By Cory Collins
18 Aug 2015

Personal Branding for Company Success - #LinkaratiChat with Mark Traphagen

Personal brands have never been so prevalant as today, thanks in large part to the proliferation of media and the web.

Simply stated, it's never been easier to establish and grow your own personal brand.

Personal brands have never been so prevalant as today, thanks in large part to the proliferation of media and the web. Simply stated, it's never been easier to establish and grow your own personal brand. 

On Monday the 10th we had the pleasure of hosting Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting, a well-established voice in the personal brand sphere, to chat about the roles personal brands play in marketing today. 

Here's how it all went down.

Question One: How should companies approach personal brands?


Mark kicked off the chat pointing out that companies shouldn't fear strong personal brands - instead, companies should nurture and encourage personal brands.

Callis pointed out personal branding isn't for everyone, and if a company wants staff to grow personal brands they might need to reward proactive employees:

However, that does not mean that personal brand = company brand:

John Gibbings and Wojtek Mazur pointed out the value of personal brands in helping people relate to a business. Relationships are much easier to develop between people, as opposed to companies. 

 This naturally led to question two.

Question Two: What marketing advantages do personal brands offer to companies?


Mark led the discussion by highlighting the more personal nature of personal brands.

Cody Cahill, a Page One Power Team Lead, pointed out the diversity in having multiple brands:

Thomas McMahon, another P1P Team Lead, pointed out the networking possibilities with a personal brand:

And Andrew Dennis pointed out that employees who engage in personal branding will feel more invested in the company.

Overall, personal brands attached to company marketing help a company appear more human and approachabe, while empowering your employees.

Question Three: What are the risks companies face with tying personal brands to company branding? Is there a way to minimize risks?


The two most common risks are an employee exhibiting less-than-ideal behavior (socially), or leaving the company. Mark recommends brands create good training and nurturing programs for personal brand representatives.

Bill Slawski echoed this attitude, stating personal brand development fits nicely within supervisor responsibilities:

Callis recommended a clear social media policy for staff, which makes really good sense.

And at the end of the day, even if an employee leaves their personal brand could still continue to benefit the original company.

Question Four: Does an employee need to be a certain level before being trusted with personal brand development?


Question four was interesting, because there was no clear cut answer. Different people had genuinely different responses. On one hand, you should trust your employees implicitly - otherwise, why continue to employ them? But on the other hand, representing a company well is difficult, and not everyone is suited to be a public representative.

Devin represented the trust side of the debate.

Callis and Micha were on the other side of the debate, pointing out the difficult nature of building a personal brand and representing a company.

Mark recommended a middle ground, providing guidelines instead of restrictions:

In the end everyone more or less agreed that you shouldn't try to restrict personal brand development, but as a company it's important to offer guidance and training.

Question Five: How can you effectively build a personal brand? Methods, channels, tools?


Mark believes the best way to grow a personal brand is to add value to the conversation. Don't focus on your brand, but rather build authoritative content and great relationships.

Bill Slawski, well known for his work in explaining Google's patents and the technological implications, recommends focusing on value for a community as well.

This might necessitate specialization, Michael Hall pointed out.

Martin Harris recommends letting your personality shine through in order to build a stronger personal brand.

Question Six: Could you recommend some people with strong personal brands worth following?


For people to follow in terms of personal brands, Bill recommends whoever inspires you to be better.

Mark Traphagen had a large list of those worth following:

Jared Carrizales had a few good names to add to the list:

And so did Sergio Redondo:

And that's the chat!!

Huge, huge thank you to Mark Traphagen, our featured guest, and everyone who took time out of their busy lives to participate. We had an incredible time and look forward to chatting next week, Monday 8/24, with Jeremy Rivera at 8AM PST. Hope to see you there!


Cory Collins

Cory Collins is the Business Development Manager at Page One Power and has been with the agency since 2012. Cory is an SEO strategist, writer, runner, and outdoor enthusiast residing in Boise, Idaho, with his wife, daughter, and (too) many pets.