The Public Life of Your Personal Brand

ConferenceHave you ever stopped to think about how you’re managing your public life? Okay, maybe you’re wondering,  “What public life?”

So, let me explain.

Most of us will agree we have a personal life and we have a work life. Yet, we don’t usually think about having a “public” life. We know politicians and celebrities have public lives. But think we do not. Yet, the reality is that your success is driven by the positive regard of others. Though you may not have looked at it this way, your reputation exists by virtue of the way your public sees you.

Actually, because you know your professional presence online is important, you no doubt have a LinkedIn account. And there’s a good chance you’re on Twitter.  You may even have worked to build your personal brand with online profiles that include your unique attributes, motivated skills, and other information you hope will attract people who may be able to hire or do business with you. While you might not have thought of it this way before, your web presence is one facet of your public life.

Still, your public life cannot be contained inside passive online profiles. It needs to be dynamic. If you want to earn positive regard of others and attract opportunity, you need to “put yourself out there.” As principal ambassador of “brand you,” you need to regularly engage with the people who make up your audiences, both online and at face-to-face meet ups! It’s the only way you can make the kind of emotional connections with people who can support your success. Think of it this way: No connection, no brand.

Yet, if you think of this as “networking,” it will seem daunting. It’s not. So, don’t think of it that way. Instead, think of your public life as ongoing conversations that are intended to help you get to know and establish friendly relationships with members of your community. To build those relationships, your focus, needs to be on them. Not you.

This is not new idea. A wise man once said:

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

That man was Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People.  As I see it, Carnegie offers timeless advice with ongoing relevance. In his writing he capture the essence a successful public life. So, if attracting the positive regard of others is important to your personal brand – and it is – you would do well to (re)discover his principles.

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So, how are you managing your public life? If you want to share, I’d love to know. Just leave your comment on this post.


  1. says

    Your quote says it all. I built my company on the tag line, “We focus on people skills” and it is all about building relationships….one person at a time. I agree with you that networking can be daunting…..IF you do it to get, get, get. Instead, consider it as a way to give, give, give. And you will be amazed at how many prospects become clients, and clients become friends.
    Keep writing good stuff, Walter.

  2. says

    Great post, Walter! People do forget that it’s our interactions and connections to others that leave the biggest impression. Makes me think about the saying: “People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” I love how you make people feel, especially on Twitter with your morning greetings from Decatur, GA.

  3. says

    Thanks for your terrific comment, Valerie !

    Actually, networking to get, get, get is daunting… It really needs to be about give, give, give. The problem often is that people reach that place of desperation where it’s hard to surpress the need. As we know, giving to your network over the long term is what wins clients and friends!! It’s a habit we all need to cultivate!!

    I’m happy you enjoyed this post!!

  4. says

    Thanks for your great comment, Carol!

    You are so right about those impressions! Over a long term you have the opportunity to leave people with a great feeling. And if you can be a giver, people will feel good about you. This is nearly impossible to do when you approach connection with an agenda.

    Oh, and thanks for your lovely feedback about my Twitter greetings… Nice to know people feel good about them!

    Glad you enjoyed this post.

  5. says

    Right on Walter! It’s good to remember the basics of developing and maintaining human connections haven’t changed. Dale Carnegie’s body of work is timeless. Social Media augments the fundamentals. I love your writing style. Thanks for bringing us this message. -Jeff

    • says

      Hi Jeff!! Thanks for stopping by my new blog!!

      I appreciate you comment, as well as your kind words about my writing style!!

      I’m really happy you like this post. Yes! Dale Carnegie’s work is timeless!! What amazes me is how well it applies to our interactions on line!! Too often we use social media as an agenda accelerator. I think that’s a mistake! Better to take a thoughtful approach to “winning friends and influencing people.”

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