ADVICE: Building a brand as strong as Winnie The Pooh’s

String Nguyen is a globally renowned personal branding and content expert. Her content has been viewed over eight million times, she’s been recognised as a LinkedIn Top Voice for three years in a row, and she recently founded a membership program built to empower entrepreneurs and business leaders.

We asked String about her journey so far, her biggest personal branding advice, and how to tackle the challenges of maintaining a consistent brand when the world around you is changing.

  • What have been your biggest learnings since starting to build your own personal brand

That it’s a journey of self-discovery.

I’m still on the path of learning more about myself. Compared to who I was five years ago, I do feel more grounded and having a growth mindset helps (yeah I know that’s a paradox, but so is life).

The word personal branding is a relatively trendy word, and the ironic thing is that I have been ‘myself’ for a long while now. 

People and professionals are willing to pay for a framework and my knowledge to build their own personal brand, which has inspired me to create ‘The Trusted Circle’ – a membership program to empower professionals to build their personal brand.

  • Has it been easier or harder than you expected? Why?

I love using Winnie The Pooh as a brand analogy. We know that he loves honey and that he will do anything for honey. He even drags his friends to help him get honey. His purpose is to live for honey.
Because of that purpose, he lives his own truth and created a life that allows him to find honey every day.

Personal branding is essentially you living in your own truth. The more you know yourself, the more dependable you are as a brand and as a person. 

  • What is your advice to others looking to build a personal brand online?

Follow my 7V framework to build your personal brand – the more you tick off each V, the more you will develop a strong and sustainable brand.

Your brand = your vision + values + volks (as in folks) + voice + visual + validation + victory (it’s okay to make money and monetize your influence). 

  • At what point did you decide to monetise your personal brand? Why?

If you plan to make this as part of your career, it means you should start thinking of your brand as a business. I knew that if I wished to be a brand-creator and do it every day, I had to take the steps to
develop it into a business.

Monetising means making money, making money means treating it like a business.

  • How did you go about the monetisation process? What were your learnings from that experience?

It depends on your business model, but if you need a starting point, look at your competitors and learn how they make money. I went through many trials and errors. I know my bigger vision is to increase the creative vibes in the world, and my goal is to help 1000 professionals become brand creators.

To do that, I decided to go down the pathway of a membership program to provide the sand-pit and safe haven for others to learn and collaborate. Plus, there’s higher accountability when you see others moving forward. 

Also, if you don’t ask for it, people will naturally try to get it for free. Be firm and set your price, set your boundaries. 

  • How do you stay true to your personal brand, while also associating yourself with other brands? Do you have a system, values set, or something else that keeps you on track? 

Again, it’s going back to my 7V framework of brand influence. The more you know yourself, the more you can stay true to yourself.

Personal branding, in my definition, is walking in your own truth every day.

About the expert

String’s LinkedIn channel was established in Sep’17. She grew from 0 to 30,000 followers in 14 months. For the last 4 years, she’s produced thousands of videos. Half of them are interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders. Since then, her profile has become a channel for personal branding and video marketing. String has been recognised as a top creator/ Top Voice, three years in the running by being a channel.