Hajj E. Flemings

Hajj Flemings is the author of The Brand YU Life, which I previously reviewed in further detail. He specializes in personal and corporate brand management consulting, training and seminars.

As promised, I quized Hajj’s a bit more on the subject of personal branding. Enjoy!



There has been a recent surge of interest in personal branding, especially in online communities. Why do think personal branding has become such a hot topic?

One of the reasons is the balance of power of has changed. With the success of web 2.0 icon Gary Vaynerchuk and others we are seeing in real-time that anyone with an idea, passion, and time can live their dreams. That idea is extremely appealing to people.

The second reason is personal branding is threaded into the fabric of social media (SM) and as SM continues to explode I believe you will see personal branding continue to grow in popularity. The majority of the Rockstars of personal branding have integrated a solid social media strategy.

In The Brand YU Life you make a lot of comparisons between personal brands and business brands. Do you see more similarities or differences between the two?

I used a lot of business brands as comparison because people conceptualize and understand business brands without a lot explanation. This is due to the fact that people use and interact with business brands all day as consumers. I focused on shifting their paradigm of being a consumer to one of a producer.

Tom Peters the father of the personal brand movement stated in Fast Company magazine, August 1997, “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. Personal branding was birth from a comparison between a business and a person. I personally see more similarities than differences.

Are there any concerns for individuals in replicating business brands?

Business brands are typically much more established and there is a defined culture that guides every business decision. Personal brands on the other hand are typically more nimble and can make decisions without an act of congress being passed. Business brands should be used as a model to understand the functions and elements of a brand if this thought process is used it shouldn’t present a problem.

How important is the act of listening in developing your personal brand, both online and offline?

Listening is very important, very simply you don’t what you don’t know but being open to other voices and minds who don’t think like you or live where you live can assist you in increasing your influence. Information is changing at such a fast past if you don’t have a listening strategy you will be operating with old data that could cost you missed opportunity or destroy the reputation of your brand.


Thanks Hajj!