Create a personal branding strategy

Business Benefits

Boost your professional reputation and increase brand visibility.

Evaluate your expertise in your current field of expertise.

Ask the following questions:

  • What are your top professional strengths?
  • What are you most passionate about in your career?
  • On which platforms do others look for your insights?
  • How would your colleagues and professional connections describe you?

Answers to these questions will become the basis of your personal branding strategy.

Develop a central value proposition for your personal brand.

Synthesize your notes into a single statement. Look for unique ways to differentiate your brand. Avoid I am statements. Instead, focus on what you do and what your audience can expect from you. Examples of value propositions include:

  • Peep Laja, CXL founder, says on his website: I build each business from the ground up — from opportunity spotting to customer development to product-market fit. I take the business to millions in revenue, build a team, and eventually let them take over day-to-day business ops.
  • Seth Godin, entrepreneur and marketing thought leader: By sharing his ideas on marketing, personal branding, and leadership, Seth has been able to motivate and inspire countless people around the world.

Define your personal branding objectives as time-based, measurable outcomes.

Ask yourself: What are you looking to achieve, and when do you want to achieve it? Common personal branding goals include:

  • Increasing name recognition and credibility within your industry.
  • Attaining the status of a thought leader within your industry.
  • Breaking into a secondary industry related to your area of expertise.

Add the desired time frame to turn your goals into strategic objectives. For example:

  • Increase personal brand recognition within X industry by increasing Google searches for my name by 25% over the next 12 months.

Define your target audience as content consumers who will accept your thought leadership.

Narrow down your target audience to better focus your marketing strategy. Define as many as possible of the following characteristics:

  • Demographics.
  • Professional roles and industries.
  • Typical online behaviors.
  • Pain points related to your expertise and value proposition.
  • Potential reasons for seeking out your content.

Create a website that outlines your personal brand.

Outline your value proposition on your homepage. List your credentials and highlight your expertise on your About Us page. Use a blog to regularly write about your niche ideas. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk’s website provides a quick, engaging overview of his personal brand and opportunities to dive deeper into blog or podcast content.

Choose your channels based on your comfort level and audience preferences.

A recent survey of 1,000 online influencers showed these channels to be most effective for building a personal brand:

  • A book, self-published or traditionally published, focusing on your core expertise.
  • Speaking engagements, such as keynote speeches at industry events and conferences.
  • Social media, focusing on channels your audience prefers.
  • Email marketing and gated content in exchange for contact information.
  • Search engine optimization on your website and blog, focusing on long-tail keywords your audience commonly uses.

Create a content strategy that matches your skills.

If you’re a strong writer, you may prefer a text-based approach. However, if you’re the creative type, you may gravitate towards a video-based strategy. In addition to your own preferences, focus on content designed for the channels you’ve chosen. If your audience is especially active on YouTube, focus on video creation.

Create a consistent publication schedule. Follow best practices for your chosen channels.

It takes up to two years to create and publish a book. However, publishing a new blog post multiple times a week generates the most traffic and conversions. Integrate all of your channels in your publication schedule to create consistency. For example:

  • A newly published book requires a multichannel promotional plan.
  • A new blog post requires social media posts to maximize exposure.
  • Email marketing campaigns should link to new blog and social media posts.
  • A speaking engagement can be supplemented by behind-the-scenes social media posts.

Set a benchmark checkpoint to evaluate your strategy and make needed adjustments.

Personal branding is fluid and can change with both your expertise and the preferences of your audience. Every 6 to 12 months, evaluate your strategy to ensure continued relevance. At each checkpoint, review this playbook to ensure your strategy matches your current goals.