you are no longer needed all the time, eh Kelvin Klein, Levi Strauss, Helena Rubenstein. Now a brand built around your name with great copyediting too is the best of both worlds. The promise is in the name and all it stands for.

  10. Rob Towles says

    Really great article Pamela, I look forward to reading your new book. Love the thoughts on creating a compelling brand, this is what I have been doing for years. I hope people take this to heart.

  11. I guess I’m beautifully bald. ????

  12. Pamela Wilson says

    Based on your headshot, you fit right in that category, Todd! ????

  13. Lux Ganzon says

    Each line for me is like, “Oh, am I doing this? Is that how I am online?”
    Thank you, Pamela. It’s really an eye-opener for people like me who wants to improve on my craft. So helpful!

  14. Pamela Wilson says

    You’re very welcome … and I’m glad it resonated with you, Lux.

  15. “No Meat Athlete: Runs on plants” This is a great example and really opens my mind to possibilities that I did not consider before. Thank you Pamela!

  16. Hi Pamela,
    I agree 100% that you should not build your brand around your name. I have seen people do it a number of times and it really interferes with any potential exit plan.
    I like the idea of creating a brand around what you are actually delivering. It is simple and makes perfect sense. I also like the concept of delivering content that serves the people that it is written for, again makes great sense. Thanks for the article.

  17. Pamela Wilson says

    I actually think building a brand based on your name can work … I just want people to know that they’ll have to work a little harder to associate that proper name with a business offering.

  18. Ivey Bradshow says

    I will now try to become a successful person with the advice of Pamela

  19. Bindiya Upadhyay says

    Excellent writeup, i personally link the starting with bright pink hair
    Look forward to release of your book. Wish you good luck for that!

  20. manju rai says

    I totally agree with you Pamela, A brand build on name rather than idea is of no use. People will try to connect with you only if they find your idea innovative and meets their requirements not what you brand name is.

  21. Hugh Culver says

    Pamela this is such a smart summary of where so many of us get stuck. I’m hoping you have a chapter in your upcoming book on guru envy. The upside of the internet is we can access everything, the downside is we can access everything.

  22. Pamela Wilson says

    No chapters on guru envy, I’m afraid! But making a note because that topic might be a perfect fit for Book #2.

  23. Priyatam Mishra says

    Hi Pamela,
    I agree to you totally. A brand idea is more easy to develop a business than its name. All the business should follow the way described here. Thanks for sharing the valuable content from your book.

  24. Kim LeClair says

    Wow – this is an amazing article!! There is so much in this (at least for me) in terms of how to really think about what “building a brand” looks like today.
    It reminds me some of the freelancer vs. entrepreneur distinction that you hear Seth Godin talk about — not that it is a perfect overlay of ideas, but there is some connection, in my mind at least.
    Thank you Pamela for making a distinction here that I’ve been struggling with – it is really an important new set of language for me – THANK YOU !!

  25. Idan Rubin says

    Very interesting topic, looking forward to reading your book.

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