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How to build a personal brand as a coach

Building a happiness brand with Shawn Johal: a case study

brand architecture case study personalbrand Jan 02, 2021


Shawn was one of these people that everyone gravitated towards. He seemed permanently-positive, as if nothing ever really affected him (infectiously optimistic and just constantly smiling – we admired his outlook for years). Above all, he was an incredibly-strong leader. He was a presence in every physical room he stood in, and he had a natural ability to rally people together. It was impressive.


A Strategic Partnership – In a Moment of Transition

When Shawn began a transition from the LED lighting business he had built and scaled for over 10 years (to an eight-figure, massively-successful business), we partnered up to launch the next steps of his professional journey. He had launched a new business, a Business Growth Coaching & Consulting practice, and was (in many ways) starting a new chapter entirely from scratch.

Going from his lighting business, which had a ton of clients, a full sales & marketing team and a large product suite to a becoming a one-man-show building a new brand from scratch was a challenge.

“When I first began, I needed major help building my brand and getting my message out to my audience – but I had no idea where to start,” says Shawn.

Brand of a Leader kick-started the first steps with Shawn with a deep-dive: starting with our collaborative introspective process, we began to define & clarify the foundation on which the next 12 months’ work would be built: Shawn’s brand architecture.

“A personal brand is built on, above all, authenticity,” says Marina Byezhanova. “We cannot build a brand for someone; we can only help pull out, clarify & define what is already in them. It has to be 100% authentic, or nobody will be interested in it.”

By the end of the process, Shawn’s brand would be defined: he was the Happy Leader, a Business Growth & Happiness Coach, on a mission to help people build hugely-successful businesses without sacrificing their happiness.


Clarifying Shawn’s Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

With zero presence on social media, Brand of a Leader built out Shawn’s LinkedIn & Facebook pages, writing content for his biographies and clarifying his unique offering. He had already found a visual identity he liked (colors, fonts, textures & feels) and we optimized it for his social media channels. Together, we built a content strategy & calendar that helped get his new message out to the world.

We leveraged video, short written content, long blog articles & punchy quotes that had viral potential – especially on LinkedIn.

“The team carefully crafted a detailed plan, starting by clarifying my unique voice,” says Shawn. “From there, we built a social media strategy that allowed to 7X my reach within a few months.”

The results came slowly – but surely. Building an audience to over 6.5K followers on LinkedIn (starting at 0) & with a crowd forming around him of engaged, loyal & interesting people who loved his voice, Shawn had built the foundation of a true community.


Plan to Scale

From there, things really accelerated.

Brand of a Leader helped him receive extensive exposure in numerous media outlets & publications – including some big ones. Leveraging PR practices & journalist relationships, as well as HARO, Brand of a Leader helped land Shawn in Inc., Fast Company, the Chicago Tribune, Ladders Magazine, Real Leaders, CEO Blog Nation, the official blogs of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) & Atlassian (among others).

“Media mentions are not what people think,” says Stefano Faustini. “They’re incredibly cool, but they do not directly bring a sales or revenue ROI that many think they’ll bring. Many people believe if they get featured in a major publication, their phone won’t stop ringing immediately after. Media mentions are good for the ego, great for SEO, excellent for street cred.” Those logos can’t ever be removed from your website, your bio, your social media – they maintain your credibility for a long time.

Overall, the partnership between Shawn Johal & Brand of a Leader was an incredibly successful one. It saw brand definition & clarity, content strategy & calendar, a full website design-and-build, daily compelling content on multiple platforms, media mentions in publications across the world, podcast appearances & much more.

“I haven't looked back,” says Shawn. “I am now very well positioned to grow my business through different channels and could never have done this without their guidance!”



Shawn Johal is a Business Growth & Happiness Coach on a mission to help entrepreneurs and their teams be successful & happy. Visit his website & check out his online course The Happy Leader here!


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