On Personal Sub Branding

The thing with focusing on narrow niches to make part of your “brand” is that it can be a good thing. But it can also be a bad thing.

There’s been a boom in self-promotion chatter, spurred by ‘that wine guy’ Gary Vaynerchuk declaring a ‘Personal Brand Gold Rush’ and stressing the importance of picking a tiny niche and attaching your name to it. I think that can be a mistake.

Attaching your name to a small field might give you clarity of execution and a degree of personal fame, but these benefits come at a price: by broadcasting your identity in too narrow an arc, others will begin to attach labels to you that may prove hard to remove should you wish to become someone else later on.