How to Discover, Craft, and Communicate Your ‘Completely True, Completely You’ Brand

4 Minutes Read

Episode 137

Do you have a personal brand? Or maybe you haven’t thought about how others perceive you and your business. You’re in luck! DP Knudten joins me on this episode to dive into how to discover, craft, and communicate your brand.

As an ad copywriter and Creative Director, DP worked on some of the biggest—and smallest—brands in the business, including Coca-Cola®, The Athlete’s Foot®, ClosetMaid®, and Georgia-Pacific®. His résumé includes tenures at DDB Needham (Chicago), McCann Erickson (Atlanta), and creative shops in Denver, CO; Sarasota, FL; and Madison, WI. A writer by trade, he enjoys playing in the intersection between the visual and the verbal and using his NonFiction Branding™ approach to move people—and products—for companies throughout the United States.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the complete episode:

  1. You will learn about DP’s influences in copywriting. 
  2. DP shares insight on his own experience of becoming a copywriter.
  3. Learn the three mistakes you must stop making with your brand.

Episode Highlights

Who is DP Knudten

    • DP is a writer by trade who enjoys playing in the intersection between the visual and the verbal, using his non-fiction branding approach to move people and products for companies throughout the United States.
    • DP was a drama and choir kid in high school.
    • He went on to get a bachelor’s degree in theater and started to get his MFA in acting at the University of Southern California.
    • DP has been an advertising copywriter and creative director for close to three decades, working on everything from Coca-Cola to plywood.

What is copywriting

    • If you see words on an outdoor board, somebody wrote those words with intention.
    • Copywriting is planting ideas in someone’s head that will last their entire life, so much so that they equate that specific brand with who they are.

How copywriting fits in the world of personal brand

    • You do not have to be an influencer to have a personal brand.
    • You want to be recognized as someone with strategy and who comes up with a solution that returns on investment.
    • Brand copywriting for a coach will tell someone to develop a strategy that is not a shiny object but a scalable, sellable, expandable technique they can use throughout their career.
    • Brands don’t say things about themselves; they show something about themselves.

The distinction between brand and reputation

    • Your brand is something you own about yourself.
    • Your reputation is held in other people’s minds, hearts, and hands.

The distinction between brand and culture

    • Brands say – cultures do.
    • A brand promise becomes a brand truth when it’s fulfilled.
    • Every member of a team needs to deliver on that brand promise.

The origin of NonFiction Brand 

    • A 1997 article inspired NonFiction Brand in Fast Company Magazine written by Tom Peters.
    • Discovering, crafting, and communicating the “Completely True, Completely You” brand you already are is the essence of NonFiction Branding.

DP’s most significant influence as a copywriter

Three free gifts

    • DP offers three gifts on his website.
    • Take action and work through the worksheet about figuring out your key three aspects or concepts.
    • Identify your non-negotiable values.

Three big mistakes that you need to stop making with your brand

    • Stop letting other people’s examples stop you from starting today.
    • Don’t copy someone else, even in the era of trends and copying content to be better.
    • Stop relying on your thoughts about yourself when developing your brand.
    • Start a conversation and let those you love and serve to tell you about yourself.

What DP would like to be remembered for

    • DP would like to be remembered for putting his family first.
    • He wants people to know he was dedicated to the five (his family).

3 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

11:35 – “Brands don’t say things about themselves; they show things about themselves.”

36:53 – “The most powerful thing branding allows you to do is it gives you the ability to say no. The most powerful word in advertising and branding is ‘no.'”

39:52 – “The you, you think you are is but a portion of you; you actually are in the eyes of the people you know, love, and serve.”


About DP Knudten

DP cut his branding teeth in the trenches at McCann Erickson, creating various work for Coca-Cola and its brands. You will never see him drink a Pepsi product, ever. From there, he’s worked on a wide array of brands, from the prosaic (Georgia Pacific forest products) to the poetic (HelpHOPELive) and the no-nonsense B2B (Honeywell) to the wet & wild B2C (Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort). His personal favorite: is Southeastern Guide Dogs of Sarasota, Florida. Ask him to see the TV spots. If you love dogs, you’ll love them.

DP developed his proprietary NonFiction Brand™ BRANDNature™ branding and messaging system by combining and refining the branding best practices he experienced at McCann Erickson, DDB Needham, and several other regional agencies. Then he added a little extra spice of his own to create a process that helps identify, purify and codify the true story of your personal or company brand to generate advertising and marketing strategies that attract, engage, and, most importantly, convert.

Co-author (with Spencer X. Smith) of ROTOMA—The ROI OF Social Media’ Top of Mind,’ and host of the popular The ROTOMA Podcast and the NONFICTION BRAND podcasts, DP is a recognized expert in the fields of personal branding, branding, and the intersection of culture and branding, and presents a range of provocative and entertaining talks featuring his unique POV to companies and groups throughout the U.S. His latest (ad)venture is NonFiction Brandversity™, a learning community for passionate personal and small business branders.

“Know who you are. So you can be it.” That two-sentence call to action (and personal credo) succinctly sums up what the NonFiction Brand™ philosophy, and DP the person, are all about.


Connect with DP Knudten




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Thanks for listening,


Picture of Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and Co-founder/CEO of Yokel Local Digital Marketing Agency. He and his teams have helped businesses generate over $300M+ in revenue online. Every month, he leads virtual workshops teaching actionable strategies and tips from his experience helping companies market, grow, and scale.