Personal Branding: self-knowledge as the basis of your competitive advantage, by Paulo Moreti

This week is one of discovery. I explain myself. My new guest on the show #Collaborating WithGuillem was unknown to me a year ago. Comes from Brazil, a country where Personal Branding is lived with passion.

And it was my good friend Vladimir Estrada who recommended me to follow him for the contributions of his contents. He is Paulo Moreti

Paulo is presented on its website as a publicist, Personal Brand Manager, coach, married, partner of Element Publicidade and Simple You Human Development, and creator of a unique methodology to build a personal brand platform.

In addition, Paulo Moreti is the author of several books, among them Find your Brand (2021) | You Marca e Marketing Pessoal (2018).

In this article, Paulo tries to expand our self-knowledge to turn it into benefits towards our personal brand.

If you've missed previous #ColaborandoConGuillem collaborations, here we have the Vladimir Estrada, Ylse Roa, Paul Adam, Nancy Vazquez And Fran Segarra.

If you're short on time, here's a one-minute video preview:


We are becoming commodified professionals, delivering more of the same; I mean, we deliver the same resumes and skills and nothing else, without differentiating ourselves from the competition. We have in our hands a huge potential competitive advantage that we do not take advantage of or miss, simply because of the lack of a component called Self, integrated into the Personal Branding process.

But, how to use it? How to work with Personal Branding strategies? How to build a Personal Brand desired by the market? How can I expand my self-knowledge to bring benefits to my brand??

Well, at the end of this article I hope you have many ideas and content to do this. But first I need, figuratively, put everyone on the same page of the article, always leaving very clear and objective, what is Personal Branding and Personal Branding.

Personal brand, For me, is the goal. Personal branding is the process and strategy to achieve this goal.

A personal brand, when it is well aligned and defined, makes it clear that there is a sound development process and strategy, marking all the points of contact of this brand.

A Personal Brand concept found in many materials is:

"A personal brand is a widely recognized and widely uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience., expertise, Competences, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry or market in general".

My concept of Personal Branding, or Personal Branding strategy, Is:

"The process of developing the brand "I" ("YOU") to express skills, personality and values, in order to build reputation and increase the network of contacts for people to seek their knowledge and experience."

Personal brand management

Paulo Moreti on Guillem Recolons' blog
Paulo Moreti

Once the terms have been clarified and the concepts presented, it is necessary to start by breaking a paradigm and saying that there is no "bread recipe" to work on Personal Branding and consolidate your Personal Brand.

Don't be outraged or perplexed!, I explain it to you! There are some serious methods of Personal Brand management; the one I developed, works all this internal search for information to apply in the construction of your personal brand platform, and define what their engines will be: I mean, guide the management of this personal brand, in an aligned and coherent way, either in the online or offline world.

Considers that what works for one person is not going to work for another, because each Personal Brand has its own story, its differentials, his style, and your own form of marketing, which is a tool that everyone uses.

There is no point in wanting to take the personal marketing formula that worked for another professional (For example: how it behaves, how you communicate, that which says it has as differentials, and so many other things) and try to apply it to your personal brand, thinking you're going to succeed. And it's going to be a real disaster!! ¡Do your process, don't be swayed by what others have done!

You should look at the other only as a reference (Benchmarking) And build your entire process based on your information, your values, your hard and soft skills, so you can build a positioning through your experience, your knowledge, that you build YOUR personal brand.

I would like you to reflect on two issues:

  • What do you think when you see someone??
  • What do you value about that person??

Normally, when we see someone for the first time we usually create a model in our mind: deduce or intuit what that person is like simply by the way they dress, how you communicate verbally and nonverbally, if it is introspective, whether it is dominant or analytical, if it looks smart, Etc.; they can also be perceptions about us. There are so many things that we stop to look at and investigate in a short space of time., and define what that person is or is not.

I will illustrate it with 2 examples of personal brands.

Let's imagine if you were hiring two professionals for your company. The first is a CEO who needs to have a great capacity for command and take your company to a higher level.

This professional, on your resume, shows that you have already built a company and regained your financial health, giving back to most of those who worked there the pride of belonging to that company. In its first 4 years at the helm of it reduced employee turnover, raising the company's equity in a 102%, wages doubled, not to mention that he was a professional with the soul of an artist., loved music and painting, making him admired by many.

Well. The other professional you need is someone from Human Resources who really connects with employees. This professional comes from a country you never thought of hiring someone from.: is Latin American. But that's good., for the interpersonal relationship and joy that are characteristic of Latinos. A highlight on your resume is your human side., your concern for others, the social projects he developed in the companies through which he passed, always focused on the most disadvantaged; the concern not to belittle or insult employees for their creed, color or sexuality; in addition to a very strong point, the ability to dissolve internal conflicts.

Well, with this description of these two personal brands, Would you hire them??

So you already know who I'm talking about, see who are the personal brands that I have described to you:

  • Adolf Hitler: you know him from the atrocities committed against the Jews, took a destroyed country and recovered the economy by returning pride to its people, in its first 4 years at the head of this government the number of unemployed fell from 6 millions to 900 thousand people, taking GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to grow a 102%, and per capita income to double and, In addition, this professional loved music and painting and had as a young man the dream of being an artist.
  • Pope Francis: First Pope born in America, and first non-European Pope in 1.200 Years, he stood out for his humility, Emphasis on God's Mercy, concern for the poor and interreligious dialogue, the issue of civil union between homosexuals, and more recently making himself available for the dissolution of the war between Russia and Ukraine.

I think when I introduced you to the two professionals doing their storytelling's, you had to quickly create your perception about them and most likely you would be willing to hire them., but then I described the same content with data and real names of these two emblematic personal brands.. And equally opposite, you certainly researched and analyzed your knowledge of each., you joined the process your own values and beliefs; you also took some of what you heard said about them., and formed your own perception.

The point I want to make here is care in the management of personal brand and personal marketing actions, I mean, how we communicate it. When we talk specifically about a personal brand that wants to be relevant, all your attitudes have to be aligned with your values, with your life purpose, and above all, with its positioning in relation to the market. Any action that is outside the strategic alignment of the personal brand will impact your personal marketing and bring consequences, that are often difficult to reverse and can end a career.

Later in this article I will leave you an exercise that is part of my methodology Step by Step of Personal Branding, so you can work a little on the search for self-knowledge.

You need to know how to communicate, show what a personal brand really is to the market, to be valued and build a concept about you; and at the time of delivering your services/products, the perception is coherent. This perception that others have of you is directly linked to the rules of influence such as: reciprocity, consistency, social proof, commitment and authority. Scope, here I have already begun to deal with the issues of self-knowledge and competitive differentials.

Self-knowledge and personal branding

Don't destroy your personal brand by trying to be who you're not, do not try to sell the image of the super professional, the one who introduces himself saying that he knows more than others; this is a very common problem. today with many professionals on the market and is called the Dunning-Kruger effect, a phenomenon that leads people who have little knowledge about something to believe that they are better than other professionals much better prepared than them: belief that has nothing to do with themselves.

Surely you have come across professionals like this. It is clear that lack of knowledge and self-knowledge can do enormous damage to a personal brand. To have a well-aligned personal brand management, the development process of this brand needs to go a little deeper, starting in a specific place within you, in your head, but not as an idea, but with several things that are archived there, in the brain, in memory: I'm talking about Neuroscience. Here's the beginning of it all, the first step, the beginning of the journey to search and create all your content that will bring the differential you need. We are facing self-knowledge.

Mulher com a mão no cabelo Descrição gerada automaticamente com confiança média
Source: Paulo Moreti

Make the movement of the image above pointing your finger at us, the famous "look at you" or "look within ourselves", it is a very difficult exercise. This search for self-knowledge makes us fearful, uncomfortable and somewhat vulnerable to thinking that we are exposing ourselves, but this process will actually strengthen us for a very important journey.

Knowing oneself is an extremely relevant skill for our development, either for personal or professional life. It is to have total clarity of the important aspects mentioned above, such as values, Beliefs, purpose and differentials. The more self-knowledge we acquire, more the brain stores learned information to use as needed, creating synapses and making new neural connections, what we call neuroplasticity.

Let's talk a little bit about our brain!!

Paul MacLean, American physician and neuroscientist, he was the one who developed the Triune Brain Theory and defends the hypothesis that humans and primates have the brain divided into 3 different functional units.

Source: Paulo Moreti

The main activity of the Reptilian Brain is to ensure survival, the famous “die or run”, and it is the one that works for primary sensations such as: Hungry, sleep and thirst.

The Limbic Brain, better known as Emotional Brain, is responsible for responses and control of emotional behavior.

The Neocortex Brain Or Rational Brain, endows the human being with attributes that differentiate him, such as planning ability, elaboration of thoughts and reasoning.

If we rely on philosophy, we will see that self-knowledge is treated as the awareness of our emotions, Thoughts, Feelings, beliefs and behaviors.

To further support the connection between Personal Branding, self-knowledge and the brain, we have the Brazilian philosopher and theologian Di Saval, who says that it is through self-knowledge that we truly realize who we are and who we want to be., our talents, pretensions and weaknesses, that can only be discerned and well separated the more we know each other..

Following in this line of understanding the importance of self-knowledge, and that leads us to understand that the more we know each other, more unique we become, we have the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Carl Gustav Jung, explaining individuation as a process of psychological development in which the human being demonstrates the "unique being" that he really is.

"Individuation means becoming a unique being, to the extent that by 'individuality' we mean our innermost uniqueness, latest and incomparable, it also means that we become ourselves. So, we can translate 'individuation' as 'becoming oneself' (Verselbstung or 'self-realization' (Selbstverwirklichung)".

Carl Gustav Jung says that self-knowledge is not just about knowing our personality, but it goes further: it is also understanding the contents of your unconscious. The individual normally defines himself based on what people perceive of him., and not of what you actually find as a whole.

The process of self-knowledge occurs with the very increase in awareness of who we are, of our essence and of the understanding of our individuality. Having the knowledge of who we are is not basically and exclusively about personality., the behavioral profile and know what my skills are, but it is to go further, search the contents of the unconscious. We need to exercise understanding of ourselves every day, to achieve the desired goals and results for our personal brands, whether in personal or professional life. This process is the basis of every personal brand, and the strategies associated with it.

As discussed and argued so far in this content, self-knowledge is the basis of every personal brand and the strategies that are added to it; it means making decisions consciously, without interference from the ecosystem in which the personal brand is inserted. It's being aware of strengths, of what makes you unique, thus facilitating the management of your personal brand.

And as I promised you, here is an exercise to help you on the path of your self-knowledge.

Exercise: perceived image and projected image

Used in 2 moments as part of my model, and it consists of you asking people from different groups with whom your personal brand connects (Example: Friends, Family, Customers, Employees, Supporters, Suppliers, collectives such as gym, Reading, Religious, Etc.), asking them to send you a simple answer.

Need to write ONE ONLY word POSITIVE that comes to mind when they think of you. It can't be a prayer, it has to be a word; can be an adjective, a verb, Etc.

The ideal is work with an average of 30 Words.

To help you, then you have as an example a text that I give as a template for the people I work with to use it: feel free to change it as you wish.

Text to send by email or social networks to the different groups in which you are:

"Hello, (recipient's name). I am developing a process of self-knowledge and perception of my personal brand that will help me position myself better in the market.

I need your collaboration for an exercise that deals with your perception of my personal image.

Please, write me here at (publication, whatsapp or email), 1 (A) positive word that comes to mind when you remember me.

No kidding, it is a serious exercise that will help me a lot in this strategic process of building my personal brand.

Thank you!”

After receiving all the words, select the 4 with which you most identified. If there are very similar words (Example: happy, Cheerful) You can choose one as the main one and add all the ones that you consider similar in this group; this can help you when deciding.

You may be wondering: But Paulo, How will this help me? I will explain it to you with my own example.

Every year I review my personal branding process, I reevaluate and redo some exercises; and this is one of them. Last year, when you redo this process, I expected the usual words to come: Creative, Advertising, innovative, specialist, Etc., so I "clicked" on it and identified the following: People didn't hire me for my creativity, but by these other perceived attributes that I have identified., chief among which is that I generate security and confidence. I mean, people know that when they hire me they will receive jobs with all my creative background.; depending on the context, receive innovative ideas and so on, but it is the security that I transmit to them that generates the action of hiring me, which generates the memorable experience for the client and makes them not only use my services, but that they feel confident in receiving them.

Then I realized that the communication strategy of my personal brand was not to talk about my creativity, but of that security that I transmit to customers. This changed everything.: social media rating (people with a real interest in following me, not just volume), increase in customers due to this positioning, clarity of my niche, and target audience.

This exercise in self-knowledge, along with the perception of my image, helped me understand my niche; I mean, the part/cut of the market where people need or are interested in what I do, in addition to power visualize/identify my target audience fundamental to success, What is it that portion of people to whom my product/service can be marketed, taking into account their demographic characteristics, Socioeconomic, behavioral, and your consumption habits. In addition to change the entire communication language of my website, and other materials I use in my personal branding.


Keep in mind that the development of your personal brand will not be effective if it is not built on a solid foundation; after all, no one starts building a house by the roof, Truth?. That's our personal brand; to present yourself to the market consistently, showing all the good you have,and enchanting the public, you will inevitably need to work on this basis with self-knowledge, self-development and self-management.

Enter this immersion of self-knowledge, because it will bring you all the important content that is stored in your mind; is this information thus rescued, the one that will serve as your sustenance, along with other attributes, to build the platform (base) of your personal life, from which you generate your brand.

This self-knowledge will be important for, during the process, you can build your positioning, understand your purpose, develop your storytelling, know how to work effectively on your personal marketing, work your image, manage your communication, and act coherently offline and online (Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, ClubHouse, Blog, Twitter, among others).

My professional vision of the Personal Branding process is:

"Inspire people to be all they can be".

Remember: it all starts in the mind. That's where we can generate memorable experiences, positive and impactful that make us the first brand to be remembered in our segment, or the brand people want in their minds.

"We are personal brands that are consumed by other brands"; and as my partner Dulce Regina Migliorini says, your work only exists because on the other side there is someone or a company that needs it. And paraphrasing it, Say:

Your personal brand only exists because on the other side there is a company or a person who needs or loves you!!


  • SAVAL. 50 Provocative Questions for You to Develop SELF-KNOWLEDGE (Grow and Transcend Collection); 2019. Kindle eBook.
  • CARL GUSTAV JUNG. The Self and the Unconscious. Complete works. vol. X/1. Petrópolis: Voices, 2013. Kindle version.
  • CARL GUSTAV JUNG. Present and future. Complete works. vol. VII/2 Petrópolis: Voices, 2014. Kindle version.
  • ROBERT LENT. The brain of learning. Neuroplasticity and education. São Paulo: Atheneu, 2019.
  • SWEET R. MIGLIOINI; PAULO MORETI. You: when branding and marketing connect. São Paulo: RG Editors, 2018.
  • PAUL MACLEAN. The Triune Brain in Evolution: role in paleobranch functions. 1990.

If you want to listen to it, here's the episode 71 from the podcast Todo Deja Marca, In iVoox, Spotify And Apple Podcast.

Stock Photos from Viegas Photo / Shutterstock

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