Build your personal brand for business success

With more and more jobs being outsourced offshore (or to a computer!) and a whole lot of competition in the market place, it may be the most valuable thing you have to sell is the very thing that makes you unique – your ‘personal brand’.

Growing trend

Whether it’s a higher salary, a better job or more influence in your industry that you’re after, your personal brand – how colleagues, headhunters and managers perceive you – could be your most vital tool. In a growing trend, more and more people are getting help in this area from people like Emily Kucukalic, Managing Director of Brand New You, a personal branding consultancy.

Image is everything

While the idea of having a personal brand is not new, it was first spoken about in 1997, the idea has reached its time. Business is booming for Emily, who says the company has grown by 200% every year in the four years it has been operating. What is perhaps surprising however, is that more men than women have taken up their services, with a roughly 70%-30% ratio.

“Men actually love the program,” she laughs. “Because most men don’t want to think or worry about this stuff.”

And Emily points to examples of clients who have received major promotions and pay hikes after presenting themselves differently in the work space. The message; improving your personal brand might significantly transform, or fast-track your career.

Self promotion

Here, we outline five simple ways in which you can build and promote your personal brand, in order to achieve your business and career goals.

1. Know your strengths

Emily says it’s all about finding the one thing that makes you different, and learning how to embrace and enhance it. “The fundamental idea behind what we do at Brand New You, is to get an understanding of who our clients are, work out the best parts of them, and then enable them to demonstrate in two seconds, to anyone they meet, just what they’ve got to give,” she says. Unearthing those characteristics that make you such a great asset, then knowing how to promote them, is key.

2. Conduct a social media audit on yourself

Brad Schepp, co-author of, How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, says it’s not just about making sure those drunken party snaps are safely hidden from your public profile, but making sure the information that is available publicly paints you in the right light. “Build compelling, professional profiles for yourself that include your job history, going back no more than 15 to 20 years,” he advises. “LinkedIn is an obvious place for such a profile, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, among others, are also sites where you can include this kind of information. These profiles should demonstrate not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers.”

3. Position yourself as an expert

In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself as someone an employer can’t afford NOT to hire. “People are looking for specialists, not generalists when recruiting and promoting now,” says Dan Schawbel, author of the upcoming, Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success. “If you can become the best at what you do you will become sought-after”. It seems like obvious advice, but honing your skills in an area that differentiates you as a leader is a great way to fast-track your career goals.

4. Publish and Curate

You don’t have to be an author to publish great content these days –  in fact, anyone with a Facebook profile or Instagram account is already an experienced publisher. Think about the information you’re putting out there. Can you contribute to a project, or write a guest-blog post about your field of expertise? Can you share fantastic and relevant articles with your professional networks to prove you have your finger on the pulse? The best way to become known in your field is to engage with ideas and concepts that are relevant to your work. If you can establish yourself a thought-leader, then most of the work is already done.

5. Educate people as to why they need your services

Part of developing a personal brand is identifying the reasons an employer or business partner couldn’t so without your skills. Once you’ve got that figured out, it’s time to let them in on the secret, and make them see why you’re such a valuable asset. “You have to learn how to listen and pull out of people the things that they want or do research to find out what companies want, then tie what you do well to what they want, so that you can directly link successes you’ve had in the past to a goal they are trying to achieve,” says Pamela Rucker, Chairwoman of the CIO’s Executive Council’s Executive Women in IT.

Watch Emily Kucukalic talk about how you can perfect your personal brand.

The views expressed in this article and video by the contributors are their’s alone. They should not be otherwise attributed.


Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.