7 Examples Of Amazing Personal Branding

Personal branding is intentional. To build a strong personal brand, you need to identify and communicate your unique value proposition, expertise, strengths, and personality traits.

The idea behind personal branding is to create a distinct and memorable impression in the minds of others through cultivating a positive reputation, building relationships, and creating opportunities that align with your values.

Why personal branding is important

Done right, personal branding allows you to increase opportunities in business, networking, socializing, and media. A strong personal brand can not only help advance your career and build credibility and trust, it can also position you as a thought leader in your industry, generate leads, and enhance the reputation of your business.

Let’s take a deeper look at how some business leaders have built a personal brand and why their methods have been effective.

Examples of amazing personal branding

Gary Vaynerchuk – energy and edginess

Personal brand unpacked: A serial entrepreneur, author, speaker, and internet personality, Gary Vaynerchuk has built his brand on his marketing expertise. His name has become synonymous with hustle, content creation, and leveraging social media for self-promotion.

Breakdown: Active on social media, Vaynerchuk consistently posts content that aligns with his message and boisterous personality. He connects daily with his 3m followers on Twitter/X and over 4m followers on his YouTube channel.

He is expert at cross-promoting content, publishing a new video or image post across his channels in slightly different formats to target each platform’s strengths.

Content includes his takes on social media marketing, investing, and personal development topics like choosing the right career. He uses his personal website to promote his books (order the GaryVee 2024 Book Bundle, including his books Day Trading Attention and Meet Me in the Middle—complete with autographed bookplates—for $55 USD!) and personal appearances.

Why it works: Vaynerchuk stays on-brand no matter the channel. All his efforts are aligned to his niche target audience. His loud and colorful content aligns with his high-energy personality.

He tells his story in blog posts and videos, addressing his audience in the first person. Photos on his website and social channels show him out in the community.

By helping people learn more about business and marketing and how to achieve their goals he has positioned himself as a marketing and media thought leader. He is also eminently quotable, with a knack for snack-size soundbites that he doggedly presents as memes on his social media channels.

Sara Blakely – empowerment and confidence

Personal brand unpacked: Sara Blakely is the founder and sole owner of Spanx, an activewear company. She has established a foundation and initiatives to empower and elevate women and girls. Her personal brand has become synonymous with entrepreneurship, empowerment, philanthropy, and innovation.

Breakdown: The Spanx CEO makes frequent public appearances and spreads her brand through speaking engagements, media interviews and features. She also has an active social media presence and partners with brands and promotes philanthropic initiatives. Her LinkedIn account, where she shares messages of self-empowerment and self-acceptance, has over 2m followers. On her Instagram account she posts daily images, often of herself with her family or with celebrities like Jewel.

Why it works: Through her efforts on social media as well as public appearances, Blakely has built a powerful and influential brand as a female leader and role model. By sharing her story, values, and passions with authenticity and enthusiasm, she inspires others to embrace their own unique qualities and pursue their dreams.

Gwyneth Paltrow – health and wellness; beauty and celebrity

Personal brand unpacked: Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal brand is multifaceted. She first became known as an actor and celebrity before becoming associated with health and wellness through her multimedia company Goop. Her brand now encompasses wellness and lifestyle, entrepreneurship and innovation, fashion and beauty, and celebrity and influence.

Breakdown: Through Goop, her lifestyle brand, Paltrow promotes healthy living, self-care, and wellness. By sharing personal experiences, insights, recommendations and her own health and beauty practices with her audience she fosters a sense of trust and authenticity.

She is active on Instagram (8.5m followers) where she shares photos and video of her domestic life as well as her celebrity-filled adventures. On the Goop podcast, she interviews fellow celebrities like Victoria Beckham. Thanks to her celebrity Paltrow has numerous opportunities to promote her beliefs, vision, and values to the general public.

Why it works: Paltrow leveraged her celebrity to help her build a successful business, but she was also an innovator and trendsetter in women’s wellness. Through promoting Goop and its products on both social and traditional media and via collaborations, she has rebranded herself as a thought leader in the health and wellness and fashion and beauty industries. She also uses her platform to raise awareness for causes she cares about, including environmental sustainability, women’s health, and social justice.

Seth Godin – marketing and leadership

Personal brand unpacked: Like Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin is an influential figure in the fields of marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal development. However, where Vaynerchuk is blustery and high-energy, Godin is more thoughtful and contemplative. His personal brand emphasizes his expertise, insights, ideas on creativity, innovation, and leadership. Godin is also known for challenging conventional wisdom and encouraging his followers to do the same. On his website he describes himself as “an author, entrepreneur and most of all, a teacher.”

Breakdown: Godin maximizes his messaging through speaking engagements, books, articles, blog posts, and social media. He updates his blog almost daily with content about branding, creativity, and marketing. To his 404k Instagram followers he promotes his podcast appearances, speaking engagements, and friends’ projects with video clips and memes. On his weekly podcast Akimbo he talks about business, entrepreneurship, and marketing.

Why it all works: Godin demonstrates authenticity and vulnerability by sharing his experiences, failures, and insights, making him relatable to his audience. He addresses common pain points and stays on top of developments in his areas of interest. Communicating ideas with clarity and simplicity, he makes complex concepts easy to understand.

Brene Brown – compassion and empathy

Unpacked: A leading researcher and communicator, Brene Brown focuses on vulnerability, courage and empathy in her work. She has built her personal brand on exploring emotions.

Breakdown: Brown spreads her messages through books, podcasts, public appearances and established media. On her website, she offers guides and resources to complement her books. She has been the subject of a five-part series on HBO Max based on her book Atlas of the Heart, has delivered two TED Talks and hosts two podcasts, Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead. She is active on Instagram and Facebook where she shares news about her upcoming appearances and work and causes she supports.

Why it works: Brown has built a powerful and influential brand by grounding her messaging in her extensive research and expertise in the fields of social work, psychology, and leadership. She shares personal stories and experiences to connect with her audience on an emotional level.

Mark Manson – brutal honesty and blunt communication

Unpacked: Unsurprisingly, the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is known for delivering straightforward advice and opinions on topics such as personal development, relationships, and self-awareness.

Breakdown: Manson regularly posts personal development memes and self-promotional videos to his 1.1m Instagram followers. He posts multiple times daily on Twitter/X (474.2k followers), including his homemade aphorisms, shares of other people’s words of wisdom, inspirational memes, and promotions for his various endeavours such as his weekly newsletter, Your Next Breakthrough.

He hosts a podcast titled after his best-known book (see above) where he talks to people like journalist David Brooks and stoic philosophy guru Ryan Holliday. His website is a linktr.ee for videos, newsletters, and free ebooks like Practical Guide to Healthy Relationships.

Why it works: Manson’s bro-ish writing style appeals to a wide range of readers. He reframes challenges as opportunities and he shares personal stories and struggles to foster empathy and connection with his readers across multiple platforms.

Tim Ferriss – lifestyle and performance hacks

Unpacked: The author of The 4-Hour Workweek has built an immensely popular personal brand by following his varied interests. He has written numerous books on subjects such as cooking, health and the habits and routines of world-class performers. By refusing to pick a lane, this late-stage Gen Xer has carved out a reputation as a thought leader for people interested in everything from investing to psychedelics (and investing in psychedelics). Ferriss is also an entrepreneur and investor.

Breakdown: Ferris has complemented his steady stream of books with a podcast that has become one of the world’s most popular. His 5-Bullet Friday newsletter boasts over 1.5m subscribers. He posts almost daily on his blog at tim.blog. His YouTube channel, where he posts his interviews with experts such as Dr. Gabor Maté and business leaders like Netflix’s Reed Hastings, has 1.48m subscribers. He is less active on Instagram, where he has 1.6m followers, but posts at least once daily on Twitter/X (1.9m followers). He supports a number of causes as well, including medical research and education.

Why it works: Ferriss presents himself as an Everyman who is curious about the world and wants to share his findings with his followers. His readers and listeners appreciate his curiosity and wide range of interests and depend on him for the latest news on health, tech and performance hacks. He works with corporate sponsors such as Spotify and Wealthfront.

These are just a few examples of strong personal brands, and it’s important to recognize that there’s no single formula for success. What is clear, however, is that having a well defined and strategically shared brand represents an advantage for both individuals and business leaders.

While your reputation is something you have some but not entire control over, a personal brand is something that you can build yourself. Your reputation is how others see you; your personal brand is how you want others to see you. That said, the task of crafting and projecting a brand isn’t easy and an increasing number of leaders are turning to specialized agencies for support.

Whichever approach you take, remember that the best personal brands strike a balance between authentic and strategic. At a fundamental level, personal branding is the art of leveraging who you truly are to further your goals in business and life.

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