Personal Finanace

Personal branding experts and their climb to success

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In this day and age, personal branding is as important as making a good first impression. Whether online or offline, having a reputable personal brand will establish and aid you in building opportunities and connections for yourself or your company.

Successful branding has made MNCs such as Nike and Apple earn billions of dollars annually, but here are some individuals who have used personal branding to create a name for themselves – literally and figuratively.

Leonard Kim

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Leonard Kim was almost homeless by the end of 2010. Yet six years later, he is recognised as a top digital and youth marketer.

As a key leader in brand strategy, he creates content that inspires people, as well as teaches how to discover, establish and grow own personal brands.

Kim has been regularly featured in publications like Fox News, Fortune, Forbes and Entrepreneur. He is also a managing partner at Influence Tree and has developed a comprehensive course that shares all of his secrets to personal branding.

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu helps individuals grow their expertise in social media management and strategy.

Having worked with enterprise clients like Golden State Warriors, Nike and Rosetta Stone, he’s an internationally recognised lecturer in Facebook marketing and has spoken in 17 countries that span five continents.

Today, Dennis is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults.

On his website, Dennis says, “Our company is growing in revenue rapidly, but we have made zero profit every year for the last decade since we invest it all back in our people.”

Yu has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. In addition, he is the co-author of Facebook Nation, which is taught in more than 700 colleges and universities.

Cynthia Johnson

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Cynthia Johnson is an entrepreneur, marketing professional, author and keynote speaker.

She is also the editorial director and a member on the global board of directors for Social Media Club, a member of Young Entrepreneurs Council and committee member for the Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation to cure Batten Disease.

Apart from these accomplishments, she is an author and contributing columnist for Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, Startup Grind, Business2Community, Social Media Examiner, SheKnows and others.

Ryan Foland

Ryan Foland specialises in strategically communicating for personal and corporate brands. He is the creator of the 3-1-3 Theory.

In this process, pitchers begin as three sentences are condensed into one, and then boiled down to three words. Foland applies this approach at UC Irvine, where he oversees social media and marketing strategy.

As co-founder of Influence Tree, Foland demystifies personal branding into something that people can understand and enjoy. He has appeared in Fortune, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, TEDx and more.

Mark Lack

Mark Lack is a motivational speaker and coach who is committed to lifting the careers of entrepreneurs and marketers alike. He has been featured in hundreds of podcasts, YouTube channels, TV episodes, radio shows and magazines spanning more than 140 countries.

He hosts the TV show Business Rockstars, where he has interviewed Tony Robbins, Mark Cuban, John Assaraf, Tai Lopez, Arianna Huffington, Gary Vaynerchuk and Daymond John.

Dan Simons

Dan Simons is the founder and owner of Founding Farmers Restaurant Group, of which the most booked restaurant in Washington DC, Founding Farmers, is part of.

Simons is a champion for environmental protection and workers’ rights and has successfully incorporated ethical operations into his marketing and organisation, resulting in breakneck growth for his company.

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His frequent thought leadership on ethical operations, leadership, concept development, entrepreneurship and marketing have distinguished him as a leader in his industry.

Restaurant and hospitality professionals that are looking to attract a customer base that is loyal for life, not just for a meal or even a single location, should follow Simons’s footsteps closely.

Charles Anderson

Charles Anderson is the CEO and founder of Currency Capital, a leader in online business financing. Anderson has made it his mission to make sure that every business can fulfil its potential, and get the equipment they need when they need it.

Anderson’s thought leadership can be seen in the likes of Forbes, Yahoo Finance and Equipment World Magazine.

His advice on disrupting the stagnated heavy machinery and equipment financing industry drives his personal branding offline as well.

Anderson makes it a point to visit educational institutions and inspire the young minds that will lead the future of business financing.

Carlo Cisco

Carlo Cisco is the CEO and founder of SELECT, a VIP club that offers its members discounts and exclusive access to experiences around the country.

Cisco got his start in event planning early on, but quickly made big moves towards becoming one of hospitality’s fastest growing stars.

After leading Groupon’s growth in Japan, Cisco came back to the US to start SELECT, and has successfully attracted the attention of celebrities such as Victoria’s Secret models, famous clothing designers, athletes and DJs.

Cisco is proof that the best way to gain a loyal following is tied to old-fashioned soft skills such as friendliness, passion and a great smile. However, having a fantastic Instagram account has never hurt anyone.

He is frequently featured as an expert on entrepreneurship, business and marketing in Mashable, Forbes, Fox Business,, USA Today, TheNextWeb, Entrepreneur magazine and Wall Street Journal.

This article first appeared in

MyPF is on a mission to help simplify and grow Malaysians’ personal finances through financial education.


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