Personal Branding Meaning, Importance, Steps and Examples

Meaning of Personal Branding

Personal Branding refers to your experiences, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large that makes you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the rest of the world. Every Individual Personal Brand is different from each other since everyone has their own unique skills and experiences. This gives us an opportunity to express ourselves through personal branding which will enable us to have more connections and opportunities.

Why Is Personal Branding Important?

Effective Personal Branding can lead to gaining more connections in the professional world since you are expressing yourself through your brand. When you gain more connections, the benefits compound themselves by having more people talk about you and getting your name out there. This can lead to even more business opportunities which can be beneficial. 

Another benefit of personal branding is you get to connect with people who have similar interest as you do since you are “expressing” yourself through your personal brand. These people can become your superfans which will enable you to have an audience of your own to market your products to. These products can be a merchandise store, consulting enaggements, coaching, podcasts, courses, clothing, digital items, the possibilities are endless. By doing this you are leveraging your network and your businesses will become stronger.

When you gain a certain amount of audience that supports you and gain connections and build relationships throughout the business world you also gain credibility and trust. This is where the connections and relationships you have built will pay off since to gain credibility and trust you first need to have connections.

Here is a list of benefits that a personal brand will give you:

  • Credibility & Trust
  • An Audience
  • Connections
  • Professional Relationships
  • Getting to Express Yourself Through Your Brand Image
  • Your Business Will Become Stronger
  • You Get to Leverage Your Connections & Audience by Marketing Towards Them.

Steps To Building Your Personal Brand

Before you begin developing your personal brand, you should be aware of best practices to avoid common pitfalls. Keep in mind that even a single screwup can harm your brand’s reputation. So, what are the steps to follow to build a personal brand? Let’s look at what I call the 4W’s.

  1. Determine What You Want To Be Known For

The whole point of a personal brand is to have something that you are known for. This can be being funny, informative, content creation, etc. So, determining what you want to be known for is crucial for the backbone of any personal brand. So how do we go about doing this?

For some people they already know what they want to be known for which is great! Since you already have a vague picture of what is to come. However, for a lot of us we still don’t know, or we are just unsure of what personal branding suits us the best. For those people try asking yourselves these questions and writing them down somewhere and thinking about how you can connect each answer to form an answer to what you want to be known for.

  • What Motivates Me?
    • What drives you forward to keep waking up everyday and doing the stuff you do? 
    • What drives you to do things in work that you may not necessarily even like doing? 
  • What Interests Me?
    • What are some things that when a friend asks you to do with them you undoubtably say yes!
    • What are some things that bring you joy in life?
  • What Am I Good At?
    • What are your skills? 
    • What are the things that people come to you for?
  • What Problems Can I Solve?
    • What problems can your skills solve?
    • Every Successful business is successful because they have solved something, or they have made it easier to solve something. For example, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has solved the inconvenience of buying something in person. 

2. Determine Who Your Audience Is

Knowing who your audience is and knowing their interest will enable you to be able to market to them better, connect, and build meaningful relationship with them. Therefore, it is so important to get to know your audience before even trying to market to them. Here are some factors you should take into consideration:

  • Age Group
    • Children, Elderly, Or Adults
  • Interests
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Clothing / Fashion
  • Lifestyle
    • Minimalist
    • Luxurious
  • Personal Characteristics
    • Devoted
    • Knowledgeable about certain topics?

3. Determine What Industry You Are In

When building personal brands or any brands for that matter. You should always consider who you are building it towards and not just the audience but the industry as well. Because if you are building it towards children then it must be more kids like, if it is for entrepreneurs then it must be more informative and straight to the point. Therefore, you need to determine what industry you are in to identify the course of action.

Here a few examples of Industries you might fall under.

  • Technology
    • Web Development
    • Game Development
  • Content Creation
    • Article Writer
    • Film Maker
  • Fashion / Clothing
    • Street Wear
    • Swim Wear
  • Business / Finance 
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Online Marketing

Once You have figured out, you’re industry you now need to know how to tailor to that industry and that is for you to figure out by doing research and putting your own personal taste into it.

4. Determine How To Grow Your Presence Online

Whether you like it or not the world has changed into the online world. This has made or break business since the businesses that did not want to switch to the modern online world were the ones that were torn down but for those businesses that were willing to take the risk were able to succeed. The most successful businesses in the world and in human history are the businesses that took the risk to go online when it was not seen as a viable option. Luckily for us growing our presence online has never been easier and just doing our own research and study on how to use these platforms will put us in an advantage that most people do not even recognize. 

Here is a list of the most popular places to grow your online presence but note that these are not the only ones.

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin

Learn By Following The Greats!

People who have succeeded in building their own personal brands and were able to market and leverage their audience means that they have built a good foundation for success. This foundation can be good marketing, knowledge, or good personal skills. 

I’ve compiled a list of excellent examples of well-defined personal brands to serve as an inspiration for your own foundations. 

Examples Of Successful Personal Brands

Elon Musk Personal Branding
Elon Musk
Bill Nye - Personal Branding
Bill Nye