Home » What Is Personal Branding: 4 Ways To Leverage It To Become A Remarkable Leader

What Is Personal Branding: 4 Ways To Leverage It To Become A Remarkable Leader

You wrap up your keynote session, and it’s time for Q&A. Someone asks, “What is personal branding? Can a person be a brand? How would you answer this question?

Whether you scratch the surface on what goes into branding or dive deep into the type of content an individual should publish on their social networks and personal website, how you answer reveals what you believe about personal branding.

It’s critical to define this type of branding and know its purpose. Personal branding is particularly crucial if you plan to become a successful entrepreneur, speaker, or business person.

Even if you don’t know it, you have an online reputation. So how can you leverage and improve your personal brand for your career? First, let’s get into the finer points.

How do you define personal branding

How Do You Define Personal Branding?

A personal brand is the impression of an individual an audience receives through social media and various other mediums. If you are a professional in your field, you will likely spend a decent amount of time creating content that fits your branding strategy.

You create a branded version of yourself simply by your existing online and in-person personas. Your activity online portrays specifics about your brand. Even if you are not active online, your absence communicates something to the watching world.

How do you combat this phenomenon and use it for the good of your business? The purpose behind branding is where you can find the answer.

What Is The Purpose Of Personal Branding

What Is The Purpose Of Personal Branding?

The purpose behind this type of branding is unique to you, the individual creating a personal brand. Forbes says, “A personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are.”

Strong personal brands will help you stand out from competitors. When your brand aligns with all aspects of you, the individual, trust will form between you and your potential clients. The common purpose behind this type of brand is to find and connect to your target audience.

When you bridge the gap between you and the people you hope to reach, the potential for reach, income, and impact go up. That said, it’s essential to look at a great example of how to do so.

What Is A Personal Brand Example

What Is A Personal Brand Example?

A great example of a personal brand is the remarkable leader, speaker, and author John Maxwell. Over the last four decades, Maxwell wrote books aligning with his brand. His genres include motivation, personal development, and of course, leadership.

Note that Maxwell’s books focus on his brand. He writes in genres that reflect his image and bring value to it. John Maxwell is a great example of a personal brand because his business is all-inclusive:

  • His website reflects his core brand values
  • His books align with what he stands for
  • His training focuses on furthering his message
  • His academy reiterates his brand message

Real Leaders considered him one of the top 50 keynote speakers globally, and his success as an author simply reiterates this fact. Maxwell’s brand focuses on the tagline, become the leader you were born to be. His blog posts underscore this brand, which Maxwell is the center of.

How To Leverage Personal Branding To Your Benefit

If you choose to leverage personal branding for you, your company, or your future goals, it’s essential to follow four steps that will aid you in the process. Of course, understanding the purpose behind branding is a vital first step, but following these four points will help you succeed.

Be gracious with yourself as you work through these steps. Personal branding is ever-evolving, and it can be challenging to grasp in the beginning stages. Take your time and remember that growth is a process, but learning is continual.

1. Articulate What You What To Be Known For

Once you decide to move forward with personal branding, you need to define what you want others to associate with you. For example, TEDx speakers talk about the subject matter they are well versed in. Kevin Breel has his entire website based on his name because he branded himself with TED as a leader in overcoming depression. People kept Googling his name and the subject matter and thus, built a brand.

You may not have given a talk on TEDx yet, but if you want your audience to know you as a speaker, taking your message to the stage is a great way to articulate your brand. In addition, this ensures you can record your message and post it on your website as a visual example of who you are.

Take the time to ask yourself what you want to represent and what you want others to know you for. This time is invaluable because it will help you in the next step.

2. Grow Your Online Presence

Now that you know what you want to represent or accomplish with your brand, your online presence is an invaluable key to success. You can grow your platform in a multitude of ways:
Social Media

Social Media

Personal Website

Personal Website

YouTube Videos

YouTube Videos

Record Your Public Speaking

Record Your Public Speaking

Katie Kimball is a prime example of an individual who articulated her brand and took it to the next level through her online presence. Due to her bold choices, Katie is the national voice for healthy kids cooking. In 2020, The Wall Street Journal even recommended her Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, the best online cooking class for kids.

3. Take Your Brand Offline

Taking your brand offline is essential, particularly if you are a public speaker. Yes, you should have an online presence, particularly in this day and age, but maintaining brand integrity is essential to the longevity of your brand.

When we say take your brand offline, what we mean is to represent your brand outside of the digital landscape. Who you are in person is your brand. So, regardless of whether you’re presenting online or on stage, you represent your brand at all times:

  • During the meet-and-great
  • At the Q&A
  • When someone runs into you at the airport

These interactions point to your brand’s integrity or lack thereof. If you present yourself as personable and outgoing online but reserved and distant in person, the alignment between your online and offline brand is lacking. Take the appropriate steps to align both your online and offline presence.

4. Define Your WHY And Use It To Motivate You Longterm

Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action, is perhaps one of the most helpful questions to ask when maintaining a long-term personal brand. Finding your why often begins with finding your passion.

When you know WHY you want to meet a particular goal, this knowledge base helps when you’re months or years into your career and need long-term motivation. Follow these six steps to help you define your why:

Ask yourself passion defining questions

Ask yourself passion defining questions

Assess your specific skillset

Assess your specific skillset

Deeply understand the topic you love

Deeply understand the topic you love

Reach out to others with like interests

Reach out to others with like interests

Look for themes in your passions

Look for themes in your passions

Ask how your passion will impact the world

Ask how your passion will impact the world

Personal branding is crucial to career success, but it often can’t take you from the germ of your dream idea to the end of your career goals. Understanding why you are passionate about your goals is often the missing piece that takes you through the ups and downs of branding.

With that in mind, remember that your personal brand can’t simply stand by itself. It must bring some sort of value to your audience.

Building A Valuable, Personal Brand: Take Your First Step Today

Now that you understand what personal branding is and how to leverage it, it’s time to take your first step to further your dreams. But, before you start, let’s spend a little time answering questions you may have on your journey.
How To Make A Personal Branding Video

How To Make A Personal Branding Video?

Suppose your niche is some form of public speaking. In this case, you will likely want to create a video to better connect with your target audience. Of course, the specific ways to create a video depend on your personal brand, but this video is a great place to start.

What Do Most Goals For Personal Branding Have In Common

What Do Most Goals For Personal Branding Have In Common?

If you want to build a personal brand, following this core format will help you reach your goals. First, identify what sets you apart from your competitors and what makes you unique? Second, articulate how you can use your skills to further your career.

And third, craft those skills into an image that defines your brand. Finally, communicate this image to your target audience.

What Do Most Goals For Personal Branding Have In Common

What Are Personal Brand Attributes?

Attributes such as your professional qualifications, personal achievements, and personality are contributing factors to your brand. After all, the word personal is the core word in the phrase personal branding.

So which attributes will most help you reach your goals? What are your strengths? How can you grow in them? Which weaknesses should you brush up on to keep them from holding you back?

Writer Tom Peters says, “To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” You are the leader of your brand. If you want to be a remarkable leader, it’s time to create an effective personal brand.

Articulate what you want to be known for, pinpoint your why, and dive into creating. Your personal brand directly reflects you, your goals, and your dreams. Make it count—it is worth it for your business, yourself, and future audience.


Sarah Rexford
Content Writer
Joelle Cullimore
Marketing Content Manager

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