How to create your personal brand

María Santoja

Written by María Santoja

Increasingly, companies are aware of the importance of being present on the network, and of using all the tools it offers to define and enhance their brand. This logic can also be applied to individuals, and especially to professionals and freelancers. This is what personal branding or personal brand development is all about, a concept that seeks to differentiate the individual in order to achieve professional success, in the same way as a commercial brand would.

The concept of personal branding emerged in the late nineties in Tom Peters’ article “The Brand called you”. However, over the last few years, personal branding has been growing in importance and becoming more and more accessible thanks to the 2.0 world. Today, with good planning and the development of a strategy, anyone can build their personal brand.

Define your personal brand to make a difference

Why is it important to develop your personal brand?

We live in a very competitive world, and certainly with the economic crisis, that competition has become voracious. It is essential for professionals to achieve, on the one hand, visibility on the network, and on the other hand, to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Developing a personal brand consists of managing the individual’s image to communicate differentiated characteristics and values.

Building our personal brand will help us in the job search, and especially if we are self-employed, as it will position us as an expert in the sector, which, in the long run, will be reflected in an increase in clients.

How to build your personal brand

As we have already pointed out, personal branding is based on communication and perception management. But it is also a strategy, and as such requires planning and consistency. Let’s look at the main points to be defined before starting to communicate our personal brand:


Define your personal brand objectivesThe motivation to develop a personal brand usually revolves around two poles, either finding a job or getting clients. Having clear objectives, and keeping track of the results, will help us to evaluate the effectiveness of our personal branding strategy , and thus make the changes we consider necessary.

The message:

learn how to communicate your personal brandYou must ask yourself, what do you want to communicate? What sets you apart and what can you add value to your work? In this sense, it is clear to define, on the one hand, our differentiating values, and on the other hand, the products or services we offer and associate with those values.


personal brandThis is perhaps the point most neglected by professionals, and yet it is something that should not be left to improvisation. Like the message, the tone of the communication must be defined in advance and maintained in everything we do (although it can, and should, undergo slight variations depending on the medium we use). Depending on our sector, our own personality and the objectives we have defined, one communicative tone or another will be better: close, emotional, informative, formal and so on.

Communication channels:

choose your personal brand communication channelsIn the same way that a company must define communication channels in its strategy, the professional must select those channels that are most relevant to the company’s strategy. media that best suit your objectives and bring you closer to the audience you want to reach. Social networks are a good ally, and above all, they are a good LinkedIn and Twitter can be great personal brand communication tools. However, there are many other social networks and expert forums, some of them specialized in certain sectors that we can use. At this point, it is important to remember that planning and consistency are fundamental, and there is no point in registering in a thousand and one social networks if we are not going to fill them with content.

Regarding our presence in social networks, it is better to be in a few, but in a constant and coherent way with our tone and message, than in many that do not fit the image we want to communicate and that are outdated.

The shares:

elaborate an action plan for your personal brandFinally, personal branding, which until now may have seemed a somewhat abstract idea, must materialize in actions in which we will apply all the previous points. This is what we would call the content: if, for example, the blog were the communication channel we have decided to use, what we will say in the blog and the timing of this will be the actions. Creating good content is essential to position ourselves as experts. These can be ebooks, Slidehsare presentations, blog posts or offline actions such as classes or presentations at conferences.

In fact, it is highly recommended to merge the online and offline worlds.

If we give a talk, we should not forget, for example, to post the photos on Flickr, the video on Youtube or write a summary post on our blog. And in turn, if we have physical cards, we should put our personal website, blog or perhaps a QR code that leads to that content.

Personal branding and professional image

Of course, a commercial brand is composed of a name and a corporate identity, and our personal brand must be defined in the same way. The way we design our personal brand will define the professional image we are going to transmit.

  • Name:

Will we use our real name, a pseudonym or perhaps a variation of our name? At this point it is very important to be aware of the competition: if our name is Juan García Henarejos, it may be more convenient to use our second surname, since there will be many Juanes García on the network. In addition, we must not forget that the name must fit in social networks, so it should not exceed 15 characters.

  • Key words:

What are the keywords that define us and for which we want to position ourselves? Let’s remember that our personal brand will be developed both in the offline and online world. In the digital environment, we will use keywords in our communications to try to improve our web positioning. In addition, selecting these concepts will also help us to be remembered in a simple and differentiated way: for example, Juan Henarejos, creative pastry; or Ruth Lledó, vintage tattoo.

  • Visual identity:

Image sells, and it is a great ally to transmit the values we have talked so much about. Therefore, the visual design of the personal brand should not be neglected, choosing the chromatic range and typographies to be used in our communications, which will help us to transmit what we want. Sometimes it may be convenient to design a logo.

Finally, it is necessary to be aware that building a personal brand is a slow process that requires perseverance and patience. However, I consider it a very rewarding job, because at the end of the day we are selling ourselves.

And you, do you take care of your online communication? are you developing your personal brand?

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María Santoja
María Santoja
Former senior SEO consultant and commercial training coordinator at Human Level. Graduated in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising and Public Relations. Specialist in SEO and content marketing.

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