An authentic, aligned personal brand will attract ideal clients and customers who are inspired and motivated by who you are and how you show up in the world…
People who want to work with you and only you.
But you don’t have to go it alone on your personal brand journey.
Want some solid personal brand examples that aren’t too trendy and can stand the test of time?
And how to create a personal brand that stands out in the crowded online marketplace?
Then, I’ve got 13 awesome examples for you.
Because building a personal brand doesn’t have to be a daunting task when you learn from other people’s mistakes and then sidestep the potholes.
And keep in mind that you do not have to be a genius or a phenom to create a following and build a credible brand.
Many of the influencers on our list started from humble beginnings — cranking out content from their laptops in a local coffee shop or building an empire from their garage.
Sure, it takes work and dedication; however, learning from these brilliant individuals can inspire you to keep going and escape the pitfalls that they’ve tripped over.
So let’s dive in and discover some extraordinary personal brands!
1. Neil Patel
If you are a digital marketer, you will bump into Neil Patel. You will find his face on all of his online content.
Neil is a renowned online marketer, blogger, entrepreneur and investor – recognized by the United Nations as a top 100 entrepreneur under age 35.
He nurtures his online audience with valuable content and services — meeting businesses with free and premium tools like Ubersuggest to sharpen their online presence.
His pay it forward attitude garners him 2.4 million blog readers, 1.6 million followers on social media, 600K monthly podcast listens and 730K monthly video views.
What Can You Learn From Neil Patel?
- Consistency: Neil always offers valuable content through his blogs, videos, podcasts and social media presence – thus, allowing people to rely on his expertise.
- The Face Behind the Brand: Neil is not shy about showing his mug to the world. Why? because it creates a connection with his brand, keeping him front of mind and relative to the digital marketing world.
2. Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo is a savvy business strategist, life and career coach, author, philanthropist, podcaster and the creator of the award-winning MarieTV show with over 50 million views — known for its inspirational conversations with groundbreaking entrepreneurs.
Named as a “thought leader for the next generation” by Oprah, Marie is a woman determined to elevate our courage and confidence, thus creating a business and life worth living.
A message that is echoed in her brand statement and showcased on her personal website reads, “Hi, I’m Marie, an unshakable optimist dedicated to helping you become the person you most want to be.”
What Can You Learn From Marie Forleo?
- Stay Curious: Marie’s curiosity for finding new innovative approaches to help people become all they can be keeps her content marketing relevant and fresh.
- Don’t Pigeonhole Yourself: Instead of focusing on one topic, branch out into other areas that light you up — advice that goes against the grain but worked for Marie.
3. Tony Robbins
Tony Robbin’s resume includes the title of entrepreneur, life and business strategist, #1 New York Times best-selling author and philanthropist.
You may be familiar with Tony from his larger-than-life self-help persona from the 1990s that captivated audiences and filled stadiums with raving fans willing to walk over hot coals to conquer their fears.
Today you will find Tony life-coaching large audiences on topics from business, finance, personal health and relationships — in addition to producing a plethora of books, seminars and other content.
Tony’s philosophy centers around giving back and blessing others. His core belief evangelizes “the secret to life is giving,” which you will find as a theme throughout his work and social platforms.
What Can You Learn From Tony Robbins?
- Being Helpful: Consistently offering help is a road paved with success. Personal brands providing value to their audiences create meaningful and lifelong relationships.
4. Melyssa Griffin
Melyssa Griffin is a high school teacher turned entrepreneur who, in just 3 years, turned her hobby blog into a multimillion-dollar company.
Melyssa teaches entrepreneurs her “secret sauce” for building a successful company.
What Can You Learn From Melyssa Griffin?
- How to Weave Your Mission Throughout Your Personal Brand: Her mission is helping “heart-centered high achievers grow their income and impact online.” She delivers on this message with expertise and spunk woven seamlessly into her quality content.
- Blogging Your Passion: She’s a great example of how to build a personal brand starting with a niche blog that you’re incredibly passionate about. To make it successful, you can’t fake it, so make sure it’s something you live and breathe.
5. Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss is the infamous author of the “4-Hour Work Week” — a book that takes a radical departure from traditional employment.
Tim’s work experience includes; author, entrepreneur, investor, podcaster and lifestyle guru.
The New York Times coins Tim as “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist Monk.” He also was an early-stage tech investor and advisor of companies like Uber, Facebook and Shopify, just to name a few.
And due to the influence of “The Tim Ferris Show,” a podcast coined as the “Oprah of Audio,” Tim’s podcast is one of the most talked-about business/interview shows exceeding 100 million downloads.
What Can You Learn From Tim Ferris?
- Fear-Setting Instead of Goal Setting: This simple technique allows you to become more intimate with the fears that prevent your goals from happening and getting out ahead of them. Check out this blog post to learn more.
6. Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek is a British/American best-selling author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant.
He is also a trained Ethnographer, a branch of anthropology that links to sociology, which entails observing people in their natural environments via close observation and interviews.
You may have heard of Simon from his TED Talk in 2009 called “how great leaders inspire action,” focusing on the power of “WHY” — earning him over 40 million views.
What Can You Learn From Simon Sinek?
- Start With Why: Most people know what they do and how, but rare are the people who understand why. Once discovered, your why is the driver that inspires you to all your future successes.
- Be Clear: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Communicating your “why” is your best marketing strategy.
7. Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk, aka Gary Vee, is a self-help media mogul, self-made multimillionaire, New York Times best-selling author, serial entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, vlogger and sought after speaker.
Considered to be one of the most influential forward thinkers of our time regarding business and media — Gary Vee turns fortune 1000 companies into diamonds.
With his full-service advertising agency, called VaynerMedia, Gary has created a personal brand and global influence that transcends the most seasoned digital marketer.
Before Gary Vee built his digital marketing empire, he devoted over a decade to becoming an expert in his field — “you didn’t grow up driving … you figured it out”.
What Can You Learn From Gary Vaynerchuk?
- Fake It Till You Make It Fallacy: As quoted by Gary Vee, “you can’t fake being good at pushups; you have to just do the work.”
- Be Obsessed With Telling Your Story: To create a personal brand, you have to ditch your modesty and connect your story to your brand at every opportunity.
8. Lalah Delia
Lalah Delia is a spiritual writer, certified spiritual practitioner, wellness educator and the founder of Vibrate Higher Daily, a vibrational-based–living online community and mentoring program.
She aims to guide her readers on a journey to their empowered, higher-potential, whole selves. She has 542K followers on Instagram and 112K on Twitter.
What Can You Learn From Lalah Delia?
- Hone in on Your Message: Lalah focuses on two social channels — Instagram and Twitter — to get her message out there to people who need to hear it. She is singularly focused on her mission — “Helping you vibrate higher daily” and every single post speaks to that.
- There’s something to say for being consistent: Much like several people on our list, Lalah has built her brand on the back of consistency. She posts daily affirmations on both Instagram and Twitter, without fail. Her followers have come to expect this inspiring message. She’s built her personal brand as someone her followers can trust.
9. Richard Branson
Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group and its many subsidiaries encompassing travel, health, banking, music and leisure. And some would argue that Richard’s brand is more recognizable than his business’s.
Starting in 1970 as a mail-order record retailer, which became Virgin Records — Richard began signing on acts from the Sex Pistols to the Rolling Stones, elevating their status to become household names.
Richard has also set some personal records, most notably his Atlantic Ocean crossing, making him an avid adventurist.
Today Richard has over 40 million followers on his social media channels and is an avid blogger speaking on entrepreneurship, environment, adventure and life direction.
What Can You Learn From Richard Branson?
- Credibility through content: You have to offer relevant and helpful material to amass an audience — Richard’s strategy to achieve his massive following.
- Share your personality through storytelling: Richard’s fun-loving attitude is front and center when reading his social media bio’s and posts, blogs and experiencing his speaking engagements.
10. Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish is a Gen-Z singer-songwriter who became wildly successful at the age of 15 — while marching to the beat of a different drummer.
Known for her quirky and off-beat personality, Billie refuses to be someone she’s not.
What’s most impressive is the rapid-fire growth in Instagram followers, 257K in 2017 to 6.3 million in 2018 — leaving Billie with 9+ million fans today.
What Can You Learn From Billie Eilish?
- Imitators go home: When you are regurgitating content marketing from other successful people in your niche, you will get mediocre results at best. When you are you, there is no competition other than yourself.
- Talk about real things: Instead of talking about what you think people want to hear, talk about what’s really happening in their world and then offer a way out with helpful content.
11. Steve Jobs
If you own a computer, mobile phone or stream music on a device, then the marketing genius of Steve Jobs has influenced you.
A brilliant marketer and leader whose style begs controversy is an irrefutable visionary that took Apple, Inc. and his brand to the status of becoming a household name.
Reinventing products already on the market and repacking their value was the genius behind Steve’s marketing.
Steve’s focus on “why” these products were in someone’s life allowed him to gain a more profound connection to Apple, Inc.’s target audience — a philosophy present in Simon Sinek’s work. Learn how to define your target audience here.
What Can You Learn From Steve Jobs?
- Selling dreams: Steve inspired Apple, Inc. to create products that fulfill hopes, dreams and ambitions. And to move beyond the mindset of just making a sale.
- Focus on experiences: Think of brands like Nike, and you will recall that what they are selling is more than a shoe. Always ask yourself, “what do I want my customers to feel as they experience my brand?”
12. Shea Serrano
Shea Serrano is a New York Times best-selling author (multiple times over) and a journalist. He writes for the sports and pop culture website, The Ringer.
To supplement his teaching income, he started writing and quickly gained a following and seemed to explode out of nowhere (but it actually took years of putting himself — and his writing — out there).
His books, including The Rap Year Book, Basketball (and Other Things) and Movies (and Other Things) are all The New York Times #1 best-sellers. His activity and humor on Twitter have earned him a devoted following.
- Humor isn’t just for big brands: You don’t have to be a brand like Wendy’s to have massive success with humor, but the key is being yourself. Shea has amassed a huge, rabid following on Twitter by not only being real and funny but also by engaging on a daily basis with his followers. He is passionate about his audience and obviously loves being on Twitter. Choose a platform you enjoy being on and then be super real and authentic… and most importantly, engage and don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers along the way.
- Storytelling + Intrigue: If you want to know how to use email to grow your following and generate revenue, look no further than Shea’s “Secret Email Club.” He uses master storytelling, intrigue and a sense of exclusivity to drive incredible results. People talk about his emails regularly on Twitter — Who else can say that?
13. Larry Kim
Larry Kim is the CEO of Mobile Monkey, a chatbot platform that allows businesses to communicate with customers via Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
And he is the founder of WordStream, a world-renowned PPC marketing software company.
Larry’s personal branding strategy is synonymous with unicorns or finding a needle in a haystack. He believes that 80% of your results should come from only 5% of your effort.
And you guessed it right; Larry is a master at marketing efficiency, which means spotting the unicorn in a sea of donkeys — his infamous personal brand statement.
What Can You Learn From Larry Kim?
- Focus on one avenue: When branding yourself, target your marketing to one channel when you start — for Larry, it was Medium, a blog platform, where he built his initial following.
- Define your core belief: Having a memorable core belief that people can relate to will distinguish your brand from someone else’s.
Personal Brand Examples That Shape Your Future
You want to be a consistent brand that reminds people you are here for the long haul.
You do this by building credibility. Understanding who you are and what makes you different is the tipping point that creates a personal brand that outshines your competition.
Take the personal brand examples from this list that feel achievable and use them as your compass — guiding you on a path to personal branding success.
Is there a great personal brand example I missed and why? Let me know in a comment below and I might just update this post with your submission!
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Great article Marisa. I agree with your list and Alicia Moore’s list. Even though I am familiar with most of the names you mentioned, there are a couple I have not heard of. Most surprising is Marie Forleo. I can’t believe I never heard of her because we speak the same message. In my online training, I continue to stress to my audience that the world needs what only they are uniquely designed/gifted with to provide. I’m going to check her out. Thanks Marisa!
Love that message, Cheryl! So glad you enjoyed Marisa’s list 🙂
• Concise and powerful post: Exemplifies the distinctions; mixture of biographical conversation stylistics and distinctions / tools
• Appreciated the list of those I’m familiar with and not: Anchor points x Stretch x Imagination
• Quickly discernible new insights plus language for the less consciously obvious and the new
Glad you liked the post, thanks for sharing!