How to Build Your Personal Brand



It’s the last day of January and we’re ending this first month of 2020 with some wisdom on how to clean up (or get started on) building your personal brand.

There’s one thing you need to know first:

Your personal brand is how the world sees you.  

When it comes to a personal brand, the main elements that matter are integrity, attitude, behaviors, beliefs, and respect. Remember, it’s NOT how you see yourself. So if you have some behaviors and attitudes that you know could use some upgrading, this is a great time to give yourself some honest and real self-talk.

Here are five articles to help you define your personal brand, build your personal brand, and promote your personal brand.

1. A simple 5-step process to creating a powerful brand.

This article from Inc. Magazine gives a simple five step process for deciding how you want to show up, finding a platform, creating a social network and then communicating your message. One big takeaway is, “Building a personal brand means providing so much value in one niche that people begin to associate your name with the idea of what it means to be successful in that industry.” If you can do that, you’re on your way to creating a powerful personal brand.

2. The 10 golden rules of personal branding.

Once you’ve gone through the process of determining how you want to show up, make sure to take a look at these 10 golden rules of personal branding from Forbes. Each golden rule provides insight and additional links to helpful research, articles and books. At the heart of the article, however, is the suggested tweet, “[Your personal brand is] the difference between ‘who are you?’ and ‘thank you for being here’ in your career.”

3. How to clean up your online persona.

For those of you who are working hard on refining your personal brand as you continue on your career, this article by Fast Company gives great advice on how to clean it up. There is great advice here from some industry heavyweights including Dorie Clark, Mark Schaefer, and Natasa Djukanovic. The takeaway? If you feel you have a lot of work to do, don’t worry. There is a way to pivot and the material from these authors is very helpful.

4. How to successfully build your personal brand. 

I get many requests about recommendations for podcasts. This podcast from Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner is an interview with Rory Vaden, a brand building expert. When it comes to building a personal brand, the social media element plays a large role in creating awareness. This podcast also explores how to create a personal brand and how to monetize it. This is what takes a personal brand from “how I show up to work” and amplifies it to “what I truly believe in.” Once you develop a following, you’ve now created demand for your point of view.

One example of how this worked well is with the Food Babe. She started out sharing her perspective on food with a small audience. That audience grew, allowing her to cultivate her following, develop a persona, create a business around her platform, and now develop products for sale. You don’t have to agree with her perspective, but she is definitely a successful example of how a personal brand can turn into a lucrative business.

5. Take control of your personal brand.

This article by provides their version of the definitive guide to personal branding. It gives detailed steps and how-to advice on researching your own “paper trail” online. This is about your online presence and what people will find when they Google you. It can be daunting to do this exercise, but it’s worth going through the steps to clean up your online image.

If you find that your career or business is not progressing the way you want, then it’s time to go a little deeper to discover where you’re coming up short. You may see yourself as a powerful leader who gets things done, but if your job responsibilities and social circle do not reflect that, you will have some work to do.

Ask yourself what small changes you could make to set yourself on the path to a personal brand that reflects your deepest desires. Here’s another way to frame it:

  • Who do you want to become?
  • Where do you see yourself in your current career?
  • How far apart are those two visions?
  • How much work will you need to do?

A quick and easy first step is to clean up your online presence. Developing the vision of how you want to be seen makes it that much easier to step into that reality.


Christina Holloway is an executive coach and business coach. She helps executives and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster, create results-driven teams, and increase profitability. She has been featured in ForbesThe Huffington PostAddicted2Success and Fast Company. If you’re interested in working with Christina, take a look at her strategy sessions and contact her to get started.

Christina Holloway