17 Expert Tips to Fix a ‘Flat’ Personal Brand


Does your personal brand have a flat?


In 2012 I started an interview series called ‘Personal Brand Mechanics’. I wanted to share with the world individuals who I felt had a tool box of ideas to help any one of us to build, maintain, and even repair our personal brands.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing 17 Personal Brand Mechanics. Each person shared amazing insight and practical advice. Although my questions were different for each ‘mechanic’, I did ask this one question to everyone:

“Imagine someone’s brand has a flat tire. What advice would you offer this person to pump up their tire so that their brand is ready to ride again?”

How did these 17 ‘mechanics’ answer this question? Below are their 17 tips to fix a ‘flat’ personal brand. Enjoy them, apply them to your personal brand, and share with others. Click on their name or photo to watch their full interview.


1. AJ Leon

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: AJ Leon

“You have to know what you are about, not how you’ll make money. Understand why do you do the things that you do.”





2. Todd Nielsen

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Todd Nielsen


 “Return to the fundamentals. Who you are. What you believe in. Where you are going.”




3. Garr Reynolds

Personal Brand ‘Mechanics’ Interview: Garr Reynolds


“Even if people push back and say negative things, remember that the brand is inside you so don’t change.”




4. Marsha Petrie Sue

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Marsha Petrie Sue


“Don’t focus on it. Make a ‘Ben Franklin List’ with the positives and negatives. Avoid the negatives and focus on your strengths.”




5. Donna Serdula

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Donna Serdula


“Step back and do deep strategic thinking. Determine your goals and figure out what you want to get out of them.”




6. Steve Wainwright

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Steve Wainwright


“Analyze where the leak is in your personal brand. Fix it. Rebuild. Put the new tire back on and off you go!”




7. Lida Citroen

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Lida Citroen


“Don’t blame the nail! Learn what got you into the situation and reflect back on missed opportunities, but always move forward.”




8. Bob Faw

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Bob Faw


“Focus on your ‘Best DNA': Your strengths and passions, your core purpose and principles, and what you’re valued for.”




9. Natalie Sisson

Personal Brand ‘Mechanics’ Interview: Natalie Sisson


“Ask your audience what they want from you because without them you don’t have a business or a brand.”




10. Kimberly Bordonaro

Screen Shot 2013-09-07 at 2.39.58 PM


“Go back to the basics. Create a 1-page ‘brand foundation’ guide outlining your passion, vision, and strengths. Always review it.”




11. Craig McBreen

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Craig McBreen


“First get past the fear. Then bring your talent and your personality to the fore and try to find a way to make those work in harmony.”




12. Walter Akana

Personal Brand ‘Mechanics’ Interview: Walter Akana


“Make sure you’ve chosen the right bike from the beginning! Be clear form the start what your brand is all about.”




13. Ameena Falchetto

Personal Brand ‘Mechanics’ Interview:  Ameena Falchetto


“Look into what your business is doing. Address who you are and what your values are and how that lines up with your business and where you’re headed.”




14. Karen Kang

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Karen Kang


“What ‘niche’ do you want to own? Have an area where you are an expert in that the market wants. Don’t be a generalist because you will be expendable.”




15. Anastasia Ashman

Personal Brand ‘Mechanics’ Interview: Anastasia Ashman


“Find out where your brand is not working, where it does not seem like you, and ask others who know you well for feedback.”




16. Dan Jacobs

Personal Brand ‘Mechanic’ Interview: Dan Jacobs


“Rethink what it is you are trying to do. Where have your success and failures been? Embrace what’s not working and learn from it.”




17. Thomas J. Buckholtz

‘Personal Branding Mechanics’ Video Interview: Dr. Thomas J. Buckholtz


“Tell it and sell it: What is the practical value your offer (tell it). How do you emotionally grab other’s attention and keep it (sell it).”






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+