Elon Musk. Bill Nye. Steve Jobs. Martha Stewart. Bruce Springsteen. Oprah Winfrey. Richard Branson

These individuals share a common achievement: They excel at cultivating their personal brand.

According to PersonalBrand.com, “a personal brand is a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.”

Companies are aware of the importance of elevating their professional brand, in fact they hire marketing specialists and graphic designers to better ensure they stay on-point with their professional branding at all times. However, not every business owner gives the time needed to consider their personal brand. Making an intentional effort to brand yourself, from your words to your actions to your clothing, may seem daunting, but Forbes breaks creating a successful personal brand into 10 golden rules:

  1. Have a focus.
  2. Be genuine.
  3. Tell a story.
  4. Be consistent.
  5. Be ready to fail.
  6. Create a positive impact.
  7. Follow a successful example.
  8. Live your brand.
  9. Let other people tell your story.
  10. Leave a legacy.

An amazing way to set yourself apart from your competition is to realize who you are and what you emulate is directly related to the success of your product and/or services. As an article entitled Your Personal Brand Does More Than Sell Your Product. Here’s Why It’s Vital to Business Success articulates, investing in your personal brand helps business owners:

  • Showcase what they stand for.
  • Provide long-term potential.
  • Build stronger relationships.

Having a strong personal brand allows others to instantly identify who someone is and where that person’s expertise lies. When someone says the name Bill Nye, an entire generation hear’s “Bill Nye the science guy” pop into their heads. It’s an instantaneous personal brand. I’ve never met Bill Nye in person and yet, I’m convinced he can explain everything from astronomy to molecular biology.

Why am I convinced that if there was a season of the popular reality show Survivor that was composed entirely of science-based games, puzzles, and challenges that Bill Nye would be my hands-down number-one pick to win when I’ve never met him and never witnessed his science expertise beyond a scripted television show?

When I hear Oprah Winfrey, why do I think of someone who is a connoisseur of books and extremely generous when I’ve never seen her read a book and I’ve never met anyone who received a gift from her?

The answer is that both Bill Nye and Oprah Winfrey decided how they wanted others to see them, including where their expertise lies, and they haven’t veered from their chosen course and trajectory. Being consistent and clear in their personal brand makes people feel they are a go-to in their chosen areas of expertise and that within those areas of expertise, they can be trusted.

So although it’s crucial to think of your company’s professional brand, it’s just as critical to think of your personal brand. Sell a product, and you gain customers until the need for that product runs dry. Sell yourself, and you gain customers with the potential to return for every product you produce both now and in the future.

Author: Evelyn Lindell