The Guide to Personal Branding with Examples

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Personal branding is vital for anyone who wants to build a reputation for themselves as an expert in their industry, but there’s still a lot of disinformation around it and not everyone knows how to go about establishing their personal brand.

We spend a lot of time working with people who want to develop their personal brand, and we’ve pulled together this guide to provide a few insights into what to look out for. And so without further ado, let’s take a closer look at personal branding for your business.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is the art, science and practice of using business branding tactics on an individual. We’re all familiar with branding to a certain extent, whether it’s iconic tag lines like “Just do it” or whether it’s visual elements like Coca Cola red or the Snapchat ghost (which is called Ghostface Chillah).

Personal branding aims to do the same kind of thing. We’re talking about turning individuals into brands, creating an established look and feel and tone of voice that makes them instantly recognisable no matter where you come across them.

Done well, personal branding can turn people into celebrities or position them as influencers in their industries. In fact, if you take a look at your favourite online personality, there’s a good chance that they’re using at least some elements of personal branding on their website and social media profiles.

Defining personal branding can be tricky, except to say that it’s the individual equivalent of what businesses spend billions of dollars every year on to try to make them stand out from the competition. For us to get a better idea of what personal branding actually looks like, we’re going to take a look at a few tangible examples. But first, let’s take a look at personal branding in business.

What is personal branding in business?

Personal branding is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy because it allows companies to put their employees to use as advocates for their products and services. Employee advocacy is a good idea because leads developed through employee advocacy are seven times more likely to convert and companies with successful employee advocacy programs are 58% more likely to attract and 20% more likely to retain top talent.

Most companies are using at least some elements of personal branding, even if it’s just that they’re encouraging them to post on LinkedIn and providing them with personalised business cards. Some also encourage them to write articles for the company blog that they post alongside a photo and a by-line.

Some companies are hesitant to encourage employees to develop their personal brand for fear that it will boost their employability and lead to them moving to a different company or requiring a higher salary to keep them. As we saw from those retention statistics, though, this simply isn’t true.

But who are some of the people who are doing the best job at personal branding, and how are they applying their brands in the business world? Well, it’s funny you should ask.

Personal brand examples

1. Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is an interesting example of personal branding because he started out as the CEO of a wine store and built a reputation by filming a show called Wine Library TV where he tried and reviewed different wines.

Vaynerchuk’s videos were so successful that he went on to become a marketing thought leader and bestselling author, as well as the owner of a marketing agency. He’s shown the power of content creation for personal branding as well as how important it is to be perceived as an expert – in this case, both at wine and marketing.

2. Bill Nye

Bill Nye has done such a good job with his personal branding that as soon as someone says his name, we immediately think, “The Science Guy”. His scientific knowledge has also ensured that he’s one of the first people that the media approaches for comment, even when there are specialist scientists with more subject matter expertise than he has.

Nye is interesting because his signature bowties and quirky personality and sense of humour are what set him apart from other influencers in the space. His enthusiasm for his subject is so infectious that it’s no surprise that kids around the world are being turned on to science as a result of his work.

3. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is one of the world’s most well-known public speakers, and while he’s mostly known for his financial advice, he’s been known to talk about almost everything. In part, that’s due to how prolific he is, both when it comes to public speaking and when it comes to his seminars.

Robbins has been on the scene for quite a while now, and his public persona has evolved with the times. He’s no longer the brash and boisterous public speaker that he once was, and he reflects his more mature outlook with a more conservative clothing style and some more serious written and visual assets on his website and social media profiles.

4. Tim Ferriss

If you’ve heard of Tim Ferriss before, it’s probably because of his 4-Hour Work Week, a concept that he pioneered and wrote about in a book of the same name. He’s since built upon that work and established an impressive personal brand that ensures that he’s the first person that people go to when they’re looking for comment on entrepreneurship and the future of work.

Tim also puts his money where his mouth is, creating a ton of great content that aims to teach people to follow his four-hour outline. He also does a great job of podcasting with his Tim Ferriss Show.

5. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is known and loved throughout America and the world for being one of the best and most approachable celebrity chefs on the planet. She’s also been known to dabble in interior and exterior design.

What’s interesting about Stewart is that her website and social media profiles are crammed full of creative ideas to help people to make the most out of their homes, whether they’re cooking up a storm in a kitchen or working on a DIY project for the garden. Better still, her uniquely down-to-earth voice comes across in everything she does.

6. Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish is a great example of someone who became an icon at a young age, and both her music and her digital presence blend together experimentalism, approachability and pop sensibilities. The result is a unique persona that’s simultaneously very true to who she is as a person.

In fact, she’s a perfect example of someone who’s been able to build a consistent personal brand around themselves despite the fact that it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what that brand consists of. It’s just that everything she does somehow “feels” like Billie Eilish.

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What’s Next?

Now that you know a little more about personal branding, it’s over to you so that you can put what you’ve learned today into practice. Of course, if you still need some help with developing and implementing your personal brand, we’ve got you covered there, too.

We specialise in helping people just like you to find the perfect agency to help them out, so reach out to us today to find out more. You can also leave a comment to keep the discussion going or follow us on your favorite social networking sites for more. We’ll see you soon!


Written By
Picture of Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi started CJAM Marketing after realizing that most business owners don’t know how to evaluate the value of a marketing agency or assess their own needs. Since every business is different not only in their needs but where they are at in the growth process, it isn’t a one size fits all. In the past 5 years, Behdad (or Bee) has met with and assessed 800+ marketing agencies and vetted them down to a lean 100 preferred partners across all marketing niches. After pairing hundreds of businesses with the right partners, he’s found his skillset lies in the matchmaking process. Featured in MarketWatch, Bloomberg, National Post and the Financial Post, Bee’s unique background in marketing, engineering, consulting, leadership, sales and strategy, has allowed him to serve as the conduit between business owners and the marketing teams they need.
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