How to Build a Personal Brand – Guide to Personal Branding

How is a good brand defined?

The strength of a brand can be measured from different aspects. A brand is a “shortcut into the consumer’s mind” and can be defined with the following:

Awareness – How many people know you (ie is your name) or your brand and can describe in detail what makes you different from your competitors? We also distinguish between two cases:

assisted Brand awareness: (Example: “Do you know ? Do you know what they sell?”)

Unaided Brand Awareness: (Example: “Name three brands that make XX.”)

The preferred situation is logical to have both highly aided and unaided brand awareness, so that our goal is clearly defined.

Associations: What do people believe about you and your brand brands that score in this regard have so-called

Brand Depth: Associations are generated via many different touchpoints, which together result in a uniform image of the brand.

An example of one such brand is Red Bull. The product is fairly simple, yet the brand is associated with sports sponsorship (soccer, Formula 1, etc.), extreme sports events, and daredevil jumps from space.

This stands in contrast to superficial brands whose only touchpoint is the website.

Attitudes – Attitude is sort of an emotional distortion of a brand. The target group can love, admire or hate them, but they can also be completely indifferent to them; that would be the opposite of a “strong” brand.

The concept is based on two sets of values: love and respect for products and services. If we combine these, we get the following matrix:

Products (Consumables/Necessities) – No love , little respect. We use them, but nothing more. Public transport or the post office, for example, fall into this category (provided they do not attract attention and trigger negative emotions in us).


Little to no respect, but still a little love getting into this category is a small achievement, but the effect is short-lived.


Great respect but little love. If this is the case, brands are only halfway there.

Lovemarks – Much respect and love. Lovemarks are more than just brands; Consumers are willing to do a lot for them. Apple, Tesla or the Playstation  are typical examples, although you might name completely different ones yourself.

Success measurement. In the past year, only about every second marketing manager did this. Based on the two questions mentioned at the beginning, however, it is not that difficult. Whenever you spend money on marketing, always ask yourself: How can I measure and ultimately judge the result?

Integrity & Consistency. Strong brands take years to develop, so you also need a brand strategy that pursues this goal over the long term. It also keeps you from chasing short-lived fads and trends. Develop your brand by sticking to this plan and only modifying it when absolutely necessary.

So what’s the plan when we talk about Personal Brands?

Personal Brand Exercises

1) Who do you want to draw attention to?

Regardless of whether you are a freelancer and want to acquire new customers or you want to develop new skills within a company (i.e. a job or are looking for a job), you have to draw attention to yourself.

First, make a list of five organizations that can help you develop your talents and passions.

Then find out which person is making the appropriate decision; i.e. whether they want to work with you or hire you.

From then on,  it’s time to listen. Connect with them on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) and pay attention to details and problems you might be able to solve.

2) What do you really want?

A little bit of everything, but nothing specific is something you absolutely want to avoid! That would make you just one of many. Everyone, or just a nobody.

That would be the same as if you wrote in your application: “I want in work any company, no matter what.”

How high would your chances be…?

Better is …you think of a problem that you want to eliminate – in your industry or in general. That sounds pretty serious at first, but you’ve probably thought in a similar direction before, am I right? Ultimately, it’s nothing but your vision.

You need to think about how to solve this problem. Perhaps you are still at the very beginning and are far from your goal. This is not a problem, but get clear on how you can approach your goal step by step. What do you need to know to do this?

3) Let others talk about you

If you have ever written a cover letter, e.g. for an application, then you know that the first draft is never the best. Most of the time, only empty phrases like “dedicated team player”, “goal-oriented work” or “creative and independent” come to mind.

And do you know who can definitely do it better?

All the people who know you and ideally have already worked with you.

Ask for an honest opinion – first from your family, then from friends, and then from colleagues. Do you have qualities that only become clear when others get to know you better?

Now write your job application again.

4) Do your own SWOT Analysis

Have you heard of a SWOT analysis?

This is an excellent tool for building a personal brand. After the analysis, you will no longer have any problems communicating your unique selling proposition and setting yourself apart from your competitors.

Strengths: What are you particularly good at? can you motivate others Or do you have an eye for details? Write down all the characteristics that are useful for achieving the goal from point 2.

Weaknesses – Insight is the first step to improvement, so they say. Become aware of your weaknesses to prevent them from holding you back from your goal.

Opportunities: What opportunities do you see around you? Are people with your skills currently in particularly high demand in the job market?

Threats:  Is there a risk of things going bad? For example, you live with your colleague and could be thrown out at any time … (which we hope not, of course, but you should be aware of such risks).

5) Analyze your competitors

You know best why and what you are better at than others.

But have you ever asked yourself in this context, how common your overall skills are?

In which areas are you replaceable and in which areas are you hardly replaceable?

How many people with similar skill sets could apply for your job and replace you at almost anytime? As a programmer, it’s probably less than as an English teacher.

Can you be replaced by alternatives or even tools with your skills? At this point, let’s think about the creation and management of Facebook campaigns. It’s certainly more than just a thought that tools can automate this in the future. In this case, your competition is not necessarily a person, but new technologies.

The more thoroughly you analyze your competitors, the better you will recognize areas that make you irreplaceable. And that’s exactly when you’re in a good negotiating position. Test your arguments with your employer, maybe he’ll come up with completely different things that you haven’t even thought of before.

6) Elevator Pitch

Take everything you know about your personal brand and want to say (including the things you’ve learned about yourself from others) and craft a three-minute speech. This should answer the critical questions “How can I help you?” and “Why you should choose me” answer. This is your elevator pitch.

Let’s be honest: it will take you a few days to perfect this one.

The freestyle is then your high-concept pitch — a single sentence that catches the attention of other people and makes them curious.

You now have a well thought out message that communicates your personal brand. And that puts you ahead of the other 90% who don’t care about their brand at all.

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