What is Personal Branding?

Back in the day we used to call personal brand reputation. Yet over the years with the birth of social sites by the dozens everyone has a brand.  

Image Credit: Jerome Chamber of Commerce


So What is Personal Branding?  

Many times it depends on who you ask, but one thing is consistent, personal branding is how others see you in the world and what you are known for. It’s a collection of impressions and interactions even if they are only digital. 

Personal branding is also how others experience you in real life. How you make others feel coupled with your personality in both personal and professional environments. 


According to the American Psychological Association and James Uleman, PHD who is a professor at New York University and researcher on impression management says;  “In spite of the congeniality of many professional gatherings, judgments are being made and impressions are formed all the time.”  This is a great fact and reasoning to take time to learn and know ourselves with intention. 

Actions such as these are important to improve on and master attributes we want to grow while embracing what we stand for unapologetically. 

During my many years and experience as a human resource director I observed several  applicants who were vying for the one position available for any given speciality. One of the main characteristics the search committee members were interested in was feeling confident the candidate had a sound reputation. 

Today, like before, our reputation/personal brand should leave a trail that speaks to our intentional advancement, authenticity and self-confidence first, while simultaneously displaying the value we have set that will resonate with others.   

Teamwork makes the dream work.

To create a strong personal brand it begins with “knowing who you are and how you do it” and like with anything else worth having this takes time. 

I’m not insinuating we have to be self-absorbed, but we have to be conscious of ourselves, actions and values, especially in the digital world. Knowing thyself, gives us an ability to stand for what we believe in even under the most difficult circumstances.

Unlike before, social media channels are being searched by employers looking to hire, potential partners will Google you to ensure they are not planning a date with a maniac, and potential businesses will research you before they ultimately decide if you are the right fit to provide services on their behalf. 

Notice I said YOU, not simply the company you own or represent.


Image Credits: Job-hunting

With this in mind, take some time to learn more about your wants and needs, now. 

Ask yourself both personal and professional questions like:

  • What sets me apart from others and what are the unique traits I hold near and dear
    • Understanding our core values is always a good place to begin because they are distinct to every individual and what makes us tick.  Start here. 
  • Create a vision board
    • Get creative and cut out words, images, and quotes from magazines or go digital with Pinterest and build an online to inspire you. Review either option often and keep it handy, and visible.
  • Write your story
    • Begin with the “why” you are looking to increase your personal brand.  Is it for social purposes, professional advancement or a little bit of both. Allow your vision to shape the path of getting to YOU wholeheartedly 
  • Take note from people you admire
    • If you know these people personally ask for feedback on how they manage to create happiness within their personal and professional goals for further inspiration then align ideas, behaviors and trainings that will help you along the way
  • Next pair your professional goals that are in agreement with your lifestyle goals
    • Think about your professional career do you want to advance in a company, or you may want to start your own business – think about it, write them down, and create a pathway to making them happen

These are a few suggestions to get you started and excited about the work of art you were created to be.


By design, building a personal brand will not happen overnight. Yet it’s one of the best self-care exercises that will increase your confidence, vision, a lust for life and the future.  


Many times, we as individuals try to make-ourselves-over to fit in a particular social circle or profession. 


This does not work.  

Shaping your brand is something that does not fit in a pre-constructed box – you are the box.  Your box may be one color or two or it may be a box with a collection of colors. Find your construction instructions, embrace it, live it and Make It Do What it Do like that Jamie Foxx song said…

Wait, my bad, 

I digressed, for a minute.

Just do not ever dim your light to fit in because you will soon find out trying to make others happy solely, will decrease your happiness and effectiveness in the world and no one should want that for themselves.  

Since we are talking about effectiveness, think about this, statistics show there are over 7-billion people in the world. The goal is to find what makes YOU different, happy, and fruitful; so take the journey with your best sneakers on and enjoy the adventure.

I’m sure many of us can agree if there is one thing we have learned over the past couple of years is that our emotional and mental health is worth chasing for the good, and no matter the employer, friend or partner, none of these individual scenes are worth sacrificing the best of who YOU are, to live YOUR unique and best life.  

Image Credits: Neil Adams Photography


If you have not picked up on the fact that I like analogies let me further explain with another analogy.  

By approaching your brand messaging like the 1988 Nike launch that was a “universal and intensely personal” response to Reebok’s campaign surrounding aerobics, Nike was boldly stating “take no prisoners, and JUST DO IT! , epic, to say the least.   

This in no way diminished the admiration many had of Reebok’s Find Your Way – Be More Human campaign, both were personal, relatable, and inspiring.

In sum, when searching for the best you have to give, both personally and professionally, believe. Your superpower can create change through your unique vision, and innovative dreams, and that is something to strive for simply by being authentically, and undisputedly, YOU!


Image Credits: Silent Whispers Photography 


Yours in style,