A Minimalist Approach to Personal Branding


30x30x30 Blogathon Post #20:  June 20th – Richard Knobbs

For Day 2o of the Personal Branding Blogathon fellow Japan resident Richard Knobbs brings personal branding down to a minimalist level. Richard is a creative strategist and his tagline is “Don’t just attract attention, seduce it!” In today’s post, Richard shares a quick 3-step process to identify the ONE WORD that will attract (and seduce) others to your brand.

Enjoy Richard’s post and share your ‘one word’ below!



The 30x30x30 Blogathon is happening every day in June! Click here to add to your feed, and you won’t miss a day!


A Minimalist Approach to Personal Branding

I’ve always been a fan of minimalism, whether it’s design, architecture, art or lifestyle, and I’m certainly not alone. The simplicity and multi-functionality, embodied by the maxim ‘less is more’, has meant that it’s remained popular while many other styles have fallen by the wayside.

But can minimalism be successfully applied to personal branding? I think it can, but as with all of its other applications, it should be done mindfully and for the right reasons.

I do a variation of the following exercise in the Personality Profile section of my Creative Edge online course. Take your time on these steps. There is no need to rush. If you think you can get it done in one hour or one day, then fine, but for many people it can take days or weeks.

1) Write down ten words to describe yourself and what you do

This is for your eyes only, so be completely honest. Try to avoid resume-type clichés: Don’t write ‘perfectionist’ if you really think you’re borderline obsessive compulsive! Also, don’t worry if it feels uncomfortable or difficult. In fact, be happy if it does, as it shows you’re getting somewhere.

2) Reduce the list to five words

These five words should reflect your core skills, beliefs and values. In the spirit of minimalism, use one word to cover several similar skills or values.

3) Reduce the list to one word

This is the final step, and the word that remains should form the foundation of your Personality Profile.

“What ONE word epitomizes who you are and how you want to be perceived?” Tweet This!

A few of the words people have shared with me include active, thoughtful, liberal, and respectful. These words may not be as attention-grabbing as dynamic, gallant, avant-garde, or gracious, but that’s not the point. All that can come later.

Some people have expressed dismay that, when they were brutally honest, they ended up with words like temperamental or obsessive, but that’s also fine. This is an excellent first step in branding yourself as it can help define who you are and, consequently, not only the type of work you’d enjoy, but also the type of work you would excel at, and the working environment you would excel in.

What’s in a word?

So you’ve gone through all the agony and self-doubt to define yourself in one word. Now what? Well, in my opinion, this is where the fun stuff starts. This is when you can really start exploring the avenues, adventures and opportunities that await you.

The process is not just about defining yourself in one word, it’s about being honest with yourself and seeking opportunities and environments that stimulate you, satisfy you, and allow you to utilise your skills. It can also help you define the kind of people you work best with, or whether you may prefer to work alone.

If you’ve completed the process honestly and thoroughly, your personal branding should seem nowhere near as daunting as it once did. I’m not saying it’s all plain sailing from here, but at least you have a solid foundation.

So, now how would you describe yourself in one word? Share your one word below.


Be my guest blogger!

Would you like to write a post for my blog? I would love to have you as a guest.

Click here for more details.



Protected by Copyscape Online Infringement Detector

About the author

Richard Knobbs Richard is a creative strategist, writer and educator based in Tokyo. He helps a global client base make ideas happen through K Creative, and produces handmade goods based on Japanese culture and nature through 'Storm From the East.' http://www.storm-from-the-east.com/