Know Thyself First, then Create Your Personal Brand

Personal Branding

When you think about this whole personal branding thing, I imagine so many people struggle with it simply because they’re already in some sort of identity crisis. If you don’t know who you are, how can you define your brand and convey it to others?

I was thinking about all of the soon-to-be and recent graduates out there who are expected to convey their brand, whether self-employed or working for a company. How can they know that when they have little professional experience? As we grow, if we never find out what we are really good at or what we want to do, how do we ever know who we are–and how can we create a brand?

I believe that you have to understand who you are and what you want to convey, but you also need to think about your audience. What does your employer or what do your clients want from you? What can they expect from you? And how can you deliver something that represents you and meets their needs?

In putting together your brand, it’s important to consider a few things before you identify with a tagline or a logo. Let’s take a look at a few ways to understand who you are. Ask yourself the following questions to get a better idea of your identity and purpose.

1. What do you value professionally and personally?

2. What do you have to offer that no one else does?

3. What do the people you work for, or your clients, need from you?

4. What three things do you want your brand to emulate?

5. How do you want people to perceive you?

6. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?

7. What can customers/clients/employers count on you for?

8. What is your competitive advantage as an individual?

Remember, brand is more than a look–it’s everything you project to others in the professional world. So think about what you want? Keep in mind that your brand is not only about who you are–you want it to appeal to clients and employers as well.

What do you think is the most important factor to consider when putting together a brand?


Kristen is a copywriter and author who enjoys what she does for a living. Kristen is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Kristen writes regularly for MediaBistro, SheKnows and FreelanceSwitch. She is a panelist on the biweekly, award-winning podcast FreelanceRadio. Kristen is the author of Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life and her new book, It Takes More than Talent: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined is due out in January 2013. She has been featured on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and CareerBuilder; and also in the Boston Herald, the New Jersey Star-Ledger and in the Asbury Park Press.