Personal Brand Gravity (Minus Shameless Self Promotion)


  1. the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth.
  2. heaviness or weight.
  3. serious or dignified behavior.

“James” is brilliant at what he does in personal finance. His unique genius lies not in the technical (although he ranks amongst the top in his profession in that regard), but inasking clients the difficult questions they need to consider as they grapple with their financial lives.

His special gift is making his clients feel heard, understood and safe. He has an in-the-moment way of saying exactly the right thing to free his clients to articulate their fondest dreams. He gets dueling spouses to listen to each other and solve seemingly insurmountable money battles. He becomes their advocate and a critical member of their family team.

He’s a professional with some serious creds and more than a little gravitas. But he’s also self-deprecating, funny, warm, friendly and a natural story-teller.

His dilemma? How to build his on-line personal gravity—his client attraction system—without resorting to shameless self-promotion.

Sound familiar?

Consultants and advisors who run successful real life businesses struggle with how to parley their success to the digital world. How do you grow your platform AND build your reputation without coming across like a self-promoting narcissist?

In a sentence: remain true to your belief system.

Align your message—and how it’s delivered—with the core of who you are and how you best serve clients.

Resist the temptation to resort to clickbait (although you DO need to master the art of the headline if you want people to read and watch your stuff).

Instead, play to your strengths and speak to your sweet-spot clients and buyers. For James, that means using stories with warmth and humor and occasionally calling out some of the bad boy practices in the financial industry.

For every carney-barker “consultant” we roll our eyes at, there are genuine, likeable advisors of gravity. The ones whose success you’d be thrilled to emulate—in your own extraordinary style of course.

Jill Konrath. Rohit Bhargava. Charles Green. Liz Wiseman. Simon Sinek. The Heath Brothers.

Each of them is a bona-fide original, crystal clear on their message, their craft and their perfect client. And they give—generously—to their audience.

So yes, study what makes the people you gravitate towards successful—both within and outside of your industry. Continually evaluate new technologies and media platforms to spread your message.

But pave your own path.

Because building your personal brand gravity is about embracing your tribe and bringing them with you for the journey.

Everybody wins.

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  • An excellent post as usual. After reading and re reading it came to me the path you build has to be free from debris and clutter. It has to be about you, who you are and what you stand for. I am finding this more and more each day as I speak with potential clients. They see me for who I am. I did not realize it until you wrote this. My past has been clean; so I am respected by my associates. This does not mean I will “sell” them. It does mean I will get an audience. The rest is up to me and my ability to fill their needs. What more can I ask for!

  • Rochelle

    Thanks for your thoughts Ed! I especially love the idea of being clutter-free–it’s a great way to live and work…

  • A big take away for me: learn how to free yourself to pave your own path. I know you shared making use of other resources beyond oneself to develop the path and build it forward. I find that a bigger challenge for me than it may prove for others. A build in process. Luckily I enjoy challenges (that make sense). Thank you for the thought (and action)-provoking commentary and advice.

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