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3 Simple Steps to Define What Is a Personal Brand

What is a personal brand? While one might think that it is akin to self-promotion, this is actually a gross oversimplification. While self-promotion is nothing more than publicizing accomplishments to boost opportunities — which tends to be narrower in scope — personal branding on the other hand is broader: It should aspire to the overall perception of the public.

In other words, while achievements and accomplishments also play a huge part in an individual’s brand developing, expertise, experience, and public image are the other elements that influence an individual’s strong personal brand.

But what are the benefits of brand developing, you might ask?

To define what is personal branding, it is only logical to enumerate some of its benefits as well. And one of its most tangible benefits is showcasing an individual’s or business’ value by helping someone either connect with prospective employers or potential customers. And this means not just connecting you with people or businesses that are in your wheelhouse; after all, what is a personal brand if it cannot connect you with people outside the work you do?

A strong personal brand should likewise feature your passions, personality, and motivation so that prospective clients or employers can subsequently see all your hard work. In a nutshell, when you’ve done personal branding well, you give potential clients or employers a complete experience instead of only a product.

Another benefit of brand developing for individuals is that it differentiates you from the competition. What is personal branding but something that showcases your uniqueness? It can demonstrate how you are different from competitors, especially in your own field of expertise. Indeed, brand developing highlights your competitive edge that sets you apart from others.

Last but not the least, personal branding presents you to your audience as an expert and establishes your credibility in the process. What is a personal brand if it doesn’t effectively reflect your expertise in your field? In addition, your personal brand, when done well, should speak for itself —  or yourself — so that you don’t have to work as hard to convince prospective employers or clients of your worth. 

It goes without saying that the quality of your work will be a testament to your capabilities and skills as a professional, and that your strong personal brand is a testimony of the output that you deliver.

For instance, imagine that you’re communicating to potential clients your reliability as an asset, and then subsequently redirect them to your website, so they can see your brand developing efforts. (What is personal branding, after all, if you don’t have a tangible way of showcasing it through your own professional website?)

Thanks to your website, which is essentially an extension of your personal brand, potential clients will see the hard work you’ve put into your career thus far, and the superb results they can expect from working with you.

So what are the steps to developing a strong personal brand? Read on.

1. Define What Is a Personal Brand Step #1: Find Out Why You Are Unique

What is a personal brand? Well, yours should be based on your most authentic self, so find some time to ponder about what makes you you. When it comes to brand developing, come up with a persona or image that comes naturally to you. This is important because people nowadays can habitually detect — and then avoid — personal brands that they recognize as false or deceitful.

But remember: Don’t try to copy someone else’s personal brand and dress it up as your own. Renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià once said that “Creativity means not copying.” So look deep and hard into the aspects of yourself that you like the most. Consider your experiences, abilities, passions, interests, and core values. On the surface, they might not seem exceptional to you, but once you combine all of them, you’ll have a better outline of the brand developing package you can confidently present to your target audience.

What makes you — or, more specifically, your brand — unique from your competitors or even your peers? At first glance you might not be able to think of anything off the bat that makes you stand out in your particular field. The good news? It won’t matter — at least at first. After all, what is a personal brand but an amalgamation of who you are? It is not, in fact, just what you do.

Begin by identifying the most powerful and most significant aspects of who you are. What is a personal brand that you are confident conveying toward your target audience? What you eventually identify will become the foundation of your strong personal brand.

No two people are alike, and this idea will determine what makes each person unique. To help you identify the most significant aspects of who you are — of what your personal brand can be – ask yourself a series of questions:

What is my core value?

What is my persona?

What is my specialty?

What is my story?

What is my why?

After all, what is a personal brand if there is no differentiator? Without a differentiator there is only a reputation, not a personal brand, so put some time and effort into identifying yours. This first step in personal brand developing, needless to say, is crucial.

2. Step #2: Identify Your Mission and Vision

What is a personal brand worth if you haven’t identified your mission and vision right off the bat?

We’ve helped identify the core parts of your personal brand in the previous step by asking a series of trigger questions. The next step after identifying these core parts, though, is to focus on your mission and vision, which will put your ideas into motion. So what should your vision be? It should be the direction you will take your personal brand.

When you think of your brand, of what is a personal brand and what it will be at its highest peak of success, what do you picture in your mind? It will help if you have an initial vision of what you want to see, even while you are still in the brand developing phase. Try to incorporate this vision into your personal brand as early as you can.

On the other hand, your brand’s mission is how you plan to achieve your vision. The mission declares what you want to achieve and what will drive your everyday actions to reach your brand developing goal. Whatever your mission is, it should be tailored to help you reach your personal brand’s biggest goals and, in essence, your vision. What is a personal brand, an effective one, you may ask? It is prospective clients’ or employers’ perception of you, but after you’ve put in the work of identifying and defining your mission and vision and working toward that.

Step #3: Create a Consistent Message for Your Target Audience

At the beginning of this blog post, we asked the ever-important question: What is a personal brand? Throughout the post we’ve outlined the process to get there, but the last step to creating your personal brand is, relatively, the easiest. And that is to finally get your content out there, in the form of a website, a blog, social media posts, newsletters, or even podcasts — basically any outlet or platform available to you right now, which technology has made easy for the user or for anyone looking at brand developing.

That is what is personal branding after all: getting yourself out there. But there is still one more step before actually putting out content to promote your personal brand or buckle down to do your final brand developing, which is an equally important step, nonetheless.

You need to develop a consistent message for your target audience. As a useful prompt, ask yourself this question: What message do you want to constantly highlight in your content and your marketing that is part of your personal brand? After deciding on what your final message is, use the same message consistently across all your communication channels.

Remember that consistency develops trust and authority with the target audience of your personal brand. Also, keep your tone and persona consistent, in addition to using design elements such as your logo consistently as well.

Consistency in your brand messaging cannot be stressed enough, especially in your brand developing efforts. After all, what is a personal brand if it doesn’t apply to everything you have worked hard for from the very beginning, from something as all-encompassing as your brand’s messaging to the little things that are equally relevant like your website’s fonts and design, to your slogans and — most importantly — the quality of your work?

Establishing consistent habits initially, especially early on in the process of your brand developing plan, can go a long way in helping you create a strong, identifiable brand for your target audience.


We’ve gone through the various steps throughout this blog post to help you determine what is a personal brand that will work for you. But a big part of brand developing is reaching out to other people as well, those with similar interests that may not only help inspire you, but also actually lend a helping hand and even guide you to sharpen your message, infuse new ideas, and test your own ideas so that you can vastly improve on them.

After all, no human is an island. And while the operative word in the phrase “personal branding” is personal, you don’t need to take it too literally. Welcome like-minded people to your inner circle, and you might just meet new thought partners or mentors who will be instrumental in helping you develop your personal brand.

And so we fittingly end this blog post with the question posed at the beginning: So what is a personal brand? In the end, it’s only you who can determine this. But here’s to hoping that this article has at least given you enough guidance to point you in the right direction.

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