Tron Jordheim’s Personal Branding Achievement – Becoming a Verb

Career DevelopmentPersonal Branding

I interviewed a good friend and mentor of mine for this week’s post.  His name is Tron Jordheim, and he’s been successful in so many industries it’s hard for me to keep up.  Here’s his story.

Tron Jordheim’s four-decade long journey as a self-made man and public speaker outlines the fundamentals of entrepreneurial success and provides aspiring entrepreneurs with a guide on how to achieve personal branding through creative thought. Through German Shepherds, bottled water, a call center, and self storage, Jordheim has never approached an industry without leaving an impression behind. It’s this impression that young entrepreneurs need to pay attention to.

Modern day personal branding requires social networking and other established proofs of professional existence, but the fundamental attribute of a good personal brand is notoriety through unique achievement.

When Jordheim first set his sights on self-made success back in the early 1980’s, his first enterprise involved training German Shepherds for NYPD K-9 units and JFK International Airport security demands. When the bottom fell out of the security dog training market, he found his way to the Great Bear Spring Water Company in New York City.

His mission was simple: cold call his way to gaining a base on the Upper West Side, which was notoriously unwelcoming to the idea of bottled water at the time. It was while working for the Great Bear Spring Water company that Jordheim learned how to “free trial blitz” his way to establishing a steady stream of ideally routed clients through his section of Manhattan island.

When Jordheim started working for Culligan Water after his stint with Great Bear Spring, he took the free trial blitz strategy he acquired and helped fashion an adjusted version that catered more toward Culligan’s far-reaching dealer apparatus. This allowed any dealer anywhere to effectively utilize the technique.

Successful techniques in branding and sales

The results were so utterly impressive that those overseeing Jordheim’s efforts at Culligan started calling the technique “Troning.” The sales strategy would spread across multiple fields, and so did Jordheim’s reputation.

With industry personal identification established via a notable strategy named after him, Jordheim decided to put his brand to good use. He began public speaking, making it his mission to spread awareness about the entrepreneurial tricks of the trade it took him a decade to master.

“Getting out there in front of people makes you available. Blogging and trade journal articles are also very helpful. People get a feel for your knowledge and your style. They start to think about you as a resource or a solution,” Tron mentioned.

But at the same time, Jordheim continued to search far and wide for better opportunities, ultimately finding success by way of starting one service that led to taking over another.

Getting into the self storage world

In the early 2000’s, Toronto-based Storage Mart approached Jordheim for his call center service. Within a year Jordheim wound up getting into the self storage business, and it’s remained his primary focus ever since.

PhoneSmart is Jordheim’s baby and was started as a way for companies to outsource a certain percentage of their inbound calls to a remote call center. His background as a successful salesman was now going to pay off for a large, international storage company.

Tron said, “There is an old sales adage that says “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” You have to find the emotional hook, the emotional satisfaction your product or service brings. You have to know how the habits and motivations of people interact with your offering. Study people. Study your offering. If you are not convinced that people will love or appreciate your offering on some emotional level, then pack it in and try something else.”

There, a first-round screening process occurs and simple information is provided, things that otherwise suck the time and energy right out of employee productivity.

Building success over time takes a little personal branding

Tron Jordheim’s success cannot be entirely owed to the chance occurrence that his quick thinking would turn into a new word based on his name. He was a successful entrepreneur beforehand and his decision-making afterward has surely been the central driving force of his recent achievements. But Jordheim will be the first to tell you that “Troning” did wonders for his image. Personal branding is all about never letting uniqueness go to waste.

Jordheim saw a way to market himself and went for it, and the results speak for themselves. While not everyone can create a business strategy that becomes inter-industrially successful, entrepreneurs must always be aware of ways in which they can utilize their success for personal branding.

In fact, the person who comes up with a universal method of doing so will surely have the technique named after them.


Nathaniel Broughton is a veteran internet entrepreneur and investor.  Dating to 2002, he has helped produce 3 Inc 500 award-winning companies.  Nathaniel owns Growth Partner Capital, a venture fund that provides SEO consulting, premium link building and online reputation management services.  He is also owner of, a nationwide bonding agency.   Previously he served as CMO of, a $65 million nationwide mortgage bank which acquired his marketing firm Plus1 Marketing in 2008.   A resident of San Diego, Nathaniel often writes from his experience as an investor, marketer, and advocate of “networking like Paris Hilton parties – Nonstop”.  Follow him on Twitter – @natebro.