CerealI had a realization earlier this week. Less than 3 months after starting this blog it already has some real value, traffic and monetization opportunities. I thought to myself how can this be? I don’t consider myself to be a good writer, other bloggers run circles around me. However, I have something that the majority of bloggers don’t have… branding skills. From the design of this blog to my hat and tongue in photos I have created a brand around myself and my personality. There is an image that people associate with my name, so much so that if I show up somewhere without my hat or fail to stick my tongue out in a picture people think something is wrong.

Branding is one thing, believing in your personal brand enough to invest in it and market yourself is another. You have all seen the twitter shirts I had made, but did you also know that I buy ads with my own money through IZEA to promote this blog? This week I decided to personally sponsor Barcamp Miami, that deal got me a link from their site and placement on the T-shirt promoting my Twitter profile.

First I developed a personal brand, then I spent time and money making people aware of it.

Some people ask me why I invest in the Ted Murphy brand when I am the CEO of a company with a corporate brand. It’s simple really… business is personal. In many ways my brand and the IZEA brand are intertwined. However, this blog allows me to create a connection with bloggers and advertisers in a way that I can’t under the IZEA moniker. This brand is my opinions, my thoughts, my life… me. (thus the ted.me domain).

It’s not brand building for brand sake. It’s about creating enough power and momentum with your brand to further your cause. My personal brand and this blog exist for three reasons:

  1. Make money for IZEA.
  2. Support charity.
  3. Express my creative spirit.

I am happy to say I am doing all of these things with a good degree of regularity and having a blast along the way. What about you? Have you been able to establish your brand? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What are you trying to accomplish with it?

I have a couple of words of personal branding advice:

  1. List out your objectives. Answer the questions above for starters.
  2. Don’t skimp on design. If you are not a designer hire someone to establish a personal ID for you. Remember your ID may go beyond a logo, it may include how you physically present yourself.
  3. Create a marketing budget. I know it is hard in these economic times but you need to invest in marketing on an ongoing basis. (PPP has some budget friendly options ; )
  4. Invest the time. It’s not going to happen overnight, you need to spend 2-3 hours a day everyday interacting with others online.
Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy is an American entrepreneur. He is currently the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of IZEA, a technology company that provides software for influencer marketing.


  • BenSpark says:

    I hadn’t thought much about this with regards to a personal brand. But it makes sense. For instance every other person who leaves me a comment calls me Ben instead of Drew. My brand, BenSpark.com is much more recognizable than my own name. While this started more as an accident, it now is much more of a conscious thing. I haven’t yet spent any advertising money to get my brand out there more however that may be in the future.

  • Ted Murphy says:

    I have to always remember your name is not Ben Spark. I call you Ben all the time.

  • Michelle says:

    More people call me zengrrl than Michelle when I cover events, so I can relate to Drew. 🙂

  • For creative freelancers, personal branding is absolutely essential. A lot of photographers are hiding themselves behind studio names and brands — that’s too impersonal for me. People don’t want to hire a studio – they want to hire a human being. =)

  • David Risley says:

    Personal branding is HUGE for bloggers. I’ve been making a real push in this area myself, and it is going to increase even more in 2009. Without a brand, a blogger is going to have one hell of a time making any money at it.

  • Dan Schawbel says:

    Ted, you do a great job of personal branding. You have a very recognizable facial expression and avatar across the web. Personal branding on the web is all about creative content creation (CCC). You have to make the time to get yourself out there and positioned in a certain way that is unique to you!

  • Chris Miller says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this myself but cant seem to land the right domain for my new blog. I own http://www.ChrisMillerJr.com but is that lame or will it work? Trying to weigh things out here….

  • Missy Ward says:


    Much like you, my business is personal. Last year I made the decision to start to promote MissyWard.com, a blog in which I share a lot about me personally — what I can’t get enough of and what I just can’t stand.

    I truly believe that when customers understand the owner as a person, the business connection can grow much stronger.

    And, that’s when great stuff happens!

  • Rebecca says:

    Love this post and I agree personal branding is super important. Branding myself on my blog has helped me get my last two jobs and I fully expect my personal brand to help me at the start-up company I just began working at. Happy to have discovered your blog.

  • […] Stuff is stuff and I can buy another hat. The problem is this particular hat has become part of my personal brand. I have similar hats, but none of them are as identifiable as that one. That hat is featured in […]

  • […] read a post a while back by Ted Murphy about investing in your personal brand. It made sense to me that if I was investing time into yet another blog and not into BenSpark.com […]

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