Personal Branding Essay Example

Personal branding can be a real stumper for many people. It’s hard to look at yourself objectively, especially when it’s to think about your assets.

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With personal branding, you are not only thinking about your assets, you are thinking about what you want to be known for. I believe a great way to help understand something is to define it by giving good supportive examples.

Before I launch into giving examples, let’s recap the definition of personal branding. Personal branding is essentially what you are known for and what people seek you out for. If you are the “go-to” person for graphical design, then your personal brand is all about graphical design, even if that is not your job.

I once knew a finance analyst who, in his own words, was an “Excel God.” He knew Excel (software) at a depth that no one else did. He knew it so well it was almost his position in the finance organization, because he not only was the “go-to” person, he was a critical asset to that group because of it.

You can add to that definition what you want to be known for, because your personal brand is also aligning the image people have of you to where you are headed. You don’t become president without helping people see you (and your personal brand) in that role.

Great Personal Branding Examples

Let’s look at some career people, their personal brand and what makes them stand out.

#1 Profile: Marketing Person with 30+ years in a variety of industries and company sizes

  • Personal brand concepts: “No-limits marketing,” leverage and innovative nature, traditional marketing and online social marketing, no limits to creative marketing solutions, “practiced hand” that creates solutions by adjusting the solutions to each company’s mission, product, strategy and industry.
  • Stand out: Many people get nervous about crossing over to other industries, but this person puts it out there as an asset. They are clear about the range of marketing they can deliver and why they can effectively adjust to each company.

#2 Profile: Career Coach, Author and Speaker

  • Personal brand concepts: Internationally renowned, recognized for advancing the needs of job seekers and enhancing training strategies for career coaches, recognized as the 1st “motivational” career coach in the US. Works with job seekers, career coaches & job coaches worldwide.
  • Stand out: The concepts almost jump off of the page with energy. No wonder this person is a top rated motivational career coach, because they help you understand that is what they are known for; and that’s to get you excited!

#3 Profile: Event Planner, Program Coordinator, Project Manager

  • Personal brand concepts: Master organizer with an eye for detail, meticulously create and execute special events. “You name it, and I will plan it with confidence and enthusiasm.”
  • Stand out: This works because you truly understand that this person is organized, detailed oriented and bubbly, all at the same time. You really get the idea that you would enjoy working with this person while they were pulling together your event.

If you are unclear about your personal brand, just pay attention to what your co-workers seek you out for. That is a good place to start. To further develop your understanding, study these examples, even if none of them are exactly what you do. Hopefully, they will help prompt you to “get it” about your brand so you can communicate it clearly to others.

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This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Personal Branding Examples (good ones) are not exactly easy to find. “What personal branding examples are really worth mimicking?”

If you are just starting to get into personal branding, this is probably a question you’ve been asking. It’s a really important question  and one that I hear all the time.

In a world saturated by companies and individuals advertising their image, it takes a well-defined personal brand to really stand out. It’s easy to let your voice become drowned in a sea of competing voices. Without knowing what to do, a lot of people just settle for whatever they can get when it comes to building their own personal brand.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are principles–some age-old, some still emerging–that can and will bring your personal brand to the forefront of your target audience’s consciousness. The days just of being a piece of paper in the middle of a tall stack are over for those who are willing to invest in a solid, results-oriented strategy.

This is not to say that resumes are an antiquated part of your personal brand; in fact nothing could be further from the truth. A good resume may be the very foundation for an effective personal brand, which is why we offer it as one of our core services. (Click here to learn more about our resume writing service).

But no good personal branding strategy stops with just a resume. Where do you go next? Well that’s exactly what I am here to share. In this  article I will show you 3 good personal branding examples, and discuss what makes them so special. Studying these personal branding examples is  a perfect way to get started building your own personal brand. Self-education is a  great way to build foundational knowledge before you venture into the increasingly competitive job market. Do it right and you’re bound to have a rewarding and opportunity-rich future you’ve always dreamed of.

If you’ve gotten this far and you find yourself asking, “What in the heck do you even mean by ‘personal brand’?”, let’s make sure we’re working with a common definition.

“Personal branding” is simple; it’s showing potential employers, clients and the world at large who you are and what you stand for. Let’s face it, we all take first impressions pretty seriously. In an increasingly digital age, whether you know a person or not, you probably start making assumptions about him/her long before you meet in person, and their impression is usually only solidified after you exchange names and handshakes.

Personal branding gives you the power to come across honestly, clearly and powerfully. From that first meeting to all future interactions you’ll have with someone, it’s your responsibility to constantly emphasize your “best side.”

Okay, so now that you have a definition, I know you probably have more questions. For instance, people often say, “Wait. I don’t think I have a best side.” Others say, [blockquote] I’ve already shown off my best side and no one seems to care! [/blockquote]

Bear with me.

The personal branding experience is a formative one. Defining who you are is more than A) giving up because you don’t think you have potential or B) refusing to modify your personal brand because it just isn’t up to par. You need to be flexible just as you need to be creative.

I’m going to let you in on a secret that’s applicable to many different areas of life. Here it is: often the first step of creativity is copying. Yes, I said it: the secret is copying. If you aren’t sure about this, than you MUST pick up Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like an Artist”. He’ll set you straight.

As Austin so brilliantly points out, if you are flexible enough and you really want your personal brand to be seen as unique, interesting and professional, you have to borrow some ideas.

Now, I could just say, “Good luck with that! Hope you find some great personal branding examples to get you started. Have a nice day!” But that’s not why I’m here. I don’t want you to make blind stabs in the dark, hoping you’ll come up with a semi-successful solution someday.

Instead, let me introduce you to three personal branding examples I believe contain clues to creating a wildly successful public image. After each example, I’ll explain exactly what it is that makes each of these personal branding examples so unique and so “copyable”.

Personal Branding Examples #1: Darren Hardy

Personal Branding Examples #1: Darren Hardy

Darren is a personal branding superhero. You don’t have to browse around his website for long to understand that. Sure he’s got a ton of experience to back up every amazing claim he makes about himself, but that’s not what catches your attention, is it? When you go to personal branding websites like Darren’s, you’re not enamored by the snazzy career profile or the titles of books that he’s written. Admit it, you’re impressed by the pictures.

Trust me, you’re not the only one. Darren’s site is one of the most attractive of its kind. A little bit of photographic love has gone a very long way for Mr. Hardy. We know just by looking that he’s a speaker, a writer, a professional and someone who could just as well be the guy who lives next door.

In an age that so image-driven, good visual presentation can’t be stressed enough. Investing in good photography, a good web designer and/or even a good image consultant can be worth double your investment. Remember, a good personal brand is concerned with how others see you. If you trying to get starting in building your personal brand, your online presence is key. One of the first steps you should take is to you should take a page out of Mr. Hardy’s book and ask yourself, “Do I make an irresistible visual first impression?” If the answer is no, you should probably get started on that pronto.

As you do, remember what you learn from Darren: Personal branding principle #1: Create an impressive visual presentation. Of course, as you work on the visuals on your own personal website, remember that Cold Collar offers some incredible visual website options, each one built to impress. You can learn more here:

Personal Branding Examples #2: Marie Forleo

Just like Darren, much could be said for Marie Forleo’s visual presentation, but I want to focus on something that, thought it’s more subtle, is also just as powerful as good images. Visit Forleo’s website and you’ll find content that is down-to-earth, simple and relational. She uses multiple media platforms to get her basic but engaging message across and, by the time you’ve read one of her blog posts or even her “about” page, you already feel like she’s family.

The words she uses are simply phenomenal.

Forleo does something with her words that we could all learn from: she’s herself. Even as you browse through photos of her hugging celebrities or paragraph-length encomiums of her social and financial success, you aren’t alienated. In fact, you’re invited into the author’s life.

It’s easy to be deceived into thinking that the best personal branding example is full of niche jargon and high-falootin business prose. That’s just not true. People who market themselves well, market themselves, not caricatures of themselves. It doesn’t matter if you’ve built a financial empire like Forleo or if you’re only just starting out in the career world, you’re still you and, though it may sound cliche, embracing your uniqueness is key to good living.

Your words can make or break your personal brand. Experts like Forleo prove that just being you is one of the best weapons in your branding arsenal!

As you work on creating accurate, yet powerful and down-to-earth language to really describe who you are, remember what Marie so wonderfully teaches us: Personal branding principle #2: Be yourself using simple and powerful words to convey your message.

Look, it’s not always easy to say what you want to say in a powerful way. If you know that you’ve got a great story to tell but need some help saying it, that that’s what we’re here for! We’d be happy to help you write compelling copy both on your resume, your LinkedIn or your personal website. All you have to do is ask!

Personal Branding Examples #3: Tony Norton, CO-Founder of Sign Of Change 

An online presence is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not everything. Tony Norton sure uses the internet to supplement his message, but he’s done so much more than that. What I love about Tony is the way he presents himself in person.

See, Tony is a guy that once struggled with suicidal thoughts, but eventually realized that he has true value and can make a real difference!  He started Sign of Change because Suicide prevention is a real passion of his! Tony is not just about creating a story online –  the story he tells is real, and it shows in person too!

Tony’s brand is something he cares passionately about because he genuinely wants to help others see their own inherent value. He wears it on his face, he carries it with him when he talks and it is a part of everything he does! Sure, he has some rough edges, (don’t we all?), but what is so cool is that Tony is just plain and simple real with people.

“Wait,” you’re saying, “I thought we were talking about personal branding here. Doesn’t that mean everything but interviews, face-to-face conversations and real human interactions?”

No, no, NO! The way you present yourself in person is just as important to your personal branding message as anything else! I need you to understand something about this whole process: it’s not just about how you present yourself, it’s about who you really are.

The best personal brand will be born out of genuine character, outstanding relatability, stellar integrity and an unbeatable work ethic. In the end, you just can’t fake a brand. If you’re not willing to do as Tony does and show off who you are in real life, then it sure as heck won’t come across convincingly on your website, on your LinkedIn, on your resume or when you meet your next potential employer.  When you are a real “behind-the-scenes” guy or gal, your brand begins with story and an honest passion for what you do. Ultimately, this kind of real, three-dimensional, human-interest mindset is what drives good brand.

And that is personal branding principle #3: Don’t just create your brand on paper, or online: Live it! It’s a fundamental part of who you are.

Guess what? You now have three essential tools in your brand-building toolbox. These personal branding examples are key to the next step that you’re going to take.

Hold on, what is the next step?

Well, after you check out my personal branding example pages for some additional ideas (,,,,, than the why not take your own personal brand to the next level?

In fact, you’re already in the right place! Cold Collar has an incredible offer just for you. We know the hardest part of building a great personal brand is starting, so we want to help. Are you wondering what direction to take with your job hunt, business idea or personal venture? Let us clear a path for you.

Our first consultation is always 100% FREE!

When we we chat in person or on the phone, for your consultation,  we’ll go beyond these personal branding examples. We’ll get started with an evaluation that will allow us to use your experience, skills and unique personality to help you take the next step in your career.

We believe you have the potential to be the next outstanding personal branding example that people will flock to for reference. When they ask you how you did it, don’t forget to point them back to Cold Collar where we are in the business of showing off your best side!

To get started now, contact us by emailing, or by giving us a call at (419) 482-8566.

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