Personal Branding: It is Not About You Inc

Personal Branding It's Not about You Inc.The you inc business model for personal branding is being polluted and many marketers are crushing it, literally when it comes to the integrity of our industry.

The last few years have brought about a huge trend toward personal branding with the You Inc business model for network marketers.  The tools of the trade include blogs, video channels, personalized social media profile pages, which are all great ways of increasing our personal branding.

We’ve been taught to crush it by branding ourselves with our personality and passions, building our personal brand with our photos, signatures, videos, and writing.  But I think some marketers are missing an important but very vital part of the message.

Is it Personal Branding or Pushy Branding?

Unfortunately, I think that a lot of marketers are missing the mark when it comes to personal branding.  They’ve made an attempt at personal branding with their blogs, and their social media profiles, but the are all starting to sound the same.  Pushy.

I get it.  We love our products, we’re passionate about our opportunities, we truly believe they can change lives, but I believe too many marketers are taking their passion over the line!

Five minutes scrolling through the twitter stream will prove that most marketers just don’t get what personal branding is all about.  I’m talking about tweets where it seems like everyone in the same company is sending out the same tweet, over and over again.

For example:

  • “The ______ network wants you!”
  • “The ____ network is changing the face of network marketing.”
  • “Learn what the ________ network has in store for America.”

Clever Marketing?  I think not.

Personal Branding Pollution is Everywhere!

  1. I had someone tag me in an opportunity video for another network marketing company today on Facebook.
  2. I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even read my twitter DM’s because they are so full of spam.
  3. And I’ve also gotten to the point that I don’t even answer my cell phone if the number doesn’t come up on caller ID because I am bombarded with calls about home business opportunities.  (3 so far today!) (And for a business owner who uses her cell phone as her business line, that poses a huge problem!)

Why have so many network marketers gone down the sleazy sales path?  Is it that they just never learned the right way to build a personal brand and use attraction marketing or is it that they are so desperate for sales and business builders that they don’t mind turning the whole world off to network marketing in the process of participating in social media?

I’m not the only one who feels this way.  I just flipped back to my twitter stream that was open in another window and I saw this tweet that was posted via Facebook:

Personal Branding Mistakes Network MarketingThe Foundation of Your Personal Brand

I came across the same quote twice this week, which is probably the catalyst for today’s rant, but I believe if all marketers kept it in mind when they were online, the network marketing industry would have a much better perception in the eyes of the world.

This quote was mentioned in the very beginning of the book Go-Givers Sell More, by Bob Burg and John David Mann and it was the very first line in the New Your Times Best Seller Record Breaker:  The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

“It’s not about you!”

Personal branding strategies should be built upon the foundation that “It’s about them!”

I understand that the corporate world in general is an “us against them” mentality, but network marketing is different.  We succeed by helping others.  The more people we help, the more we succeed.  (That goes for helping network marketers outside our companies as well!)

Instead of focusing on us, we need to focus on the people we’re marketing to, their needs, their passions, their desires, their worries, heartaches, fears, and frustrations.

Who are the best attraction marketers in today’s world?

The marketers who are teachers.

The non-pushy marketer who graciously teaches someone how to use their products, or teaches someone how to be successful in their business is the one who will get the sales.

Thankfully there is a movement spreading through the marketing world today, of people who have ditched the slick sales skills and persuasive voodoo for personal branding founded on educational based teaching.  I’m hoping that our voices will be heard in the noisy online world and more marketers will catch on to the power of teaching others how to solve their problems.

I found a great video today that pretty much proves my point.  I hope you enjoy it!

I would love to hear what you think!  Please share your thoughts on personal branding in the comments below and help educate the marketers who are polluting social media by tweeting and sharing this post on Facebook.


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  1. Tosin says:

    Hey Heather,

    Education plays a big role in this. That is why anyone who has been exposed to attraction marketing will almost never think about doing it the other way.

    I see so many posts on facebook about people who introduce their businesses and some even spam my wall with their one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They don’t get it!

    But neither did I when I first started. The education is truly priceless.

    Thanks for the post, Heather.

    …fear is the passion of slaves!

  2. Hey Heather,

    You have nailed it! I also see more and more people pushing their opportunities and products forward.

    I agree with Tosin, they lack proper training and education. There is a great need for this in our industry so that thousands of home business owners can become smart marketers and not pushy marketers.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a great video – I enjoyed it! 🙂

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

  3. Hi Heather,

    Very enlightening video! I picked up some great gold nuggets. My personal feeling is that a lot of “attraction marketers” out there are actually disguised what’s-in-it-for-me or let’s-see-how-I-can-use-you marketers. It’s really sad.

    Loved your article too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  4. Hi Heather,

    thanks for your powerful insights. Marketing messages sound more and more interchangeable. I also embrace the idea of sharing ideas and the process, like outlined in the video as well.

    “Educational based teaching” – that’s what it’s all about.

    Take care


  5. Heather, super video.

    I think it has to be about putting yourself in your customers shoes. Who wants to buy from someone just pushing their stuff?

    Like expressed in the video, if you can teach someone something first you’ll make an impression. This also shows you know what you’re talking about.

    That’s what has impressed me about the people I follow and listen to.

    Thanks Heather, great post!

  6. Hi Heather… What an awesome video you got there… Thanks a lot for sharing it is indeed very enlightening to watch it…

  7. Hi Heather!

    I love this post. There ARE so many people coming online and thinking they just have to spread their enthusiasm and shout from the rooftops to tout themselves and their opportunity. But I agree with Tosin, it is a matter of education. If they care enough to learn then the type of behavior we’re seeing so much of might subside (from that person at least 🙂

    I’m afraid we’re still going to see more and more of the over the top sleazy style of marketing but as long as many of us continue to share and help others first, leading by example, the ones that care to will benefit.

    Great post, thanks!

  8. Hi Heather

    Really good post and for a newbie like me very inspiring!
    You gave me some good insights on what it’s really about.

    Ellen Pouw

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Ellen,

      I’m so glad you said Hi! Thanks for the compliment. I am thankful if my post and the video gave you some clarity. I just checked out your blog and you so obviously already know what it’s really about, don’t doubt yourself! 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

  9. I guess I had a bit of disconnect on how your concept of the term “personal branding” got attached to “copy cat internet MLM’er” marketers? To me they are distinctively opposite.

    I really love this post though and the video was quite interesting! The Go Giver is such a fantastic book too!

    True success online really comes down to relationship marketing. IMHO.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I’m so glad you did because you bring up an interesting point that I didn’t address clearly enough in my post.

      You are so right that personal branding and copy cat internet mlm’er are opposites. And that’s what amazed me so much about this.

      Many of the people I checked out in my twitter stream were blog owners who were obviously focusing on building a personal brand (trying to stand out from the crowd with their blogs and custom designed twitter pages, facebook pages, etc.) but then they were sending out the exact same tweets as everyone else in the company…over and over again.

      I even messaged back and forth in Facebook asking one woman to please not tag me in her videos in the future. I shared that I was all about having fun building relationships and networking, but that I didn’t appreciate having my wall cluttered with advertisements, especially for other companies.

      This was her reply:

      “Hi Heather,
      Yes I agree you are right and I guess I look at (her company name) as good info and not just advertising.”

      There’s a block there, that they may not even realize. To me, it feels like they are building their personal brands centered around themselves, instead of centered around what their specific skills, strengths, passions, knowledge, etc. are that can help solve the problems of others. Then they were totally polluting it with the canned hype-driven marketing updates.

      You said it so well, “true success online really comes down to relationship marketing.” 🙂

      Thanks so much, Rachel!


  10. Heather

    I absolutely love your writing style. Your post is so, so good and inspiring. I watched that entire 20 minute video LOL.

    I think personal branding does get abused in the sense that many people just teach to follow the “concept of branding” but not so much to “educate”.

    The video you added gives great ideas to the theory behind teaching vs pitching.

    Best regards,


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Aymee!

      Wow, thank you for the awesome compliment and comment! 🙂

      I watched the video…twice! I thought it was a great example that would help a lot of other people too, which is why I shared it.

      I believe you are right, that some people are teaching but not educating. Goodness knows, anyone growing up in the public school system has experienced teachers who were in love with their subject, taught it with so much creativity and enthusiasm, that it made us excited to go to their class…and then there were the teachers, who were just there for the paycheck whose names are hard to remember 15 years later.

      Maybe marketing is the same way. 🙂


  11. Hallelujah Heather – well said!

    I agree. What is being duplicated more and more is an arrogant pushy attitude disguised as attraction marketing.

    What I find astounding is that people somehow equate value with announcing that their company / products are valuable and based on this think they have somehow educated one. What about exactly? How not to market in my opinion.

    I have a friend who markets mineral supplements for a small network marketing company.

    He has built his entire very successful business by identifying people who have symptoms often associated with mineral inbalances and deficiencies.

    He then educates them about how specific mineral supplements may help them.

    Naturally they buy these from him and are usually delighted with the results.

    And then a large percentage of them decide to join him in his business to help other sufferers in the same way.

    Now that’s what I call intelligent attraction marketing!


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thanks Marcus! 🙂

      I love the example of your friend with the mineral supplements. Thank you so much for sharing it!!! It is the perfect example of how to help someone with a product by teaching instead of marketing. It is intelligent attraction marketing.

      I wonder why the concept is so hard for people to understand? I didn’t get it either. I was on the extreme other end when it came to my business, and I was never talking about it. I was so afraid of looking pushy that I was actually diffident of who I talked to and how I shared the information. That’s not a great place to be in either.

      I love your comment…hopefully everyone will read it and see your great example of how to do attraction marketing!


  12. Hi Heather!

    This is such an honest account of the harsh reality that we are all currently faced with in the online world – personal branding pollution. It is truly irritating to say the least. Needless to say, conceit is not the way to go about promoting our products/services online. I agree with you that if we are a catalyst for further learning, then potential clients will come to us in due course. We should never lose sight of the fact that we are in the business of helping others; not uplift ourselves.

    • Heather Stephens says:


      I love your comment and I totally agree that we should remember that we are in the business of helping others; not uplifting ourselves.

      For me, I know when I made the shift in my business and I finally “got it” about focusing on others, most of my fears and insecurities about talking to people dissolved and I started having success…(and helping more people of course!)

      Thanks for the great comment!

  13. The internet is ruining our profession, especially in a time when people are more desperate for money, they are pushing their agenda more and more and it’s just killing the business.

    Network Marketing has become a well respected profession. We used to be blue collar soap salesmen, but now we have more people from a white collar background than ever before. But these multi-level morons are putting us straight back in the dark ages.

    We’ve got to be professional. We’ve got to understand the people we are talking to first and they have a problem we can help them with, then offer them our solution.

  14. Heather,

    This is such a problem right now.

    Hence why I decided to CANCEL my ABN membership and MANY others have followed. It is because of the code it upholds and how NO ONE upholds it.

    This is what leads to the pollution.

    Why? Anyone can join and have a membership, which allows you to place to ABN logo on your site and then I can so many of those “pushers” that you describe.

    Like you said, just personal thoughts on personal branding.

    Many people never knew what opportunity I was involved with until at least 6 months of learning about personal branding. Everything that I learned in that time has allowed me to develop a personal brand and when I mention my opportunity, they don’t judge the company.

    They had already made their decision because of ME.

    BTW- thanks for sharing the video.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Tommy D.

  15. Great Video Heather, I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. I will be back often.


  16. Hi Heather,
    Thanks for a great post! As for everything, some people just don’t get it! I agree that a lot of this has to do with education. People hear a few things about personal branding and attraction marketing, and before they actually grasp the concept, they start applying it without thinking about how this will affect the people following them, the new prospects or new friends, without thinking about what their message really is, and how they can actually contribute and share value.

    Thanks again for an empowering post!

  17. Really nice post Heather. It does seem more and more going in that direction. And as things get worse we’ll probably see least Personal Branding and more “Wam Bam Thank You Mam”.

  18. Heather,

    The word “integrity” is coming to mind here, too. Despite all of the positive thinking push out there, I think we too seldom realize when we operate out of fear.

    No marketers are deliberately irritating anyone. Like you said, education is key. Education in integrity, in my opinion.

    We trade judgmental expectations far more often than gentle lessons, and the latter actually produces a successful effect.

    Thank you for being one of the gentle mirrors, revealing our errors which we may not otherwise see.

    Many blessings to you!
    🙂 Carrie

  19. Hi ! wow ! you offer the great information. thanks a lot for the share. Network Marketer today should have different approach to succeed.

    • Heather Stephens says:

      I think, Ann, to succeed in anything we must take an approach that’s a little different than the majority. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  20. I enjoyed much with the video. Information offers a key for success. thanks a lot for sharing

  21. Hello Heather. Social media give us the opportunity to share what we have but yes I agree with that it’s now becoming polluted with pushy marketers who pushes too hard to their prospects. I wanted to thank you for sharing this in here. It’s worth the read!

  22. Wow! You really nailed it with this one Heather. I see so many network marketers out there spamming their opportunity and it drives me nuts. Network Marketing is about helping others succeed. It about sharing value so others can benefit from it. Sure, you get to make money along the way, but I believe the best part of Network Marketing is in the relationships you get to build along the way and the success you can help others achieve through genuinely caring about their success.

    Thanks for sharing this post! It really should be shared so others can benefit from it. 🙂


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