Today, I spoke to Yinka Olaito, Yinka is a personal brandiYinkang and social media expert. He helps individuals, organizations to maximize values in their brands/ideas through adequate positioning of their brands to the target audience that can pay premium. Also, he functions as public relations consultant, columnist and writer, trainer and public speaker.

You can connect with him via @Facebook @Twitter @LinkedIn

Mohammed: Unemployed people are changing their job titles many times because of the crisis, how will that impact their personal brand? And how can they use any career experience for the strength of their brands?

Yinka: Let us look at this from a three sixty degree view. First, my take is ‘inconsistent robs individual of any value’. We must remember the fact that differentiation aids strong memory and perception. When an individual begins to accept everything that is thrown at him/her, the brand equity may start diminishing gradually. Initially it may appear that no harm is being done but over time, it will become obvious that one has no solid hold on a particular field. More also, taking any job that will not aid the use of personal skills, expertise will strongly expose personal brand inefficiency, weakness. A smart individual should always play the game from his/her strongest point. I as an individual will want to believe also that the effect of inconsistency  in job description may not be well pronounced on a college graduate who may not be well known as much as someone who has been into personal branding journey for a long time. That makes situational analysis important in this regard.

Having said this, I believe that job titles sometimes do not necessarily describe a brand personality. For instance Dan Schawbel’s job title at EMC has a social media role meanwhile he is recognized as a personal branding expert not a social media guru. If the job title can aid the discovery of hidden talents, skills as well as make an individual relevant to the niche community he belongs to, why not? Another point of view here is that there is nothing that is totally bad. If due to recession, bad economy and needs to remain afloat, pay bills some are already involved, my counsel is to look for a story out of the experience to project a brand personality that is still impactful. Also, let us not forget that why keeping the job, one can still continue to be relevant online through a strategic personal branding building online.

Mohammed: I started to hear some people blaming personal branding experts as they promote “Don’t” more than “Do” making by that social media a prison. How do you describe personal branding to these people and why we are seeing a lot of contradictions?

Yinka: For this set of people my take is that every opportunity has an attachment called responsibility. For instance we are all given a chance to live life to the fullest. As much as we have this right, we all have to take personal responsibility to live our lives in a certain way that will make the life we have to make meaning. We must avoid staying on the express way in order not to get crushed by a car on the fast line. We must also take responsibility of not eating poison among many other responsibilities. Let us note also that personal branding must clearly impact a certain community. To impact anyone, we must learn to respect their times, values, spaces etc.

Now if one wants to impact positively any community but do not want to go by the rules, one may eventually lose credibility, relevance. This is the essence of the ‘Donts’. You can not eat your cake and have it. Choice has to come in. If one cannot live by required, basic relationship rules of the society/niche I guess there is no need to desire the world to revolve around personal goal of wanting to ‘live as I like without giving a damn’. For me personal branding is opportunity to impact, bring necessary improvement on the lives of the niche. This is carries huge responsibility.

Mohammed: Are we going to rate people reputation ONLY based on their online history? How can we keep positive image while being ourselves and not hiding the human side?

Yinka: The internet is giving us opportunity to meet people we may not have met in life. Through people activities on the net, we form an impression of who they are. This may add to their reputation or reduce them. So the internet helps us to form an impression of who they are. That is reputation as far as I am concerned. Individual must work add to build trust. For me trust is far deeper than reputation. We must note that no great relationship has being built on reputation alone. Reputation carries us as far as acquaintance level. To sustain a long lasting relationship, trust must come in. This shows in personal attitudes, values, ethics etc. Keeping positive image while being ourselves require that we place value on ourselves, learn to play the game right and respect for others. We can still be ourselves while doing these. We must remember life (personal branding) is an opportunity with responsibility attached.

Brand Word:  No matter how crowded the market place is, your unique voice can still be heard.

SpotlightYinka Olaito uniqueness is in developing engaging strategy that gives individual, corporate organization unfair, competitive advantage that takes profitability to higher level.

It is not new that strong personal brand can play a major success for corporate brands. A human brand is like a leader, people follow and trust what a leader say.

Oprah is great example of famous strong personal brand. Oprah’s Book Club is a place where Word Of Mouth (WoM) spread at the speed of light not  only because its Oprah’s brand but because Oprah gives you why you should buy this book and what was her experience with the book. Its real experience not just a way to get money.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of my favorite football players (soccer in American dictionary), he transferred to Real Madrid from Manchester United in a deal worth €94m (US$132m). Cristiano Ronaldo’s brand is unique and that is enough to attract hundreds of companies for commercial ads but who wins? Yes, who pay more.

The latest Ronaldo’s ad is for Clear Shampoo for men. Ronaldo did the 30C. Ronaldo seconds for $$$ and shows the sport side of him to promote the product but wait? What did he say at the end?

“I Use Clear for Man”, I don’t think Ronaldo used Clear or at least heard about it before but it is matter of how much money he got for making  this commercials. If it is not Clear then it could be any shampoo brands that Ronaldo play the role for so it is not matter of real experience.

I have been using  “Clear” since a year and that’s OK for me. However, I made a survey and asked my friends. Would you buy “Clear” after Ronaldo’s commercial ad?

Most of them reposed with NO! I’m sure millions of people will buy it because Ronaldo’s brand associate with it but people think and they know its just an ad. My point here is that companies can full benefit from commercial’s ad if they just add the real experience for using their products, like Oprah who read the books before giving her recommendation. Its real not acting.

Today, Ronaldo’s posters are placed everywhere in Amman, Jordan. You don’t move 500 meters without seeing him. Taxi drivers said that they are seeing him more than their  family. I wish if Clear used Ronaldo more than just a Robot.

C. Ronaldo

Friday! It is a holiday here in Amman, Jordan. I woke up lately and jumped (as usual) from bed to computer 🙂 I refreshed the web page but there was a problem, I made few check-ups to the operating system settings, hardware connection and access point. As usual, it was the Internet service provider problem, ORANGE  > I wonder if anyone can get the help-desk support from the first call or not wasting 30 minutes of his time!

After I had the delicious spicy chicken meal, I checked the Internet and thank Allah, Its working. I checked my Emails especially my favorite from the Personal Branding Blog. click some articles and …

Personal Branding Blog

I was named as one of the 60 Personal Branding Experts on Twitter.  I wasn’t on Twitter before 1 year and I didn’t grasp the personal branding  concept before 2 years but only my passion drove me to be on that list.

I believe in what George Foreman said “The biggest challenge in anyone’s life in making yourself a success is understanding that you are at the bottom. The toughest step is to say “I’m at the bottom and I got to go up.”

I’m humbled and honored for this achievement which will inspire me to spread the branding message.

30 Personal Branding Experts on Twitter

30 More Personal Branding Experts on Twitter

If you wanna follow both lists and more personal branding experts with 1 click then just follow my list:

70+ Top Personal Branding Experts on Twitter

This is a response to Carlos Miceli’s post on Owl Sparks: Prison, Fear, and Personal Branding

Carlos start the post with:

“Let’s skip all the positive things about social media that have been mentioned countless times, and criticize it for a change:

Social media is a prison.

I like the post including  the title, discussion, and Carlos’s reminder that social media is a prison.

I wrote an article before few days Your Life History is Not Private Anymore! and here is part of it:

Everything you do online is archived: on social networks, bulletin boards, websites and Google’s constantly growing collection pages. People will get the first impression about you by what your Google results say. Strong results provide credibility when searched by potential employers or clients. YOU are the one who is leaving a trail behind that everyone will see and judge you on. It’s not late to be careful, deliberate and safe.

To: Carlos and million of people around the world.

We are living in web 2.0 age and we are learning new things every single day, I wasn’t on Twitter before 1 year, I wasn’t on Facebook before 2 years, I wasn’t using Internet before 10+ years. Today, we are bounded by policies and most of them are restricting our online activities. Add to that, we, the IT team will happily 🙂 do our job by blocking some websites and preventing access to Internet messengers.

Is that a prison?

Yes, it is.


Carlos said:

I blame all those Personal Branding blogs. Because of them, we are afraid. Afraid of being honest and direct. Afraid of being human.

OK, if you hear a personal branding expert telling you: Dont, Dont and Dont, then DO NOT CALL  HIM/HER AN EXPERT. Personal branding isn’t here to fear or tremble you and we aren’t here to promote ‘Dont.’

Personal Branding is about being YOU, about being authentic and being the real human. I’m the first person to dis-follow anyone who tweet like a machine and hide any friend that share the same status on all social networks. Sorry, but I need to see the human side of YOU. We all are engaging in virtual communication so being YOU is the only way to makes our life good and keep the human’s conversation else we are a robots.

Personal Branding guru William Arruda said “Personal Branding is Permission to be Yourself.”

Personal Branding isn’t a nightmare that will cause you to stay awake or the evil that documenting your online activities. YOU are the one who is blogging your life in non erasable disks that are hidden somewhere in the world. Personal Branding want YOU to make the difference in your activities and at the same time warn you that a stupid picture or harassment comment could be used against you one day. I’m sure Carlos and all who is reading this post want to have a unique and memorable personal brand. We cant achieve that brand without hard work, commitment and adding formal flavor to most of our online activities but don’t have the fear to have fun or being YOU. The fear comes when you become someone else. Why? because people will see and know you are fake.

At the end, it is up to YOU to stay in the prison but personal branding here to liberate you from the prison. Thats it, being YOU.

When I was in the school, it was permitted to use pencil in the exams. For many of my classmates, they were a fan of using pencil in writing not because its beauty but because it is easy to erase mistakes if they mistype.

In the college, the policy was clear, use pen or you fail. As for the pen, it is not possible to erase mistakes when we write so either we cut the page or wipe the words to keep the right answers.

To complete reading the post that I wrote for Brand-Yourself.com, click the image below. Leave a comment or tweet it. Enjoy!

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read 140 characters messages known as tweets.

Chat is any kind of informal communication over the Internet using tools such as instant messengers.

“A brand is a name or trademark connected with a product or producer. Brands have become increasingly important components of culture and the economy, now being described as “cultural accessories and personal philosophies.” Wikipedia

Personal Branding

Now, Is it possible to use Twitter to Chat about Brands and Personal Branding?

Yes, that becomes possible with the idea that Maria Duron and David Sandusky came with. They created the @BrandChat on Twitter and inviting all branding followers for live chat on Twitter every Wednesday.


Also, there is a Facebook fan page to interact with members for questions suggestions, recaps of the brand chat and brand resources.

Here is part of the brand chat for October 7, 2009.

Is a personal brand earned or created? And, extending that is a biz brand … earned or created? Let’s discuss!

pmarckworth: @GetResults I agree. A personal brand is based on making and keeping a clear promise.

neilmckenzphoto: Q1: Personal brand – you create it by earning it. If you just create it then it is just a mask.

lisakribs: Q1: Personal Brand – neither created or earned, you are what you are. Any other representation is deception.

paulcopcutt: @mariaduron personal brand evolves, message & communication is created, reputation and value is earned.

Mikimel: A personal brand is both earned and created, just like any product’s package – one cannot exist without the other.

jemcgrew: Q1: I see personal branding as marketing yourself … one of my professors used to say the most important thing you market is U.

HuebnerPetersen: Q1: Branding is storytelling – in bot biz & personal realms. You create your story and the work to live up to it (earn it).

BrandMyCareer: @lizisaacslwc But my personal brand created by earning followers, fans and readers for my blog, right? #brandchat

lizisaacslwc: @DrFernKazlow there are several misconceptions about PB – we often don’t believe we’re powerful beyond measure.

strategystew: Q1 I think the real challenge is creating a brand of any kind is not being clear on who you are and what you are promising.

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