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Platform: The Art and Science of Personal Branding

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The indispensable guide to developing a personal brand, building an audience, and nurturing followers, by digital marketing thought-leader Cynthia Johnson. In the modern world, influence is everything and personal branding equals influence. Platform is the why-to, how-to handbook by top expert Cynthia Johnson for everyone who wants to develop and manage a personal brand. In The indispensable guide to developing a personal brand, building an audience, and nurturing followers, by digital marketing thought-leader Cynthia Johnson. In the modern world, influence is everything and personal branding equals influence. Platform is the why-to, how-to handbook by top expert Cynthia Johnson for everyone who wants to develop and manage a personal brand. In Platform, Johnson explains the process of going from unknown to influencer by achieving personal proof, social proof, recognition, and association. Johnson herself went from an on-staff social media manager to social media influencer, entrepreneur, and marketing thought-leader in just three years using her process of accelerated brand development, continuous brand management, and strategic growth. Fans of #GirlBoss and #AskGaryVee, who wonder how their favorite influencers found their voices and built their audiences, will find the answers here and discover that the process is technical, creative, tactical, and much easier than they might have expected.


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The indispensable guide to developing a personal brand, building an audience, and nurturing followers, by digital marketing thought-leader Cynthia Johnson. In the modern world, influence is everything and personal branding equals influence. Platform is the why-to, how-to handbook by top expert Cynthia Johnson for everyone who wants to develop and manage a personal brand. In The indispensable guide to developing a personal brand, building an audience, and nurturing followers, by digital marketing thought-leader Cynthia Johnson. In the modern world, influence is everything and personal branding equals influence. Platform is the why-to, how-to handbook by top expert Cynthia Johnson for everyone who wants to develop and manage a personal brand. In Platform, Johnson explains the process of going from unknown to influencer by achieving personal proof, social proof, recognition, and association. Johnson herself went from an on-staff social media manager to social media influencer, entrepreneur, and marketing thought-leader in just three years using her process of accelerated brand development, continuous brand management, and strategic growth. Fans of #GirlBoss and #AskGaryVee, who wonder how their favorite influencers found their voices and built their audiences, will find the answers here and discover that the process is technical, creative, tactical, and much easier than they might have expected.

30 review for Platform: The Art and Science of Personal Branding

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    I’m not sure how I heard about this book, but apparently, I wanted to read it enough that I placed a hold for it at the library for when it publishes. On a separate note, how cool is it that Overdrive will let you place holds on books before they come out? Platform is supposed to be about the art and science of personal branding. Since I do the blogging for my company, I do want to know more about the type of topics that I can write about and how that can help the company brand, which is especial I’m not sure how I heard about this book, but apparently, I wanted to read it enough that I placed a hold for it at the library for when it publishes. On a separate note, how cool is it that Overdrive will let you place holds on books before they come out? Platform is supposed to be about the art and science of personal branding. Since I do the blogging for my company, I do want to know more about the type of topics that I can write about and how that can help the company brand, which is especially important since we’re a marketplace and need to balance between our own brand and the brands we carry. The book looks at what personal branding is, the elements of a personal brand, and how things like rumours can affect your brand. I thought her explanation on branding was pretty good. Johnson thinks of branding as something that everyone needs, since the digital age means that we evaluate people based on their digital footprint. As the book puts it, “Personal branding is not about packaging yourself to sell yourself. It is about bringing focus to your actions so that the right kinds of people can find you and subscribe to your message, and vice versa.” Another thing I thought was interesting was her elements of personal brand – personal proof, social proof, association, and recognition. The case studies between Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick were pretty interesting as well. That said, a lot of the book felt more like advice on how to get people to talk to you and give you jobs or be your mentor than branding. Perhaps it’s because they’re very interlinked (a strong brand being linked to connecting with the right people for Johnson), but during the later half of the book, I felt I was reading more on how to connect with people. Plus, there was at least one story about her where her success depends more on luck that how she messaged people (which she said as well). Speaking of her personal stories, the book is filled with them. She tells you that she managed to get free holidays, a job, etc all through her personal brand. There are a few interesting ones, like how she did the twitter chat, but a lot of her stories felt like a “right time, right person” type of situation and there weren’t as many concrete tips that I would like (for example, how did she manage to get a free round-trip flight on a private jet in exchange for a tweet and a snap? What was that tweet and snap? Or how did she get an “all-expenses paid, six-week tour through New Zealand in exchange for a few tweets – I had a thousand followers at that time” – was it because those were the early days of influencer marketing? Was it something else? It’s not explained. Some stories were useful and illustrated what she was saying, but others felt like the kind of stories you share because you think that they make you seem cool (or maybe the point wasn’t clear, I’m not sure). Overall, I think the book started strong and then sort of fizzled out. I really liked how she introduced the concept of branding (which is something I can bring up with our marketing side and see how we can craft our content going forward), but after that, it felt like she just really liked talking about how she got a lot of stuff/jobs/success by asking the right person. It was great that she succeeded, but I didn’t really learn anything useful from that. I actually felt like Influence by Brittany Henessey had more tips on how to build your personal brand (although that was definitely a personal brand thing, not something that could be applied to companies). Also, I just realised my first review of Influence was very short and now I want to re-read it and see if my memory of it is accurate. This review was first posted at Eustea Reads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nopadol Rompho

    I love this book. It was written from someone who actually did it so it is so practical. Although I found that it's a bit lengthy but it is still very useful if you want to build your personal brand. I love this book. It was written from someone who actually did it so it is so practical. Although I found that it's a bit lengthy but it is still very useful if you want to build your personal brand.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael Piecez

    Very practical

  4. 5 out of 5

    Walter Adamson

    I really enjoyed this book - one of the best books I have read on personal branding. For a start, I liked the author's take on personal branding: "Personal branding is not about packaging yourself to sell yourself. It is about bringing focus to your actions so that the right kind of people can find you and subscribe to your message, and vice versa." And "Everyone already has a brand online. The difference is that some people control their personal brand and some people don't." The book teaches you I really enjoyed this book - one of the best books I have read on personal branding. For a start, I liked the author's take on personal branding: "Personal branding is not about packaging yourself to sell yourself. It is about bringing focus to your actions so that the right kind of people can find you and subscribe to your message, and vice versa." And "Everyone already has a brand online. The difference is that some people control their personal brand and some people don't." The book teaches you how to create and control your personal brand, with pragmatic steps and advice. The author took herself from a cold start to being named as one of the top five personal branding experts in just three years. She emphasises the mindset necessary to achieve this as well as how to develop the strategy and plan and how to execute relentlessly. What I most like is that she is proof of the approach she advocates. It is not easy to build a personal brand of significance. This book makes that very plain. It requires clarity, dedication, diligence and consistency - and the willingness to be seen to think for yourself. If you are wanting to build your own personal brand, or have a solid framework for helping others, I recommend this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Teri Temme

    Exceeded all expectations. A tremendous information source for establishing your personal brand and so much more!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Walker

    I have to say, I was a bit surprised by this book. Everything I’ve been taught about personal branding are the repeating platitudes of “be authentically you” and “post everywhere 24/7/365” without going into much detail as to why or how. So I honestly expected much of the same advice. As I started reading this book, it dawned on me over and over again why I keep struggling with my personal brand and finding my authentic self. Primarily, I keep trying to follow the exact footsteps of those I admi I have to say, I was a bit surprised by this book. Everything I’ve been taught about personal branding are the repeating platitudes of “be authentically you” and “post everywhere 24/7/365” without going into much detail as to why or how. So I honestly expected much of the same advice. As I started reading this book, it dawned on me over and over again why I keep struggling with my personal brand and finding my authentic self. Primarily, I keep trying to follow the exact footsteps of those I admire, I tend to overshare and/or overpost non-valuable content, and I am SO scared of negative feedback. I’m really glad I picked this book up and I’m planning to reread all my highlighted and flagged sections and start creating my own personal branding strategy this weekend.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    A very insightful book, was able to get some good tips out of it. Highly recommend.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Platform is a book about personal branding and how Cynthia created her own platform to represent herself across the social channels, how she ‘growth hacked’ her profiles to connect to the right people, and the strategies she employed (which you can use too) to accurately position and define how she wanted to be seen online. The book contains a number of easily actionable ‘quick-wins’ in the early stages then delves deeper into game theory and the need to consider the algorithms the social media Platform is a book about personal branding and how Cynthia created her own platform to represent herself across the social channels, how she ‘growth hacked’ her profiles to connect to the right people, and the strategies she employed (which you can use too) to accurately position and define how she wanted to be seen online. The book contains a number of easily actionable ‘quick-wins’ in the early stages then delves deeper into game theory and the need to consider the algorithms the social media platforms use when connecting with others; which Cynthia calls the invisible third-party in the connection. The book also contains a lot of other interesting information outside of social media by way of examples. It also leads you to tools which can help you better understand how you are seen online across areas such as how you are perceived in terms of age, gender, the big 5 personality types, intelligence, life satisfaction, leadership potential, Jungian personality type (aka Myers Briggs), political orientation, religious orientation, education, and relationship status. The additional resources provided online (linked via the book) are excellent and help you more easily align and manage your online presence. Both easy to follow, and in-depth in the later stages for the truly serious online dweller, this is an excellent book in not only why personal branding matters but how do implement yours. Read it today.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vasco

    The bad: Half of the book is made of good, simple points, such as branding being about authenticity and not packaging, but the other half is random filler, ranging to a mention of game theory and the prisoner's dilemma, which although excellent as a though exercise are useless in branding, to a very extensive anecdote of Johnson wearing fake glasses at work pretending to "be who she wasn't" and complaining the CEO never said hello to her, despite her position not being an executive or a direct r The bad: Half of the book is made of good, simple points, such as branding being about authenticity and not packaging, but the other half is random filler, ranging to a mention of game theory and the prisoner's dilemma, which although excellent as a though exercise are useless in branding, to a very extensive anecdote of Johnson wearing fake glasses at work pretending to "be who she wasn't" and complaining the CEO never said hello to her, despite her position not being an executive or a direct report of him. There are good points here that stand on their own, but the book could have done better by sticking to them and not including filler. The good: the best points are simple in essence and illustrated with concise examples, sharing powerful messages. One of the best was the technique to select mediums in which people have less inbox fatigue to reach out to them easier (although technically not branding). Overall, if you consider it a social media management book, it's very good, but as a branding book itself, it's not that good. It's a good social media management book masquerading as a good personal branding book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    We all have our own personal brands, but few of us appreciate that reality and fewer still cultivate, strategize, measure, and align our personal brands to maximize them for career, influence, goals, and financial success. PLATFORM is a useful beginner's guide to understanding what a personal brand is, why it is crucial to be its owner, and how to create, mobilize, and assess it. We all have our own personal brands, but few of us appreciate that reality and fewer still cultivate, strategize, measure, and align our personal brands to maximize them for career, influence, goals, and financial success. PLATFORM is a useful beginner's guide to understanding what a personal brand is, why it is crucial to be its owner, and how to create, mobilize, and assess it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fred McMurray

    Great book by Cynthia Johnson. We loved having her on the Pillars of Franchising internet radio show. Listen to her interview here: https://www.pillarsoffranchising.com/... Great book by Cynthia Johnson. We loved having her on the Pillars of Franchising internet radio show. Listen to her interview here: https://www.pillarsoffranchising.com/...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dave Irwin

    One of the best books I have read in 2020 or 2019. a wealth of knowledge.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Himanish Prabhakar

    This book is an extensive reach book where Personal Marketing and Branding is considered. How you can make yourself a brand? What things about you are your USP? How you can build up your followers and become an Influencer? If you wanna answers to these important questions then you need to read this book. This book is really informative, full of in-depth knowledge and love the way author wrote about each important aspects from being a normal person to an successful entrepreneur or an influencer with This book is an extensive reach book where Personal Marketing and Branding is considered. How you can make yourself a brand? What things about you are your USP? How you can build up your followers and become an Influencer? If you wanna answers to these important questions then you need to read this book. This book is really informative, full of in-depth knowledge and love the way author wrote about each important aspects from being a normal person to an successful entrepreneur or an influencer with a huge following. I got this book about 02/19 and I read it the same weekend, but I read it again and again 4 more times, because this book is actually a gold mine if you see it and read it and try to absorb it what’s in it. The chapters are informative and thorough, they will take you to a lovely ride of learning about Personal Branding and things about make yourself just “successful”. High Praise to the author “Cynthia”. It is really a good one. Would love more books from the author.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scott J Pearson

    Johnson claims expertise in the field of digital marketing. Working in the world of software and playing in the world of writing, I can benefit from learning how to leverage the digital world in better selling myself and my work. This book certainly taught me a few things. For one, Johnson is great at analyzing how to take social media and accomplish something worthwhile with it. Many of us use social media because it allows us to maintain relationships; few of us push it to the extremes that Joh Johnson claims expertise in the field of digital marketing. Working in the world of software and playing in the world of writing, I can benefit from learning how to leverage the digital world in better selling myself and my work. This book certainly taught me a few things. For one, Johnson is great at analyzing how to take social media and accomplish something worthwhile with it. Many of us use social media because it allows us to maintain relationships; few of us push it to the extremes that Johnson has. She views everything in social media according to economic game theory. She wants to rise as others rise. Instead of seeing a ghost behind every bush, she sees networking opportunities behind every fleeting opportunity. While I don't think that I will ever be as proficient as Johnson is at marketing oneself, I found myself learning from her acumen in detail. She makes good and sound business decisions in a digital world. She has "figured it out" as they say, and she teaches her learning in this book. If you are trying to use a digital platform to share your messages with the world and desire to practice techniques to leverage it more effectively, this short book is for you.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Olson Michel

    Cynthia Johnson and her team kindly provided me with a copy to review and giveaway after I contacted her. She was great to work with an has a lot of passion and enthusiasm for what she does. This is a great book and a short, interesting read for those interested in starting to build their personal brand or elevating the one they have. It doesn't come across like an information overload, and Cynthia does a great job weaving her own story and experiences into relevant research. I'm looking forward Cynthia Johnson and her team kindly provided me with a copy to review and giveaway after I contacted her. She was great to work with an has a lot of passion and enthusiasm for what she does. This is a great book and a short, interesting read for those interested in starting to build their personal brand or elevating the one they have. It doesn't come across like an information overload, and Cynthia does a great job weaving her own story and experiences into relevant research. I'm looking forward to applying her ideas and using the tools she equips her readers with to work on further developing my own online presence and personal brand as a science writer. Definitely a book to put on your to-read list if you'd like to learn more about marketing yourself and your skills.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rossetter, MD

    I picked this book up at the library from the New section on a whim, and I'm so glad that I did. This is a great book for anyone who is trying to get their online presence under control and wants to know where to start. The author is knowledgeable and personable as she breaks enormous concepts down into practical, actionable steps for the reader. It is hard to believe this is her debut book, and she is definitely one to watch. I picked this book up at the library from the New section on a whim, and I'm so glad that I did. This is a great book for anyone who is trying to get their online presence under control and wants to know where to start. The author is knowledgeable and personable as she breaks enormous concepts down into practical, actionable steps for the reader. It is hard to believe this is her debut book, and she is definitely one to watch.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Myers

    There is a lot of really good advice about branding. Not all of it feels applicable, and occasionally some of the pathways to success seemed more theoretical than practical. But still, a lot of good advice to re-focus one's daily quest towards an ultimately successful brand. The advice that resonated most with me was to spend more time on LinkedIn, trying to attract the job rather than find jobs to apply for. Building contacts for journalism on a larger scale could work in a very similar way. There is a lot of really good advice about branding. Not all of it feels applicable, and occasionally some of the pathways to success seemed more theoretical than practical. But still, a lot of good advice to re-focus one's daily quest towards an ultimately successful brand. The advice that resonated most with me was to spend more time on LinkedIn, trying to attract the job rather than find jobs to apply for. Building contacts for journalism on a larger scale could work in a very similar way.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luki Susantini

    Lots of insightful stuff in here on how to work on your personal branding especially with the help of social media. She also explains a lot about which social media platform will fit us the best and how to maximize it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eduardo Rodriguez

    Required reading for all experts I love the clear, no BS, step by step communication style Cynthia has. I have never written a book review but I think this is a great one to start. Cynthia provides a guide to personal branding success that is more evaluable than the expertise itself.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kimrey Rhinehardt

    Quick read. Practical tips and advice on personal branding.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rio Praditia

    One of the last paragraph hit me right on the face. "Don’t practice humility so much that you become prideful in your humility. The world needs more real experts to be heard so that fewer fake experts can be heard." This book really enlight me about what should I do and what I have done wrong. One of the last paragraph hit me right on the face. "Don’t practice humility so much that you become prideful in your humility. The world needs more real experts to be heard so that fewer fake experts can be heard." This book really enlight me about what should I do and what I have done wrong.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Siv

    No denying the world has changed. Everyone who spends any time on social media of any form has a platform, whether or not they know it, admit it, or care about it. Johnson is bold, an actor who becomes any character she wants to be to live the life she wants. She has a lot to teach, and this book contains practical advice and real-life illustrations to back it up. I didn't always enjoy the book, and TBH, I'm more than a little overwhelmed by this new reality, but as they say, that's life. "So if No denying the world has changed. Everyone who spends any time on social media of any form has a platform, whether or not they know it, admit it, or care about it. Johnson is bold, an actor who becomes any character she wants to be to live the life she wants. She has a lot to teach, and this book contains practical advice and real-life illustrations to back it up. I didn't always enjoy the book, and TBH, I'm more than a little overwhelmed by this new reality, but as they say, that's life. "So if everything is constantly changing and evolving, why do we become complacent and accept things as they are in the present? Acceptance...stops us from seeking change and challenging ourselves to grow." (13) "When you ask before you assume, the opportunities are endless. I started asking for everything and anything I wanted." (35)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ken Hamner

    Very good book. Clear and articulate and filled with good tangible advice.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cooper

    Insightful read about personal branding: what it is and how to create your personal brand ID. Throughout the book there are words of wisdom as well as helpful information. The chapter on creating your brand message and how to build your digital assets provides a useful section on how to check out your current digital footprint and what people see when they look you up online. Reviewing my Google Ad settings was enlightening and rather scary on how much information they collect. There were several Insightful read about personal branding: what it is and how to create your personal brand ID. Throughout the book there are words of wisdom as well as helpful information. The chapter on creating your brand message and how to build your digital assets provides a useful section on how to check out your current digital footprint and what people see when they look you up online. Reviewing my Google Ad settings was enlightening and rather scary on how much information they collect. There were several actionable items for the reader including creating a media kit, the various digital resources and how to create a personal brand statement. She wrote about how she reached out to others, especially as she was looking for a mentor and provided suggestions for job seekers. The chapter, “Everyone is Known for Something”, was probably one of the most helpful for me. She writes about the importance of contacts, the importance of always being “on-brand”, and the importance of networking. One of the better books I’ve read on personal branding and would definitely recommend. As well, Cynthia’s YouTube content provides a treasure trove of information. Definitely worth checking out.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Milan Berens

    Summary: It’s not the playbook I expected. Good: Personal journey on branding herself as social media expert. Bad: - Lack of depth or research beyond personal and generic anecdotes - Feels like a series of stretched out blog posts. - A few basic insights. Alternatives: More practical books from branding consultants that provide richer insights from their clients stories. Musing - Would have been better to stick to a (sharper) personal narrative then go broad trying to be a catchall playbook. - Feels li Summary: It’s not the playbook I expected. Good: Personal journey on branding herself as social media expert. Bad: - Lack of depth or research beyond personal and generic anecdotes - Feels like a series of stretched out blog posts. - A few basic insights. Alternatives: More practical books from branding consultants that provide richer insights from their clients stories. Musing - Would have been better to stick to a (sharper) personal narrative then go broad trying to be a catchall playbook. - Feels like in the category of writing a book for self-promotion; along with TED talks.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chukwudi Barrah

    Helpful bits of information spread far in-between. Might be good for people who have zero idea how digital marketing or personal branding works. Also, it is no longer up to date (at least the edition I read).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ammar Rehmani

    My main takeaway from the book is to take personal branding seriously. So if are reading this book, you were already curious about the topic. As for the strategies mentioned in this book, I am not sure how to implement it (may be someone who has knowledge of social media can do it, I felt the info flew over my head) . But she provides enough big ideas that I can appreciate the content of the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Mimon Ash-Shazlie

    It was a great experience to read this book. It is inspiring and informative.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Actionable tips!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sydney C

    Although I am not a person for nonfiction books I really enjoyed this book as it gives a lot of tips and tricks and the steps needed to take to grow your brand and in managing your brand. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking to grow their brand or career. Cynthia uses her own personal stories and case studies to provide readers with proof that personal branding can have a big effect on people's lives and careers. Cynthia points out that "personal branding is for everyo Although I am not a person for nonfiction books I really enjoyed this book as it gives a lot of tips and tricks and the steps needed to take to grow your brand and in managing your brand. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking to grow their brand or career. Cynthia uses her own personal stories and case studies to provide readers with proof that personal branding can have a big effect on people's lives and careers. Cynthia points out that "personal branding is for everyone", which I think is important as people doubt that they could create a personal brand but Cynthia through her book encourages people that they can do it by going through the steps. In most people's lives, although they don't know what they want to do in life, Cynthia points out that you do know what you don't want in your life, which then can leave room for you to test out new things. Having a brand is very important in today's world where anyone can search you online and create an opinion based on what they find, if you great a brand for your self you can control what those people see. The books mentions many other things and gives you the details to build your brand and succeed in maintaining it.

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