Business Models For Personal Brands - Bob Gentle

Last Updated: 

October 18, 2022

Business Models For Personal Brands - Bob Gentle
Online Business Startup

Bob has worked in the field of digital marketing for nearly twenty years, for most of that time running his own agency. He’s now focused on building the world's leading personal brand agency.

He works with a handful of corporate clients but focuses on helping personal brand entrepreneurs fine-tune their product or business model, then find and build an audience online and compete against larger businesses with deeper pockets.

He does this through niche personal brand agency services, speaking, consulting and workshops as well as group-based or one-on-one programs of hybrid coaching, consulting and training.

Alongside this, he hosts the top-rated podcast, ‘The Personal Brand Entrepreneur Show’ interviewing trailblazing creators, influencers, consultants and business owners.

While the podcast scratches the curiosity itch’ for Bob, it also fuels and shapes his client work, keeping him very current and connected to what’s working ‘right now’.

Bob lives in Scotland with his wife, is a keen surfer and snowboarder, former search and rescue team leader and army reservist.

What we will be discussing today

  • Online Business Models
  • Personal Branding
  • Digital Marketing
  • Podcasting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Confidence and Mindset
  • Networking

Listen to the Full Episode


The Personal Brand Business Roadmap:

Business Models For Personal Brands

In this episode of The Fearless Business Podcast, Robin Waite invites podcast host and entrepreneur Bob Gentle onto the show to advise listeners on successfully building their personal brand.

Fundamentals of Building a Personal Brand

When looking to improve/build your personal brand, Bob recommends analysing the type of brand you want to develop. For example, is it corporate, or is it personal?

As Bob has experienced himself, corporate brands take a lot of time, energy, and money to create but can ultimately lead entrepreneurs nowhere. On the other hand, building a brand that is personal enables entrepreneurs to create a valuable community as long as they are present and show up within them.

According to Bob, most entrepreneurs are held back from being visible as they are scared of what others may say from putting themselves out there. To be successful and grow your community, you’ve got to “market like a magnet”. Entrepreneurs need to accept that not everyone will want to be a part of their community or like them, and that’s okay. For everyone that doesn’t value the brand, there’ll be people that do. If you don’t have people that dislike the brand, that’s where you are going wrong. Like a magnet, you need to have that push factor in order to be able to pull people into your community. Once entrepreneurs have adopted this mindset, this will enable them to relax when marketing their brand.

Optimising Your Community

Bob believes that in order to optimise your community successfully, you need to change how you define it.

Bob’s definition of a community isn’t literal. It’s not just your straight-up Facebook community. It’s who engages with the brand across channels. It’s all your current customers. Once you broaden your definition of community, you open the opportunities to be more intimate with them. People can reach out from all corners of your brand, offering insight and feedback that allows you to grow.

Once your community starts to grow, you then can consider monetisation. Most entrepreneurs with solid communities don’t just have one stream of income; they have multiple. This, according to Bob, is so that they can cover a multitude of bases with clients depending on the stage of their business journey. For example, some people that join your community may be at the start and need basic resources, and others may be more experienced but at a standstill, so they’d need something more in-depth. Ultimately, the more you have to offer, the more people you will attract. So your personal brand is a form of attraction in itself; it’s what you have to offer in the community, making people want to invest.

Turning an Agency into a Personal Brand

Bob gained all his knowledge from re-evaluating his web design business. After successfully running his company for fifteen years, Bob realised he had achieved all the goals he wanted to within that period. This caused him to reassess his goals and figure out what would fulfil him personally within his business and what would scale it for even more success.

Eventually, Bob realised that the marketing aspect of his company was blossoming further ahead than the web design services, so he made the brave decision to let that side go. This led him to network more routinely and build personal connections with people he once viewed as rivals. From building these relationships with people, he also discovered elements where he could help them personally. From this, Bob learnt that to build a personal brand; he needed to find something which motivated him and felt could provide value to someone else. This inspired him to become a coach who helped other marketing agencies become more visible nationally and internationally.

Overcoming Online Fears

To brand yourself successfully both nationally and internationally, one needs to have a strong online presence. However, Bob believes that there is a difference between going online and being online, a confusion in which hinders many business owners.

To help grow your brand digitally, business owners need to understand that the rapport you create online doesn’t have to be a two-way thing. He uses celebrities as an example. If you are ever fortunate enough to meet a celebrity, how much more do you know about them than they know about you? The same logic goes for branding yourself online. You don’t need to spend time tirelessly connecting with every one of your followers on social media. Instead, just be authentic, engaging and personable. To seem more personable on your social media channels, try doing the following:

  • Using video where possible e.g. set up a YouTube Channel or posting videos
  • Using stories to document your activities
  • Using the ‘live features.’

This, in time, will allow your demographic to feel connected to you without you needing to spend hours doing it directly. If you are apprehensive about being on camera, Adam recommends starting small and sending videos to friends; this will help increase your confidence.

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