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Link Love #8 : Personal Branding, Matisse, and Social Media.

Posted by Samara Parker
November 28th, 2012

I recently took a walking tour of the Tate Modern. On the tour, our hilarious guide gave us the history of Henri Matisse’s famous work : The Snail.

This painting, actually a collage, is a perfect example of Matisse’s personal brand. It is one of his most famous works — so huge, bright, and effortless, you would never guess it was created by a sickly, bedridden 85-year-old man. No longer able to paint large canvasses, Matisse had directed his intern to paint large sheets of paper in primary and secondary colors, and he lay in bed cutting the paper down to size. He spent days explaining to his poor intern where precisely to pin each cut-out onto a massive white canvas. The final piece was outlined in pencil and sent off to Paris where the cut-outs were pasted down to the canvas, finishing the piece.

All this from a man whose health was so poor, that his doctor had ordered him to give up working with bright colors all-together. He compromised by wearing sunglasses while he worked! Matisse was The Color Man. His art and his livelihood was built on that reputation. Color was essential to his personal brand, and he was not about to let anything get in the way of that, even if it meant pulling a Corey Hart!

With the ever growing prominence of Social Media, personal branding has become more and more complicated, but no less important. Where Matisse branded himself with scissors, paint and paper, today we brand ourselves with Tweets, Gravatars, and logos. In the same way that I’ve advocated finding a unique voice for blogging, I advocate finding a unique personal brand. This is something I struggle with myself. Working in social media means I often neglect it in my personal life, a serious no-no as far as personal branding is concerned.

.. but, inspired by Matisse, I’ve decided to make a serious effort to turn this around. So, this week, our links are all about personal branding. From the importance of reputation, to a definitive guide for branding with Facebook, the articles linked today will help you refine, reevaluate or even recreate your personal brand.

In one of these articles, John Sumser states:

“The only brands that matter are the ones that people care about”

And when it comes to a personal brand, if you don’t care, why should anyone else?


Blogging4Jobs thinks “You Should Know” your reputation is on the line! Rayanne reminds us that in today’s world it is almost impossible to escape having everything we do being permanently documented. She also proves that it’s possible to look amazing in green face-paint!

The (Almost) Definitive Guide for Brands on Facebook. I don’t know about you, but I was very comforted by Kevin Allen’s writing : “Rest assure, there’s no such thing as a social media expert”. Phew!

Employment Branding. This article, from where that no-nonsense quote above was taken, deals with “Employment Branding” specifically, but the advice is easily applicable to personal branding.

How to Prevent Personal Brand Injury in Just Four Steps. Just four! Now that’s doable, even for the busiest of social media artists.

Words are for Suckers. A great assemblage of words on how actions shape reputation and the importance of authenticity. Warning, there are some “Almost swear-words”.

The Greatest Ted Talk Ever Sold. An oldie but a goodie! Morgan Spurlock on personal branding.