What to Do First

If you’ve decided you need a personal brand, you may be wondering where to start. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by every channel and tool available for personal promotion—newsletters, social media platforms, books, podcasts, the list goes on. I talk to so many people who feel the pressure to do it all right now.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are brands. It takes time to build awareness of who you are and the change you’re making in the world, regardless of what you’re promoting. You don’t have to tackle it all at once to get the best possible start. However, you do need to be as effective as possible on the channels you choose to use. So, let’s talk about how to launch a platform well—and prime the pump for expansion.


First, you must consider the following questions:

What message will you own? At Arcbound, we talk about building an ownable message right out of the gate. A distinctive and authentic narrative capturing your brand values, expertise, and purpose, an ownable message distinguishes your brand by conveying key aspects of your personal and professional persona. What’s yours?

What’s Your Endgame? It’s so much more than social media posts. It’s much greater than newsletters like these. We develop content—books, podcasts, newsletters, social posts, outreach plans, and more—to drive the bigger picture. Knowing what you want to accomplish in the world enables you to choose the actions that will get you there.

Now when it comes to what to do…

Identify your audience—and where they are. The first step in building an effective platform is knowing exactly who you’re talking to and where they tend to gather. Is your audience composed of empty nesters with newfound time on their hands? Perhaps they’re hanging out on Facebook. Are you speaking to other executives about a B2B offering? If so, you’re probably more likely to encounter them on LinkedIn than TikTok. If your brand is all about lifestyle, Instagram may be your best bet.

When you determine where your audience is and what they’re looking for there, you can meet them where they’re at and serve them properly.

For example, Charlene Li, who talks about AI Strategy, is focused on reaching leaders at large companies, and her content is targeted to that audience and distributed on channels where they’re most likely to be. Meanwhile, Jess Yuen’s audience comprises product and engineering founders (many of whom are at the helm of a company for the first time). Thus, her content is shaped specifically for them and shared accordingly.

Home in on your strengths. It’s not just about where your audience consumes content; it’s also about what you’re best at providing. Maybe you’re extremely charismatic on video, able to develop an instant rapport with your viewer. That might mean producing video content on one or more channels is the best way to build connection with an audience. If you’re aces at witty banter and asking highly engaging questions, a podcast could be the best next step. If you’re an excellent writer (or you have a great ghost), and your work is somewhat complicated, maybe a blog, articles, and/or newsletter are the right avenue for communication.

Regardless, lean into the format that best serves your strengths and your messaging. It will help ensure you can make an impact.


Repurpose with care. Once you’ve begun to build a platform that reaches the right audience in the right way, you can extend your reach. Repurpose that great content on different channels, taking care to follow best practices for them. Cut up that podcast or video into highly digestible snippets and share them on LinkedIn or Instagram, curating the message to align with what audiences are looking for there. Or turn portions of your articles or books into quote cards and carousels. Nir Eyal does a great job of repackaging content from his book Indistractable. Because the core material already exists, he doesn’t have to recreate the wheel. He slices and dices what he has and drives strong engagement to the source. Plus, when you do it right in one place, you are much more likely to nail it in another.

Distribute effectively. You can have the best content in the world, but if you don’t distribute it effectively, it’ll get lost. Not only do you need to drive engagement, but you also need to share consistently. Brands are built in the minds of your audience members. That makes it a marathon, but doing it well contributes to your conversion rate when those dedicated community members are ready to buy.

Promoting Our Community

You Need to Know WDWBHM

It’s pub day for Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden’s much-anticipated book, Who Does What By How Much, a practical guide to OKRs for employees in all industries. It breaks down every aspect of OKRs to make them truly implementable. If you have a team (or you’re on one), you need this book—and so do your colleagues.

Got College-Bound Kids? They Need Brands, Too!

Before I close this one out, I must mention my friend and mentor Rich Keller’s webinar for rising high school juniors, seniors, and their parents (tomorrow, May 30, from 8–9:30 pm ET). A 25-year veteran of iconic brands like Nabisco, Kraft Foods, Cadbury, and Godiva, Rich has transformed what he’s learned into a personal branding philosophy that helps students break through and stand out in the college application process… in just ‘One Word.’

Rich is also offering a code for members of the Arcbound community to attend for free. Register here and enter FREE29 at checkout.