5 Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand | Entrepreneur (2023)

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I once heard a saying that hit me hard. It goes like this: "We all die twice: the first time when we take our last breath and the second time when our names are said for the last time." Powerful, right?

It made me think of personal branding. First of all, most things make me think of personal branding, because I own a personal branding agency, but there's also another reason. You see, personal branding is becoming a buzz concept of sorts, with many people fearing that it's simply a fad. To me, however, personal branding is about much more than social media likes or selfie videos or a follower count. To me, personal branding is a powerful tool that allows us to build equity in our names. And what, if not our names, stays with us forever, until our last day and perhaps even beyond?

As an entrepreneur, I work hard on creating equity in the corporate brand of my business — my personal branding agency called Brand of a Leader. Yet I am also well aware of the non-linear journey my business will likely experience (I have faced a business crash in the past and know full well that no business is immune). Even if we continue to rapidly scale as we have to date, we might decide to eventually exit. And what happens when we exit or lose our business? We feel that we exited part of our identity along with it.

A personal brand protects us from that. It protects us from the ups and the downs and the pivots along the way, giving us constancy and portability. And the best news for many of you: Personal brand can be built entirely off social media! Here are the five steps we employ to build entrepreneurs' personal brands at Brand of a Leader and recommend you follow to build yours:

(Video) 5 Steps to Building a Personal Brand You Feel Good About | The Way We Work, a TED series

Related: 3 Keys to Building Your Personal Brand

Step 1: Identify what makes you unique

What makes you stand out from others? You might not be able to think of anything that makes you stand out in your particular vertical, but the good news is that it doesn't matter. A personal brand is about WHO you are and not WHAT you do.

Start by identifying the strongest and most pertinent aspects of who you are. What you determine will become the cornerstone of your personal brand.

As a company that works uniquely with entrepreneurs, we understand that no two entrepreneurs are alike. That same idea applies to how each person will determine what makes them unique. What we do is a series of deep dives to unveil what's prominent about the individual, which can emerge by asking a series of questions:

  • What are your core values?

    (Video) 6 Steps to Build a STRONG Personal Brand in 2020 (On AND OFF Social Media)

  • What is your personality?

  • What is your expertise?

  • What is your story?

  • What is your WHY?

Without a differentiator, there is no brand — there is simply a reputation, so take the time you need to identify yours. This step is crucial.

(Video) 5 Steps to Build a STRONG Personal Brand in 2020 | Adam Erhart

Step 2: Gain clarity on your target audience

As business owners, we all know what a target audience means. But how it applies to personal branding varies from the corporate marketing term we're used to.

When our agency is working on building a personal brand strategy, we focus on two target audiences. The first one usually reflects the target audience of the entrepreneur's business (typically their core client).

The second one is entirely different — it is an audience that is not being monetized in any way. I encourage you to think of an audience of people that you would want to inspire with your personal brand.

Step 3: Figure out your brand descriptors

A brand is all about associations and the consistency of communicating them. When we talk about brand descriptors, we're trying to determine how you want to be perceived. As human beings, we can all be described in a hundred different ways. However, if we're all things at once, then there's nothing that actually sets us apart.

I suggest building a list of three to five words that you would like people to consistently describe you with. Then build a list of three to five words that you don't want people to describe you with.

(Video) 5 Steps to BUILD a Strong Personal Brand Right Now | Montelle Bee

Want to have a quick self-awareness test? Text 10 people who know you well enough but are not overly close to you, ask them how they would describe you, and see whether their adjectives match those on your list.

Related: 8 Reasons a Powerful Personal Brand Will Make You Successful

Step 4: Narrow down what you're going to talk about

This brings me to content pillars — the topics you want to be associated with. We get this question all the time at Brand of a Leader: "I am ready to put myself out there, but what am I going to talk about?" When you're choosing the topics you want to become synonymous with, I recommend sticking to two to four.

First, identify one or two key topics that will allow you to build your credibility. Then pick an additional one to two topics that will humanize your credibility. These can be anything you are passionate about. If you were going to a barbecue with friends or even employees today, what are some of the things you would most definitely be talking about?

Step 5: Choose a platform that works for you

We all need platforms to build visibility. However, I am not only talking about social media platforms. Social media gives scale, but it is possible to build a very strong brand by writing a book or giving talks. Seth Godin is an indisputable thought leader in marketing, and yet his social media presence is underwhelming. Rather, he has published a plethora of bestsellers, gives high-impact talks and has a uniquely awesome daily newsletter. Choose one platform that you can go all-in on, and start building your visibility on it before adding another one to your self-marketing mix.

(Video) 5 Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand || Creating Your Personal Brand: A Beginner's Guide

Related: 3 Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand

And there you have it, fellow entrepreneur: Five steps that will entail a lot of soul-searching and internal deep-diving. If you follow these steps, you will be much further ahead than people who go in the completely wrong order — first choosing a platform, then deciding what they should be talking about and thinking about their audience — never becoming intentional about their brand descriptors or a unique differentiator. Happy brand building, and may your name be talked about for decades and centuries to come!


5 Steps to Building a Strong Personal Brand | Entrepreneur? ›

To build a strong personal brand, you need to (1) know yourself, (2) know your audiences, (3) focus on reality instead of perception, (4) create and communicate your story, and then (5) consistently evaluate and continually improve.

What is the 5 step approach to personal branding? ›

To build a strong personal brand, you need to (1) know yourself, (2) know your audiences, (3) focus on reality instead of perception, (4) create and communicate your story, and then (5) consistently evaluate and continually improve.

What are 5 tips to building your own personal brand? ›

Five Tips to Branding Yourself
  • #1: Define your brand and become an expert. ...
  • #2: Establish a presence. ...
  • #3: Generate brand awareness through networking. ...
  • #4: Remember the 3 Cs of branding. ...
  • #5: Get feedback from those who know you best—at work, at home, anywhere.

What are the 5 C's of personal branding? ›

We are in a 5-part blog series covering the 5 C's of creating your personal brand: clarity, content, connection, creativity, and community.

What are the 4 P's of personal branding? ›

They are product, price, place, and promotion. The four Ps are often referred to as the marketing mix.

What are the 4 C's of brand strategy? ›

The 4 C's of Marketing are Customer, Cost, Convenience, and Communication. These 4 C's determine whether a company is likely to succeed or fail in the long run. The customer is the heart of any marketing strategy.

What are the 3 C's of branding? ›

The 3 Cs of Brand Development: Customer, Company, and Competitors.

What are the 8 elements of personal branding? ›

While the earlier post explained how to create your Personal Brand, this article focuses on the “Key Elements” that should be included in your brand.
  • Be Authentic. ...
  • Define core values. ...
  • Develop Expertise. ...
  • Be Consistent. ...
  • Be visible. ...
  • Network to promote your brand. ...
  • Dress the Part. ...
  • Be Professional.
Nov 11, 2014

What are the 8 rules of personal branding? ›

Everything counts.
  • 8 Laws of Branding by Brian Tracy. ...
  • The law of Specialization. ...
  • The law of Leadership. ...
  • The law of Personality. ...
  • The law of Distinctiveness. ...
  • The law of Visibility. ...
  • The law of Utility. ...
  • The law of Persistence.

What are the 5.5 steps of branding? ›

How to Build a Brand: A 5 Step Guide
  • Phase 1 – Discovery. The first step in any brand development process is to gather the information necessary for optimal brand positioning. ...
  • Phase 2 – Positioning. ...
  • Phase 3 – Creative. ...
  • Phase 4 – Activation. ...
  • Phase 5 – Management.

What is the golden rule of personal branding? ›

Golden Rule: Be authentically "YOU". The more authentic you make your personal brand, the more likely your audience will resonate with your message. As Oscar Wilde once said, "Be yourself because everyone else is taken."

What are the main 3 elements to build a personal brand? ›

There are three essential elements to personal branding. To establish brand recognition with your target audience and build trust with your customers, you need to have a story, know your niche and, most importantly, be authentic.

What are the 6 personal branding types? ›

According to research, there are 6 main personas that best identify personal brand types - altruists, careerists, hipsters, boomerangs, connectors & selectives. Every branding type represents a motivation through which individuals share information and establish how they're seen within their industry.

What are the 3 steps to developing a powerful personal brand? ›

Building your personal brand comes down to the key principles:
  • 1 . Consistency. Start by defining your area of expertise or what you want to be known for. ...
  • 2 . Frequency. After you've nailed down your area of expertise, talk about it frequently. ...
  • 3 . Visibility.
Jun 17, 2021

What are personal branding strategies? ›

What Is a Personal Branding Strategy? A personal branding strategy is a plan to take your reputation and career from relative obscurity to high visibility. It describes where you stand today and what level of visibility you want to achieve in the future.

What are the ultimate steps to personal branding? ›

To begin your personal branding process, discover who you are, determine your assets, write down your mission and vision statements, tell your story, create your brand image and identity, build your online strategy, and measure your impact!

What are 4 elements of branding you must know? ›

A strong brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality. Implementing a successful brand strategy that develops all four of these components increases brand trust, loyalty, and awareness.

What are the 4 A's strategy in marketing? ›

That's why one of the most effective marketing strategies is using the 4 A model: Acceptability, Affordability, Accessibility, and Awareness.

What are the 4 brand categories? ›

What Are 4 Types of Brands? There are numerous types of brands, but the four most common ones include corporate brands, personal brands, product brands, and service brands.

What are the 5a of branding? ›

The 5 A's of personal branding include Authority, then Authenticity, Aspiration, Artisanat and Affinity.

What is the 3 B model of branding? ›

What is 3Bs. Normally, 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) is considered as a key strategy for any marketing plan. But the concept of brand management through aligning Business, Brand, and Behavior (3Bs) can provide more insights from brand management to possibly its performance.

What are the 3 goals of branding? ›

The top three goals of brand strategy should be:
  • Increasing customer loyalty,
  • Differentiating the product from the competition, and.
  • Establishing market leadership.
Feb 26, 2015

What is the #1 rule of branding? ›

Consistency is the number 1 rule when thinking about branding your company and creating marketing material and communication tools.

What is the rule of 7 branding? ›

What is the rule of 7? The rule of 7 is based on the marketing principle thatcustomers need to see your brand at least 7 times before they commit to a purchase decision. This concept has been aroundsince the 1930swhen movie studios first coined the approach.

What is the 3 7 27 rule of branding? ›

Remember the 3-7-27 Law of Branding. It takes 3 contacts for someone to remember your name, 7 to put your name with your business, and 27 to become a top-of-mind brand name.

What are the 10 steps to creating a brand? ›

A 10-Step Brand Development Strategy
  1. Consider your overall business strategy. ...
  2. Identify your target clients. ...
  3. Research your target client group. ...
  4. Develop your brand positioning. ...
  5. Develop your messaging strategy. ...
  6. Develop your name, logo and tagline. ...
  7. Develop your content marketing strategy. ...
  8. Develop your website.
Sep 21, 2022

How does 5 C's help in building a brand? ›

What is the 5C Analysis? 5C Analysis is a marketing framework to analyze the environment in which a company operates. It can provide insight into the key drivers of success, as well as the risk exposure to various environmental factors. The 5Cs are Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Context.

What is the 80 20 rule in personal branding? ›

What is the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule indicates that 80% of social media posts should be useful to your audience — meaning, it educates, entertains, or offers a solution to their problems — and only 20% should explicitly promote your business.

What makes a powerful personal brand? ›

“A strong personal brand is one that has a high level of impact, which then leads to influence amongst the people who follow you. The key is to leverage social media and other social platforms and environments to create relevant and meaningful dialogues between you and the people you want to impact.”

What are the five brand elements? ›

Five Key Brand Elements:
  • Brand Position. ...
  • Brand Promise. ...
  • Brand Personality. ...
  • Brand Story. ...
  • Brand Associations.

What are the five characteristics of a strong personal brand? ›

Most Important Attributes to Have for Your Personal Brand
  • Coming Across as Approachable. ...
  • Communicating With Positivity. ...
  • Consistency. ...
  • Selflessness. ...
  • Approachability. ...
  • Transparency. ...
  • Inspirational and a Strong Work Ethic. ...
  • Innovative.
Jan 27, 2023

How do I build a brand of myself? ›

How to brand yourself
  1. Find what makes you unique. When starting to define your brand, you will need to identify your: ...
  2. Research peers. ...
  3. Establish a clear voice. ...
  4. Determine your niche audience. ...
  5. Build a reputation. ...
  6. Create a website. ...
  7. Network. ...
  8. Analyze your competition.
Mar 29, 2023

What does the Big 5 model of brand personality include? ›

Aaker came out with five dimensions of brand personality – sincerity, competence, excitement, sophistication and ruggedness. Her work has triggered interest among scholars to explore the concept of brand personality.

What is the five factor model of brand personality? ›

Five key dimensions of brand personality include Brand Competence, Brand Sincerity, Brand Excitement, Brand Sophistication, and Brand Toughness. Many brands choose to use a brand character as a vehicle to express their brand personality and facilitate their brand storytelling process.

What are the 6 C's of branding? ›

His six Cs are content, commerce, community, context, customization, and conversation.

What are the 3 R's of branding? ›

This is where the 3 Rs of content marketing come into play: reduce, reuse, and recycle. By creating fewer, more valuable pieces and repurposing this content across different channels, you will save time and money while increasing awareness and engagement.

What are the 6 Ps of branding? ›

The building blocks of an effective marketing strategy include the 6 P's of marketing: product, price, place, promotion, people, and presentation.

What are the 5 dimensions of personality? ›

In their research, they classified traits into five broad dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. You can remember them by using the acronyms OCEAN or CANOE.

What are the 4 personality types? ›

The four temperament theory is a proto-psychological theory which suggests that there are four fundamental personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

What is the Big Five model basically? ›

The Big Five Model, also known as the Five-Factor Model, is the most widely accepted personality theory held by psychologists today. The theory states that personality can be boiled down to five core factors, known by the acronym CANOE or OCEAN.

What are the elements that make up a brand? ›

The Six Elements of a Brand
  • Brand voice.
  • Brand identity.
  • Brand promise.
  • Brand values.
  • Brand targeting.
  • Brand positioning.
Mar 1, 2022

Why is Big 5 personality important? ›

The Big Five personality theory gives a simple blueprint to understanding others, improving relationships by knowing why people tend to behave the way that they do. You can even use the theory to help better understand yourself and how to get along with others better than ever before.

How was the Big 5 developed? ›

The Big 5's origins developed from the massive lexical research program by Allport and Odbert. Their descriptive "theory" was that human beings notice individual personality differences. Since humans notice these differences they would coin a word for those traits.


1. 5 Steps To Build A STRONG Personal Brand ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE
(Bryan Casella)
2. How to Build a Personal Brand [5 Easy Steps]
(Raw Startup)
3. Personal Branding 101 [Build Your Personal Brand In 2023]
(Brand Master Academy)
4. Build Your Personal Brand in 5 Steps
(Very Private Gallery)
5. 5 Steps to Building a Powerful Personal Brand: Business Development Essentials Series
(Dave Lorenzo)
6. 5 Steps Of Building A Strong Personal Brand in 2020
(Clara Chong)


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