Elon Musk has one of the most powerful personal brands in the world.
Since the time he unveiled his latest product, Cybertruck, his company (Tesla) has booked 713,000+ reservations for it.
Where did all that sales come from?
Several sources, but a major one of those sources is his personal brand.
Elon has over 36 million followers on Twitter — many of whom are die-hard fans; his tweets get over 20,000 to 100,000 likes and retweets.
You may not be selling a product as expensive as Elon’s, but there’s a lesson here: personal brands are a goldmine for marketing and sales.
So we want to show you 9 examples of personal brands you can learn a few lessons from.
But before that, let’s get on the same page on what a personal brand is.
What’s a personal brand?
Your personal brand is who people know you to be online. Period.
It’s the topic they know you for, the personality they see you have, the ideas they associate you with, the industry they know you’re an expert in, and the work they know you do.
As we’ve gotten that definition out of the way, let’s dig deeper into the personal brand examples we promised to share.
9 personal brand examples worth learning from
Besides Elon Musk who we mentioned early on, here are nine other awe-inspiring examples of personal brands we’ve seen:
1. Amy Porterfield
Amy Porterfield has built a brand known for online marketing.
And she has a specific market: business owners and entrepreneurs. She teaches them how to build highly engaged email lists, create online training courses, and market with ease.
Amy has built a 7-figure business out of helping over 250,000 online entrepreneurs. And she’s able to spend quality time with her family while doing it.
Or as she puts it: “I discovered how to optimize and automate those efforts so that I would never have to explain to my son Cade why I missed another football game.”
What’s there to learn from Amy’s brand? A couple of things:
- Build a community on social media around your personal brand. Amy built four Facebook groups that now have ~43,000 members altogether.
- Besides social media, build an email list too. Amy also built an email list (see our guide on how to build your email list here).
- Create a signature strategy/idea/concept that helps your audience to achieve specific goals. This is something you can do once you’ve used a strategy yourself several times, and it’s worked well for you.
It’s what Amy did. She’s built her entire brand on the concept of “taking steps” to get better marketing results. She’s used this concept to grow her own business as well and it’s what her audience knows her for.
- Be explicit about your target market. By being super clear about her target market, Amy is able to attract the types of clients she loves to work with and repel the ones that aren’t her target prospects.
2. Ramit Sethi
Personal finance is a huge, huge industry. And that’s where Ramit Sethi chose to build his personal brand.
As the name of his blog implies, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit shares all his ideas about personal finance, career development, personal development, and many other topics that’ll make his audience get rich.
Besides the blog, he also shares highly engaging content on Instagram and Twitter, mostly sharing on personal finance.
Here are three key lessons you can learn from Ramit:
- Branding yourself around a specific topic is almost always a smart move. Ramit and most of the others in this piece did the same as well; they focused on one topic (like Ramit focused on personal finance), honed their skills on it, and it became what they’re known for.
- Keep building your email list (Ramit has an email list with over 400k subscribers).
You can build your email list using GetResponse Conversion Funnels; this tool also helps you convert subscribers into leads.
- Write guest posts. One of the ways Ramit builds his influence is by writing for sites that have large audiences like Success.com, Tim Ferriss’ blog, CNBC, and many more.
3. Huda Kattan
In the world of beauty and makeup artists, Huda Kattan is a force to reckon with.
She kick-started Huda Beauty in 2010 as a blog and now she has over 45 million followers on Instagram. That’s a lot of influence in one industry.
What personal branding lessons can you learn from Huda?
Here are two key takeaway from Huda’s personal branding:
- When you start building your personal brand, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to build audiences on multiple platforms at the same time. Pick one to three platforms and focus your efforts there.
Huda started out as a blogger in 2010 and focused most of her efforts there. Then she later built a YouTube channel and an Instagram account which now has millions of followers.
- Content is what builds your brand. Huda says “I’ve always been extremely passionate and the type of person who loves sharing information!”
4. Neil Patel
Neil Patel is widely-known for a topic similar to Amy’s — online marketing.
Although he has a broader audience than Amy’s since he does marketing for not only small businesses but also enterprise-level companies.
There’s hardly anyone working in the marketing industry today who doesn’t know Neil. While he is a bit controversial, the numbers speak for themselves.
With these numbers every month, it’s hard to be in the marketing industry and not have heard about Neil at least once or twice.
There’s a lot to learn from Neil’s personal brand but here are a few key lessons:
- Boldly show your face everywhere. If you know Neil, you’d notice he puts his face on all his platforms. He does videos too. All of this helps him build stronger connections with his audience.
- Be consistent. If you follow Neil on any social channel or on his email list, you’d know he’s super consistent — always sharing valuable content.
5. Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo is a superwoman. She creates content that inspires people to do what they need to do to achieve success. And she’s built a brand that touches millions of people every month.
In her own words: “I’m proud to have created a socially conscious digital empire that touches millions.” Oprah also named her the “Thought leader for the next generation.”
Marie’s success sprouted out of her curiosity about the potential of human beings. She wanted to know why some people succeed while others don’t. So she built a career out of creating programs and resources that help people use their full potential to achieve what they want.
There’s one key lesson in Marie’s personal brand example: Build your brand not only around a topic you know well but also around what you’re also passionate about.
6. Vera Wang
Vera Wang is 71 years old but somehow she still looks 28:
But her age isn’t the reason she’s on this list, her brand is.
From her days starting out as a writer for Vogue magazine in the ’90s to when she started her own fashion brand, Vera Wang has built a personal brand that has become a world-known fashion empire.
Two major lessons to learn from Vera’s personal branding:
- Do everything you can to know so much about your industry that there’s hardly anything you don’t know — even if that means taking a full-time job in that industry.
It’s what Vera did. Her time writing about designers at Vogue magazine and her experience as a director at a Ralph Lauren fashion house played a key part in equipping her to be able to go out on her own, knowing the fashion market in and out.
- Identify any unique opportunity you have and use it in building your brand; Vera has the unique advantage of looking 28 when she’s a 71-year-old woman.
So she takes her pictures every day and posts it Instagram, leaving her followers wondering why she looks like she’s aging backwards. It’s a unique opportunity she has and she’s using it well to build her brand.
7. Dave Gerhardt
Dave Gerhardt is a talented marketing leader who got his big break from sharing valuable content on LinkedIn — where he’s grown to over 64,000 followers.
He led marketing at Drift from 2015 to 2019, where he helped the company create the category of Conversational Marketing, grow from 0 to 8-figures in revenue, and become one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies of all time.
And as of the time of this article, he’s the CMO at Privy.
There’s a lot to learn from Dave’s personal brand, but here are three major lessons here:
- Great content comes out of being in the trenches. The more you practice your craft, the more knowledgeable you are about it.
- Be consistent with sharing valuable content.
- When the opportunity shows up, speak at events. And the bigger the events you speak at, the bigger the influence you build in an industry.
8. Marie Kondo
As you’d see in the image above, Marie Kondo is an influential design expert.
She’s built her entire brand around “tidiness and joy” — a concept that cleaning is not just about tidiness; it’s about creating a space that sparks joy.
Marie has built her entire personal brand on this concept and it’s the message she pushes out all the time.
What to learn from Marie Kondo:
- Build your brand around a working concept — an idea that people will know you for.
- Be yourself. Marie speaks Korean even when she’s speaking to someone who doesn’t understand the language. This doesn’t mean you have to speak a foreign language to stand out, but there are certain characteristics you may have that’d help you build a unique brand.
- Partner with influencers to create content. Marie visits influencers and celebrities to see where they live and provide advice on how their spaces could be designed better.
9. Seth Godin
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the marketing industry, you’d have heard of Seth Godin at least twice.
Seth has spent thirty years of his life working on several different projects, all of which has now led to him being regarded as a prominent marketing leader.
Watch one of his educational videos and you’ll get loaded with so much information. But here are three important lessons from him:
- The longer you stay in an industry doing relevant work, your influence will keep growing.
- Consistency is key even for influencers and celebrities.
- Build a portfolio where you showcase all the work you’re doing. Seth has a page on his site where he’s penned down all the projects he’s worked on for 30 years.
Now that you’ve learned a few things from these giants, let’s answer one common question you may be having with personal branding:
What is a good personal brand statement?
A great personal brand statement is a clear narrative or description of what you do and the people your brand serves.
Here a few examples of a personal brand statement?
“Content marketing for ecommerce businesses.”
“Facebook Ads for B2B businesses.”
“I help manufacturing companies train their content teams.”
In the end, what makes a good personal brand statement is clarity in what you do and who you help.
So we’ve shown you personal brand examples that can inspire you to go out and build your own empire.
But while we’ve shared many takeaways from each example, here are the key lessons you should never forget if you’re looking to build a strong personal brand:
- Pick a topic and learn everything about it. Practice your learnings too to become a true expert in your field.
- Once you know the topic well enough, start creating content about it and brand yourself an expert on the topic.
- Be yourself — even if it means speaking a foreign language — and you’ll attract your own tribe.
- Don’t build an email list; build an *engaged email list.*
- Don’t just post content every day; share relevant content every day. And share it where your audience is.