Tips on Creating and Growing Your Personal Brand

Why Everyone Should Cultivate Their Personal Brand

text reads: "How to build a personal brand: identify your strengths and unique traits; refine your strengths and create a brand; build a platform to share your brand (a website, social media, etc.); set short and long-term goals"

Image by Ashley Nicole DeLeon © The Balance 2019

Personal branding develops a mark around your name or your career. You use this mark to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values.

We all can be a brand and cultivate our power to stand out and be unique. This draws people to our products, our services, or even just our message. Your personal brand should be about who you are and what you have to offer.

Building a personal brand takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. It’s something no one can take away from you, and it can follow you throughout your career. It’s a leadership requirement that lets people know who you are and what you stand for.

Not Just for Celebrities

Personal brands are for everyone, not just for celebrities or entrepreneurs who own their own businesses. They can be the secret sauce that makes you stand out in a stack of resumes. If you don’t develop your own personal brand, others will do it for you. Developing your personal brand is the proactive way of controlling your career development and how you are perceived in the marketplace. ​

A strong personal brand impacts your ability to get the right jobs or promotions and increases your ability to attract talent and capital.

Finding Your Brand

Identify your strengths and what makes you unique. Think about the characteristics and strengths you’ve built in your career. If you are stuck, think about that one area where everyone says you excel. If you're still stuck, ask others to give you an honest assessment of what they think of when they think of you.

Identify the emotional appeal of your relevant personality features This can be as easy as saying you have a crazy sense of humor or that you are obsessively organized. Think about why people are attracted to the brand of you.

Once you’ve identified your uniqueness and strengths, refine them and take ownership of them. Learn all that you can and become an expert in that area. You can never stop learning. Read, absorb, and teach.

Building a Platform for Sharing

Build a website to create your virtual platform. Your website should be your name or a variation of your name. You also will need social media accounts that represent your brand and share your voice.

Share your knowledge by helping others through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline. This is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so.

Describe yourself in a way that accentuates who are you and why people enjoy working with you. Identify your specialty. Explain what you do and what people want you to do for them.

When sharing information, find your own style. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. In fact, following the crowd will make it difficult for your brand to stand out among others. Use your style and uniqueness to attract the jobs and clientele that you desire. Create a new set of footprints for others to follow.​

Setting Priorities

It’s important to have a clear picture of your personal and professional goals, both short-term and long-term. This will help you to identify the most important things to spend your time on and have something to align new projects with. Use your values and priorities as a compass that guides you in action and decision-making. This will ensure you stay on track.