Someone recently asked me, “What does a good personal brand look like?”

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We could just point to people with strong brands and say “That’s it!”, but that answer doesn’t tell you what exactly makes their brand a strong one. I may be really good at my job, but that doesn’t make me Oprah, or Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson.

No — what I think that person wanted was a way to examine the elements of their brand, and find areas that they could improve upon. With that in mind, I wrote a short list to help them think through the different aspects of the brand they were building, and suggest some ideas about how to make it stronger.

My definition: A good personal brand is authentic, and has a good balance of specificity, authority, emotion, helpfulness, influence, and reach.

  1. It’s Authentic — You speak from your soul, following your own path. Copying someone else’s brand is a recipe for heartache and failure.
  2. It’s Specific — You have a niche that you can own, so people know what you’re known for.
  3. It has Credible Authority — People listen and believe you because you’re an expert — you know what you’re talking about. The topic area is a unique strength of yours.
  4. It’s Emotionally Compelling — You can tell your story in a concise and powerful manner that people connect to in a human way. This also means that you can’t make your brand just about what you know or can do. You also have to know the story behind why you do what you do.
  5. It’s Helpful — You and your content are truly useful to people. You want to help people in some meaningful way, which will reward people for their attention.
  6. It’s Influential — Your opinions can move the larger discussion because people listen to you, react to you, and respect you. This one is tough, because it doesn’t happen through just your force of will, and takes time.
  7. It Has Reach — Your voice travels widely and many people follow you — because when they do, things get better for them (see number 5).

What else do you think makes a good personal brand?

 

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Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.