What Is A Personal Brand?

shutterstock_100614508 Nothing seems to inspire more debate or more confusion than the meaning of a personal brand. Having a powerful personal brand is the crucial first step to having an effective marketing strategy and attracting more clients.

First, let me share what a personal brand is NOT. It is not your logo, your website or what you do for a living. It is not the car you drive or the clothes you wear, nor is it the credentials you’ve earned or the awards you’ve won. While all of these things can be considered a part of your personal brand, they are not, in and of themselves, your brand.

In simple terms, a personal brand is how you make people FEEL when they interact with you. How are people experiencing YOU? Emotions are what make the brain sit up and take notice. In order to resonate strongly with your target market, you’ve got to make a powerful emotional connection. Nike helps their target market feel motivated, while Lululemon and Oprah help theirs to feel inspired. Apple customers feel like innovative, creative early-adopters and people who watch CNN feel connected to the world while getting their news from a trusted source.

While emotions are the key to your brand, let’s break it down even further. These are the three specific ways to measure your personal brand:

The mental picture people get when they think of you. A clear, compelling public image that represents your values, your personality, your expertise and the qualities that make you unique. What attributes do I want others to think of when they think of or interact with me?

How others feel about you. The meaningful emotional response someone has when experiencing your brand. Someone once said, “People won’t remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.” How do I want people to FEEL when they interact with and experience my brand?

Your promise of value. This is the promise of what people can expect when they deal with you. What value am I contributing to my clients and prospects?

The people who are the most successful with their personal brands are the simplifiers, the filterers and the synthesizers. The people who are crystal clear about who they are, what they do best and exactly how they solve their clients’ most pressing problems will have an easier time attracting clients. Those who can communicate their value AND embody their message will make a successful emotional connection with their target market and watch their business (and their bank account) grow.

© Liz Dennery Sanders 2010



  1. This is really helpful. Thank you!

  2. Love this – so simple – so true – and the biggest aspect about PB for me is how you make people feel!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liz Dennery Sanders, Christina Ambubuyog. Christina Ambubuyog said: Thanks LIz! Very timely! RT @shebrandliz: What is a personal brand? Here's the scoop: http://bit.ly/eyALzC […]

  2. […] for your tribe, not alienate them, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a stronger personal brand and creating more online […]

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