These days, branding is everything. We’re not just talking about the slogan of your insurance provider or the sleek packaging on your favorite products.
We’re talking about how successful business professionals market themselves.
If you’re an executive, CEO, or entrepreneur, considering how to build your personal brand is key.
Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place.
At Next Level Wardrobe, helping clients to define their image and discover their brand is our expertise. Read on for our top tips for building your personal brand and celebrity examples to kickstart your brand journey.
Building Your Personal Brand: Why It’s Important
Photo Credit: Pexels
Before we tackle how to build your personal brand, let’s break down why it’s important at all.
Put simply, building your personal brand sets you apart from the competition. It defines who you are, what you bring to the table, and why others should want to work with you.
It’s also something others can easily identify about you. They can see it in everything you do. From how you act, to your online presence, to the way you dress—these are all components of your brand.
A personal brand is especially important when it comes to first impressions. We know it sounds superficial but the reality is that most people form opinions about you within seconds of meeting. Let’s face it, we live in such a visual world that your first impression has the power to make or break the relationship going forward (like it or not!)
If you’re trying to grow your business or career, you want those first moments to help you. Not hold you back.
That’s why it’s important to figure out what your personal brand is. And how to infuse it into every aspect of your life.
How to Build Your Personal Brand: When to Do It
Photo Credit: Pexels
The first part of knowing how to build your personal brand is knowing when to do it.
The short answer?
We run into this all the time with our clients. They want to hold off upgrading their wardrobe or finding their personal brand until x, y, or z happens.
Until they’re further in their career, until they’ve changed something about their physique, etc.
Those are all excuses. They’re road blocks you’re putting up to keep from investing in yourself.
Here’s the truth. The sooner you do the work to discover and build your personal brand, the sooner you’ll see results in other parts of your life.
Think about it.
A personal brand requires getting to know yourself and confidently leaning in to who that is. You’ll be more likely to push yourself to take on new opportunities and challenges.
How to Build Your Personal Brand: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself
Now that you’re ready to start brainstorming your brand, let’s get into the basics.
We’ve developed three simple questions to help you with building your own personal brand. Answer each question and you’ll have what to focus on and a roadmap to follow.
1. What do you want other people to think about you based on how you present yourself?
Photo Credit: Pexels
Remember when we talked about first impressions earlier?
This is where you outline what you want those first impressions to be.
Write down the words you want to describe yourself and the words you want to describe your career and/or business.
If you get stuck, think about goals you have for yourself. For example, if you have your eye on a promotion, what qualities would get you there?
2. Does how you’re currently presenting yourself align with how you want the world to perceive you?
Photo Credit: Pexels
Once you know how you want others to perceive you, it’s time for a self-audit.
Does what you’re putting out there match up with those words and goals you wrote down?
If not, identify what’s not lining up and dig into why it’s not working.
Here’s an example. Say you want people to look at you and think you’re professional, organized, and reliable.
– Do you answer emails on time? If someone were to meet you for the first time through a message, would you make a positive impression? Or would they assume you were absent-minded?
– Is your workspace tidy? If potential business partner visited your office, would they see a messy desk and trash on the ground?
– Does your wardrobe look put together? Are you wearing clothes that fit and coordinate or are you throwing on dated, low quality outfits?
If you’re thinking of how to build your brand, go over all areas of your life carefully and honestly. That way you know what needs adjusting and why.
3. Do you have a ‘CEO Dream Team’?
Check out this IG Live that our founder did with Flynn – a very talented makeup artist.
At this stage, you should have the building blocks of what you want your personal brand to be.
But how are you going to put it all together?
Between work and personal responsibilities, most people don’t have time to spare. Let alone the energy required to assemble an entire brand from the ground up.
That’s why the third question to ask yourself when building your personal brand is: do you have a CEO dream team?
Do you have a reliable collection of experts that you can delegate tasks to in order to reach your goals?
For example, how you dress is an integral part of how others perceive you. So it should be part of your brand too. Find a stylist who understands your needs and can do all the style heavy lifting for you. The goal is that you want to look 10/10 consistently and systematize as much as possible.
With creating your CEO Dream Team, you’ll be able to have your go to skincare, make up, hairstylist (and your go to routines/products) as well as a signature scent. Remember that a GREAT personal brand should touch all the scenes after all.
Interested in a stylist or image consultant? Take a peek at this blog post on a day in the life of an image consultant to get a better feel for what they can do for you.
How to Build Your Personal Brand: Personal Brands We Love
To get your juices flowing on how to build your personal brand, we’ve selected three celebrity examples we love. We’ll walk you through what they’re doing and why it works for them.
1. Oprah: How to Build Your Personal Brand with Trust
View this post on Instagram
Our first choice had to be someone with such a strong brand we don’t even have to list their last name.
Oprah is the quintessential example of a personal brand done right.
Since the early days of her talk show, Oprah set the stage for herself as an empathetic host. She listened to the everyday problems of her audience and always got celebrities to open up more than they expected.
Her personal brand is all about authenticity and trustworthiness. She’s used that to establish a wildly successful book club, media company, and even food ventures.
She definitely has had a recent style transformation, mostly likely by hiring a talented stylist, to take her style into a cool ‘Coastal Grandmother’. Notice how she’s playing with texture, lighter color palette and softer silhouettes. This is very appropriate for the stage of her life that she’s in.
2. Jeff Bezos: How to Build Your Personal Brand with Audaciousness
When you think of a billionaire, tech CEO, or entrepreneur, you can’t avoid thinking of Jeff Bezos.
No matter your opinions on the Amazon tycoon, there’s no denying he’s got a strong personal brand.
From day one he’s been a strong believer in technology and a savvy risk taker. He’s also understood consumer wants and honed in on that massively.
He’s stayed committed to those major tenets and it comes through in his actions. From transforming e-commerce to entering space with Blue Origin, it all feels “on brand” for Bezos.
Recently, he’s gone through some big changes in his personal life that has caused him to change his image. No longer seen as a traditional tech CEO, he’s gained muscle, hired a stylist and is going with more bold looks for his style.
Check out how he’s opting for better fitting clothing, core colors and a more classic cool style.
3. Mindy Kaling: How to Build Your Personal Brand with Joy
Mindy Kaling is one of our favorite examples of a brand evolution.
The comedian gained most of her initial fame as a side character on The Office.
However in recent years she’s moved from the sidelines to the spotlight. She’s written a book, launched a hit TV show, and started a company. It was time her style matched her success she’s worked so hard for and all these changes are very in line with her new look.
Kaling embraces playful, bright colors in modern but well-fitting silhouettes. She’s not afraid of fun flourishes like fringe and jewels. And it works. Think about it, her personal brand is PERFECT for the creative industry that she’s in, where thinking outside the box is valued. This would be tougher to pull off if she worked in a traditional corporate job.
Start building your personal brand with the help of a Next Level Wardrobe image consultant. NLW offers both virtual and in-person executive image consulting services for women and men to elevate the way you present yourself from head to toe.