Sphere of Influence: Personal Branding Advice From Ann Tran

I’m of the opinion that social media really opens the door for face to face meetings, and to me it’s really the next logical step in the relationship building process. I have to say that I’ve had the great honor of meeting a lot of great people through social media in person, and my goal is to introduce to those people to you. Some of whom you might have already met or interacted with and some you might not have. In any case, these are the people who I’ve interacted with that have made an impact.


I first met Ann Tran at CES back in 2013, and right from the beginning I noticed how motivated and energetic she was. To be honest I was a little intimidated by her and by the fact that she’s one of the top social media influencers out there. But the feeling of intimidation quickly shifted to respect as we interacted and worked together more. I’ve found that while driven, she’s is a very supportive person and a good friend. She’s smart, insightful, and really good at what she does!

I had the chance to ask her a couple of questions, and I hope you find her answers helpful, just like I have.

Me: When and how did you get started in social media?

Ann Tran: When did I start in social media? Ahh, there is an app for that answer. I joined on March 6, 2009, but was an observer for the first six months. I wanted to see what this Twitter thing was about and then slowly started to join other social channels. My advice for those just starting out, regardless if you have time or not, is to grab your name on each social platform so you have a consistent presence across the board.

I entered into the social media world in the beginning of 2011. Things tipped for me in the beginning of 2012 when I began blogging more seriously and thinking more strategically when accepting assignments. Opportunities to partner with brands started coming my way. I always learned something new from each job, event or project.

Social media is still evolving. As early adopters, we are all helping to create and define the parameters of this new, online social world.

Me: Reading your blog and posts on social media, I can see that you’re very passionate about it. What makes you so passionate about social media?

Ann Tran: Social media takes a lot of work, from building your following organically, to cultivating relationships online and face to face. Fortunately for me, I absolutely love to travel, and since photography is a passion of mine, I get to be creative and share many of my experiences on social media. What a job, right?

Me: You’re an expert on personal branding, what bit of advice can you give to those that are new to it and want to build their own personal brand?

Ann Tran: I have been very lucky to embrace social media from the beginning. I read a lot and that is how I learn. You also learn by doing and observing what not to do. Aligning yourself strategically with brands and fine tuning as you go along this journey is essential. Extend yourself with genuinely supportive associates. Be respectful of others and celebrate their success authentically. Have a coach to bounce off questions or ideas for feedback.

Be professional, be supportive, and stay humble. There are times you may disagree. State your point but don’t burn your bridges. Put in the effort that you want to see in anything that you do in life.

Share your personal experiences, what successes (yours or other people’s) could provide lessons to others? Think of examples that are under the radar or unique to your experiences. The value Of #SocialMedia is in your relationships.

Have you connected with Ann Tran yet? If not, I highly recommend you do, you won’t regret it.

Connect with Ann Tran: Ann-Tran.com, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+

7 thoughts on “Sphere of Influence: Personal Branding Advice From Ann Tran

  1. Jason, congratulations for the interview!

    Following Ann Tran ha long time and the interview would go far with all readers.

    For this reason, I request your permission to share your interview on my blog (http://www.blogdoleray.com.br), with due credit and link to original post for my readers and followers can also learn from this excellent example.

    I thank you and look forward to your response.

    1. Thank you Mauro! And the thanks really has to go to Ann for being a willing participant. She’s someone who I consider a good friend and I learn a lot from her. I’d be happy if you shared the interview on your blog and appreciate the credit back.

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