Personal Branding: what it is and how to do it successfully

Personal Branding can be considered as the set of all the actions that are implemented to build a reputation, the so-called Web Reputation, and to ensure that this is perceived correctly online and offline, inside and outside the agency.

Would you like to learn more about the meaning of Personal Branding? Or are you looking for a way to promote yourself online and create new job opportunities? Then this is the article for you.

Below I will show you:

  • Why Personal Branding is important:;
  • How do you create a personal brand;
  • Who need personal branding;
  • Some examples of Personal Branding;

Whether you are a young graduate who is about to enter the world of work a manager, or entrepreneur who is about to present himself for an interview, or a new client, you cannot help but take care of your personal and professional image online and take care of your social profiles.

As they say: there’s only one chance to make a good first impression!

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Personal Branding: meaning

Personal Branding means marketing ourselves but by defining Personal Branding in one sentence, we can define it as the art of promoting oneself. It is a question of carrying out an activity based on the ability to use the best marketing techniques not for a company, but to promote one’s professional image.

In practice, we must start by conceiving ourselves as if we were a brand.

Whatever my social background or age, I am the President, CEO, and Marketing Manager of the company called “Io Spa” – Tom Peters

Entrepreneur Tom Peters, CEO of FastCompany, was the first in 1997 to talk about Personal Branding, indicating with this term the ability to build one’s brand.

Make yourself a brand to be positioned on the professional market and to be promoted in the best possible way, to increase your online reputation and obtain the best results from this activity.

Once you understand what personal branding is, you need to understand how to do it, and how to start taking care of, positioning, and advertising your brand image. You can choose to operate these activities offline, with a certain investment in the marketing budget, or do personal branding online through digital marketing strategies that will allow you to maximize your results with much lower costs, or even zero in terms of money.

To carry out the personal branding work in the best possible way, all marketing aspects must certainly be considered a bit, but I would say that the most important one is professional positioning, i.e. the so-called Professional Positioning.

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Why do personal branding?

Today, self-promotion is essential for everyone, regardless of the type of job you have and what stage of your career you are in. As previously mentioned, we must think that the curriculum vitae goes beyond the piece of paper that we give to our interlocutor. We can be sure that recruiters and potential clients will be looking for more information about us, both online on websites and social networks and offline by talking to our previous clients or employers.

So what is the main purpose of Personal Branding? For managers, professionals, and employees, self-branding represents a tool for professional retraining, career advancement, or the start of self-employment. Instead, for young people it is essential to embark on a professional path and enter the job market. We learn to attract the people who want us for what we can do and how we do it.

how to build your personal branding

Promoting yourself will be infinitely easier if you have first positioned yourself correctly in the employment market, well defining and consolidating your professional positioning.

So how to sell our image?

Just as it is done for a brand, to position your self-brand, you will have to carry out an analysis of the market in which you want to work, of its trends, analyzing its growth index. You will also need to examine your competitors, in this case, other professionals in your sector, to understand what your unique selling proposition is, or your personal value proposition, what differentiates you, and what only you can offer to a potential employer of work or customer.

The secret lies in differentiation and thanks to personal branding you will be unique and authoritative.

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Personal Branding vs. Brand Identity

As already mentioned, Personal Branding is the art of promoting oneself, but to avoid confusion it is good to underline the differences between personal branding and brand identity.

First of all, what is a brand?

To explain the meaning of a brand we can say that the brand is a trademark, an identifying symbol, or a name that companies use to differentiate their products from others. Consumers identify companies through their brand, which despite being something untouchable, is part of the social capital and has a longer life than the products and structures of the company itself.

Therefore, while with personal branding we mean the ability of people to exploit marketing techniques to position themselves as authoritative professionals in their sector, with Brand Identity we mean the union of the name, logo, products, and knowledge and represents the way where companies want to be perceived by consumers.

How to do Personal Branding?

Here are 5 tips for carrying out Personal Branding:

  1. focus on your strengths and weaknesses, then carry out an in-depth analysis of yourself;
  2. do the market analysis and identify which are the growing markets;
  3. define the target market, that is, choose among those that are growing the one that best corresponds to your aptitudes; you could understand the basic principles of search engines, to then position yourself and thus gain visibility;
  4. produce quality content and keep active to ensure constant growth of your branding; you could, for example, understand what are the principles of effective work on social media and then, through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram profiles, do a job of distributing your professional profile, in particular through the production of contents that reflect at best the professional identity you want to convey;
  5. to do personal branding online, start from a single sector of Digital Marketing and then gradually expand your knowledge. There are many other activities that you could do, such as creating a website or blog where you can write content and where you can give an idea of your skills and abilities. Or, if you are better able to promote yourself through photos and land on social networks such as Instagram or Youtube if you prefer videos.

To create your Personal Branding strategy, you could consider attending a course, reading the blogs of personalities who have made their respective image a commercial vehicle for their company, just think of Steve Jobs and Apple for example, or reading books on personal branding, or rely on a career coach for personal branding coaching.

Just as personal trainers train people from a physical point of view, so there are personal coaches, or life coaches, who train and motivate people about more internal aspects, such as personal and job satisfaction. But beyond hiring a professional, there are many activities you can do on your own to support yourself and achieve your career goals.

It is very effective to try to do online marketing activities that make you attractive and unique, capable of attracting professional opportunities towards you. This is what a correct personal branding activity must allow you to achieve.

Use the main communication channels and acquire the skills to be able to promote yourself to the fullest!


Personal Branding on Social Media

Social media has the power to connect us with millions of people and amplify our voices. Taking into account that each social channel has its characteristics, it is advisable to choose which ones to appear in and how to do it. This list of the best social media marketing books can help you.

To build our Brand on Social Media it is useful to know all the possibilities offered by each network. Identifying the best personal promotion channels and having a clear understanding of their peculiarities will help us to better convey the message we want to convey. A personal brand is indeed built through different channels, but the image that the web gives back is perceived as unique, so being consistent on each profile must be a must.

personal branding on social-media

To be consistent, it is also important to be part of a network that contributes positively to our branding.

Among the various social networks to do Personal Branding:

  • Twitter is a kind of micro-blogging platform with only 280 characters to tell each other, comment, and share. It is an excellent tool for monitoring influencers and brands, especially if they are organized in lists, while the power of hashtags is that of being able to identify us in a market sector, according to specific personal characteristics for which we want our professional profile to be interesting ;
  • Facebook is by far the most used social network for personal purposes, so it is better to customize the privacy settings and pay attention to what you publish;
  • YouTube is used to promote itself through video sharing;
  • Pinterest through images;

To convey messages, in addition to the social media just seen, the two most important tools for doing Personal Branding are LinkedIn and Instagram. Let’s see them together.

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Using LinkedIn is very popular and, to date, it is the best social network where to build your branding, this is because, unlike the others, it is a professional platform.

For professionals or those looking for new job opportunities, personal branding on LinkedIn is the way to communicate yourself most authoritatively, thus improving your professional image.

It is therefore important:

  • update your profile regularly;
  • create a network of professionals who interest us;
  • ask for and reciprocate reports from our colleagues, customers, and suppliers;
  • join groups related to your sector;
  • have conversations;

The LinkedIn profile is your showcase and if you want to successfully attract clients or recruiters, you need to take care of every detail, from the profile photo to the summary and professional biography.

Publish quality content regularly and not rely on improvisation, create an editorial plan that will allow you to be consistent and not waste time looking for new topics every day.


Personal Branding on Instagram is the most immediate way to involve your audience if you want to tell your story through images.

Once you have defined your niche, i.e. identified the market in which you want to position yourself, observe your competitors, to see which content is more effective and how they communicate with followers.

The bio on Instagram is the first thing users see when they visit your profile, so try to make it attractive and describe clearly and succinctly who you are and what you do.

As for the images, try to publish content that is consistent with your goal but above all original. To get noticed, it is essential to distinguish yourself from your competitors.

As with LinkedIn, even on Instagram, it is not enough to publish interesting content, you will have to develop an editorial plan and post regularly to increase followers and engagement.

After having seen in detail how to do Personal Branding on social media, we can say that the combination of these actions helps build the Professional Brand and increase one’s visibility. Carrying out strategic and integrated activities on these platforms will help support personal web reputation. Your Brand Identity will thus be strengthened and thanks to a profitable network of relationships, you will be able to attract new job opportunities.

Personal Branding Strategy

First, to achieve your goals, you will need to define a strategy, i.e. your personal branding strategy.

personal branding strategy tips

If you were a computer, you would have to work on assembling components, installing software, and so on, but you are a human being and the personal characteristics you will have to work on are:

  • your aptitudes;
  • your strengths;
  • the resources you have available;
  • your weaknesses;
  • your motivations.

These are all elements that make up your personality and you will have to consider them to correctly position your product in the segment in which it can best express itself.

You may be wondering: ok, but how do you find the right professional placement?

Well, to answer this question, I’ll explain below which visual tool to use to make a series of assessments regarding both internal elements, ie yourself and your personality, and external elements, the market, and its trends.

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Personal Branding Canvas

The Personal Branding Canvas model is part of a set of tools called the Professional Innovation Toolkit which makes it easier to build a strategy aimed at communicating ourselves in the best possible way and being perceived by the public as valuable and authoritative subjects.

The Personal Branding Canvas, distributed by BigName, was invented by Luigi Centenario and is the ideal visual tool for developing a personal branding strategy as effectively and quickly as possible.

branding canvas model

This model allows you to:

  • quickly determine goals;
  • identify your added value;
  • define the strategy with its customers.

In its graphic representation, the personal branding canvas groups into nine blocks the whole branding process with which a person can identify his value and how to develop it and communicate it to his audience, obtaining respect and visibility.

To make the most of this model, it is necessary to enter all the information useful for promoting your branding and compile it as truthfully as possible, to understand whether we can be an added value or, on the contrary, a cost.

Who is Personal Branding for?

Personal Branding can be useful to many people, from the recent graduate entering the world of work for the first time, as well as a professional (freelance, consultant, manager, or entrepreneur) who has been working in his sector for years.

This is because, as we indicated at the beginning, the people who have to hire us or work with us, will carry out searches on search engines or social networks to find out more about us, about the work we have done, and about the customers we have had. This is why it is essential to take care of the personal brand image, which will be much more effective than any other business card.

who is personal branding for

Here are some examples of using Persona Branding.

Let’s say you are a person who is already in the job market but has understood that in the next few years, he needs to move professionally to another segment of this market because his profession is saturated or in decline. Well, in this case, you will have to do a professional retraining and repositioning job that will help you shift your focus and get new job opportunities.

However, the typical situation of the under 30s is different.

I know thousands of guys who have attended my courses over the years: some of them have completely made the wrong choice of university path; others, despite having chosen the right course of study for them, have not found professional opportunities thanks to these studies. Well, what these guys have to do is retrain, reposition, and re-propose themselves to the job market through personal branding techniques.

Another still very recurring situation is that of the freelancer who carries out a series of activities for his clients who are no longer in step with the times, such as traditional marketing, press reviews, and journalism. Today, these professionals realize that to still be attractive to customers, they need to offer them different and up-to-date professional skills compared to those they have had up to now.

Finally, another condition, for example, is that of the entrepreneur, who wants to convey and make his company credible. The best way to do this is through an activity that first of all makes the person driving it credible. In this case, being able to correctly manage your image could mean generating an interesting return in terms of reputation and visibility for your business; it can mean attracting new opportunities for us – personal marketing – and for the company indeed.

Knowing how to communicate your uniqueness and differentiate yourself from your competitors by valuing your professional qualities and experience can make a customer, supplier or employer choose you over your competitor.

Personal branding examples

From reading this article, you will have understood how important Personal Branding is and where it can be achieved by exploiting all the opportunities of an excellent strategy. To further show you its potential, I want to give you some examples of people who have used digital tools to make their brand known.

Surely the first person we think of is Chiara Ferragni, who since 2013, first through her blog, then with social media, has become one of the most followed influencers, with a following of over 20 million followers. Another example, certainly not as good as the first, is Nina Mufleh. She had the dream of working for Airbnb, the portal where you can rent accommodation all over the world.

personal branding examples

Due to the strong competition, it wasn’t an easy dream, so how do you manage to get noticed among the thousands of other competitors? She didn’t lose heart, she was ingenious and created a new site where she compiled reports for Airbnb on places to invest in and where the brand was not yet present. Her reports were successful and went viral. Here is an example of Personal Branding from which you could take inspiration.

Don’t forget that managing your image and reputation go hand in hand, so you need to understand how you are considered online and how to take care of your web reputation.

You will need to ask yourself:

  • On which social networks do we talk about ourselves?
  • How authoritative is the speaker?
  • How knowledgeable are you about the subject we identify with being experts?
  • What are you talking about?
  • How do we talk about it and how often?

There are brand reputation management software and free tools to monitor online reputation.

In general, we must think that users are much more motivated to express a negative opinion, or to leave a review when they are not satisfied with a product or service. It is more difficult to get those who are satisfied to express an opinion, but we must also consider that the trust gained online today leads to new contacts tomorrow. If negative feedback cannot be avoided, be prepared to respond promptly to maintain our online reputation, otherwise, those who seek information about us will not be positively impressed.

The best books on Personal Branding

Digital Marketing is constantly evolving and so are the techniques for advertising. Personal branding is not easy, so it is important to know the subject well and keep up to date. Fortunately, there is a lot of content available on the web today with which you can stay informed, but often the best advice can be found in books.

Among the best books on Personal Branding I want to point out Seth Godin and his The Purple Cow, a book in which the author explains how to make ourselves or what we create memorable, to distinguish ourselves from the crowd and be successful.

If in addition to these readings, you want to deepen and become an expert in Personal Branding, sign up for Digital-Coach’s Personal Branding and Professional Success course and rely on specialists who will guide you step by step in learning how to advertise yourself and how to attract work.

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