How to Ditch the Act and Build Your Personal Brand the Authentic Way


A personal branding book that provides a process and guideline to being truly authentic online.

How to Ditch the Act and Build Your Personal Brand the Authentic Way

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We marketers have a saying “Your mess is your message.” And whenever I tell a business owner to be open about their humanity, I get this startled deer-in-the-headlights kind of stare.

“What?! Why would I want to share all my failures?  Won’t that turn potential customers away?” The answer is NO!

In fact, it will do just the opposite.  Let me tell you a secret — everyone has something in their closet.  Some people have a few bones, others have a skeleton and then there are the folks with a whole graveyard.

Ditch the Act: Reveal the Surprising Power of the Real You for Greater Success by Leonard Kim and Ryan Foland is a new book that you’ll love if you’re looking for a practical way to create an authentic personal brand.

Build Your Know, Like, and Trust Factor

You’ve heard the other popular saying “People buy from those they know, like and trust.” Right?  Well, how can someone get to know, like and trust you if they don’t know about your life and experiences?  How can they like you if you appear to be perfect in every way and have never failed at anything? And, how can they trust you if you aren’t open and honest about the life journey that brought you to where you are today?

They can’t and they won’t.

Vulnerability and Imperfection is Attractive

Authors Leonard Kim and Ryan Foland have built successful personal brands for themselves despite their many imperfections.  And, in Ditch the Act they share their process in its entirety.

Not only that, but they include examples from influencers from all over the spectrum; financial planning, education, healthcare, and many other industries.  If you’re connected to or follow some small business influencers, you just might recognize a few names!

So, why is showing your flaws and mistakes so attractive?

The internet and social media make it very difficult to “hide” your history.  In a world of nearly perfect information, your best strategy is to control your narrative by embracing the life experiences that make you, YOU.

There is a Right Way to Craft and Control Your Personal Brand

One of the things I absolutely love about Ditch the Act is the detail with which Kim and Foland share about their process.

You not only get an abundance of worksheets, but you’ll also see detailed examples of how both of these personal branding experts answered these questions.

It’s about as close as you’re going to get to having a personal face-to-face consultation as you can get.

In addition to the worksheets in the book, you will also get access to a FREE membership area where you can download each of these worksheets so that you can safely and easily create your own authentic brand story.

But Will This Work For ME?

I spent about a week reading and going through the book myself. And, I’ll have to admit that it was more challenging than I thought.

Ditch the Act is definitely a go-to book and process if you’ve had some experiences in your professional or personal career that you’ve been hiding or avoiding.

For example, Ryan Foland speaks about branding and business but an unpleasant experience with the FTC was a black mark that was affecting his trustworthiness.  It’s easy to see how getting in trouble with the FTC can negatively impact your future business prospects. So it makes sense to get in front of the story and explain how this experience, in fact, makes you a better person.

But what about the rest of us; those of us whose backgrounds aren’t really that colorful? What if the worst thing that’s happened to you is that you found a parking ticket on your windshield while traveling and simply threw it away?

If that sounds like you, then following the process laid out in Ditch the Act will take a bit more reflection on your part. But, it will be worth it.

Ditch the Act is the first and only book I’ve seen thus far that actually shows you a process towards actually being more authentic, rather than just telling you that you need to be more authentic.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."