How to Create a Personal Brand: Real-Life Examples

How to Create a Personal Brand: Real-Life Examples

Of all the people and companies you know, who has a strong brand?

Take moment. Write those names down. 

Now, what have they done to create that brand?

Depending on the person, or company, the answers are numerous — posting on social media, establishing connections, publishing books and articles, giving TED talks and seminars…

When I asked myself this question, a few examples came to mind.

As a relatively young person, I have spent more than a few hours on social media. One of the most popular apps right now is TikTok. Many brands, sports teams, and other companies have started TikTok accounts and are taking the app by storm.

For example, the popular language-learning app, Duolingo, has 2.1 million followers on TikTok. Their goal is to make learning a language appealing to young people, so they’ve created a social media presence where the youth are. This includes using trends and sounds that are popular on the app to make comedic videos, furthering interaction with the brand.

Now when I think of Duolingo, I think of a funny, slightly chaotic owl (Duolingo’s mascot) who gets upset anytime I don’t open the Duolingo app to do my daily language lesson. They’ve developed a strong brand, and I would hazard a guess that it’s working well for them.

Obviously, we can’t all be anthropomorphic owls. Most of us want to create a brand that speaks to our industry and is more “closed circuit.”

In that vein, let me give you the example of Wendy Green (her name has been changed). 

A number of years ago, while my father was working for another company, he became acquainted with Wendy. She had become well-known for her innovative ideas and thought leadership within the firm. Anytime there was a new project or initiative, Wendy was called in to lend her expertise.

This didn’t happen overnight. For years, Wendy had pushed her ideas, gone to conferences to network with other like-minded people, and gotten in front of the CEO. 

Her hard work paid off. She created a unique, personal brand that made her invaluable to her company.

Duolingo and Wendy Green have a few things in common:

  • They defined who they were—their personal brand.
  • They refined the skills related to their brand.
  • They found their target audience and marketed toward them.
  • They used the tools most relevant to their fields to build their visibility.

Luckily, these are all things you can do within your own sphere of influence. 

Next time, I’ll discuss how to find your personal brand. If you can’t wait until then (totally understandable), reach out to one of our career coaches, who are experts at helping develop personal brands, along with any other career help you may need.

Until next time.