Sometimes people believe that our first impressions arise independently of us and that we can't influence them.
But this isn't true.
Before making a decision, we gather information from several sources: social networks, our acquaintances, professionals, etc. In the same way that we judge a movie by others' ratings or a hotel by TripAdvisor reviews, others judge us by our online and offline words and activity.
Here are the best personal branding ideas that will help you develop a brand that works for you, not one that you have to work for.
1. Be sincere
Many people try to present themselves as different than they really are, but their personal brands seem fake and disingenuous. This is not a winning strategy. Sooner or later, people will realize that the image they're being shown is fake.
Your audience wants to see a real person with real strengths and weaknesses. Share not only your successes, but also your bitter lessons. If you are launching your third startup, don't lie and say that all of the previous ones were huge successes; instead, explain what you learned from your previous failed startups and how this experience will help you build an even stronger company now.
Sean is a 33-year-old entrepreneur who writes a blog about how he manages to travel the world and live the life he loves.
Sean clearly lives the brand he portrays. He comes across as genuine and enthusiastic. His social media accounts complement his image and mostly use the same profile picture.
How can you be sincere?
Engage subscribers in discussions. Create provocative content, get subscribers to argue and voice their opinions. Interact with followers and subscribers. Ask questions and reply to comments.
2. Build trust
A strong personal brand is primarily about influencing people and building trust. A person with a strong personal brand is able to induce their audience to make certain choices, perform certain actions and change their worldviews.
Everyone has the potential to build a strong personal brand. The main task is to unleash this potential and further develop your expertise and competencies.
On an internet filled with SEO experts (and wannabe-experts), you'll come across people who are supposed to increase your web traffic by millions of percent. But such people are usually scammers.
Brian Dean is an internet blogger and a true pro when it comes to Google SEO. With well-thought-out content, real-life reviews, and no ads, his website positions him as a trusted expert. His personal brand is entirely based on trust and expertise—no scams in sight.
3. Work on your own visuals
Visual self-presentation and style are important. Determine how it is acceptable for you to look in public and whether your image allows for outrageousness.
Think about how you present yourself in the digital space: What fonts, colors and illustrations you use on your site, and how much do these correspond to what you do?
If you've been following Marie Forleo and her award-winning web show, MarieTV, for a while, you know that her website and everything around her is 100% in line with her brand and vision.
She did a really great job on everything to do with design. The high-quality photos showing her personality, the colors, etc. are great.
4. Find your brand voice
Finding your voice and learning how to use it to build your personal brand is the foundation for your success. Your voice could be your way of speaking, or your visuals. Your task is to decide what you want to convey to your audience and understand how to achieve this.
Alice Thorpe describes herself on her YouTube channel as "a freelance graphic designer stumbling through life one pixel at a time." Alice isn't afraid to poke fun at herself, and this self-contained slogan is a great introduction to her brand.
The way she addresses her target audience gives us an idea of her personality.
Your brand voice needs to be authentic, and Alice does a great job of consistently revealing her identity through all her fantastic content.
5. Keep things simple
Remember that people of all ages and internet-savvy levels will view your content.
No matter how much information you want to share on your personal websites, it should be easy for anyone to understand.
Bill Nye may be known for his bowties and jokes about science, but behind his popularity lies a man who values a growing understanding of science.
His stage image is one of an affable nerd, but his background as a mechanical engineer has lifted him from a television character blowing up test tubes of colored liquids to a reliable expert.
Although his website promotes his books and an online store, much of the content is science-related and accessible even to those who have never worn a lab coat.
6. Create video content
Videos are the future of social media. People perceive information more easily in visuals than in writing. Shoot content like masterclasses, video tips, interesting stories and social videos.
Nesha Woolery greets us with, “Hey designer lady!” She speaks directly to her audience.
With her project management and organization skills, Nesha offers a large number of online courses and videos for women designers.
She offers services tailored to a specific demographic with a light, fresh design that complements her personal brand aesthetic.
7. Use branded links
A branded link is a shortened URL created around a brand name or a related term that helps connect a business through the links, content and information you share online.
Branded links look professional, link your posts to your site and allow you to promote your personal brand rather than promoting a general link-shortening service.
Joel is good at posting to social media using personal branded links that redirect to his personal branded domain. His branded links and branded domain always work together.
And when other people share his content, the link stays the same, further expanding his brand.
8. Be diverse and unique
Your interests are part of what makes you unique. Whatever your passions, you can most likely find a way to incorporate them into your brand.
Rosemarie Groner, of The Busy Budgeter, used to be a State Trooper before she became a regular blogger.
She mainly focuses on how to budget and create a more organized home and life.
She has done a wonderful job of narrowing down a specific niche that combines both her budget people and bloggers.
This suggests that your personal brand can be versatile if you create it right.
9. Build partnerships with other brands
Even at the very beginning of developing your personal brand, it is important to start building relationships with other brands and people. This will give you a great advantage in further development.
Bryan is the founder of VideoFruit and Growth Tools. He works to help people grow their email list and give high value even in free content.
His great strategy was to partner with other brands to expand his email list. This is what makes Bryan one of the best personal brand examples.
10. Personalize your images
The most important thing to remember about your personal brand is that it must be personal. Using stock photos or not publishing your own images makes your site impersonal. Creating unique images will go a long way in telling your story.
Amy Porterfield has a large number of personalized images on her website and elsewhere. Her blog and social media sites are filled with selfies and branded graphic designs. You won't find any stock photos.
On top of that, she is open and honest about how difficult it is to start a new venture and about what she did when she realized she was building the wrong business.
11. Send out an email newsletter
With the help of email newsletters, you can not just collect a customer base, but also constantly monitor its relevance. Email statistics will show which subscribers have not opened your letters for a long time, and which are actively interested in your services or products.
Email newsletters are an unobtrusive way to stay in touch with your clients. Send letters with interesting suggestions, wish your audience a happy holiday, ask them to leave a review—this way you will constantly remind your audience of your personal brand.
Include useful customer information such as reviews and tips in your emails. Show your audience that you are a professional in your field, and that it is important for you not only to sell your goods and services but also to help your audience solve their problem.
David Siteman Garland
Just a glance at David Siteman Garland's unique website dedicated to his show The Rise To The Top will also reveal his personality.
David is a guy who is not afraid to speak up and stand out. Right on the homepage, you'll find quality images, information about his show and who his target audience is, and a very clear call to action to subscribe to his VIP mailing list. Building a mailing list is super important when you're first promoting your personal brand.
12. Develop a personal brand statement
A personal brand statement is a one- or two-sentence phrase that accurately summarizes what you do and stand for.
Basically, this is your unique selling proposition, something that you do better than any of your competitors. Consider this your slogan.
The best personal branding statements are catchy and eye-catching.
"Do you want more traffic?"
Neil is a New York Times bestselling author. The Wall Street Journal names him the most influential person on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine reports that he has created one of the 100 most brilliant companies.
The president recognized him as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs Under 30, and the United Nations said he was among the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35.
His personal brand statement is extremely simple, but it works because he has a reputation backing his claim that he can actually drive more traffic.
Using a question is also a way to generate intrigue and curiosity.
13. Create a logo
Creating a custom logo that reflects your style and uses design elements common in your work will go a long way in visually communicating your brand identity to customers.
Tom Anders Watkins
I love the flowing lines and the flexibility of this logo. The beautiful font reflects the organic concept of the company that Tom works with.
Tom wanted to refresh his signature style and create something that would perfectly reflect energy and youth.
This logo looks more personal than corporate, and most importantly, it's surprisingly unique.
14. Monetize your blog
When it comes to how to monetize a blog, the first thing that comes to mind is advertising.
But no matter how you plan to use your blog—as a way to tell your audience about yourself and your business, or as a platform for advertising—it is important to understand that there are many ways to monetize.
Rachel Parcell started building her personal brand from her Pink Peonies blog. On her blog, she writes about fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
She has been in fashion blogging for many years and has established herself as an influential expert. As a result, she now has over 1 million followers on Instagram alone. She decided to monetize her blog by creating an online store under her own name.
What is she selling?
Rachel designs her own clothing line. Her own branding has paid off.
How can you get a similar result?
Your online store has a blog section. Use it. Blogging for personal branding is a great way to build an audience around you while monetizing it through your store's sales.
15. Stand out from the crowd
You may be afraid to stand out for the wrong reasons, so you use standard templates and borrowed designs to stay safe.
While you want to create a professional look, it's okay to take some risks when building your online personal brand.
Robby Leonardi has one of the most striking examples of personal branding—his interactive resume website.
Most people would not be able to achieve this level of professional personality, but it works for him as a graphic designer.
You know exactly what his skills are with this very interesting and branded resume.