It’s one thing to have a strong personal brand, it’s often another thing to have a profitable personal brand.

By themselves, engagement, story-telling, and cultivating a social media following is not enough; personal brands must be profitable if they are going to be sustainable.

I recently revisited Jim Horan’s  highly successful One-Page Business Plan site, analyzing it from the personal branding point of view.

It’s an excellent site to explore, because it’s a prime example of leveraging a successfully published book into multiple streams of income. The site is an inspiring example of how much success can follow from a single, well-positioned, well-written book…based on the principles shared in over dozens of previous Authors Corner posts.

Here are some of my takeaways from the site:

  1. Universal. Jim Horan’s One-Page Business Plan targets an endless market, the universal need for business plans at every level, from small business startups to huge corporate conglomerates. The market for business plans is not away. It’s an evergreen market because when times are good, business plans are needed for planning expansions. When times are bad, business plans are needed for rationalizing costs and consolidation. Search for “business plan books” on and over 30,000 titles show up.
  2. Positioned. Although there’s a lot of competition in the field, few books stand out and are clearly positioned. The One-Page Business Plan is one of them because it promises simplicity and ease–but without the connotations of Business Plans for Dummies.  The enduring power of the One-Page approach is that the title explains how the system operates. So, in just 5 words (including The), the title emphasizes both the benefit and how the benefit is achieved.
  3. Memorable. After scrolling through a few pages of business plan titles, most of the titles blend together. However, the One-Page Business Plan sticks because it engages on multiple levels, it not only sounds good as a title, but creates a visual that clarifies and reinforces the title.
  4. Targeted. The One-Page Business Plan does not, of course, depend on a single book. The firm’s success reinforced by targeting different versions of the book to different market segments. This niche marketing strategy permits the company to gain total market share by deeply penetrating specific market segments within the “business plan” sector. These markets include creative entrepreneurs, busy executives, non-profits, professional consultants, financial service professionals, and women in business.
  5. Design. A lot of branding takes place in the initial seconds of visiting a website’s home page, and the clarity, organization, and colors used to communicate the brand’s message. Things to notice on the One-Page Company website include the clarity and “above the fold” conciseness of the home page, the more detailed explanations on the pages targeting different market segments like Sales Executives, and the consistent branding of the different titles within the series that target different market segments.
  6. Credible. Third-party testimonials play a major role in building trust whenever spending money is concerned. On the Store page, for example, note the caliber of the testimonials adjacent to the titles, i.e., management guru Tom Peters, and the quote from one of the editors at Oprah! magazine.
  7. Personal. What really put the site over the top for me, however, was a single sentence that projected a note of personal concern on the Join Us page. The text in the left-hand column describes teleseminars held at the same time each Wednesday. However, there’s a name and a phone number to call if you’re unable to attend at that time. What a master stroke in terms of projecting a positive image as well as engaging prospects who might, otherwise, be lost!

What’s your impression of the One-Page Business Plan site? What are your takeaways? Are there any lessons here you’re considering adding to your site? Share your comments and impressions as comments, below. And, please feel free to suggest other sites you’ve found that are equally filled with strong marketing tips for personal branding success. Happy branding!


Roger C. Parker is a multi-title author, book coach, and consultant who blogs daily about the questions authors need to address and who invites your questions about writing.