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  • When Does Personal Branding Become Shameless Self Promotion?

    I recently wrote a post on the Viralogy Blog focusing on how non-celebrities are using Facebook Fan pages as a way to reach out and stay connected to their community.  Lets face it, not everyone uses Twitter, and Facebook provides another great platform to build a fan base and promote your great content.

    I personally have yet to start a Fan Page for several reason: my biggest reason being I don’t want to personally create the Fan Page for “Jun Loayza.”  I’d feel kind of weird creating a fan page centered around my name because I feel a “Fan Page” should be created by someone who is my fan.  I wanted to find out why more people haven’t created their own fan pages, and I was very surprised at their answers.

    The majority of people seem to think that creating a personal fan page is egotistical. Now, in this day and age where personal branding is the hot new craze, I assumed that people felt that “self-promotion” was now a long forgotten word and that “personal branding” has replaced it.  So why can I start a “JunLoayza.com” and build my personal brand, yet if I create a “Jun Loayza Facebook Fan Page” I become egotistical?

    This lead me to the question: when does personal branding become shameless self promotion?

    Lets find out what the people have to say:

    • @hollyhoffman – Somewhere around the time you flood my FeedReader & Twitter feed with every post you write, guest post or are mentioned in.
    • @CarlosMic – When you say what or how good you are. That’s not your call.
    • @JackiePeters – when you’re not offering anything, not bringing anything of value to the table, building a personal brand means contributing
    • @genystartup – when a company has a dude sitting by his pc all day and half their tweets are begging ppl to follow them/try their product.#shame
    • @AGOutLoud – shameless promotion occurs when you stop providing useful content and stop caring about your audience.
    • @Joseph_Yi – I think it has to be a two-way street. When it becomes all about “me” no one will want to hear you out.
    • @tonyruiz – When the person is all about “me” and not displaying value towards their followers.
    • @dshanahan – PB is annoying when it is repetitive, out of context, or shallow. It’s always ‘self-promotion’ in one way or another.

    It seems that the biggest factor separating personal branding from shameless self-promotion is value. If a person provides value with his content, then all the self-promotion is justified because people will benefit from the content.  Is this true though?

    The best example I can use is Guy Kawasaki. I met Guy a couple of months ago at a conference where I was speaking at.  He’s an awesome guy, and taught me the term “UFM” – UnFollow Me.  If you don’t like Guy’s Tweets, then you should unfollow him.

    If you check out his Twitter stream, you’ll notice that all of his Tweets are to promote his company AllTop.  For example, check out this link right here: http://om.ly/?BaRZ.  It leads to a great article, but at the top in huge letter you see “AllTop.”  I checked and all the links he Tweets out has this format.  So I ask you, is this shameless self promotion?

    Does the fact that Guy tweets out quality content justify this kind of self promotion?  A lot of people would say “yes” because there are over 150,000 people following him on Twitter.

    What do you think?  When does personal branding become shameless self promotion?


    Jun Loayza is the President of SocialMediaMarketing.com and the Co-Founder of Viralogy.com.  Feel free to reach out to him to talk about entrepreneurship, fitness, and processes/systems.  Find his contact at his personal blog.


    Jun Loayza is the President of Reputation Hacks. In his entrepreneurial experience, Jun has raised over $1 million in Angel funding, sold 2 internet companies and lead social media technology campaigns for Sephora, Whole Foods Market, Levi's, LG, and Activision. Jun currently lives in San Francisco, CA with his girlfriend.

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    7 comments on “When Does Personal Branding Become Shameless Self Promotion?
    1. avatar
      Nance Rosen says:

      I love Guy Kawasaki. He’s a genius. If he’s aggregated all this content on his site (and BTW linked to mine – which blew me away), and wants people to know about it, I’m good with it. Coke (my former employer) doesn’t send you to another brand to look at beverages, snacks or anything else they can own or sponsor. Coke’s the number one most recognized brand in the world, distributed in 190 countries. If they’re right (and paid my mortgage for quite a while), Guy’s just like the best of the best. And, if you read the Art of the Start, I hope you love it as much as I did.

    2. avatar

      Jun. You make some interesting points here. I recently jumped on the Facebook Fan Page bandwagon after holding off over the past several months. It’s almost like me real life and blogging life are crossing paths – Facebook, up until recently, has been exclusive to people I went to school or worked with – only recently have I started adding friends from the blogosphere.

      I think you hit the nail right on the head – it’s about VALUE. If the Facebook page is nothing more than a ‘look at me’ – then what’s the point? But, in my case, I plan to do some unique things there. Featuring my ‘favorite’ post of the day each day from around the web, maybe doing a FB Fan exclusive giveaway to get people involved, so on. I see it as another platform to promote interaction and involvement. Will it pay off? To be determined.

    3. avatar
      Daniel says:

      I’m not sure there is a real difference, Jun. But I’m not sure it matters, either. Personal branding is defined by self promotion. Shame is individually-driven, not user perception-driven, and shouldn’t factor into the conversation at all. On the other side, value is perception-driven, not individually-driven (speaking to the one looking to brand themselves).

      The point of personal branding is, just as commercial branding, to find a niche, position against the competition, and struggle to stand out. Self promotion is one of the few ways individuals have to accomplish this task.

      Value is the byproduct, not the measure.

      What I like about where you are going is that you are seeking the answer to the question “What makes personal branding work?” For that I commend you. Please keep up the good work.

    4. avatar

      I think having a healthy ego is important to success. Humility often translates to weakness online. We don’t follow people because they are nice, we follow them because they are different. Unique people with a strong voice and the ability to shamelessly self-promote get followers.

      Don’t be afraid to great your own fan page. It is up to you to create the places for your fans to congregate.

    5. avatar

      Guy Kawasaki always has something interesting to say. If you’d like an opportunity to hear him speak, and will be in the Northern California area, check out Perspectives 2009-Sacramento’s premier speaker’s forum. For more information visit http://bit.ly/1DB2PU

    6. avatar

      I think we’re missing a piece here. While I agree there are lines of “self promotion” that can be crossed, the fact is, if you don’t advertise what you have as a service or talent, you cannot possibly expect or require other people to do it for you. To quote a favorite movie, “we have no fate but what we make” and I’ll take my ability to tell people about the always-growing of tasks I can complete to help make them successful, rather than they hopefully stumbling upon it via someone’s project, potential input. Start controlling your OWN fate already, people.

    7. avatar
      Peggy Duncan says:

      I’m a speaker and one of my most popular topics is “Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO.” I explain that I don’t mean promoting you personally but rather promoting what you know. Do it online and the search engines find you based on that expertise. I stress delivering value. I’m so with Guy…if you don’t like the tweet or email I send with a helpful article that will help you in your business but that also promotes an upcoming workshop, unfollow, unsubscribe, or whatever.

    9 Pings/Trackbacks for "When Does Personal Branding Become Shameless Self Promotion?"
    1. […] waar ligt nu de lijn tussen waardevolle personal branding en agressieve zelfpromotie? Op het personalbrandingblog werd daar enkele dagen terug al een discussie over geopend, met als voornaamste conclusie dat Value […]

    2. […] etc.. On the front page of the website 1 post really stuck out to me. It was called When does Personal branding Become Shameless Self-Promotion? Well. I wasn’t really sure until I read it. I’ve always been told that any publicity is […]

    3. […] When Does Personal Branding Become Shameless Self Promotion? […]

    4. […] learned about what it means to create a personal brand today. Things such as the tricky balance of marketing yourself while not being seen as a pure self-promoter, the value of forming relationships via social media, or developing a brand that makes you a purple […]

    5. […] expertise and experience – two of the most important requirements for any job, are addressed by online self-promotion, be it through a blog, an online publication or any kind of public […]

    6. […] Jun Loayza writes: “It seems that the biggest factor separating personal branding from shameless self-promotion is value. If a person provides value with his content, then all the self-promotion is justified because people will benefit from the content.” […]

    7. […] Jun Loayza skriver: “Det verkar som att den största faktorn som skiljer personlig branding från skamlös egenreklam är värdet. Om en person ger valuta för sitt innehåll, kommer all egenreklam rättfärdigas, eftersom folk kommer att gynnas av innehållet.” Min erfarenhet är att när du verkligen förstår dina kärnvärden och vet vad du vill att ditt varumärke ska vara och stå för, då kommer du att förstå att bilden kommer att bli skadad genom att enbart förespråka dig själv och dina tjänster. Du måste anpassa din kommunikation och ditt budskap till den publik du riktar dig mot, inte bara fokusera på budskapet. […]

    8. […] to be taken when planning and executing your personal branding strategy. Jun Loayza’s – When Does Personal Branding Become Shameless Self Promotion? sums it up nicely – “If a person provides value with his content, then all the […]

    9. […] an individual manages his reputation online, it’s called personal branding. Dan Schawbel is the king of personal branding and teaches young professionals how to successfully […]

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