In the age of Personal Branding, or Micro-Celebrity, quickly giving visitors to your profiles an all important nugget about who you are is very important. 

Okay, I admit it, coming from a tagline professional like me, that headline might sound just a tad self-serving, and maybe it is, but there's more than a shred of truth in the statement too.

Love it or hate it, the fact is that social media has ushered in the 'Age of The Micro-Celebrity'. Every journalist, every entrepreneur, every wannabe journalist and every wannabe entrepreneur, along with every publicist, agent, marketer, consultant, personal chef and plastic surgeon has a public profile or two. Or six.

Some call it "Personal Branding" although "Micro-Celebrity is funnier, and more accurate. But whatever one calls it, marketed narcissism is definitely here to stay.

We've all got blogs, and Facebook profiles or Fan pages, multiple Twitter streams, YouTube Channels, Posterous, and Tumblr. Some of us still stick with the quaint old timers like Foursquare and Gowalla. Hell, some of us are even on Google Buzz, although that does seem a little extreme.

You see the same eager, happy faces everywhere you travel on the internet, all of them techy early adopters with healthy follower heavy profiles and literally thousands of 'friends' (most of whom are other eager early adopters like themselves). 

They all want to get paid to speak about their micro-celeb success, and to make sure you know that they're really important, many of them have avatars of them looking earnest during the presentations they give on how to be as successful as they are.

In all seriousness, there's even a site where micro-celebrities can assemble all their various feeds and streams beside a big old picture of themselves looking fabulous in their own uniquely fabulous ways.

Without a shred of irony, it's called, and it'll even tell you how often people are visiting your various online channels to find out more about the fabulous online you.

But the challenge for all of us mere mortals is this; there are simply so many micro-celebs it's getting hard to know which ones to truly celebrate and which ones to keep in the "Who dat?" file. Call it the curse of Micro-Celebrity.

No self-respecting Micro-celeb wants to end up in the Land of the Anonymous so he or she needs a good differentiator that'll define them in the four seconds they get to impress an online visitor.

That's where a good tagline comes in.

In Hollywood you get "twenty-five words or less" to tell bored execs what they need to know about your story. What makes it new, sexy and different?

"It's Avatar meets Black Swan meets Transfomers." Get it now?

Well, personal brands need their log lines too, or in this case taglines.

Imagine a line under your name on your profile or personal blog or Twitter Stream (etc etc etc etc)  that tells the visitor quickly, succinctly, and memorably what they want to know about you. Or in other words, give them the takeaway on you as soon as they arrive and visitors might just stick around, and follow you.

Of course, the line has to be real good. If the tag is too self-glorifying and bombastic that's a switch off, too understated and it won't get noticed, while being boring, cliched and not particularly funny are all bad news too.

In short, the slug has to be just right to sum up the real or not-so-real you behind your fab-tastic Micro-Celeb avatar. Not easy to do that when you're already real tired out from being so awesome all the time.

The line would be perched nicely under your name (in the character-filled logo of your choice), on every personal branding channel you got going. I'm waiting for to add a "Describe yourself in five words or less."

If they do, I'll be happy to help any self-respecting Micro-Celeb find their tagline. If I'm lucky all the exposure will make me a Micro-Celebrity too.

Next week i'll post some tips on "Personal Branding Taglines". 

Simon Gornick

Published 4 February, 2011 by Simon Gornick

Simon Gornick is the founder of Moovd, an instant video content creation tool, and a contributor to Econsultancy.

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Comments (4)


Joe Pelissier

I prefer the term 'celebrity expert'. As you say there are a ton of wannabe micro-celebrities out there, none of whom have much genuine expertise. Just a sense of knowing which channels to pump.

Real experts deliver lasting value - it's something you can sense, tagline or not.

After all, if the tagline is not congruent with the expertise, it just falls flat.

Thought provoking post...

over 7 years ago


Laura Bazile

Hello Simon,

Thanks for great post and just that provoking, plus opening another discussion about personal branding and/or e-reputation.
I am a 100% with Joe when saying that you are able to guess who is there to share/learn/bring ... something consistent and who is not. Being a recent aboutme adopter, I strictly use it as a 2nd door to my site, being aware that it will never replace a site with content and readers/valuable connections-to-be.
I found your post interesting for what follows: going randomly on aboutme a few days ago, I realised (applications evolve and/or you mignt have taken the wrong decision ... and you are still free to quit or stay, depending on your goal. We all know that getting a good e-reputation needs time and involvement, so why involve in something you are not interested in??) that profiles with a amazing pics, 3 words (or none) and 481 social media icons are definitely not those I will stop by.



over 7 years ago


Matt Chandler

It's really funny how everyone has become a micro celebrity. Andy Warhol was right - 15 minutes of fame and all that. I think the net benefit of everyone being online and so connected is that we're inadvertantly getting better at our own PR.

over 7 years ago


Nick P

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought this was funny!

over 7 years ago

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