Let me start by saying I’m not writing as an expert in this post. Future Females announced this theme and I thought: … [nothing]. Don’t get me wrong, I do think personal branding is very important. But when I look at myself I’m right in the middle, still figuring it out. So for this blog post, I’m taking a deep breath – diving into the subject with an open mind – sharing my findings here with you. Ultimately leaving you with a 3-steps guideline. Hoping it will help you and me both to build our most powerful personal brand.

Some first thoughts that come to mind: who do I know that embodies personal branding? How does this theme relate to last month’s theme of self-love? And oh yes, confidence. You’d definitely need to bring that when working on personal branding. Okay, let’s go!

Personal Branding Heroes

A great way to get your personal branding right is to look for heroes. Real life examples, or even fictive ones if you like. Last year Forbes featured an article calling superheroes “the ultimate brands”. Superheroes teach us the importance of having a purpose and finding your superpower. Also, you need to consider aspects such as consistency, continuous improvement of your skills and networking. Read this great piece at Forbes.com.

Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon.com and one of the richest and most successful men in the world, says: “branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room”. So how do you know…? Kidding. You can actually know. And you control this more than you might think. Ask yourself what did you leave them with? How did you look? How did you speak? How did you make people feel? All these things you control. Sure there are always people who like you and people who don’t. Not everyone is going to be your customer, your fan or your friend. That’s (hopefully) not the goal here. The goal is to bring across you. Your personal brand.

Future Females Blog | 3 Steps to Building a Powerful Personal Brand

We should pay close attention to the way we engage with people in all facets (our words, energy, appearance) and make sure it is always true to you. This brings me to the next buzzword you find when reading up on personal branding: authenticity. I believe authenticity is key in every part of your life. If something or someone is not authentic, then what do you have? Be real, it definitely lasts longer. Or in the words of one of one of my personal branding heroes Chris Haroun: “be long-term focussed” And he likes to quote Warren Buffet: “the longer the view, the wiser the intention”. This applies very much to building your brand I believe. Because you need authenticity and along-termm focus to build trusting relationship with your customers, followers and community.

Joel Peterson, chairman at Jet Blue Airlines wrote a very personal and helpful article about personal branding and how to become aware of how others perceive you. He did a great experiment where he would see himself through the eyes of his kids and this, in turn, opened up his eyes and eventually changed him (and with it his personal brand). “He drives a grey car, has grey suits and his hair is getting grey, he must see the world as grey. My brand – at least for my kids – was boring, conservative, predictable, and all business.” He had no idea this was part of his personal brand, and he realized it did not at all reflect his personality.

Peterson agrees that, if you want to make it in business, you have got to be authentic. Your personal brand has to really reflect who you are in order to be successful. “A great, caring and competent brand requires you to become a great, caring and competent human being”.

My personal absolute favourite branding hero is a woman who embodies all the above. She comes across as totally real and completely herself on camera. I’m talking about Adriene Mishler of the YouTube channel “Yoga With Adriene.” Big YouTube hit, with currently 3.2 million subscribers. Already in 2015 “Yoga with Adriene” was most googled in the category workout. She is one of the best in what she does, by being who she is. What she adds with her personality to her work is what makes her so great. She is her greatest USP (Unique Selling Point). That must be the ultimate personal branding result. Read the latest interview with Adriene on Mashable.

Personal Branding & Self-Love

I promised a deep dive, so brace yourself. It seems personal branding is all about going inward before presenting yourself to the world. To define your personal brand you first have to define yourself. What makes you, you? What is your superpower? And what is your purpose? What do you add to the table that is completely and uniquely you that adds to your personal USP?

And here I thought I was going to write about marketing, social media, appearance. Sure that is part of the outings of personal branding, but at a much later stage. I don’t think the word count of this blog is going to allow me to get there. If you are building a strong personal

brand, before you can start communicating, you first need to start a real conversation with yourself. Go inward.

Last month’s theme was on self-love. In order to be successful, to be happy, to be unique, to be balanced, you first start with a lavish dose of self-love. It will allow you to trust who you are, and what you’ve got. And from this trust comes the much-desired confidence you need to go outward. To present yourself in a consistent way. To take on any competition. And to deal with the critique and setbacks you will face. You got this now. Because you have your own back. You love yourself, no matter what.

Your 3 Step Guide

This quick deep dive has turned out to be a real treasure dive! We’ve already discovered so many gems (12) that can help us build our personal brand:

PURPOSE · SUPERPOWER · CONSISTENCY · CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT · NETWORKING · TRUE SELF · AUTHENTICITY · LONG TERM FOCUS · BE YOUR OWN USP · GO INWARD · SELF LOVE · CONFIDENCE

The quotes and articles I shared and the 12 buzzwords can guide you towards your personal brand. To help you do this I’ve put the 12 gems into a beautiful 3-piece gemstone jewellery set for you to wear at any occasion =) It sums up the article nicely and it can help you define your truest most powerful personal brand.

3 steps to build your most powerful personal brand:

1. Love yourself to bits: get to know yourself, trust your inner-self and be confident

2. Follow your nature: be authentic and be your true self when you engage with others

3. Be your own greatest USP: whatever your trade is, your skill or service you provide, make sure the YOU shines through in everything you do.

Future Females Blog | 3 Steps to Building a Powerful Personal Brand

Marleen Mulder
Marleen Mulder is the Founder of Minimal Mass, a clean-tech company aiming to make electricity more widely available and renewable energy tech affordable. She is passionate about exploring new ways of enjoying nature and lowering her footprint on the earth. Being based in the Netherlands, she is fully engaged in the online activities of Future Females.