“Personal branding is all about managing your name – even if you aren’t a business owner – in a world full of disinformation, misinformation, plus semi-permanent Google records.
Going on a date? Chances are that your blind date has already Googled your name.
Going to a job interview? Ditto.”
– Tim Ferriss
Most people confuse personal branding with social media marketing.
But – it’s not.
Building a personal brand isn’t just limited to increasing your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram followers and boosting your social media engagement rate.
Those are just the perks of personal branding.
But – personal branding is positioning yourself as an industry expert such that people in your niche look up to you as a thought leader – someone who’s credible, trustworthy, and authoritative.
Having a bold personal brand will help you make your audience take the desired action.
Upon hearing your name, they should feel confident – that’s because they trust you already and expect you to deliver what they want.
For example, Change Creator’s co-founder Adam Force is one of the most well-established branding experts with a strong personal brand. Believe me – I’ve seen people look up to him.
So, whenever Adam’s audience hears from him, they know they can trust this guy to deliver the desired results and solve their problems. They know they can trust him.
Recently, he published an article titled “Uncover the True Meaning of Branding.” It’s one of the best-performing content pieces on the Change Creator website. The reason – Adam’s audience already knows that Adam is a branding expert and knows what a personal brand actually is.
So – when they click-through the blog post on search engines, social media, Change Creator blog section, or other sources, they already know that the information they’ll be receiving will deliver actual value.
And that’s the power of personal branding.
Building a strong and bold personal brand is the key to success. It’s not a one-time thing or strategy you need to implement.
Instead, it’s a continuous process.
Experts like Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jeff Goins, and many others already know it. And that’s the reason they have knocked their personal branding efforts out of the park.
This blog post lists down the ten best personal branding examples you should look up to – if you’re looking forward to building a strong personal brand and positioning yourself as an expert in your niche.
So, let’s dive straight into it.
10 Brilliant Personal Branding Examples One Should Look Up To
Okay, so here are the top ten brilliant personal branding examples:
- Elon Musk
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Mo Farah
- Neil Patel
- Seth Godin
- Brian Dean
- Shaun White
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Oprah Winfrey
- Sean Ogle
Let’s set foot in the realm of personal branding.
Who am I kidding? We all know who Elon Musk is.
You may love him or hate him – but his name is almost as well-known and popular as Google, Apple, Coca-Cola. And it doesn’t matter if you have an interest in the technology field or not; the chances are that you may be familiar with this guy.
Elon Musk has launched several businesses in the past few years, some of which include Zip2 (his first startup), PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, and more.
The list goes on and on.
He’s not just a tech expert. And he’s most certainly not famous just because his businesses have done well over the years.
No – it’s so much more than that.
Elon Musk’s tweet led to the rise of Dogecoin – a well-known cryptocurrency. At the same time, one of his tweets crashed the cryptocurrency market like nothing we’ve ever seen before:
His drive, success story, and the will to put futuristic technology into an average person’s hands have helped him position himself as an industry expert and build a strong personal brand. He’s known for making the impossible “possible.”
And that’s what makes him such a big inspiration.
For some, Elon Musk’s rise to success may seem like an overnight one. But trust me on this one – it’s not. While his dedication, hard work, and undeniable will to succeed have surely helped him establish a strong personal brand, some other factors that have heavily contributed include:
- His unique personality – not because of his long list of ventures but because of his unique personality and how he interacts with people. Just pick any of his interviews and you’ll find every single one of those to be highly engaging and intriguing.
- He’s not one-of-those made-up corporate CEOs that are focused on building a strong public image. With Elon, it’s different and feels real. He says stuff how it actually is. Usually, you’ll see him answering questions directly rather than going the corporate way.
- Another reason – his success story as an entrepreneur – rise from zero to a billionaire is inspirational and motivational.
- All of his businesses are focused on solving real-world problems.
- Elon cares. Time and time again has he showcased his concerns over population collapse, AI, climate change, and other world problems which most entrepreneurs definitely don’t care about. And the best part is that most of his ventures are focused on making a change and addressing these issues.
These points have helped him build a strong personal brand.
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those guys who you can’t resist listening to. He’s a self-made multi-millionaire who not only knows how to make money but loves sharing his knowledge and experience regarding the same.
What makes him unique is his love for swear words. If you listen to his videos, you may already be aware of the fact that he just loves using them. This showcases his brutal honesty – positioning him as confident, authentic, intriguing, and practical. During an interview once, he revealed that his favorite curse word is “di**face.”
As stated by him – “it’s just something that happens when I’ve the camera on me.”
His brutal honesty is one of the reasons why millions of his followers love listening to his podcast, reading his books, and consuming his content pieces across different digital platforms. It allows people to think of him as transparent and someone who shares his experience honestly, unlike those other entrepreneurs flooded throughout the internet.
These are the four points that have helped Gary build a strong personal brand:
- He’s authentic – and he takes great pride in it – his love for swear words has helped him rise to the top.
- He works his ass off – I’ve had the chance to interact with him and he’s just one of those guys that work day and night.
- He is familiar with the things that are in high demand and valuable.
- He’s rock-focused on delivering actual value to his audience – and he doesn’t mind sharing truly value-adding strategies that most of the top giants are afraid of doing.
- He’s on Snapchat. He’s on YouTube. He’s literally everywhere you go. And just like our knowledge about the universe, his brand is continuously expanding.
He has an entrepreneurial spirit. He’s hardworking and self-confident. And he obviously knows how to draw attention to him.
These are just a few of the traits that make him a powerful personal brand.
You’ll find his personal brand to shine on every social media platform in existence.
He acts as a spokesperson for entrepreneurs as well as anyone and everyone who desires happiness. You’ll find most of his content pieces sharing the same message over and over again – and that’s to forgo the trappings of society, finding out what you’re extremely passionate about, and turning it into a paying opportunity.
Mo Farah relocated from Mogadishu to England with his family when he was 8. While in West London, his PE teacher saw how talented Mo really is and strongly believed that he could become a star runner.
And here we are – in 2021 – Mo Farah is the most popular and successful British track athlete in Olympic games history. He’s known for his Olympic gold medal victory in 2012 and 2016.
Over the course of the past few years, he has heavily focused on personal branding and also received endorsements from popular sports brands like Nike. His 2012 and 2016 gold medal wins have helped him develop a huge fanbase. This was followed by Mo cementing his legacy by collaborating with sports brands like Nike and keeping his audience up-to-date about his life and the brands he’s collaborating with through his social media profiles.
What makes Mo stand out is his down-to-earth personality. At one point, he dedicated each of his 4 gold medals victory to each of his 4 children.
You’ll find him to be really active on social media platforms – as he keeps the conversation going and shares his experience with his followers.
Click here to listen to Adam’s conversation with Neil Patel on Change Creator’s Authentic Brand Mastery Podcast. Also, every single one of your opinions matters – so it’d be really helpful if you could share your valuable feedback 🙂
And here comes my personal favorite – Neil Patel. He’s not just a marketing guru – but I believe that he’s a marketing expert who’s on a mission to helping up-and-coming digital marketers achieve tremendous success. Also, he helps brands skyrocket their marketing efforts via his value-adding content pieces.
He’s on a mission to revolutionize the marketing industry – which he has done already.
He’s the co-founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and Neil Patel Digital agency – each of these companies is focused on helping online marketers, as well as brands, level up their marketing game.
In the realm of digital marketing, Neil Patel is a predator. And that’s not just me being all praises – just because I love consuming his content pieces. Apart from the fact that he knows all the ins and outs of the industry, he believes in delivering his message in a simplified manner. You’ll find his blog posts to be well-researched, thorough, and data-driven – which makes him the go-to expert for any brand looking forward to hiring a marketing agency.
Over the course of the last few years, Neil has cemented his position as an online marketing and SEO guru. And every content piece he rolls out is in sync with his personal brand visual elements.
Just like Gary Vaynerchuk, you’ll find Neil Patel to be everywhere. Some may claim him to be a fake guru. But no – he’s not. What has helped him establish a strong personal brand include:
- He’s a prolific blogger and delivers highly authoritative and easy-to-consume blog posts.
- His client roster is just so incredibly impressive.
- He’s also been recognized by President Obama.
- He’s New York Times Best Selling Author
- He’s just everywhere – from forums to podcasts – you’ll find him all across the world wide web.
Click HERE to look at his life infographic to learn what made him a multi-millionaire:
I can go on and on yet still not run out of words – that’s how amazing this individual truly is.
Adam Force (the founder of Change Creator) had a brilliant conversation with Seth Godin – it was so delightful to have Seth Godin on Change Creator’s Authentic Brand Mastery Podcast 🙂 Click here to listen to the full interview.
Seth Godin is a marketing veteran. He’s one of the most popular business and marketing experts who people find extremely hard to resist. In the last 25 years, Seth has published 20+ books, his thought-provoking content pieces, and his induction into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame (2013) and Marketing Hall of Fame (2018).
He’s a rare gem known for his accomplishments as an entrepreneur and truly informative and motivating books. He’s known for giving back to society – which is really rare these days.
And the thing is – people don’t want to hear from a company. Instead, they want to hear from none other than Seth. And what makes him unique is his knack to write short-form blog posts.
Rather than producing 2,000 or 5,000-words blog posts or guides – he delivers value well within 200 words. Every single word he writes has been well-thought-out and delivers value.
In fact, at one point – I read somewhere that editors utter, “Only Seth Godin can get away with that” when their teams deliver short-form blog posts.
Some of his unique traits that have helped Seth build a strong personal brand are:
- He’s authentic.
- People love good stories. And Seth isn’t hesitant to share them with his audience.
- He also shares stories about people who have achieved tremendous success.
- Seth is a trend-spotter. He knows how to spot things as they are beginning to gain traction.
- His writing is on-point. He’s able to convey the message well within 200 words – which companies find it extremely hard to do even after crossing the 5,000 words limit.
Today’s digital world is so crowded that business owners often find it extremely difficult to understand who they should be trusting. Literally, millions of blog posts, videos, social media posts are published every day.
And in this ever-crowded world, Brian Dean – the founder of Backlinko – breaks through the noise and delivers well-thought-out content that’s heavily focused on helping people solving their real-life problems.
His personal brand is all about trust.
You’ll literally see his audience claiming him to be the very best in his niche.
His focus on publishing practical strategies has helped him make a name for himself – allowing him to help marketers and entrepreneurs find it extremely easy to grow their online business.
Some of Seth’s unique traits that helped him build a strong personal brand include:
- He’s the founder of Backlinko.
- Just like Neil Patel & Seth Godin, he produces content pieces that are not only engaging but deliver tremendous value to the audience.
- His “Backlinko Blog” has been claimed to be extremely valuable by numerous top publications, including Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, Inc Magazine, and many more.
- And that’s not all – he also focuses on other digital channels like YouTube, Twitter, and many more.
Professionals trust him to deliver value. And that’s what he does. Trust me on this – he lives up to his words and is one of the most brilliant marketers you’ll find on the world wide web.
You won’t believe this if you don’t know who Shaun White is – this guy was sponsored by Burton Snowboards when he was just 7. When I was seven, I was just busy watching cartoons and playing video games.
Those who don’t know him – Shaun is one of the most popular American professional skateboarders, snowboarders, and musicians. He has won three Olympic gold medals in half-pipe snowboarding.
Throughout his career, he has been known for his focus on innovation and spinning in ways no snowboarders ever have. And his personal brand is based on the brilliant things Shaun can do with his body. Yes – he’s an Olympic Gold Medal winner – but Shaun isn’t known just for that. Instead, his audience tunes in to watch him not just skateboard or snowboard – but they tune in to see him defy gravity.
You’ll find him across different platforms showing off his skills:
The moment you land on his website – you’ll find yourself in another world – it’s just pure magic.
And that’s the power of strong personal branding.
Okay – again, I’ll say this – who doesn’t know this guy? His rise to stardom has been impressive to watch. His acting career has – in Barney’s words – been LEGEN-wait for it- DARY.
He established Leonardo DiCaprio in 1998 – and his main goal has always been to restore balance to the threatened ecosystems. Through this – he wants to ensure the long-term health as well as the well-being of 7.8 billion people.
From private concerts hosted by Elton John to Thailand’s Prime Minister (Yingluck Shingawatra), hundreds, if not thousands of well-known people have been a part of his cause – and this has resulted in helping him elevate his status over the course of the past few years.
He’s not just known for his acting career. Yes – he’s a megastar – but what makes him unique and stand out is his philanthropy, which has helped him strengthen his personal brand.
Just hop onto his social media platforms and you’ll see him not promoting his films. Instead, almost all his posts will be focused on building a better world and environmental problems.
While writing this blog post, I found out that Leonardo DiCaprio invested an undiscoled amount in an Israeli cultured meat startup “Aleph Farm.”
He’s not just a world-class actor. He’s a good human being as well.
He’s hell-bent on saving Earth and it shows. Also, he has joined forces with several organizations like Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAF), Global Green USA, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and more.
This list would have been incomplete if I hadn’t included Oprah Winfrey to it. She’s the person – who’s known by her first name itself, all thanks to her brilliant personal branding efforts.
She’s the mother of personal branding.
Who hasn’t heard of Oprah? She has capitalized on her personal branding efforts in a brilliant manner which has helped her get paid for what she loves to do and live her dream life.
And she hasn’t just tapped into the power of personal branding just to provide herself and her loved ones an astonishing life.
Oprah has used her personal brand to change people’s actions. Once, she delivered the same message in three different episodes – which convinced a woman to stop hitting her children. You’ll see her deliver consistent messages all the time – which heavily influences people’s actions.
Also, she’s a Black American Woman – who comes from a modest background and now has become a billionaire and a TV Mogul. She’s the very first African-American woman to have launched her own production company. Also, she’s so talented that she was nominated for Academy Award after her first movie.
Look at all her brilliant achievements HERE.
From helping her build her dream life to changing people’s actions via her consistent messaging, Oprah Winfrey has knocked her personal branding out of the park – and her example has inspired millions of women just like her.
Another athlete who we love watching and can’t get enough of – LeBron James, is one of the world’s most popular and successful basketball players and athletes.
People call him “King James” for being a positive role model and a HUGE inspiration. He’s the phenomenon. While he has a brilliant on-screen story, his off-screen personal branding efforts have made him a megastar.
He has diversified into retail, media, and much more. He also launched his “I Promise School” in Akron, Ohio. You’ll find his name popping around frequently, especially in the sports industry – and that’s not only because of his achievements, but his strategic personal branding efforts have helped him come a long way.
You’ll find him sharing his story, experiences and interacting with his followers on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. What I personally love is him sharing his authentic take on life via his social media posts – as you’ll see him rolling out posts related to his family, what he’s currently working on, and basketball.
Some of his achievements that have helped him build a strong personal brand include:
He’s really good at what he does. And that has helped him achieve worldwide recognition – which has made him a strong personal brand.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And the same is the case with personal branding. You can’t build a strong personal brand overnight.
And the thing is – building a strong personal brand is a continuous process.
You’ll have to consistently spend your valuable time, efforts, and everything you have in you to build your personal brand – to position yourself as trustworthy, credible, authoritative, and an industry expert.
Every single name in our top 10 list has done a brilliant job at building a strong personal brand. You can do the same – but to achieve the best possible results, you need to build strategic personal branding systems that will help you hit your KPIs and achieve your goals in an efficient manner.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you’re looking for support with building a brand people love with a high-converting website, learn more here.
And if you’d like to gain more insights into personal branding, feel free to read other blog posts we’ve up and published in our blog section: