Everyone says you need a personal brand, but few people can show you how to actually make one. That’s why I scoured LinkedIn for the best personal branding examples out there to show you what that really looks like.
Why is personal branding important, though? According to a study from CareerBuilder, 47% of employers say that they’ll be less likely to hire candidates who can’t be found online. You can’t just hide from them online, unfortunately—you’ll need to create a personal brand for yourself.
These personal branding samples aren’t business owners or media icons with a personal marketing budget. These are real people who work in 9-5 jobs like most of us, so read through these before considering a personal branding consultant.
Ready to find some inspiration? Let’s dive in.
Personal branding examples from everyday people
These aren’t business owners pining for attention because a social media consultant told them to do it. These are strong personal brand examples from everyday people like you and me.
They’re job seekers, not entrepreneurs—and they demonstrate that it’s entirely possible to start building a personal brand without any kind of budget.
The digital archivist
You don’t think modern when you hear “archivist,” and this professional blows that expectation out of the water. She has a clear handle on history, information literacy, and today’s digital tools.
Why this personal brand rocks: Emily lives and breathes her field. It’s a part of her character and her life’s mission—that’s immediately clear from her social profiles (and recruiters do look at those to verify your credentials).
She has a good LinkedIn profile, but her personal brand really comes to life on Twitter. Reading her profile makes me believe that she’ll overcome challenges in her field because she loves what she does no matter what. She posts wholesome memes about being an archivist, her dog, and hobbies (shout out for RPG love!).
— Emily Higgs Kopin (@emilyhiggs24) February 17, 2020
She also has a portfolio website that fits her industry’s style, rounding out her online presence quite well. This is one of the best personal brand identity examples: Emily is driven internally, full of character, and involved in a specific field.
Video doesn’t get hyped as VR these days, but I’m stoked to hear more about it every time Omar shares his latest work. This is one of the best creative personal branding examples out there, and he really makes you feel like a part of his tribe on LinkedIn.
Look at how he uses his expertise to educate his network on making better marketing videos. It’s awesome because it’s authentic and helpful, not just another post for an attention grab.
Why this personal brand rocks: Omar doesn’t just choose to be a part of one industry, but someone who celebrates his craft—videography, in this case. He also combines that craft with his other interests, making videos out of love for his hobbies and what he does for a living.
Even better, he’s launching a video series to help his network. Self-serving “influencers” don’t do that because they’re trying to get value, but Omar gives value. It shows.
His enthusiasm and his creative drive get other people excited as well, even if they don’t have a real interest in videography. His own excitement just shines through that much.
The social media specialist
An up-and-coming social media professional, Daryna makes it clear that she’s happy to dive head-first into new projects wherever she goes. She also shares open positions liberally with her network, showing that she’s looking out for others.
Her LinkedIn profile is also dressed to the nines with digital marketing certificates, which just screams “going places.” You won’t find many better examples of personal brand profiles on LinkedIn.
Why this personal brand rocks: It doesn’t even matter that Daryna hasn’t been in the workforce for 5 or 10 years when she’s clearly putting so much effort into becoming a part of the digital marketing industry. You get the immediate impression that she’s a knowledge sponge who learns by doing, and she’s ready to do everything.
Case in point: she’s done several internships and she’s even started a podcast in her first two years of joining the workforce. I haven’t even done a podcast, and I’m the one with the career website.
The growth manager
Marketing gets a bad reputation as shallow and self-serving, but this marketer has built a personal brand identity around equality and mental health awareness.
Why this personal brand rocks: Taylor makes her opinions known, letting everyone else decide if they’d like to stay in her network or not. It’s an excellent mechanism for networking because it filters out people who don’t value the same causes as her.
Even better, her brand aligns quite well with her recent roles. An advocate for civil rights and mental health awareness is a great fit for her current employer, which created an app to help people with their mental health. It’s one of the better personal brand messaging examples you’ll find out there because it’s integrated so well with Taylor’s industry.
Honestly, at the end of the day, I just feel better knowing Taylor is out there. She feels like a force for good in the world. It’s hard to argue with that kind of personal branding.
What happens if you become an executive? Once you get there you can’t only be known as the workhorse who shows up early and stays late (although that’s still a nice touch).
You need a rallying cause, and this media executive has found one that positions him very, very effectively in his industry.
Why this personal brand rocks: Dave hasn’t just championed an identifiable cause as his personal brand message. He’s turned it into a niche, and it’s a great one: how to make print media thrive in a digital world.
If you believe that print media is dead then it sounds like a losing battle, but here’s the kicker: it’s not dead, just reduced (newspapers struggle, but direct mail marketing has never been better). People look elsewhere for business and career opportunities these days while Dave has doubled down on it—and he’s one of only a few leaders who really embrace the medium so openly.
He positions print media alongside quality reporting (sorely lacking in many online publications),
Recruiting and social media management don’t sound like natural complements to each other, but someone managed to land both of those roles at the same time by developing his personal brand.
That’s Sam Swirsky, and if you’ve spent time on LinkedIn then you might even know of him.
Why this personal brand rocks: I’ve been following Sam for a while now and I can tell you that he doesn’t have a silver bullet—he’d be the first to say so, too. Instead of trying out marketing hacks, he just offers up great advice in discussions with other professionals who are looking to gain exposure as well.
In other words, his personal brand is both highly supportive and casually strategic. He loves to cross-pollinate with other people for mutual exposure but he’s not obsessed with it, which makes him highly approachable.
This is one of the best examples of personal brand strategy that you’ll find anywhere, so take notes!
Creating a personal brand statement
As a digital marketer, let me be the first to tell you that a personal brand doesn’t need to rely on a statement to be effective. Your personal brand can and should work through your actions, your work, and your standards.
But you should also know that social networks (especially LinkedIn) make up the second-most effective source for top hires after employee referrals, according to Jobvite’s 2015 survey.
You can’t really ignore your personal brand statement when social media plays such a large role in recruiting—and as a marketer I will also tell you that good messaging will carry your professional image a long way.
Okay, let’s write a personal brand statement. But how?
The trick to creating a good statement is to pack a lot of punch into one sentence, often including these three elements:
- What you do.
- Why you do it.
- Who you are (optional).
Another common (and effective) formula is to fill in the blanks with this statement:
“I improve _________ so that companies who ___________ can achieve ___________.”
Pretty simple, right?
If I were to use that formula I would fill in the blanks like this:
“I generate tons of website traffic so that service businesses can focus on sales and operations.”
Personal brand statement examples
Here are some of the best personal branding statements on the internet to get your creative juices flowing. They can fit right into your LinkedIn headline, conveniently (because that’s where they came from) but they’re also similar to personal branding quotes that you can adapt for yourself.
- “I connect genuine companies with diligent recruiters.”
- “Teaching smart people to maximize their impact.”
- “I help visionary leaders dig up their next big idea.” – Lee Price
- “Exploring the world through the lens of food and beverage.”
- “Right-brain solutions for left-brain projects.”
- “We follow data and results, not magic.”
- “Helping you navigate change and improve your corporate culture.”
- “Training and empowering students in lifelong skill building.”
Learn more about how to write a personal brand statement here if you really want to nail that headline!
These are some of the most impressive and realistic personal branding examples in the workforce, and you can make just like them. Notice how a lot of them just do helpful things for others and pursue new experiences? Start there and you’ll be well on your way.
Now it’s your turn to make one. Good luck!