Donald Trump AFP

5 things we can learn from Donald Trump’s Personal Brand

Hi there,

In case you haven’t noticed… Donald Trump has won the elections.

Who’d have thought that?!

I must say I was kind of shocked when I heard the news the following morning.

How is it possible that a person with his attitude, his values, his opinions gets so many votes from the American people?

There’s lots to say about that, about the reasons.

I’m sure that one of the things he did pretty well, is build his Personal Brand.

And we can learn something from that.

And that is why I wrote this blog post.

To see what you CAN learn from Donald Trump’s Personal Brand.

And what you WANT to learn from it.

When I put this post on my Facebook page a couple of days ago, I got lots of reactions.

Negative reactions.

People telling me things like:

  • “Trump will never be an example”,
  • “Trump has no values”,
  • “I will never learn something from Trump”,
  • “If that is what Personal Branding is all about, well thank you, not for me”


I’m not saying we should all love Trump and follow his example. I don’t and I won’t.

And still, I am convinced we can learn something from him, he is an example (whether you like him or not – good or bad), he has values (even though they might not be the same as yours)…

And Personal Branding is more than what Trump has showed us.

In my world and when I work with clients, I help them build an authentic Personal Brand. That is only possible if you stay true to yourself, if you practice what you preach, if you respect yourself and others.(and that is where Trump and I don’t seem to be on the same wavelength, I guess.)

This being said, here are the 5 things we can learn from Donald Trump’s Personal Brand.

Judge for yourself 🙂

Donald Trump: Yes he can! Build your Personal Brand the Trump way



  1. Decide

Donald Trump has proven to be a good business man. He must have thought: “done that, been there, what’s next? Well, how about becoming the president of the United states?…”

That’s the decision he made. Now that is a huge next step in his career all right!

I am convinced that if you want to start a business or move to the next level in career, or want to become president :-), you need to be visible. How else will your audience notice you, trust you, want to buy from/vote for you? Personal Branding is the answer.

>> So are you ready? Ready to get out there? Be visible? Build your brand?

To quote Richard Branson here: “Screw it, let’s do it!”


  1. Stop making excuses

I meet a lot of people who have big dreams and are afraid to go for it. Main reason is the so called security. They are locked in a golden cage and so they do a job they dislike for 20-30 years.

How crazy is that? Is there really no alternative? Is there really no way you can leave that golden cage and do what you really love?

Trump could have had a lot of excuses:

  • No political experience
  • Establishment laughing at him
  • What does he know about being a president?
  • Afraid to make mistakes?
  • It’s not the right moment?
  • I need more skills, experience?
  • I’m not good enough
  • My dreams are not realistic?


>> Making excuses does not put you in the driver’s seat, you will not gain respect by making excuses, only pity.

And is that what you want?


  1. Craft your pitch

“Make America Great Again.” That was Trump’s pitch the whole time. Clinton’s? “I’m the female candidate”.

The problem with Clinton’s pitch is that it is not linked to the audience. “What’s in it for me? So what, you are a woman?” She did not link it to the audience’s fears and hopes.

Trump did.

Obama did too.

He could have said; “I’m the black candidate” but he didn’t – he inspired others with his “yes we can!” pitch connecting with his audience’s hopes. Focusing on change.

>> So, what do you tell people when they ask you what it is that you do? Can you give a short answer that inspires and enthuses the listener?


  1. Be authentic!

You like him. Or not.

1 thing is for sure: Trump doesn’t sugarcoat his ideas and opinions. He has insulted a lot of people: Muslims, women, Mexicans ….

He says what he feels, and often in a … let’s call it … impolite way. 🙂

He might change his ideas on certain policies, but when he represents himself he stays consistent. And his audience doesn’t seem to care. He is perceived as authentic.

In Personal Branding it is important that you stay true to yourself and take a stand. You cannot stand out from the crowd if you have wishy washy ideas and don’t (seem to) believe in your message.

The audience wants to know what you stand for.

And some will hate you, and others will love you.

>> Back to you – what do you stand for?

And remember Oscar Wilde’s quote: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!”


  1. Build a fan base

I know a lot of people who hate Donald Trump.

To be honest I’m not the biggest fan either. There, I said it. Told you what I stand for 🙂

However, there’s this huge community of people who love and support him – a group of fans who want  to help him build his brand. They help him carry his message, defend his statements and work very hard on his behalf. They happily spread his “Make America Great Again” message.

You too, you need others to help spread your message. Personal branding is not something you do by yourself. You need to build a core community before you can grow your visibility in the larger community.

People only “buy” from people they know, like & trust. So it is important you start building that fan base of people who know, like & trust you.

>> How? By sharing valuable content, by having a giving attitude, by showing you know what you talk about, by constantly thinking “what’s in it for them?”


So congratulations, Donald. Congratulations with your Personal Brand and your new job.

And good luck!

Good luck also to the readers who want to build their Personal Brand (the Trump way or not)

And good luck to the rest of the world – I’m curious to see what impact his victory will have on all of us.


2 thoughts on “5 things we can learn from Donald Trump’s Personal Brand”

  1. Gaëlle van der haegen says:

    Hi Greet,

    I find this post very good and interesting!!

    All the best!


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