Six Easy Steps to Success with Personal Branding

Table of Contents What is a Personal BrandWhy is it ImportantSteps to Develop1. Define your Appeal2. Name your…
A sign post with brand and other aspects of personal branding shown as sign boards

This is a guest post from Kathi Miller-Miller, who was one of the winners of the Aha!NOW RaffleCopter guest post giveaway held in August. In this post, Kathi guides you how to develop your personal brand and achieve success.

I’m a fan of continual learning and self-improvement.  In fact, one of my favorite quotes is “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.

Perhaps it’s the farmer in me, but I love the analogy of our personal and professional lives to that of nature.

Think of it like this:  The minute you stop working to improve yourself, your success will start to fade.

And while you may be doing a lot of things right, my guess is that you haven’t paid close enough attention to your personal brand.

Admittedly, there are many different ingredients in the recipe to find success, but giving focus to your personal brand can take your career from “blue plate special” status to culinary masterpiece!


What is a Personal Brand

Much like national companies portray a brand and promise certain benefits, your personal brand carries the same attributes.

It summaries who you are, how you approach your work and the expertise you provide.  In essence, it’s your reputation.

While the concept is presently experiencing resurgence in popularity, the term itself is not new.

In fact, it was first introduced almost 80 years ago by Napoleon Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich

Why is it Important

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of personal branding, you may think it’s only important for business owners.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.

Employees, students, bloggers, volunteers and entrepreneurs all benefit from managing their reputation.

In today’s competitive and global business environment, it’s no longer a question of “if” you have one…but rather if you actively create and execute your brand.

Like it or not, bosses, co-workers, instructors and fellow bloggers already have a perception of you.

And while it would be nice if everyone in your circle of influence was a raving fan of your abilities and shared them freely with others, unfortunately, that just simply isn’t reality.

So you have a choice.  You can either control that perception by developing and executing a strong personal brand or leave others to their own devices.

I don’t know about you, but personally I feel my reputation is far too important to give up that control.

You see, by developing and delivering your brand image, you manage what others perceive as your strengths and abilities.

Regardless of your walk in life, creating and managing your personal brand will improve your success.

And while it can seem squishy and a bit overwhelming to get started, like many complicated recipes, it’s really as simple as following a few steps.  You just need to get started.


Steps to Develop

A lady climbing the stairs

1. Define your Appeal

The goal here is to define what people get from working with you instead of someone else.  And arguably, in the early stages of your brand development, it can be a scary task.

But take a deep breath and stay with me on this.  It’s really as simple as asking a few trusted colleagues, your boss or even clients to share what they value about you.

The examples below can help you develop a framework, but in order to make your appeal unique, it’s important that you craft statements that are appropriate to your efforts.

  • The 3 adjectives that people use to describe me are:____________, _____________ and _________________.
  • People count on me to be ________________ and _________________.
  • I love it when I can__________________________________________.
  • I am happiest when I can help others _______________________.

2. Name your Niche

While the thought of casting a wide net appears initially intriguing, it’s difficult to be a master to everyone.

Instead, your branding efforts will be more enthusiastically embraced by others if you can target an audience or niche where you provide something special…perhaps even unparalleled.

Complete the sentences below to help you with this step:

  • My boss can always count on me to hit a home run when I work on _____________.
  • Everyone comes to me when they look for information on _____________.
  • I do _____________________ better than most people I know.
  • I specialize by helping companies in the ________________ .

3. Create a Compelling Statement

Much like large corporate brands have just a few advertising seconds to “sell,” it’s important you create a concise statement telling people what they can expect when they work with you.

This statement is really a combination of the “Appeal” and “Niche” responses that you defined in the previous steps.

Your compelling statement should become an integral part of your introduction when you meet new folks.  Consequently, this will be the most visible result of your brand.

Below are just a few ideas to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • I combine ______________ and _________________to deliver ________________.
  • I will help you to __________________________________.
  • I have the unique ability to___________________________.
  • I specialize in helping my company_______________________.

4. Develop a Strategy


Person playing chess to learn the strategy of success

Once you have crafted your message, it’s time to plan your approach.  It’s important you make an intentional decision on how to spread the message of your brand.

Just a little over a decade ago, your options were likely limited to sharing your abilities with those in physical proximity to you.

However, with 19% of US employees now engaging in work remote activities and the ever increasing global e-commerce platform, there is simply much to consider.

  • Include Social Media. Regardless of your focus or specialty, it’s likely that digital will be one of the foundational blocks of your brand strategy. And in fact, your question of social for your strategy isn’t really one of “if”….but rather one of “where.”

The channels are plentiful and each has unique appeal and following.  As you work to develop a strategy, think about your brand and which channel best fits the persona for your unique abilities.

  • Leverage influencers. Your ability to identify ambassadors for your brand is another critical component of your strategy. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, an influencer is someone who is respected and followed by others.

A good example of this might be Michael Jordan with the Nike brand.  His image (and the respect he commands) has become almost one with the brand.

Now realistically, you may not be able to snag Michael Jordan as your influencer, but you can find those that command the respect and following of those in your industry.

Your strategy should include the names of these folks and specifically how you plan to make them brand ambassadors.

  • Remember your niche. While your brand will undoubtedly grow and morph with time, it’s important that you remain true to the niche you create.

Realistically, you may be able to flex a bit within your target group, but it’s likely you will lose some momentum by trying to serve multiple masters.

So for example, if you specialize in helping small businesses improve their SEO ratings you may partner with everything from plumbers to hair stylists, but you wouldn’t market your brand to large corporations.

  • Stay true to your brand. The opportunities for brand promotion are simply limitless. While you should aggressively promote your persona, it’s vitally important that you remain true to the brand you create.

For example, if your brand promotes “personal interaction,” then employing an email only strategy would be in conflict with your brand.

5. Execute, Execute, Execute!

Many would say the hardest part of your “brand journey” is over; however, I would disagree.  According to Entrepreneur magazine, the average adult attention span is only 8 seconds.

You see, most fail at this step, not because of the difficulty but rather because of the determination required.

The execution step requires tenacity and the results (aka completion of a step) don’t carry the visibility and sense of accomplishment that creating your brand did.

However without putting your plan into action you stand little chance of experiencing success.  So dig deep and make a commitment to actively implement the plan you create.

In order to increase your success with the execution step, you will find it helpful to set some short, mid-point and long-term goals in your strategy.  And then measure your success at each point.

6. Adjust

Nothing in your personal or professional life has a finite point and your Brand Persona is no different.  This is simply not a “once and done” endeavor.

In order to achieve the greatest success, you must continually evaluate and adjust your branding efforts.

Perhaps your industry has changed and you have expertise in a completely new field.  Or maybe you have a new boss at work that is pushing the team in new directions.

Regardless of the specifics, much like a coach may change some plays in the second half, you will likely need to adjust the approach you initially created for your personal brand.

With any recipe, following the steps is only part of creating a culinary masterpiece.  It’s also critical that you have the proper ingredients.  And there are a few key things that must be included to make your brand successful!

So be sure to watch for my post next week on my blog, where I’ll wrap up this topic by discussing the “8 Key Elements in Your Personal Brand.”

Share Your Thoughts:

Have you consciously worked towards creating a personal branding? What branding successes or struggles have you experienced?

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos


Disclaimer: Though the views expressed are of the author’s own, this article has been checked for its authenticity of information and resource links provided for a better and deeper understanding of the subject matter. However, you're suggested to make your diligent research and consult subject experts to decide what is best for you. If you spot any factual errors, spelling, or grammatical mistakes in the article, please report at [email protected]. Thanks.

  1. Hey Harleena!!!

    I know it’s been forever since I’ve been around to your blog. I’ve been super duper busy with work travels. So, I hope you’ve been doing well.

    Kathi, this post is wonderful!!

    I LOVE this post as I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to differentiate my website. I’m thinking of doing a redesign and really getting it to a place that I enjoy and that I can help others.

    So, previously I have not consciously worked through creating a brand although it’s definitely something I’m going to do now — and be more deliberate about. These are super tips.

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      No worries at all, and I can well understand what you mean, having gone through the same phase lately. I guess that equates the situation for both of us. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by even though you are busy, and glad you liked Kathi’s post. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    2. Hi Jennifer,

      I’m sorry to hear your work schedule has been a little crazy but glad you took the time and opportunity to visit Aha!NOW today and check out my post!

      As they say timing is everything and if you are considering a website redesign, the topic of branding will certainly be critical to many of your decisions. I’m intrigued about your desire to help others and will check out your current site to learn what you are up to!

      I hope the tips help you as make a more “deliberate” effort (great choice of words by the way!) to create and maintain your brand.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and engage with me on this topic and good luck with your work schedule!

  2. Hi Kathi,

    Thanks for sharing your insights in personal branding – a topic that I personally can never get enough of. My biggest takeaway from what you have shared has to be in regards to adjusting – most of us tend to plan things out, but when it comes to making adjustments sometimes they don’t happen or they do, just too late.

    1. HI Amiti,

      It’s always good to meet another fan on the topic of branding! And I love your observation that branding requires continual maintenance. While it might be nice if we could create it and then check it off the list, it’s simply not that easy. Changes in the market place, technology and shifts in our brands all require that we keep a constant eye on the ball!

      Thanks for the engagement and keep your passion for the topic of branding burning brightly!

  3. creating your own personal brand! hmmmm, i love this, i think i have gained a little more about personal brand. thks.

    1. Dawatech,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and even more pleased that it made your world a little bigger!

      Thanks for taking the time to read the post and engage with me here on Aha!NOW 🙂

  4. wow cool tips for all bloggers even for pro bloggers too. finding your niche is not very easy but once you find it then every thing is yours. just implement right techniques and you are successful.



    1. Usama,

      Thanks for the read and engagement on this post! And you are so right above the topic of branding being relevant for both newbies and those with great experience. As with any thing in life, it’s easy to lose focus and stray. We all (myself included) can benefit from a routine brand check up.

      Thanks so much for sharing and make it a great day!

  5. Hello, Kathi and Harleena,

    It’s very nice to see you on Harleena’s blog, Kathi, and wonderful to meet you and congrats on winning the guest post giveaway. I really like the topic you chose for your guest article. 🙂

    Your reference to Think and Grow Rich is commendable because personal branding is not new, as you so well state.

    I really appreciate the examples you give under each main point, and the blanks for filling and are very helpful and a good visual way for folks to get more value from your content. So thanks for structuring and formatting your information this way. It helps a lot.

    Your point about leveraging influencers is something that folks are not utilizing nearly enough, in my opinion, so well done for including this.

    Your point about executing and adjusting is well taken, as I am constantly adjusting my brand to tweak it and perfect it even more.

    My goal is to get really good at finishing things, as that is a true indication of whether I am a good executor or not.

    Thank you so much for this thought-provoking article, I will be sharing with friends.

    Have a blessed weekend.
    – Carol

    1. Carol,

      Thanks so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to give this article a read. Harleena and I both value your input and engagement!

      As for the reference to “Think and Grow Rich,” it was important to me for 2 reasons. First, as you indicate I think it’s important to credit the pioneers in the field but I also wanted to let readers know that it isn’t the “flavor of the month.”

      And I’m pleased that you liked the organizational approach I tried. Initially I worried that it may be an over simplification and perhaps an insult to readers; however, feedback has shown quite the opposite. Branding can be such a squishy topic that I thought it may be helpful.

      Regarding your comment on influencers I completely agree and must admit that it’s an area where I’m working to improve myself!

      Best of luck on your goal to get really good at finishing things, that’s an admirable one for sure! And yes ultimately it doesn’t matter how good our ideas are if we can’t execute! 🙂

      Thanks for the read and engagement and have a wonderful weekend as well!


  6. I had a little trouble, but I found the second part to this post and read it. I enjoyed and really wanted to add my comment, but not sure it worked. I apologize if it did not. I use a MacBook and VoiceOver and some blogs work better with that than others. I just didn’t want you to think I did not read it so I m mentioning it on here instead. I really do appreciate your expertise. I am still able to read your blog, but commenting just gave me a little trouble.

    1. Kerry,

      Thanks so much for letting me know of your issue! Your comments came through just fine on the blog, but I’m sorry it was frustrating for you! So that I can try to trouble shoot, can you share with me what you were experiencing? Did you receive an error?

      I replied to your comment on the website so please check it out and let me know if you have any other issues. And I’m glad that you enjoyed the article!

  7. Hi Kathi,

    First I would like to say “congrats” on your winning and welcome on aha-now. It’s my pleasure to read awesome post on personal branding. Personal branding is very important for everybody in online world as well as offline world.

    I loved you way as you present.

    Jyoti Chauhan

    1. Jyoti,

      Thanks so much for the warm welcome and congrats! It has been a wonderful opportunity to work with Harleena and it’s been great to engage with all of the other community members as well.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and you are right…the topic is critically important in our online and offline persona’s!

      Thanks again for giving it a read and for the engagement. Enjoy the weekend!

    1. Kerry,

      Greetings and glad you were looking forward to Part 2! Yes it is up on my website and you can find it by visiting my blog ( While you might enjoy some other content on the site as well, the second part of the Personal Branding article will be the first post on my blog page.

      Thanks again for the follow up and be sure to let me know what you think!

  8. Hi Kathi,

    It’s a pleasure meeting you here in this amazing community that Harleena created for all of us and congratulations on winning the contest for a guest post in AhaNow!!

    You brought up a very important topic “Personal Branding” and as you said, we all should pay close attention to our brand, because like it or not it is the world’s perception of us.

    Personal Branding creates a Positive and Lasting Image in the minds of the people,it Defines the purpose of our business, outlines what is our focus on and also shows the world that we are real people communicating our message through our brand.

    Thanks a lot Kathi for sharing such a great and important topic. Enjoy the rest of your week.

    Be Blessed,


    1. Neamet,

      First thanks so much for the warm welcome to Aha!NOW and the congrats on winning the guest post! As you might expect, it has been a wonderful experience. The opportunity to work with Harleena has been fantastic however, I must admit that engaging with the community has been equally rewarding.

      I’m glad you also see the significance of personal branding. It is a topic that so many pay little attention to as they work to develop their expertise and resumes. While certainly branding at the corporate level is important, our personal brand is the one we carry with us wherever we go. So to me, it is of the highest importance!

      Thanks for taking time to read the post and engage and hope you enjoy the rest of your week as well!

  9. Hi,

    Goodday, I don’t really have much to say because you have just nailed it all.

    thank you very much

    1. Victor,

      Good Day to you as well! Thanks for the positive feedback and hope the article can benefit yourself or someone you know.
      Thanks for stopping by for the read and engagement!

  10. Hey Kathi,

    Nice to meet you Kathi! I’m glad that Harleena had you as this week’s guest blogger. Many people talk about personal branding, me included, but you really went well into detail on how to go about doing it. What’s even better is that you made it very simple to do. Just from the first two points you made and the sentences you have everyone to finish, most people would never even think about themselves and incorporating this into developing their personal brand!

    But in all, it’s really important to develop your personal brand. I use to see many people on social media branding the company they represent, but little do they know they’re losing out on a lot whenever they do this. When you brand yourself well enough, it can get to the point of no matter what company you’re with or products/services you promote, you will have followers that will invest in those things. That’s how powerful personal branding is!

    Thanks for sharing Kathi! I hope you’re having a great week!

    1. Sherman,

      Thanks for the warm welcome to Aha!NOW! And it’s especially nice to meet a fellow branding advocate! I’m glad you enjoyed the approach the I took to personal branding. I’ve found over my career that the topic of branding can be a challenging one for both the owner and coach. Consequently, some time back I sstarted working from this model and it has worked quite well.

      And I love your acknowledgement that a personal brand has a longer shelf live that a corporate identify. Your observation is dead on and one that I probably should have included in the article. I find this especially important in our current business environment. Just this morning, a colleague from a different industry reached out to let me know that he had lost his job after 20 years. Unfortunately the majority of his branding has been at the company level and now he is in the precarious position of working to get his brand built and executed immediately. But as you indicate, if he had been diligent to his personal brand throughout he would be in a MUCH better position today.

      Again Sherman, I’m pleased to meet you and appreciate the effort you took to engage with me on Aha!HOW

  11. Hi Kathi,

    Great to meet you here on Harleena’s blog! I just kept nodding my head all through this wonderful article. Yes, I’ve done my homework and answered those questions above about branding. I had to do this before I created my first product.

    I certainly know the importance of these exact questions and there is no quick answer to them. One must take it seriously and take a good look inside themselves BEFORE answering them honestly.

    Once done, we do have to realize what makes us stick out of the large crowd. What are we known for, what is our reputation, etc?

    Then comes the marketing part. It is pretty difficult to capture someone’s attention within a few seconds. I’ve tested the market many times (and still do) I do an A/B and sometimes C test to see which one performs the best to a target market.

    It does take time and creativity, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I love what I’m doing. I can look at all the numbers and stats, but when someone contacts me out of the blue and says “You’re the woman that…..” I know my branding is doing well.

    Thank you for this wonderful way to enlighten people of the importance of branding.


    1. Donna,

      Thanks for taking the time to reach and engage and it’s wonderful to meet you! It sounds like you are an active advocate of personal branding and one that obviously believes in the concept of branding. I’m so glad to hear that as you were reading the post you found yourself nodding in agreement…that tells me that we’ve hit the mark with this one!

      Also, you mention the concept of A/B (and even C) testing to check messaging and engagement. I applaud your expertise and am glad that you brought this to the discussion. And you are so correct. As marketers, it’s critically important that we develop (and test) messaging to see what will actually work with our targets!!

      To summarize, it’s obvious from reading your comments that you love what you do! So kudos to you,….few people can say that they are engaged with and truly love their job! Relish and enjoy that you have found your purpose in life.

      Many wishes for continued success; however, with your exhibited passion and understanding of marketing techniques I don’t know that you need luck!

      PS-Thanks for taking tim for the read and engagement!

  12. Hey Kathi,

    First, I would like to congratulate you on winning this contest by my friend Harleena, I bet it’s one awesome thing to write a guest post on Aha Now 🙂

    You have shared a wonderful write up and I must confess that I learned something new here today.

    Personal brand is what we as bloggers and entrepreneurs need to take seriously because it tells more of who we are. It becomes very important when you have community to look out for. You are very much when you mentioned that more than ever before we need to develop our personal brand. This is the spirit behind achieving this!

    Niche focus is also another part of your article that got my attention. In the past, people tend to be everywhere and by so doing they end up not being anywhere. There is nothing that pay much than finding a niche where your strength is at large and working hard to develop in it. Believe, it doesn’t take long to raise your head in such niches.

    Again, thanks for sharing this wonderful post Kathi, it was a great read. And to Harleena, thanks for giving Kathi such an opportunity to engage with us.

    Have a wonderful day ahead.

    ~ Jackson

    1. Jackson,

      First, thank you much for the warm welcome to Aha!NOW and winning the guest post opporutnity with Harleena,. As you are obviously aware, she is a rare talent and we are all so lucky that she shares herself and this opportunity with both the bloggers and her community!

      ‘Also, I applaud your effort to embrace continual learning! The fact that you freely admit that you learned something from this post shows that you simply aren’t willing to accept the status quo and are always looking to improve. That attitude for knowlege will take you far in both your personal and professional endeavors!

      As for the niche market, I really appreciate your thoughts. You are completely correct that staying true to our niche market is an easy assignment and one that can be difficult to execute. And I love your comment that by trying to be everywhere we end up being nowhere….wise words for sure!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and engage with me on this post. I look forward to interacting with you through both Aha!NOW and our other social channels. Cheers to you and hope you are having a great day/evening as well!

  13. Hi Kathi,

    Great post about Branding yourself. 🙂

    At first I didn’t know what branding is all about but finally I’ve learned what this is really all about. You know I have that book “Think and Grow Rich”. I read it years ago but forgot what’s it all about now. Now my daughter have this book and read it when she was taking the Business Admin course. She said it was excellent. And so now I bought the kindle version of this. I heard it so much from other people, I might as well read it again. Thanks to you.

    I tell ya…Branding takes time on the Internet. this 6 Steps you just jotted here are pretty good for the newbies and even professional people.

    That’s right. Branding is like “crafting your product”. You are the Product. You are the Brand. The presence of Social Media is predominant factor.

    I believe that Marketing campaign is so important. Like you said…Execute, Execute, Execute! Never give up. Be persistent. Having a product is easy to have. But executing the product is not as easy. Takes a lot of patience, persistence, and determination. Always do the trial and error.

    Some of the struggles I have in branding is staying within my niche. You know, I’m on Design & Marketing. This may sound very broad but I don’t want to just talk about Design. Marketing is my point of interest too. Without the Marketing, business is doomed. That is the backbone of every business! Right? Anyway, thank you for sharing your nuggets.

    …and CONGRATULATIONS for winning the Guest Post here @ Harleena’s. Her blog is the BEST of all the BEST. <3

    Have a great week.


    1. Angela,

      First thanks for the warm welcome and congrats on winning the guest post. As you might have guessed, it has been a tremendous experience. Harleena has been wonderful to share her expertise and insight, but I have also been humbled by the fever with which the community and engaged and supported this post!
      Love that you are now on your second copy of “Think and Grow Rich!” It is a classic and always worth a good read. The ownership you show is impressive. Many simply look for simple answers; however, you are ready to dig deep and are even willing to invest your time and money in resources to help you improve. Many would rather simply complain….be proud!
      And staying true to your niche could be a complete entire book…or at least a couple of blog posts. If one of the bloggers in the community wants to take the topic, (or you Angela), feel free!

      Appreciate the difficulty with staying on brand. It’s never an easy decision…especially with SO many flashing lights to steal our attention. But you are right, ultimately, it’s critical to every
      business and their success.
      Thanks for taking the time to engage and share your struggles….conversations like these are how we all get better!

      Thanks for taking the time to engage and enjoy the rest of your week!

  14. Hi Kathi,

    First let me congratulate you on winning the contest and your spot to share this awesome topic with us this month. How exciting for you and it’s definitely a very popular topic too and one that everyone needs to be doing the right way.

    I actually love your fill in the blanks with each section you’ve pointed out. I know that when I was just learning about this myself and trying my best to build my own brand I didn’t exactly know how to complete all of those statements. I know that for me I don’t see myself like others see me so I didn’t know my value, what I could offer people. I was just kind of flying by the seat of my pants if you can believe that.

    Now I’ve always been about positivity, integrity, kindness, caring, etc. so that’s just a part of who I am as a person. But how I could stand out from the rest and build my brand so that I would stand out to others, that wasn’t an easy task for me. Luckily though it all started to fall into place over time and it’s been a learning experience for sure.

    I still appreciate what you shared here and I think this is a great starting place for anyone who hasn’t started yet. Really awesome stuff Kathi.

    Thank you for your post Kathi and Harleena for having her share this with us. You ladies have a wonderful week and thanks again.


    1. Adrienne,

      Thanks SO much for the warm welcome to Aha!NOW. I find your engagement especially significant because it appears that you have the topic of Personal Branding figured out for yourself, yet you took tim from your valuable schedule to read the post and engage with both myself and the other readers.

      I’m glad you like the format…as you well know this can be a tough topic so I had hoped to find a way to may it less overwhelming and easier to execute. Based on your comments and others, it was a technique that may have worked….yea!!!

      And I really appreciate your honesty that your brand efforts may not have been intentional but that they have been successful nevertheless. Admittedly it can be tough to find a way to stand out from the mass chaos of content out there.

      I hope you have a great week as well and again, thanks so much for joining in with your experience and expertise!

  15. Hi Kathi,

    I really dig your take here on branding. My tag line/core message is: “Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging.” I wanted to be authentic while grabbing your attention span with a big old promise. I found that being super true to you by telling your story and your brand’s story is a fool proof way to really draw folks in to your personal brand.

    If you can be genuine, people will feel you. I figure that by telling my story, from pier guard to Phuket, or from security officer to Sanur, I can offer something no one in human history has offered. We all have that type of special personal branding story when we commit to telling the story on a daily basis.

    I enjoy telling my story because sharing has helped me attract similar folks, and the journey is much better when friends come along for the ride. Super smart fill in the blanks format too. People need some structure like this to add clarity to their personal brand, and clarity makes your brand pop.

    I’d add that top-down, your blog’s elements need to be fully aligned with your brand. When I review client’s blogs I make sure all from the domain name, to the banner, to the tagline, to all sidebar elements, posts, pages and footers, all must be aligned with your brand to avoid any confusion, and to add real potency to your brand. Super post.


    1. Hi Ryan!

      Kudos to you for finding your brand and a tagline that obviously resonates with your followers! Retirement is top of mind for so many folks….so great of you to include that in your messaging! Couple that with your genuine approach and I think it’s easy to guess that continued success is in your future,.

      I love that you’ve found followers simply by being true and transparent with your goals, beliefs and have in fact found a following that is both organic and passionate for your content!

      Glad you found the format simple and easy to integrate and a great point that consistency is critically important from top down.

      Thanks so much for engaging and adding more valuable content through sharing your thoughts!

  16. Hi Kathi!

    I’m still working on my own branding (actually for both my business and personal branding)

    It’s definitely a challenge. I’m still nowhere near where I want to be so I hope to learn more and more from people like you and the others here.

    I have to reread TAGR again. It’s been a while but a classic like that, well, a re-read is a must.
    Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude is also another I love. Pretty old books but they are still highly relevant today.

    Thanks for this! 🙂

    I just shared it out.

    1. Dennis,
      I have great appreciation for the fact that you know you are’t where you want to be yet, Personal Branding is the perfect example of something that is a marathon and not a sprint! You will get there…keep reading the classics and searching for information. The rest will come.,…just stay true to yourself!

      Thanks so much for the share and the engagement!

  17. Hi Kathi

    Welcome to Aha!NOW as a guest blogger. 🙂 Great post on personal branding! The information is quite useful and the tips that you have shared is quite appealing and ready for application.

    It was last year I think it was that I wrote a similar article entitled “develop your own personal brand that captures the heart and gain lifelong commitment”Here you are present with such great depth and knowledge.

    In developing your own personal brand it’s important to remember that your brand represents you the individual – you alluded to it in the post when you mentioned not giving up control of your brand to anyone else. For me also a personal brand goes far beyond a fancy logo, some catchy slogan and a huge following. A person’s reputation as you mentioned is really important.

    Making sure all of the right components are in place, sure success will follow.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Yvonne and thanks for the warm welcome to the Aha!NOW community! I checked out your earlier post on branding and really enjoyed it! I really like that you stress the importance of staying true to your brand with your content. And yes I’m with you….everything we do, engage with and publish is a direct reflection of our personal code of ethics and reputation.

      And while there are certainly a lot of different parts and pieces to success (as you mention in your reply above), I love the challenge of creating a brand and then watching it grow!

      Also, thanks much for the share on LinkedIn and Google+. I’ve subscribed to your blog so I will look forward to seeing your future posts. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks much for taking the time to engage with me! 🙂

  18. Thank you for sharing these valuable tips. I started as a newbie a few years ago and branding has been one of my strategies. I used to use my personal photo on all my social media but after my major redesign a few months ago, I changed everything to my logo. I wanted people to know my brand when they see it. I also use my brand name or my real name when it comes to commenting.

    1. Christy, I’m glad you found value in the article. It’s impressive that you have given attention to your brand from the beginning of your efforts! It’s interesting that you’ve chosen to use your logo instead of your photo on social media. Historically, a photo was considered critical in social media efforts to create the personal effect. Perhaps you are a trend setter and we will all be switching to logos in the future. Congrats on your successful redesign. I know first-hand what an undertaking that can be!

      I appreciate you taking time to engage with me and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  19. Hi,

    I’m glad to say I’m doing all these! It doesn’t hurt to be reminded of the things we need to do to establish a brand image though. I use photographs to get my message across in a short space of time combined with my writing and editing. People find associations impressive too. I associated with a students and universities because I mentor them in their studies and I’ve just started blogging for a well known newspaper. I’m now thinking more local and I’ve started getting involved with local organisations that are influential and following local politicians on Twitter. I think we can combine combine lots of stands of our perceived persona into one personal brand.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Congratulations on your successful brand journey! It sounds like you have done an excellent job of creating and continually adjusting your brand to maximize new opportunities that are consistent with your brand. And great point regarding associations. They add instant credibility and also serve as a great networking opportunity to identify new channels.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and engage with the article and have a wonderful weekend!

  20. Hello Kathi,

    At first congrats on withe giveaway. Everyone of us think the post is helpful for bloggers only. But according to me, it is a life leading post. Personal branding will help our life lead positively & smoothly. It will be a great manual for everyone. I suggest everyone to read it at-least once to improve oneself.

    Have a nice day 🙂

    1. Hi Ahsan,

      Thanks much for the congrats on the giveaway. Harleena is SO generous to share these opportunities with the community! I’m glad that you see value beyond the obvious business implications for this post. And I think you are right that branding is really a valuable tool and can serve as a roadmap in our personal lives as well.

      Thanks for taking the time to engage and hope you are having a wonderful day as well! 🙂

  21. Hello kathi,

    First of all congratulations for guest post on Aha-Now. You have done a really good job for bloggers and other business owners. You have shared ready made templates for us. People can really get success with personal branding if you people are here for help.

    Gagan Masoun

    1. Gagan,

      Thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to give this article a read! And I’m glad you like the templates. The concept of personal branding can be one that’s a little overwhelming and tough to comprehend so I thought they may help make it a little less frightening! 🙂

      Thanks for engaging and best of luck on your journey to define your brand!

  22. Hi Kathi

    A warm welcome to you at Harleena’s blog and greetings on writing a post on such an important topic; as we hear the word brand so often but never take its meaning as deeply as you described it.

    Companies have a strong team for brand management and they work with a strategy while being a personal blogger one has to keep doing his personal branding while continuing other blogging chores.

    It is equally interesting to note that many great bloggers have established their personal brand without knowing what they have done while managing their blog successfully.

    There are two theories regarding brand management. One is inbound brand management which means to keep focusing on quality of your products, services and customer care and your brand will itself be built up. Other one is outbound brand management which speaks of publicizing simultaneously what you are, how good you are and how beneficial you are to your target market.

    Achieving success through personal branding is a little advance term which in layman language is same as achieving success through quality control and fully publicizing your features as a perfect professional. But the way you attached personal branding to achieve success is more than wonderful and it equally shows your deep insight into the subject.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this well-researched post help internet marketers achieve their online goals with personal branding.

    1. Hi Mi Muba,

      Thanks so much for the warm welcome and acknowledgement on the importance of the branding topic!

      Funny you should mention that larger organizations have complete teams to handle Brand Management. As I was writing this post I (almost) found myself yearning for my former days in Corporate America where there was indeed a team of folks that did nothing but create and monitor brand performance and engagement. You aptly indicate that as small business owners, we have only ourselves to handle this important topic! While it can be overwhelming, I still have no desire to return to Corporate America! 🙂

      You mention that many successful brands are created without the intentional thought and vision that I describe. That is a great comment and addition to our discussion here. You are so correct that for some it literally “just happens!” However, in these cases it does make you wonder if they will stay true to the brand they accidentally created after finding success.

      Thanks so much for taking time to engage in this article!

      PS-Your reply indicates a great understanding of the topic as you discuss both inbound and outbound management. How did you develop your expertise on this topic?

  23. Hi Kathy,
    Congrats on this wonderful opportunity and also coming up with this great write up.

    I would recommend this to everyone (yes I limit this great tips of branding for bloggers only). 🙂

    A person’s appeal and statement is the ,most necessary for anyone who wants to get noticed or build a brand.
    I really loved your way of putting filling in the blanks that in a way reminded me of school time workbooks.:D

    Thanks for this resource and wish you have a great weekend. 🙂

    1. Hi Swadhin,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and see value for a larger audience than just bloggers. 🙂

      Also, it’s funny that you mention the old school workbooks! The topic of brand can be so very overwhelming that I wanted to present it in a way that seemed a little less confusing and decided that the professional educators of days gone by might have been on to something with their format. Great catch and connection on your end.

      Thanks for giving this a read and have a great weekend as well! 🙂

  24. hi Kathi; yes working with harleena is a real pleasure for sure. and she really knows how to get the best out of her guest authors. and in my case things i learned about myself writing the post have turned up again and again in how i tell my story now. i have recently been struggling with the fact that i have two very different sites and blogs in two different niches. there is very little in common between personal development and selling amusement equipment. i created two g plus pages but have been trying to go by maxwell ivey on twitter and linked in and just use that account for both as i am the brand regardless of which business i am talking about. it may result in me not increasing my twitter follower numbers as much as i would like, but i believe those who do realize i am both mr. midway and the blind blogger will be more loyal followers. thanks again for making me think about this issue. take care, max

    1. Maxwell,

      Yes Harleena is a wonderful teacher and SO sharing with her vast knowledge!

      Kudos to you for working to create and maintain content for 2 completely unrelated websites! When I first started writing, I had hoped to create niche audiences with both authors and folks looking for business advice. Unlike you, I tried to find success with the 2 different audiences under the singular brand and it was not effective for me. I’m sure creating and maintaining the 2 different brands has helped you; however, it also has to be a very time consuming task!

      Thanks so much for sharing your journey with regard to personal branding and best of luck to you Mr Midway and Blind Blogger! 🙂

  25. Kathi, I really like how you outlined each step and provided a template for people to fill in! Nice touch. 🙂

    Congratulations on landing a guest post spot on Aha!NOW, too!

    1. Lorraine,

      I’m glad you liked the simple approach and templates…I’m all about making life as easy as possible! 🙂

      Thanks for reading the post, engaging and for the heartfelt congratulations. As I’m sure you would agree, the Aha!NOW community rocks!

  26. Fantastic post, Kathi. You’ve really made the path to personal branding so clear. I’m still working on it. Now, with social media personal branding is much quicker to show. I also think it’s okay to show a true personal style to your followers so that they feel who you are, a little separate from your brand. Human component. At least that’s what I try to do and I hope that’s correct 🙂 I’ll look forward to your next post! Thanks Harleena for sharing awesome folks here at AhaNow!!

    1. Lisa,

      I’m glad you liked the post and hope I was able to make a squishy topic a little more clear! You are so right that our results (good or bad) are much more visible with social media. Personally I think that makes social media a bit easier because we can more quickly learn what does/doesn’t work. What do you think?

      And I completely agree that showing your personal style is incredibly important. There is only one YOU and it can be one of the most beneficial components of your brand. So never, never doubt the importance of including your personal style in your brand!

      Thanks much for taking time to read and engage with this post and I wish you the best on your branding journey!

  27. Hello; as a blogger and business owner I had already realized the value of creating my brand and then promoting and protecting it. but after reading this i can now see how it also applies to individuals. you have a brand whether you actively manage it or not. and just like a garden you have to pull those weeds every day if you want anything good to grow. also as the first winner of one of harleena’s guest posts i want to congratulate you on receiving the honor and applaud you for writing such an excellent post. best of luck to you, max

    1. Maxwell,

      I’m glad that you are a strong believer in the importance of your brand and am thrilled to see that perhaps this post caused you to ponder perhaps a new avenue of personal branding…that of the individual!

      It’s great to meet another one of Harleena’s guests (much less the original winner!) and I sincerely appreciate the heartfelt congratulations. As you well know, working with Harleena has been a true pleasure and honor.

      Thanks so much for the kind words and for taking time from your busy schedule to engage with us on this post.

      PS-for the record, LOVE the garden analogy!

  28. Hi Kathi,

    This is great stuff. You are correct our personal brand is way too important for us to give up control of it. All of the key points you have mentioned here are so vital and I think all of us have struggled with each of them from time to time.

    We have to stand out from others and that means we have to understand what it is we have to offer that others may not be able to. Our consumers have many choices, so if we do not understand our Niche, having a compelling statement, define our appeal, have a compelling strategy, and execute then we are just like the thousands of other Entrepreneurs out there and then there is nothing that separates us.

    Thank you for sharing such an insightful post.

    1. Nathaniel,

      I’m glad to know that there is another control freak out there besides me! 🙂 And you are right, while it was my goal to assemble a simple process, it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to execute.

      It can take as much effort to remain consistent to our brands as it does to develop them! So yes, you are correct that it can sometimes be a struggle. But the reward (and separation from other entrepreneurs as you so aptly mention) is well worth the effort!

      Thanks for taking the initiative to engage with the post and hope you are enjoying a great week!

  29. I started a free WordPress blog because I knew I could write, but I didn’t know my niche. I have since been working on my personal branding and have zoned in on what my niche should be. I still have my blog because I still want to speak up on the issues that matter to me, but I am now The Insightful Wanderer and I aim to paint you a picture with my words. I enjoyed this post and will absolutely check out the blog post next week.

    1. Kerry,

      I find your transparency and insightfulness refreshing! To realize in the beginning of your writing journey that you needed a niche but weren’t ready to commit to one is admirable. Many would have simply ignored the desire to begin writing until they had all of the details worked out. It sounds like you are well on your way to developing your own personal brand.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read and engage with my post. And I look forward to hearing from you on my blog next week as well! Until then, good luck on your journey “insightful Wanderer. 😉

  30. Hello Kathi,

    It’s so nice to meet you. Thank you so much for sharing all this valuable information with us.

    I’m still working on my personal brand and the tips you shared today can definitely help me get it just right, your third tip on how to write a compelling statement was especially helpful!

    And you’re right, making adjustments is a must ot achieve success. I’m looking forward to reading your follow-up post.

    I hope you and Harleena are having a great week.


    1. Hi Corina,

      It’s nice to meet you as well and I’m glad you found value in the information I shared! I’m thrilled to hear that you are presently working on your personal brand…just the fact that you are already in process puts you miles ahead of your peers. I’m also glad to hear that you realize it’s a continual process that will take constant tweaking…but SO worth the effort.

      Thank you for taking time to engage and I’d love to hear from you in my follow up post. And have a wonderful evening.

  31. Hi Kathi,

    Congrats on winning the giveaway.
    Its great to see you here with an informative post. There are many people who will find it valuable.
    As if you are in an online business then you need to build your own brand. Personal branding is very important and for sure it will be great to have it. But what about having an idea and not applying it? People need to think about their plans and executing them. Including social media is very important. You can improve your personal brand.
    You have shared some great points.
    Thanks for writing this article with us.
    Hope you are enjoying your day.:)

    1. Ravi,

      Thanks so much for the heartfelt congrats on winning the giveaway. As I’m sure you can understand, it has been a wonderful experience to work with (and learn from) Harleena!

      I’m glad you think folks with benefit from the post. There have also been some other great ideas added through the comments. So as is the case in our community at Aha!NOW, together we can all help each other achieve greatness.

      PS-I love the challenge you raise to us all that no good idea should go unexecuted! You are so right and deliver an often needed dose of motivation and determination!

      Thanks so much for taking time to engage and hope you had a wonderful day as well! 🙂

  32. Hi Kathy

    I enjoyed the post of personal branding which I see trending online. I love the steps and in truth they are easy to follow. You are right that more than ever before we need to develop our personal brand.

    I love the point of niche. There is a constant temptation to be Jack of all Trades in order to stay relevant but it’s wiser to pick a niche. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ikechi,

      You are so right that this topic is prevalent on-line. And while I think it’s our challenge to constantly develop new content, I felt there was still much confusion around the topic of personal branding and wanted to try to simplify it for the community.

      Thanks for reading the post and taking time from your busy schedule to engage….and always stay true to your niche!!

  33. Hi Kathy,

    Great post, well described and presented. Branding is something we hear all the time but really understand the hardships of it. I thing, I will like to add on to is, ‘Brand Loyalty’. I have seen this at many occasions that bloggers or brands turn away from their targeted niche to other attractive offers in lieu of profits within their spheres. This practice might prove beneficial for short periods but with time it will end up hurting the brand.

    From a customer perspective, I think we like to be sure with the brand we associate ourselves with. No body wants to be a fan of something that sounds or looks confused.So it is imperative to sound true to your brand.

    Well I can go on and on about this…that’s how much I love this post 🙂

    1. Gagan,

      I’m glad you found value in the post! I love your concept of introducing Brand Loyalty into the conversation. You make a great point that we owe it to our brand (and followers/customers) to remain consistent to the brand we develop.

      And your point of “Brand Image” is well voiced as well. I don’t know about you, but I’m often approached on social media by other brands that are inconsistent with my brand. While I’m not easily offended, I’m always hesitant to share their content with my followers as it’s inconsistent with my brand image. A great point and one that perhaps should have been included in the original post.

      Thanks so much for taking time to engage and glad you loved the post so much! 🙂

  34. Hey Kathi mam,
    Firstly, Congratulations for winning the raffle draw.

    Personal Branding is nowadays a buzz word. I agree to your point that personal brands are not only important for the business firms but also to the individuals to portray their qualities and expertise.

    Now, coming to the six important steps to build personal branding. Every step is so well explained and stated. The examples gives a clear idea about the steps and how to work towards them and implement them. First step being defining your appeal is defining you and your qualities precisely. Second, defining your niche for what you work and then third creating compelling statement which can enhance the niche and appeal. I agree with the fourth point that a good personal branding can be build using social media and by sticking to your niche and brand.

    I am looking forward for your next blog about 8 key elements in your personal brand. Thanks for sharing some great tips with us. This was helpful to me and I am sure everyone will find this helpful to survive in this competitive world.

    Thank you and again, congrats! 🙂

    1. Rohan,

      Thanks so much for the heartfelt congrats on winning the guest post opportunity! And you are correct, personal branding is somewhat of a buzz word with today’s successful professionals. While I could be wrong,I think the topic will persist longer than many other topics which hit the scene with a big flash and then quickly disappear. My basis for this statement is based in the fact that we all like control and personal branding is all about control…controlling our image, our persona and our value proposition.

      I’m glad you found the process I described as simple and easy to execute. I’m curious, what percent of focus do you allocate to social media in your personal branding efforts?

      My pleasure to share the content with you and as always, I look forward to your insights and contributions.

      As always, thanks so much for taking time to engage!

  35. Great post, every blogger should read. Finding your brand, joining your tribe or creating your platform. All are key to developing a successful blog that will get read. Consistency is key to sustainability. Creating a brand goes way beyond a nifty theme and logo. Developing your voice that others want to read is what makes a brand successful.

    1. Charles, thanks so much for taking time to engage with this post! And I couldn’t agree more with you that effective personal branding is far more than a fancy logo. I also respect (and agree) with your effective summary that finding and expressing one’s voice is critical to branding success! Unfortunately, the process of discovering that voice is one that many folks never accomplish. Kudos to you for making it a priority in your career.

    2. Welcome to my blog Charles! 🙂

      Yes indeed, creating your own personal brand is essential, just as Kathi mentioned so beautifully in this post, and I am glad you liked and agree with it. Developing your own voice helps tremendously though it does take a while before you can really discover your own, especially for new bloggers.

      Thanks for stopping by – we appreciate it 🙂

  36. Hi Kathi,

    Welcome to Aha!NOW as a guest blogger. You won this guest post from the Raffle draw we had a few months back, and I’m glad you did. I say this because you’ve contributed a wonderful post that I’m sure would be helpful to all, bloggers and non-bloggers alike.

    I totally agree with you that self-improvement should be a constant in your life – always with you and applicable, no matter what! And working on the personal branding is an investment that yields returns for times to comes.

    I think of personal brand as a mixture of reputation or market value + popularity or face value + quality or true value + uniqueness or special value + authority or expert value + influence or leadership value.

    I believe your chances of being successful increase as you increase your value. Since your personal branding is in your hands, then so is your success, right?

    I love the steps that you have listed in this post. The first step definitely is to know and understand yourself, and then to know your purpose. I like the way you’ve made it so easy for others to understand and even work out using your examples. I’m sure everybody will be eager to learn more about the elements of personal brand in the post on your blog.

    Thanks for creating an informative post for the audience of Aha!NOW. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of questions from them as personal branding is a hot topic these days. So take charge and enjoy the interactions while I shall be coming only to welcome the new guest.

    Shine in the spotlight and cherish this Aha!moment. 🙂

    1. Harleena,

      I’m humbled and thrilled with the opportunity to guest blog for Aha!NOW. You have created a wonderful community here. And I’ve already developed many friendships and received some wonderful insight (both personal and professional) from the other members! So thank you for giving us all this forum 😉

      So on to the topic of Personal Branding, I couldn’t agree more with your comment regarding the present interest in the topic and hence why I felt it would make for a valuable post and engagement with the community. And I also love the easy cross topical interest for the members. Literally we can ALL benefit from the topic. Bloggers obviously need to create and monitor their brand, but it’s also critically important (and often overlooked) for those that work for someone else.

      In your comment above, you mention the words “value” and “self improvement.” As usual, you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head with both. In our competitive business environment, providing value is an absolute must. Folks simply have too many other options and too little time. But once we “take control” of our brand and highlight the value we provide, successful will follow. And seriously, who doesn’t like to control their own destiny?!?

      Thanks again Aha!NOW for providing us a forum to learn and share with each other and I look forward to engaging with everyone on the topic of “Personal Branding” both on Aha!NOW this week and on my personal blog next week where we continue the topic by exploring the “key ingredients” a brand should contain.

Comments are closed.

Previous Article
GEMS poster of Aha!NOW Blog Community

GEMS Of Aha!NOW – November 2014

Next Article
Father holding baby in hands and playing

20 Inspiring Men Bloggers of Aha!NOW

Related Posts