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Personal branding. But who am I?

Personal branding. But who am I?

Or an unexpected lesson on marketing learned while waiting at a traffic light.

Meet Robert. Robert is a gentleman with disabilities (visible and invisible). He sells car-related trinkets you could buy for less at a hypermarket at a crossroad.

He’s also known for being an amazingly good guy. You know, the kind who puts coins in your parking meter when it’s running low, so you don’t get a fine. The kind who put his siblings through school. The kind the grumpiest taxi drivers fundraised for when his cart was broken beyond repair. The kind who sells you a car scent thingie with his name on one side and ‘drive safely, someone is waiting for you at home’ on the other.

So, why are we buying slightly overpriced trinkets from him? Because he’s being himself. The items are only slightly more expensive, he’s always smiling, and he’s kind.

This is the lesson I learned from someone less fortunate than myself: no matter how much marketing theory I might know and apply, not being true to myself will always backfire. Too much marketing is too much marketing and most potential clients are smart. We definitely cannot fool them indefinitely and it will backfire in the end.

Personal branding should be exactly that: PERSONAL. As in being your best professional self. One thing I learned about myself while setting up this website is that I, most certainly, don’t want to be seen as someone I am not. This is who I am, a grumpy-ish, middle-aged, highly specialised translator, who prefers to work with agencies, and who doesn’t mince her words when she revises bad translations, but also who doesn’t hesitate to praise good ones. Yes, I am that good, and I am not ashamed of saying it, but I will also not twist myself into a pretzel to seem nicer than I actually am.

Now, let’s go out in the professional world and be our best professional selves.

Yours truly and true to herself,


Translator. Foodie. Science nerd and language expert with a passion for medical, technical and gourmet translations.

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