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How To Build A Personal Brand That Stands Out

How To Build A Personal Brand That Stands Out

Whether we know it or not, we’re all brands. Every word you say, every action you take, and everything you post online makes up your personal brand.

So why not be intentional about it? Why not create a brand that opens doors and showcases your talents and skills in the best light possible?

In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to create a personal brand from scratch. A brand that captures people's attention and leaves a lasting impression on them.

Ready to start building your superstar brand? Let’s go!

Why Should You Care About Your Personal Brand?

Oprah Winfrey Personal Brands Example

We’re all marketers now, whether we like it or not. Almost every career opportunity, job application or sales pitch requires some selling.

A solid personal brand can give you a considerable head start. It’s like having a fantastic resume, glowing referrals and an irresistible elevator pitch.

With a solid personal brand, getting these done becomes much more manageable:

  • Getting hired for your dream job
  • Attracting clients as a freelancer
  • Building authority in your field
  • Making valuable connections
  • Being seen as a thought leader
  • Growing an engaged following

And honestly speaking, maintaining a sharp personal brand makes good career sense. On average, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, employee tenure is only about 4.5 years.

If you want to change careers or jump into new opportunities sooner rather than later, having an existing reputation and network goes far beyond being helpful — it’s invaluable.

Don’t wait till desperation kicks in to clean up your online presence when others are already way ahead of the game.

Building Blocks For An Awesome Personal Brand

Are you scared about what “personal brand” will fit you? Don’t overthink things too much.

The most successful personal brands accurately represent who they genuinely are, authentically. What worked for Oprah won’t automatically work for you. Essentially, your personal brand should reflect:

  1. Your Personality: Your brand personality needs to resonate with how you truly think and communicate. Nobody can keep up a facade forever.
  2. Your Passions: What do you genuinely enjoy doing? What topic tends to excite you when brought up in conversation? Focus on these interests as the foundation of your brand.
  3. Your Experience: Incorporate into your personal brand all the things you’ve seen, challenges you’ve overcome, and skills you’ve developed over time.
  4. Your Purpose: Define what impact you want to make in your field or worldwide. Your brand should be perfectly aligned with this vision.
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Don’t get too worried if you have multiple passions or different sets of interests. Some of the most fascinating people in this world have branded themselves around blending experiences or contrasting unique personality quirks.

Love him or hate him, Elon Musk has become an iconic figure for being a brilliant, blunt entrepreneur who’s constantly challenging next-gen tech & space travel hyped up by media houses worldwide.

Defining The Position Of Your Personal Brand

Elon Musk Personal Branding Example

To ensure all sections of your personal brand come together cohesively, creating a clear positioning statement will unite every moving part seamlessly. This message should summarise:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you offer?
  3. Who do you serve?
  4. What makes you unique?

The goal here is to create a concise tagline or elevator pitch that captures the essence of your brand. Such as:

“I’m an experienced creative director and strategic thinker who guides bold visionaries through launching purpose-driven businesses that transform lives.”

Come up with an initial positioning based on your background and expertise. But don’t spend too much time perfecting it – you can refine it later.

Conduct a Personal Brand Audit

You can't build a new personal brand without first auditing your current one (if you have one). Use a tool like Brand Yourself to see what someone finds when they search for you online.

Compile all the top results, including:

  1. Social profiles
  2. Personal website/portfolio
  3. Mentions on other sites
  4. Images, videos, press etc.

Anything public-facing on page 1 of Google is relevant.

Look at these results objectively. Does this align with the brand image you want to cultivate? Probably not if you haven't done this intentionally before.

Identify any off-brand or unflattering content that needs cleaning up. Also, keep an eye out for existing assets to double down on moving forward.

The personal brand audit reveals the raw materials you're working with and highlights gaps to fill moving forward.

Build Your Core Personal Brand Platforms

How To Build Personal Branding

With your positioning settled, and your existing presence audited, it's finally time to build out your core personal brand platforms. These brand “home bases” will drive your other marketing efforts moving forward.

Create a Visually Cohesive Brand Identity

Like any company, your personal brand requires a cohesive set of visuals. This includes:

  • Name & Tagline — You might need to add something extra (e.g., middle initial) to stand out if you have a common name
  • Logo Design — Simple text logos or monograms usually work best with overcomplicated graphics for personal brands
  • Colour Palette — Choose 2-3 signature colours that are true to yourself and use them everywhere (website, social media profiles, etc.)
  • Typography — Identify 2-3 font styles that give off the right vibe for your personality type (modern, classic, bold, etc.)

Consistency is vital across all visuals, so your brand looks polished and recognisable whenever it appears online.

Optimise Your Social Media Presence

Which social platforms are most relevant for your niche and audience? Prioritise them by ensuring:

  • Bios & Descriptions: Reflect your updated positioning and keywords
  • Profile Images: Use your approved headshot or logo (depending on the platform)
  • Cover Photos: Reinforce your brand identity with supporting visuals
  • Customisations: Use your signature colours, fonts, etc. where possible
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Consistency yet intentionality, in this case, shows you're serious about what you're doing.

Don't spread yourself too thin. Identify 2-3 primary platforms where your target audience hangs out, and post new content regularly to start gaining traction.

Build Your Core Website

While social media makes distribution easier, you need a core home base to anchor down your personal brand online.

At a minimum, create a bare-bones website that acts as a digital business card and includes the following:

  1. An About Page — Summary of background, expertise and unique positioning to hook visitors
  2. Portfolio/Services — Examples of best work or offerings if applicable; how to hire/contact you if relevant
  3. Resources/Blog — Ongoing content like articles, videos, podcasts etc. to showcase knowledge
  4. Speaking/Media Page — Press hits, talks, guest posts, etc. that validate authority

Customise your website with your brand visuals and personal touches to solidify the identity you want. You can always turn it into a more robust hub later.

Improving Reach & Impact With Content Marketing

How To Become A Content Creator

Here comes the fun part! Make irresistibly valuable content that catches the attention and nurtures your personal brand into something bigger.

Making Insanely Useful Content Your Audience Can’t Resist

Content, content, content. It seems so simple, yet many consistently struggle to produce enough of it.

Write down all the things people ask you about in your space. Both easy questions and difficult ones. These are good topics for:

  1. Blog Posts or Long-form Articles
  2. Videos or Video Series
  3. Podcast Episodes or Guests Spots
  4. Free Downloads & Resource Guides
  5. Webinars, Courses, or Training

Quality is always better than quantity. Focus on making detailed, digestible content that covers common problems, case studies, and frameworks uniquely different from what nobody else has done before. This will show your audience that you’re serious and build trust between you all.

Guest Posting & Collaborations to Extend Your Reach

Work with other influencers in similar fields as you keep growing your knowledge and creating content. Guest posting, expert interviews, co-hosted webinars — these cross-promotions let you do four things:

  1. Reach new audiences (and vice versa)
  2. Align yourself with essential figures in your space 
  3. Position yourself as a thought leader
  4. Trade value for visibility

Make sure you choose who you collaborate with carefully, though. Every exposure helps, but if they’re an irrelevant brand or sketchy partner, it’ll undermine what you’re doing here.

Making Savvy Use of Social Media

You don’t need millions of followers for this personal brand to thrive. But you do have to communicate and engage with them consistently.

In addition to creating more extensive content, social media can be used as an “idea incubator” to see which concepts your audience likes the most. You can then build those out into more comprehensive resources.

Share relevant updates, stories, quotes, images and quick tips with your followers so you stay in their thoughts.

The more valuable, free information you give on social media, the more passionate fans you’ll attract. Just remember to provide value and not just promote yourself all the time.

Also, don’t sleep on the power of connecting 1-on-1 with your followers. Even short interactions go a long way towards building solid relationships and dedicated fans.

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Building Authority With Speaking & Media Opportunities

Event Branding Example Ted

As valuable as content marketing is for this project, it won’t be enough to make this personal brand an overnight success.

Support it by actively pursuing speaking opportunities and press features that amplify your current actions. Some ideas:

  • Pitch to speak at relevant conferences or local meetups
  • Look for chances to be featured in industry publications
  • Seek bookings as an expert guest on podcasts or shows
  • Contribute insightful quotes or commentary to reporters

The more people see you lending your voice as an experienced person, the faster they’ll trust what you say here.

Monetising & Productising Your Personal Brand

What’s the end goal here? For many people, it’s being able to turn all of this exposure into money. Some ways could look like this:

  • Speaking/Training: Get paid for appearing at events or leading courses —Coaching/Consulting: Offer 1-on-1 or group advisory services
  • Physical Products: Turn all of this knowledge into books or audio programs
  • Digital Products: Digital Courses, Memberships, Masterminds & Trainings
  • Agency Services: Using your personal brand to market an entire agency or firm
  • Sponsorships / Paid Partnerships

Once you’ve built a distinct personal brand with a loyal audience, the options for monetisation are seemingly endless. 

And by doubling down on the impact and income from your personal brand, you’ll be able to reach even more people.

Measuring & Optimising Performance

As a good marketer (which all personal brands need to be), it’s important to track key metrics that evaluate your brand's performance. This could be done using tools like Google Analytics for website traffic, social media analytics for engagement levels, etc.

Some key metrics to monitor:

  1. Website Traffic: Total visitors, top channels, geographic locations
  2. Content Engagement: Views, comments, shares, downloads, etc.
  3. Social Reach & Audience Growth: New followers, profile visits, etc.
  4. Email List Size & Open Rates
  5. Inbound Inquiries: Opportunities, bookings, products etc.
  6. Sales & Income Figures from any products or services offered through your brand

Setting benchmarks for where you want these figures and stats to be over time can help you tell if your personal branding strategy is working or needs adjusting.

If website traffic isn’t hitting goals, maybe guest posting should be considered more often. If content engagement is low, possibly different content formats should be tested. If follower growth has plateaued, other social media tactics may need to be adopted. And so on.

Testing → Analysing → Optimising will ensure that you take your personal brand dominance to new heights over time!

Tips for Maintaining Authenticity & Consistency

Trying too hard to “be a PERSONAL BRAND” is the best way for others not to feel like they’re dealing with a real human being. Always keep these tips in mind when creating content:

  1. Share Stories/Anecdotes + Personality Quirks: Little personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes glimpses into your life make you relatable.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Imperfections: Nobody expects you to have it all figured out. Self-deprecating humour and honesty about struggles resonate.
  3. Stay True to Your Values: Building a personal brand around materialistic ego projects rings hollow. Make sure your brand’s purpose is meaningful.
  4. Be Consistent & Patient: Personal brand equity is built through years of acting with integrity and delivering on your promises, one interaction at a time.
  5. Keep Evolving & Improving: As you gain experience, your brand positioning may need refinement. Just introduce changes thoughtfully and explain any pivots.
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Remember that authentic personal branding simply means using modern channels to convey your message and identity in a way that influences others — not projecting some stiff, soulless “brand persona”. Stay authentic, and the rest will fall into place.

Conclusion

In an era where personal branding has never been more critical for career success, those who get intentional about cultivating theirs will gain an undeniable competitive edge.

Building a powerful personal brand:

  1. Showcases expertise and talents
  2. Attracts new business opportunities
  3. Establishes industry influence
  4. Creates freedom to do work that’s passionate about
  5. Forges deep connections + loyalty
  6. Sets up additional income streams

The key throughout the process? Never abandon your true self. The personal brands that stick aren’t pristine, airbrushed illusions… they’re captivating because they’re authentic human beings like you.

So define what you stand for and start sharing it far & wide. It’s time to shape how the world sees you, one interaction at a time.

FAQs on How to Build a Personal Brand 

How long does it take to build a personal brand?

Establishing a personal brand that has a broad reach usually requires patience and consistency. It takes at least 12–18 months of steady content creation before you start getting noticed. Becoming a significant influencer can take years, though.

Do I need a personal website?

While not completely necessary, having an optimised personal website is extremely valuable. It gives people somewhere to go for your whole story and services. But if you’re already crushing it on social media, you may not need one.

What equipment do I require for video & podcasting?

High production value is ideal, but you don't have to spend Hollywood money. A decent webcam or DSLR camera, lighting kit, USB mic and essential editing software like QuickTime or Adobe Premiere Elements will do the trick.

How much does building a personal brand cost?

You can start for almost nothing today — under $100/year with a simple website and free social media accounts. As your brand grows, you can put more money into professional design services, ads, and tools.

Should I just hire someone to build my personal brand?

You can pay professionals for graphic design work or web development help. But the core parts of your personal brand have to come from you. No one else knows all of your experiences and expertise as intimately as you do.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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