How Can You ‘Tune-Up’ Your Personal Brand for 2012?


On cold winter mornings it can be a challenge to crawl out of bed, jump on the bicycle and go for a ride. Granted the first few pedal strokes are hard as your body adjusts, but once you get moving the joy of the ride takes over and you soon forget about the cold. Some cyclists ‘retire’ for the winter months and put their bicycle into storage waiting for the warm spring weather to dust off the frame, oil the chain, and adjust the gears. Without a spring ‘tune-up’ the bicycle will squeak, creak, and chatter.

Just as a bicycle needs a tune-up, so does your brand. You do not want to ignore your brand and put it into storage. An effective personal branding strategy really requires consistent and constant brand maintenance throughout the year. However, in reality the end of the year is often filled with finishing last minute projects, preparing for the holidays, and spending time in hibernation!

Your Brand is not Broken.  It Needs a Tune-up!

If you have put your brand into storage, don’t worry. Your brand is not broken! It simply needs a tune-up and will be ready to ride again. Start off 2012 right by dusting off your brand and applying these three tune-ups demonstrated by three people I am officially dubbing ‘Personal Branding Mechanics.’

1. The ‘Alignment Tune-Up’ from Mechanic #1:  Jonathan Fields

After a season of riding and racing, your bicycle’s derailleurs, gears, and chain are often out of alignment. The joyful experience of a ride can be ruined by your chain skipping between gears. Taking the time to align these parts will ensure that your shifting is crisp and your chain spins smoothly.

Jonathan Fields’ 2011 annual report on his blog immediately caught my eye as a perfect way to tune-up your brand. In this report, he says the core driver for success is alignment between these 4 elements:

  • What makes you come alive
  • Your preferred mode of service
  • What you either are good at, or are interested in becoming good at, and
  • What people will line up to pay you enough to live well in the world for.

After reading this it made perfect sense to me why we run the risk of hanging up our brand and putting it into storage! Without this high level of alignment between who we are and what we do, we will walk away from our brand out of frustration, desperation, or suffocation. Jonathan advises to seek alignment by reviewing what you are passionate about and asking others for feedback. He calls it his “Killer App Exercise” and by doing this for himself he was able to get the alignment he needed to tune up his brand for some exciting changes.

Download Jonathan’s annual report to learn more about alignment, and see how his brand is being realigned for 2012!

2. The ‘Reposition Tune-Up’ from Mechanic #2:  John Falchetto

Having the right position on your bicycle is key to top performance. A saddle or seat post in the wrong position will still allow you to ride your bicycle, but will also lead to inefficient pedaling. By slightly repositioning your saddle forward or backward, or changing the height of your seat post you will drastically improve your ride.

John Falchetto is a great example of how to reposition a personal brand. You might know John as the ‘Expat Life Coach.’ As an expat myself, I started following John on Twitter some months ago as I was interested in what he had to say. John has recently repositioned his brand from the ‘Expat Life Coach – Abroad but not Alone,’ to ‘Life Coaching with John Falchetto – Making Everyday an Adventure.’

He has not put his life coaching into storage, but rather has adjusted his brand’s position beyond the expat label to allow for a more efficient use of his brand from 2012. Truth be told, while I was initially interested in John’s expat message, it has been his Adventure Mindset brand and approach on life coaching that has intrigued me more.

Check out how John is “going to roll” this year in this great video, and contact him for help in your own brand, business, and life reposition!

3. The ‘Upgrade Tune-Up’ from Mechanic #3: Kimberly Bordonaro

Each year I like to make some upgrades to my bicycles by replacing parts that still function well with newer parts that function even better. Technology in cycling changes frequently so upgrading to a lighter, stronger, or cooler part is always worth the investment.

Kimberly Bordonaro has done an amazing job upgrading what is already an awesome brand with cooler parts! This month she tuned-up her Brandspiration brand by launching ‘Club Brandspiration.’ This upgrade provides personal branding workshops that are 100% content, without the pitches to buy products or services. This shiny new part on her website gives you training of tried and true strategies to help you upgrade yourself and your business. What I love about this upgrade is that each class comes with a worksheet to help you plan your next steps.

Check out Kimberly’s Club Brandspiration upgrade and join the Club to upgrade your own brand!

By following the tune-ups from these three mechanics you can remove the dust and rust from your brand because underneath is a personal brand ready shine and ready to ride.  Are you a Personal Branding Mechanic with other tune-up tips?  Please share below.


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About the author

Peter Sterlacci Peter Sterlacci is known as “Japan’s personal branding pioneer.” In a country where fitting-in is the norm, Peter’s mission is to pioneer a ‘cultural shift’ by helping Japanese to stand out in a global environment. An avid cyclist, he combines cycling imagery with personal branding strategy to empower his clients to shift gears and sprint to career success. Follow Peter on Google+