The 5-Question Guide for Personal Branding Greatness

When we think of branding, we have a tendency to associate the practice with products and services. We think about taglines, and colors and logos. But, as individuals who work in a communications-related field, the idea of personal branding, the ongoing practice of marketing yourself, is an integral part of building a successful career.

When you are thoughtful and strategic about your personal brand, the results can lead to job opportunities, new clients, guest speaking gigs, and a whole slew of other opportunities.

Ready to begin? These five questions will get you on the path toward personal branding greatness:

Personal Branding Q1: What is my niche?

Communications is a broad field and we all have different strengths.  A great way to inform your personal brand is to think about your specific areas of expertise, talents, perspective and experience you want others to associate with your name.  Finding your niche will help you strategically build your audience within your area of expertise and guide your overall content strategy.

Finding your niche will help you strategically build your audience within your area of expertise and guide your overall content strategy and visual brand identity.

Personal Branding Q2: What is my voice?

Think about some of your favorite brands, or the industry professionals you admire and think about how you would classify their voice and tone. Do you wish to be perceived as authoritative instead of humorous? As sarcastic instead of friendly? There is no right or wrong answer, but it’s important for your tone to be authentic to you and for you to stay consistent with your decision across all fronts – from emails to Instagram. Doing so will only help to strengthen the associations others have when they think of you, and a clearly defined voice will support your career goals – attracting more likeminded clients and opportunities your way.

Personal Branding Q3: What is my aesthetic?

Let’s face it, visuals and aesthetic cohesion are a huge part of any successful brand, and your personal brand is no exception! Think about your color scheme and overall vibe. Will your brand contain muted, bohemian colors or minimalist photos with a heavy emphasis on white backgrounds and beach photography? Remember, it’s not about individual images as much as developing a cohesive, branded experience no matter where a person might encounter your work.

Choose your aesthetic based on your gut — what kind of style are you innately attracted to? Rather than trying to adopt what is trending, or what you think other people want to see, you’ll ensure that your aesthetic is authentic and true to who you are. Authenticity is one of the pillars of truly great, long-lasting brands.

Personal Branding Q4: Where will I build my audience?

We’ve all heard the saying, “jack of all trades, master of none,” which is exactly why it’s important to have clear answers the three questions above. It’s also essential to choose a handful of key platforms to build and grow your reputation and audience. If you spread yourself too thin you will risk missing out on engaging with your connections, or putting forth a brand that feels sparse and less than present. So how do you know which platforms are right for you? Choose your key platforms based on the types of content you plan on producing. If you plan on producing videos, opt for YouTube and Facebook. If you focus on gorgeous imagery, opt for Instagram. If your content is focused on providing more information, such as using long-form text, opt for a blog and supplement with LinkedIn and Facebook. Whether you choose to focus on a blog, YouTube channel, LinkedIn, or Snapchat, stick to a few key platforms that will best communicate your overall message.

Primarily, you want to choose your platforms based on the types of content you plan on producing. If you plan on producing videos, opt for YouTube and Facebook. If you focus on gorgeous imagery, opt for Instagram. If your content is focused on providing more information, such as using long-form text, opt for a blog and supplement with LinkedIn and Facebook. If you are primarily interested in providing services to local businesses, explore local networking groups and join the board of a relevant association.Whether you choose to focus on a blog, YouTube channel, LinkedIn, or Snapchat, stick to a few key platforms that will best communicate your overall message.

Whether you choose to focus on a blog, YouTube channel, LinkedIn, or Snapchat, stick to a few key platforms that will best communicate your overall message and use them consistently.

Personal Branding Q5: What are my big picture goals?

Now that you’ve defined your niche, tone, and aesthetic as well as identified your target communication channels, you can start creating content and making choices that align with your overall goals. Maybe you want to land a new job or get a side gig as a guest writer on one of your favorite blogs. Use your personal brand to position yourself as an expert in your field through an eye-catching resume and portfolio, submit an article that reinforces your expert niche.

Your personal brand will naturally evolve, as both the industry at large and your own career path progresses, but these baseline questions will consistently guide you toward presenting an authentic representation of who you are among your professional community. Ensure that your personal brand supports your goals and helps you tell your story how you want it to be told.

About This Author

Brittany Lamp is a content creator and curator who specializes in brand strategy, lifestyle marketing, community building, and copywriting. She currently works as the Digital Brand Manager at Dita Eyewear, where she oversees digital content strategy for the artisan brand. She has also worked as a social media brand manager for large corporations such as It Works Global, Jessica Simpson, SwimSpot, and L*Space Swimwear.