11 Personal Brand Building Hacks That Will Earn You More Customers Within Two Weeks

brand

If you run an online business, you are probably aware that building a strong personal brand is one of the most powerful tools in your entrepreneurial arsenal.

While most entrepreneurs understand the power behind effective branding, very few understand how to effectively execute and build a reputable personal brand.

If that’s you, don’t worry.

With a few simple tweaks and hacks, you can ramp up the power behind your brand and build a bigger fanbase than you ever thought possible in a few short weeks.

Here’s how.

1. Use professional profile photos

If you want to be taken seriously in the online world, you need to present yourself with an air of professionalism.

I know it may be tempting to use that cute avatar as your profile picture, but it comes off as adolescent and unprofessional.

Invest the time and money into a professional picture, and it will be worth its weight in gold for your personal brand.

Make sure you smile. Why? Because a smile can build trustworthiness.

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Here’s how MedicalDaily.com summed up the research on this subject:

Psychologists specializing in facial expressions are still unsure as to whether a human smile is a tool used for communication or an involuntary expression that conveys our emotional state. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön and the Toulouse School of Economics have confirmed that putting on an honest smile that is genuine can influence people to cooperate with you by perceiving you as trustworthy.

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The professional photo I use on this blog is simple and effective. Shirt. Suit. Tie. And…smile!

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In the photo above, I’m wearing a suit. That helps, of course, but it’s not absolutely necessary. To look professional in a photo, you don’t need to be wearing a business suit.

By “professional photos,” I mean the quality and subject of the photo.

Download this cheat sheet of 11 personal brand building hacks that will earn you more customers within two weeks.

I was browsing LinkedIn recently and came across a guy I know to be really professional. He does top-notch work and is the president of his own company.

But his profile photo doesn’t shout professional! In fact, it’s kind of hard to figure out what’s going on in his picture. The quality and subject of the photo don’t speak to his professionalism.

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Isn’t there a place for fun photos? Sure, but make sure you’re using them in the right place and at the right time.

I’ve discovered that fun or casual photos can grab people’s attention—like this one on my blog NeilPatel.com.

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Here are a few key things to remember:

  • When it comes to your profile photo (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), make sure it’s a headshot. No one else needs to be in the picture—no kids, pets, or significant others.
  • Smile.
  • Don’t wear sunglasses.
  • Wear something that’s appropriate to your job and position.
  • If possible, use the photo services of a professional.
  • Use a high-quality photo. Pixelated headshots aren’t effective.

Look, you don’t need to be a good-looking person to have a really high-quality headshot that brings in the leads. All you need is a sharp, crisp, professional photo of your face.

2. Present content authentically

We live in an era of frauds and fakes. If you are not intentional about your presentation, even high quality information may be disregarded or come off as disingenuous.

Whenever you write an article or record a video, speak or write authentically, from the heart. Don’t worry about what people will think.

Whether you swear like a sailor or are as clean-cut as they come, whether you are reserved and quiet or as intense as a Navy SEAL instructor, use your own personality and style whenever you share your message.

People will appreciate the authenticity. Your polarizing nature will create more loyal customers and fans than you can imagine.

3. Create and share killer content on a regular basis

The world is so full of new and exciting content that it’s easy to get left behind (even with an established brand) unless you are regularly creating and marketing high quality content.

A guy like Brian Dean has a strong personal brand:

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He needs to be publishing really great content on a regular basis in order to generate leads for his business.

As expected, his content is always top-notch:

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Whether you are creating YouTube videos, podcasts, or blog posts, you need to keep your head in the game and crank out killer content on a regular basis.

What’s “killer” content? Here are a few pointers:

  • Well researched—back up your claims with data.
  • Unique—don’t repeat what everyone else is saying.
  • Longform—lengthy content gets more social shares, more backlinks, and higher search engine results.
  • Genuinely useful—solve problems; relieve pain; provide answers.
  • Grammatically correct.

4. Stay consistent on social media

The average person in the Western world spends around 3 hours on social media each day.

If you don’t build and maintain a high profile social presence, your brand will suffer a slow but certain demise.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s social media presence is on point. He’s always publishing content, and it’s always good.

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Social media is so prevalent in our modern culture that it’s become an absolute necessity for any aspiring entrepreneur to master the art of social media branding.

How do you remain consistent on social media? Here is a schedule you can follow:

Twitter: 5 times a day

LinkedIn: 1 time a day

Google+: 1 time a day

Facebook: 2 times a day

Branding isn’t complicated. It’s simply a matter of deciding what your jam is, knowing it, and being all about it, everywhere you are.

5. Tell a compelling story

People love stories—it’s part of our DNA.

We have a neurological response to storytelling:

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The effect of a story is so powerful that it’s impossible to ignore.

James Clear, a popular blogger, explains his take on stories:

In the end, my work ends up being one-part storytelling, one-part academic research, one-part personal experiment. It’s a colorful blend of inspirational stories, academic science, hard-earned wisdom.

His stories are now part of his personal brand. He uses storytelling to introduce the lessons he teaches on his blog.

A story? About a tough job? And the Tour de France? Yes, please.

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And while the days of listening intently to tribal leaders tell tales of struggle and victory while huddled around a campfire on the savanna are over, we still connect with stories in the same way we did thousands of years ago.

If you want to effectively build your personal brand, you have to center everything around a story.

And not just any story, your story.

One of the quickest ways to grow your brand and your business is figuring out how you can craft and share your story in a way that’s as relatable and authentic as possible.

6. Be intentional in positioning yourself

How do you want to be known in your niche?

Are you the friendly expert? The sarcastic a-hole? The mentor full of tough love?

Think about people with strong and recognizable personal brands such as Tucker Max (the sarcastic a-hole), Tim Ferriss (the friendly expert), or Garrett White (the tough love mentor).

All of them decided how they wanted to position themselves within their niches and then built their brands around that.

If you want to succeed in your entrepreneurial endeavors, you’ll do the same.

You have to own it. Stick with it. You’re building an identity.

Maybe Tucker Max likes his identity. Maybe he doesn’t. But he made the bed, and now he has to lie in it.

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Selena Soo positions herself as a publicity and business strategist for experts, authors, and coaches:

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Every email, webinar, ad, and update is focused on that one point.

Brendon Burchard is a passionate coach who has positioned himself using the “Live. Love. Matter.” slogan. His positioning has allowed him to create a powerful presence that people don’t forget.

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7. Host hangouts and reply to comments

One of the quickest and most efficient ways to grow your personal brand is to connect with your audience.

Whether you are responding to comments on your blog, hosting weekly AMA Hangouts, or annual live meetups, getting involved with your audience and building rapport will put you on the fast track to a massive and recognizable personal brand.

8. Create a recognizable logo

The human brain processes logos in around 13 milliseconds, faster than the blink of an eye. I bet you recognize these logos:

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A recognizable and high quality logo is essential to your visual marketing and personal brand.

Think about brands like Pepsi, Amazon, Google, and PayPal.

All of them have established strong logos people instantly recognize. Whether you love them or hate them, you cannot look at the Pepsi logo or see the colorful letters of Google without immediately acknowledging the brand:

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Use the power of the human brain to your advantage, and craft a high quality logo that will increase your recognition.

A personal brand logo creates a visual hook for people to pair with your brand. If you are trying to brand yourself using only a title, your name, or a slogan, it won’t be as effective.

The human brain uses a variety of sensory inputs to create a lasting memory—sound, motion, color, smell, and imagery.

By creating a colorful and unique logo, you’ll be able to develop visual imagery that sticks in people’s minds.

Think about Jimmy Fallon for a moment. He has a strong personal brand and uses his circular logo and blue moon imagery to reinforce this in people’s minds:

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Rachael Ray, the celebrity cook, has a fun, light, and memorable logo featuring her name:

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9. Create a brand tag line

Another great way to build your brand recognition is to create a powerful and easy to remember tagline or mission statement.

“Open happiness.”

“Stay fresh.”

“The few, the proud, the ____.”

“Let’s go places.”

Even without me telling you the brand names, you’ve probably recognized the brands of Coca-Cola, Subway, the U.S. Marines, and Toyota.

Brands try to harness a feeling, an emotion. That’s why a brand that makes automobiles can have a tagline with a visceral and deep-seated impact.

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That’s the power of a well-written tagline.

Even in a so-called “boring” industry, Microsoft tries to be inspirational.

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A personal brand has even greater potential for inspiration and motivation.

10. Start a podcast

If most of your work is centered around the written word, starting a podcast is a fantastic way to build a stronger online personality and establish a more powerful brand.

Podcasts are a rawer and unfiltered medium for sharing information, and if you can grow them and market them well enough, they can also be a fantastic strategy for monetizing your brand.

11. Start speaking at events

One of the best ways to establish authority of your personal brand is to speak at events or conferences:

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Although speaking at TEDx or The World Domination Summit may feel out of your reach right now, start with smaller gigs, and build from there.

Getting up in front of a live audience, while being vulnerable and not having the ability to edit mistakes or correct your speeches, is a powerful way to build more authenticity into your brand.

Speaking takes practice. Many people are afraid of public speaking, but I think everyone should try it at least once.

Who knows? You may find that it’s something you love and are good at!

Conclusion

You’re now equipped with 11 powerful tips. These hacks work.

If you are willing to take action, you can grow your personal brand at an obscene rate, earning more customers and building a loyal following quicker than you ever thought possible.

It will take hard work and sacrifice on your part, but I promise that if you do what you need to do and use these 11 tips, your brand and your business will never be the same.

A personal brand is a powerful thing. How have you used your personal brand to gain more clients and customers?

Comments

  1. Helping Hands International :

    Hi Neil, can these promotional hacks be adapted for marketing established brands that one is affiliated too?

  2. Great actionable advice in this one. I need a new headshot, myself, now that you mention it. Loved the images in the post, too, and the schedule for social media. That’s the kind of straightforward, simple, you-can-do-it kind of advice people need more of.

  3. Will Stadtman :

    Great as Always! thank you 🙂

    I have one thing to ask:

    I am writing a blog post with 3000+ words, full of quality on topics like:

    77 top seo blogs to follow in 2016
    67 top technology blogs to follow in 2016

    [List of 50 articles like this is ready]

    So, there will be 50-70 or near these websites in each post,

    How much outgoing links you suggest to get best result? to not get any problem according to SEO and all.

    Just wanted to safe, What you suggest me on this, should i do this if yes, how to properly. to get best results and safety.

    Thanks again in advance 🙂

    • Paul Rasmussen :

      Will I reckon you should look at where you’re posting. I fI was embarking on a project like this I would enhance the articles and publish something like what you have atm on my blog. With the enhanced versions, I’d use the text to create podcasts in itunes and I’d create live hangouts – to get the free you tube and the free listing prior to even placing content. I’d take the code from the live hangout and publish it in a Press release to get those fantastic backlinks. I’d also create PDF’s with their own images and headlines and subheadlines to suit the market of the site they were being published – thats a whole research project in its own right. I’d do the same for Presentations / powerpoint. I’d create a regular Kindle book…..and then subversions. And I create a Coffee Table Book for the Ad agencies, Ad Snobs who’d gladly pay you a killing for one ….as would everyone who is even suggested for s mention. I’d make a precis video for each as the lead and have separate video [text/images]for subtopics….and def talking head if you do that. I’d publish texts of those in article marketing sites, I’d have a you tube channel, a google map showing where and what and whom….and include appropriate image versions in Panaramio. I would promote my Kindles across everything and I’d milk Azon links as much as possible. I’d have a list of associated products such as planners the experts use to create product because if this develops you will want annual releases. I’d use import.io to find data selling points and use Google new data visualisation tools to display. Oh I know, I forgot to mention keyword research and whilst you’re there remember to silos of info will get the best results….even for images and for videos as well. You also need to get your taxonomies right because they are the key to getting a huge surge of traffic from the bigsearch engines and now the big 4 data companies too. Oh Oh again….remember Google has recently announced close to 20% of mobile searches are voice activated. So that means paying attention to headlines commencing with who, what, why, when, where how. I have even mentioned Social media – but Michael Steizner I suggest Neil’s peer. I reckon you’d have good reason to put together a student team to manage content for FB Twitter G+ LinkedIN and def Pinterest and Insta. And if I was you I’d become a FB Pixel maven. Oh oh oh don’t forget Push Notifications. If you forget to use them You’ll loose your *ss. …and they are FREE. Oh….don’t get sucked to thinking a responsive site will do the Mobile Site Trick. People who think one will, also believe in faeries Cheers

      • Thanks for those suggestions Paul. Like playing the market, having a diverse strategy is important because you really don’t know how the environments will change

  4. Darren Moloney :

    It’s ok for you folk with pearly whites and access to great dentists, you can be confident when giving your best smile, but have you ever seen the state of the average Englishman’s teeth??!

    • I think positioning plays a HUGE role here.

      Building personal brand is extremely important in getting more clients and increasing your online sales.

      Without building a brand, increasing your traffic or sales is a waste of time.

      Using the same images allover the net, sharing great stuff on social media profiles and constantly creating great content are the keys to building a huge personal brand that goes viral.

      I also suggest one more thing that’s to connect with the influencers in your niche so it can be easy for anyone to grow their brand quickly.

  5. The best conversion optimisation you did was changing your look and make yourself look like a friendly guy. Not only in the photo, but your approach is also friendly. Most of your readers also turned into fans like me.

  6. Hi Neil, awesome post you wrote.

    I am already following 8 of these tips and would be following the rest soon. Awesome that how you have pitched yourself as professional yet friendly. Awesome work you did

  7. Whether it’s an email or your website or any other social platform, going with a personalized approach always works! A big smile and a friendly face always create a feel of trustworthiness.

    Nice tips Neil!

  8. Digital Hive :

    well, yes, i have seen the power of linkedin. With a regular publication of great content gave me some enquries and lots of business connections. I can say that linkedin is the best professional platform in terms of getting business leads with a regular contribution of quality content and getting engage with readers.

  9. Hi Neil,

    Thank you for putting together this comprehensive post. Spending some money on professional photos is money well spent. Also it’s never been easier to write long form content on Medium. The hard part for most people (including me) is to carve out time to write long form content and do the things you are recommending people do.

  10. Really nice and useful hacks.Its so interesting to read your blog.

  11. Hey Neil! Thanks for this article! I’m surprised you didn’t link to this guide: https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand/ It is more detailed, with better examples, etc. Worth checking it out!

  12. Great tips.

    I think know the social media your audience are most active on and building presence there is essential than choosing any random social media.

  13. Hey Neil. Terrific post, as always.
    For the profile photos – there’s a tool called Photofeeler that lets you split-test profile photos. Other users rate your photo based on perceived personality traits. I used it to test my LinkedIn headshot. Might be of interest for anyone who believes in “always be testing”.

  14. Thank you Neil and your community,

    You’ve inspired me to firm up on a logo – and I’ve just figured out one.

    Will be ticking off the other hacks soon.

    Cheers.

  15. Speaking at events and consistent presence on social media works for me, at least in my case. But after reading this post, I am sure to try the rest of the 9 hacks to increase my product sales.

  16. Thanks Neil!

  17. You caught me off guard with the eyebrow thing.

  18. Neil, thanks for sharing the great info as always.

    Quick question, I am a real estate investor and wanted to build my brand: “Real Life Monopoly”.

    Whats been holding me back is my concern of potential lawsuits with Hasbro. am I overthinking this too much or should I move on?

    Thanks!

    • I think it’s a valid concern. I don’t know the answer though, you’ll probably need to consult with the right legal rep

  19. Omoscowonder :

    Thanks Neil, i have been an addict follower of your blog, and your writing always capture my full complete attention.

    Thanks, it seems i need to start smiling a lot.

  20. Stretch Mark Removal :

    I have to start working on my logo and tagline, thanks for sharing this guide Neil

  21. The blog posts on this website are always awesome. It includes an in-depth explanation.
    one quick question, any advice on creating a brand tagline ?
    how to find a good one ?
    thanks in advance!

  22. Hi Neil

    I am following your posts on both quick blog sprout and Neil Patel, your posts are excellent to know marketing tactics. which social network is best for personal branding?

  23. Awesome article Neil . Really personal branding nothing but to show the world what you actually are not to fool the people by creating dogma of illusion around people.

  24. Thanks for great article Neil, I am following your advise on marketing and business from long time 🙂 Thanks again.

  25. This is really new age information for me. That’s why you are at the top level.

  26. Paul Rasmussen :

    Brilliant article by a master of brilliance. Thanks yet again for your generous insight Neil

  27. Thanks Neil .. You always help me in my work

  28. MaxCDN Coupon :

    Great Post,
    Awesome noteworthy post with much more valuable data provided. Every time I come to your blog i Get amazed . I think If i could write post like you…
    But my question is Untrustworthy face you described in your article is always true?

  29. Vijayalakshmi :

    Neil, Thanks for sharing this article!

  30. Kathreine Smith :

    Nice one Neil… You constantly support me in my work by your great articles.

  31. Once again a great post but I think this one is little different from others once because I can see you have used lots of importance psychological thing in this post. Another thing is that you are absolutly right on using social media as a tool for our branding.

  32. Navneet Singh :

    Thanks for sharing the article Neil, however creating your personal brand is not an easy job.

    • It’s not easy and it won’t happen fast, but these hacks will get you there faster than without 🙂

  33. George Cernega :

    After the first step the first thing I’ve done was to change my profile picture in My Business.
    You are no1 like always Neil.
    Cheers,

    George

  34. Thanks Neil
    All good points. It helps that you bring to the surface the elements that work so we can improve and focus on them.
    As I read I thought of my own blogs and what seems to keep them coming back. Using my natural personality and stories has been key, though I didn’t think of it until your post.
    I’ll keep optimizing those points while I start putting more focus on some of the others.
    Thanks!

  35. Really Neil, For personal branding we must have a smiley picture that show our +ve nature.

    And our business logo is also most role in our brand branding.

    Thanks.,

  36. Gabriel St-Germain :

    Thanks for this very informative post. Although some of these can seem straightforward, it’s always good to double check and confirm that you’re really doing all that you can to grow your brand. For example, this list made me realize that I need to incorporate more stories into my posts… Cheers!

  37. Great post Neil. Although some of these are more basic concepts – I agree that they get overlooked far too many times! It’s important to always make an attempt at personalization and this way you will distinguish yourself from 90% of the crowd.

  38. After reading your blog i can’t stop my self .. so i decided to start working on my logo … thanks neil you are great

  39. Hey Neil,

    It is an inspiring article on personal branding. I will try almost of the points you cited above. I believe it help surely help me strengthen my brand as a Digital Marking Consultant

  40. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the article. How do you feel about building a business brand vs a personal brand? When do you focus on growing an independent business brand? When do you focus on growing the personal brand?

    Would love your thoughts.

    Thanks!

  41. This is an awesome post Mr. Patel. These brand building hacks will really be useful for me, as I set up myself as a digital marketing speaker in My District. Thanks for sharing sir.

  42. Good stuff. Will start from few of the basic hacks from here. Keep sharing!

  43. Confidence Ezemadu :

    Aha! Always wondering why my “most read blog” tutor always post pictures of himself smiling..

    I began to wonder, this person crafting these kind of tough articles, whats making him smile when the work is really not easy..

    Well, i just found an answer to that now.. Thanks Neil, now I see why u always smile.. One of these days, you should pose angry.. Lets see how u look.. Haha…

    And one more thing, NEIL, CAN I BORROW YOUR BRAINS FOR JUST A DAY?

    Regards,
    Confidence Ezemadu
    http://www.mytechboard.com

    • That’s my secret 😉
      You don’t want to see me angry…
      And yes you can borrow my brain. Just read my blog!

  44. Another great article! I am going to change all my photos around.

  45. Always excellent! You are a genius Neil.

    Thanks for sharing such a beneficial post.

    Can you please deliver some tips on 360 degree brand marketing ?

    Would love to hear from you.

    Thanks 🙂

  46. Andrei Mincov, Trademark Factory® :

    Great post, as always.

    A couple of things I wanted to add:

    1) Before you pick a logo and a tagline, it’s important to confirm that it’s trademarkable (to make sure that you can use the logo and the slogan and that you can legally prevent others from using YOUR branding to advertize THEIR competing products and services.

    2) After you’ve developed a recognizable logo and a memorable tagline and confirmed that they are trademarkable, make sure to register them as a trademark.

    Trademark Factory’s own tagline is, If It’s Worth Promoting, It’s Worth Protecting®!

    In other words, why build a brand if you’re not protecting it?

  47. Eduardo Cornejo :

    Hey Neil,

    If don’t mind me asking, how is the NS Meal Plan going in terms of conversions? I see you put the sales page on the main menu, unlike the AMP on NeilPatel.com. Do you eventually plan on “hiding” the Meal Plan sales page as well?

    Thanks!

  48. Bican Valeriu :

    I profile photo with a nice smile attracts people. Thanks for the tips. My next step is to redesign my ugly logo :))

  49. James World Travel Chef :

    Hi Neil,I’m new round here, just wanted to say thanks, you are helping me so much. My wife tells me I need to get serious with my blog, happy wife, happy life! And more spare cash hopefully.

  50. Duncan Pattinson :

    Many thanks for this article. I will be adding blogging to my save and convey website

  51. Himanshu Kumar :

    Hey Neil awesome article. Thanks to your post I’m going to change my profile picture.
    Thanks again.

  52. Personally branding is a good way to gain initial traffic to your site. When I started my first venture I did exactly what you were mentioning here and it works.

    Out of my 2k friends, 1k+ friends have liked my product’s Facebook page too. And I see they are constantly engaging with my contents too.

    Don’t be shame in posting your stuffs every now and then. You need to create frame yourself as a trusted source in your niche. And as always you need to create great piece of content as well. 😀

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  54. Neil, I am shooting you only one query that is How you are getting these kind of eye catching titles? I Always surprised with your post titles 🙂 .

  55. Kamlesh Nishad :

    This is something great i found here. Great analysis seriously. Common thing i found over here is smile that attacts the visitors and show the trust factor and authticity, positiveness of any website. Now i am trying to build my personality could find the right photo to use it 😛

    Btw Thanks its indeed a great content posted here.

  56. Neil,
    Thank you so much for this incredibly helpful post! Ever since I’ve read this, I try to implement as many of these strategies as possible in the content on my own company’s website! Keep up the great work!

  57. anjali kapoor :

    this is an great information thanx for sharing this.

  58. Awesome article

  59. It is really helpful information, Thanks dear Neil for Sharing.

  60. Hey,
    Thanks a lot for sharing this post.
    I have been following you since the last two years. You are sharing useful info. Thanks.

  61. Iris Buenconsejo :

    I’m going to try these out this month and I will let you know. By the way Neil, I LOVE your content. I’m a follower of your blog though I barely read often, I am eternally subscribed.

    What a great way to Google “personal brand positioning hacks” and still land onto you.

    Do you have LinkedIn? Let’s connect 🙂

    Iris @ Earth Love Skin
    http://www.earthloveskin.com

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