4 VITAL Personal branding Lessons I Learnt From Building Dennis Yu’s Personal Brand on LinkedIn [Don’t build a personal brand until you’ve read this]

Recent data suggests 44% of a company’s market value is attributable to CEO reputation.

One CEO who’s reaped the benefits of a strong reputation is Dennis Yu. He’s built multiple successful businesses and helped thousands of people around the world, much of which has been the direct result of his powerful personal brand. 

Building your personal brand is no longer an option. It’s a must. 

Consumers, customers, clients, investors and employees want to know the person behind your brand (more than the business itself).

They want to see what you stand for. 

They want proof of your expertise.

They want to work with people they know, like and trust.

But in a world saturated with competitors vying for your audience’s attention and rising skepticism around what we see on social media, how do you establish credibility online? 

The smartest way is to learn from those who have done it. 

Here are 4 things I’ve learnt from helping Dennis Yu build his personal brand that you need to know before you build your own.

  1. Content is not king. Distribution is.

    What sounds better to you:

    A. 1 piece of content that gets 100,000 views 

B. 100 pieces of content that each get 1,000 views

1 piece of content getting 100,000 views, right? 

The difference is distribution. 

In a fraction of the time it would take you to produce 1,000 pieces of okay content, you can produce 1 high quality piece, repurpose it a few times and promote it to a much larger audience. 

Trouble is, most people post content and expect it to fly off the shelf. That simply doesn’t doesn’t happen. 

Blogs like this, for example, will be distributed across multiple LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, turned into a video, posted on stories, attached to emails and broken down multiple times to repeat the process. 

If you so wish, you can then repeat that 1,000 times…  

Want to know a secret? Every post you see on Dennis’s LinkedIn account has been repurposed from a blog, podcast, course, interview or video he’s done before… 

See this post here:



It was taken from an idea Dennis shared in this video.

We have a process for taking long form content and repurposing it across social media channels like LinkedIn to increase distribution.

High quality content is hard to produce. So be smart and squeeze as much out of it as possible.

  1. Build authority by learning, doing and then teaching.

I will always remember one of the first questions Dennis asked me. 

“Sam, I’ve never pitched or sold anything to anyone in my life, yet I’ve built multiple successful businesses”, he said, “Why do you think that is?” 

The answer: Authority. 

The strongest personal brands are those that convince you they are the best in the game at what they do before you ever speak to them in person. No selling required. 

That ultimately is what personal branding is all about. 

So how do you do that? 

Learn something valuable. 

Implement it yourself and generate results. 

Then teach it. 

Unfortunately, thousands of ‘entrepreneurs’ are getting away with conning unsuspecting people into consuming courses before they’ve actually done the very thing they’re teaching. 

If you want to bypass the skepticism that has created, you need to show evidence that you’ve successfully implemented whatever you’re promising to teach. 

All the content you share online should be speaking from experience.

Here’s a perfect example of learning, doing and then teaching:

  1. Goals, Content, Targeting.

    Do you know what most people do when they start thinking about their personal brand? 

They Google Instagram follower tricks, LinkedIn engagement hacks and Facebook tactics. 

Do you see the problem with that? 

They’re all platform-level hacks. 

Newsflash: You will never build a successful personal brand on platform-level hacks alone. 

What happens when LinkedIn’s algorithm dies down, for example? You have no other audience, or can’t back up your personal brand because you’ve been getting away with boosting poor content. 

Before looking at platform-level hacks, you need to nail your strategy. 

Strategy involves your goals, content and targeting (GCT)

Goals: What do you want to achieve with your brand?

Content: What kind of content do you need to post to reach your goal? What do your audience want to consume? What do you want to post? What does successful content look like?

Targeting: Who are you trying to reach with your brand? How will you get in front of them?

These are independent of platforms and algorithms. They provide the foundation for your personal brand. Without, you’re playing a very risky game.

Take the following post as a great example. Dennis’s personal brand, at its core, is all about lifting other people up. This post is written specifically for LinkedIn, but that’s a secondary consideration. First it needs to meet Dennis’s goals, content and targeting. 

Goals: Does it lift other people? Yes 

Content: Does it fit with the type of content his audience like to consume? Tick 

Targeting: Is it reaching the right people? Sure is – marketing specialists viewed this post more than any other group on LinkedIn. 

  1. You don’t build your personal brand. Other people do.

Without others, your brand is nothing. 

You can believe in a set of values, have a mission, be a subject-matter expert. 

But without a tribe of followers whose lives you can impact and who, ultimately, are going to help you create a successful business, it’s meaningless. 

Other people define your brand. How they see you is what matters, not how you see yourself. 

You provide the foundation for your brand through sharing knowledge, taking care of people and lifting others up.

Then your community builds it.

See these people promoting Dennis in their own feed? That’s more powerful than anything he’ll ever say himself…

Lift other people up and you’ll be lifted. 

These 4 points could make or break your personal brand. Read them again, digest them, and build a wildly successful brand off the back of them.

Sam Winsbury

About the Author

Sam Winsbury
Sam Winsbury is the founder of Brandly. Sam and his team help founders and executives build profitable personal brands. You can find out more on their website [https://www.brandlypersonalbranding.com/] and connect on LinkedIn at [https://www.brandlypersonalbranding.com/].