Personal brands aren’t just for life coaches, ﬁtness gurus, influencers, or home organization experts! Everyone, no matter their industry or career level, needs a strong personal brand. Creating a personal brand identity will help you win clients, customers, and promotions, and will provide you with other beneﬁts for your career.
When you look at personal branding examples, you’ll come across not only individuals working in the fields listed above, but also freelancers, artists, entrepreneurs, and business owners – because it’s just as crucial for those professionals just as much.
As you think about creating a personal brand identity, there are two crucial steps to creating a personal brand that you’ll want to follow: coming up with a stellar brand name and then actually creating your entire brand. Let’s tackle creating a perfect brand name first
4 personal branding ideas for crafting a name that sticks
Some brand names are so perfect that they’ve become synonymous with the product. Do you reach for a tissue or a Kleenex? Do you jot down reminders on a sticky note or a Post-It? Of course, these names have years of marketing behind their reputation, but they all have one thing in common: they’re cued into what their target audience will remember.
The best brand names indicate the value your company presents to your customers while being unique enough to stand out from the crowd. After all, there are millions of brand names out there.
How can you ensure that yours is not only special but also effective? Follow these steps below that were compiled from real personal branding examples.
- Decide how you want your customers to feel
A brand is more than your marketing: it’s how your customers think and feel about your company. A large part of that is your brand name. Ever seen a business that has a formal, generic name, yet attempts to use whimsical, fun marketing? Sometimes this works (e.g., Geico), but usually, your name needs to reflect the brand personality you want to achieve.
To start developing the perfect brand name, try a game of word association:
- Brainstorm a list of words that express the type of brand you want to have,
- Then think about how these words could be combined into your brand identity, including your company tagline.
- Develop a list of name options
Some businesses use their owners’ or founders’ names as their names, and that’s a great idea if the name is unique yet easy to remember. However, if you’d like to develop a brand name from scratch, think about a combination of words that best expresses your brand personality.
When you sit down with your list, keep the process below in mind:
- Take the list of words you have created and think about names that could be drawn from them. Words with positive associations or that are action-oriented, e.g., “Power,” “Super,” “Fresh,” “Fit,” and “Eco,” are all good choices.
- Next, think about a simple description of your company that could tie in with these words.
- Then, look for ways to combine these words, or parts of them. Many successful brand names pair up positive words, e.g., HelloFresh, or use wordplay to grab attention, e.g., Pinterest.
You’ll see with these personal branding examples that while you want to think outside the box, you’ll also want to remember to keep your names accessible and easy to spell/pronounce.
- Do your research
Few things are more disappointing than coming up with a great brand name, only to discover that it’s already been taken by another business. Even someone who’s not a competitor (i.e., in a different industry) can cause SEO trouble if they have the same name as you. It’s important to fully research your shortlist of names (and their variations) to find a name that’s 100% unique.
It’s also important to test the name. Too many companies choose names that are hard to pronounce or spell, then wonder why they’re not achieving brand recognition. Other names may not have the impact you want on your target audience.
It’s easy to put on blinders when it comes to naming, so use a focus group or run the name by trusted colleagues and friends to ensure it has the effect you desire.
- Secure your name
Once you have a name that you’re ready to roll with, start registering it everywhere you can.
As you register your brand name, be sure to not skip over any of these steps below:
- Snap up your domain name (with variations),
- Register your company name with your government as applicable,
- And be sure to sign up your brand name with all major social media platforms as well.
Once you claim your brand name, you’ll want to then develop a launch campaign. If your name is highly unusual, consider running ads that explain your company’s story and name in a nutshell (again, think Geico).
Incorporate the name into a variety of formats so that it starts to sink into your audience’s minds. Be sure to include the name in your logo, if only as an accompanying wordmark. This way, people can begin to link your name with their experience of your brand.
Wrapping up the importance of crafting a brand name
A powerful brand name does more than grace your letterhead and marketing materials. It provides you with an opportunity to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Your brand name should encapsulate the unique value you offer to your customers. Perhaps it reflects your company’s story or describes the outcome your customers will achieve. Either way, it should reflect a blend of symbolism and practicality. Take the time to develop your perfect brand name — it’s well worth it.
Now that you’ve settled on a brand name your work isn’t done – it’s time to move on to creating your brand guidelines that will influence your brand overall. Creating a personal brand doesn’t have to be rocket science – so don’t overthink it! Whether you’re an undergraduate looking for personal branding examples for students, or an experienced entrepreneur, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading below to find a simple plan of action for developing and promoting your brand.
5 steps to creating a personal brand
- Decide the purpose of your personal brand
Just like a corporate brand, a personal brand encompasses your professional reputation and your promise to your target audience. Naturally, different industries and professional goals require different approaches to your personal brand.
Some personal branding examples of this look like this:
- If you want to get commission work as a professional artist, your personal brand should focus on your ability to deliver artwork that your clients love.
- And, if you’re interested in getting started as a life coach, you need to prove that you have helped people transform their lives for the better.
- Decide who your target audience is
No one brand appeals to everyone, so when building your personal brand, decide which people you’d most like to reach. This can and should be different from your personal network: You’ll have plenty of friends whom you would not want to work for, and plenty of people you want to work with whom you would not want to befriend.
If you still aren’t sure what this means, some examples would be:
- If you’re a ﬁne artist, upper-class people who enjoy luxurious items are probably your target audience.
- If you’re a ﬁtness coach, you may want to target people who are interested in losing weight.
Just like a business does, focus on targeting the types of clients and customers you want.
- Decide what story you want to share with people
Every brand needs a story, especially in today’s narrative-driven world. Why do you do what you do? Why should people care? Your personal brand should instantly communicate this to your target audience.
It’s not enough to say where you got your education or training, or how many clients you’ve had. No one cares. And definitely don’t say that you do it for the money.
Instead, focus on sharing your “why” with people. Ask yourself:
- What motivates you?
- What do you love about serving your clients or customers?
Making your story a key part of your personal brand can help establish your authenticity and professionalism with your target audience.
- Create your distinctive style
Once you’ve ﬁgured out your brand name, purpose, target audience, and story, you can get started by putting it into action.
Creating a personal brand identity style should include all the below components:
- A professional tagline, just like a business has. Make it something memorable and engaging, ideally a phrase that taps into what your target audience wants. Do they want to lose weight? A simple tagline could be something like, “Orlando’s #1 Weight Loss Coach.” (Just be sure you are actually number one.)
- A high-quality, professional photo that shows you in your element. If you do something intangible, such as writing, a simple headshot usually sufﬁces. Think about what potential customers and clients would want to see. Needless to say, a photo of you making a kissy face at the camera probably won’t work — unless you’re a dating coach!
- And uniformity across all areas of your brand. That means it’s also worth it to take a look at your resumé, portfolio, website, and social media proﬁles and ensure that they seem consistent in terms of design and personality.
Creating a distinctive brand style brings us to our last step…
- Spread the word far and wide
For the last step, it’s time to promote your personal brand! If you haven’t yet, use your name as your handle across social media platforms (or your brand name, if it’s different from your real name). Add your proﬁle picture and tagline to your Twitter bio, LinkedIn summary, business card, and anywhere else you can.
Then, decide on a content strategy. Whether you’re creating or curating relevant content, it’s important to stay present in people’s feeds. Use a consistent voice and hashtags to help build recognition of your personal brand. Remember, you want your target audience to know what to expect from you and think of you as an authority in your ﬁeld.
Putting both steps to creating a personal brand together
As you may have noticed through these personal branding examples, developing and promoting a personal brand isn’t too different from the process for a company brand. In both situations, content is king, and consistency is key. You want to become someone whom your target audience feels conﬁdent in hiring, booking, or commissioning. That means that cleaning up your social media might be in order!
Overall, if you keep your brand professional and on brand, you can’t go wrong — or create separate accounts for business and personal interests. No matter what, though, a powerful personal brand resonates with the people you want to reach. It showcases your best self to help you achieve your professional goals, and if you follow these above steps to creating a personal brand, the results will be invaluable.