When you think about outstanding personal branding, at least one person comes to mind. This person displays all the elements of what a personal brand should be, but they also have a little something more—an “X” factor.
But what are these factors and how can other entrepreneurs tap into those same skills or traits for their own benefit? Below, eight professionals from Young Entrepreneur Council discuss their favorite examples of amazing personal branding and the particular elements that make them so outstanding.
Young Entrepreneur Council members discuss great examples of personal branding.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Tai Lopez’s Charisma And Consistency
Tai Lopez is incredibly charismatic and has an undeniable persona. At first, you might have people laughing at you and how far you go to capture attention, but you work so diligently and become so good that people cannot ignore you—that is what Tai did so brilliantly. Another thing that he did was put this persona out everywhere, and it was consistent. It was a caricature amplified all over the web, podcasts, book clubs and especially in video. He was one of the early adopters of video marketing that is now ubiquitous. Initially, many founders and entrepreneurs were shy of being on camera without a full professional crew and script carefully crafted with marketing messaging. Tai Lopez adopted transparency and engendered an authentic persona that was and is completely infectious. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
2. Sara Blakely’s Positivity, Openness And Playfulness
Personal branding is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. To me, Sara Blakely of SPANX rocks personal branding. She’s positive, affirming and playful while still being the boss. She doesn’t back away from celebrating her successes or her failures, and she is so magnetic. How many women could encourage you to flash your support undergarments and put the photo online? Sara’s openness has built a loyal community of women who resonate with her on a personal level and, therefore, support her professionally. Know your audience and include them on your journey. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity
3. Gary Vaynerchuk’s Originality
Gary Vaynerchuk has quickly built the strongest personal brand that I have seen. His social media content highlights his off-the-charts business and emotional IQ, but his brand is built more on his realness. He has the knack of “telling it like it is” but explaining the “why” and that his blunt honesty comes from a place of love. His content is completely original and has a real impact on millions of subscribers. He has built a strong personal brand on his unique blend of tough love and life advice. Anyone can build a brand, but building a personal brand is a lifetime achievement. The key is branding what makes you uniquely you instead of branding what you think people will like. People love originality and everyone has something that makes them uniquely successful. Brand yourself and that quality! – Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation
4. Tony Robbins’s Community Building
There are many business and life coaches, but there are few who can organize captivating live conferences like Tony Robbins. With conferences that last days in many big cities across the world, Tony tries to go a step above writing books and creating content natively for digital platforms. He takes the experience of content consumption to a new standard, adding a touch of his vibrant personality to the show while offering opportunities for community building in person. From the hotels to the halls, all the way to the conference auditoriums, people from all walks of life connect with each other through shared values and ambitions. This community building is what encourages people to return to his website, social accounts and books. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
5. Courtney Elmer’s Unified Aesthetic
The one person who does an excellent job of personal branding is Courtney Elmer. Her brand colors, website, copy and digital marketing assets all have a cohesive and unified aesthetic. When you view any of her social media channels, website or content marketing, you know immediately it’s her brand. Entrepreneurs should consider doing the same. Ensure your personal brand colors, fonts, copy, website and marketing assets look consistent and congruent to build an identifiable brand. Clashing messaging and visual elements lead to a broken personal brand. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
6. Mark Cuban’s Use Of Media To Deliver Value
Mark Cuban is a great example of the power of personal branding. Few, if any, entrepreneurs are as synonymous with entrepreneurship as Mark Cuban. Relative to other entrepreneurs who have enjoyed similar levels of success, Cuban has been able to cultivate a unique brand by embracing media—as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, as a Shark Tank investor and as a commentator on a wide range of issues related to business and beyond—and by delivering value in his media appearances. While not all other entrepreneurs can successfully emulate Cuban, all can learn from his example. Understand the lane you wish to play in, embrace media and continually deliver value. – Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group
7. Elon Musk’s Outlandish Personality
A good current example is Elon Musk. It doesn’t matter what you think of him or if you agree with all his ideas. He’s undeniably good at generating attention. While he’s known for his company and products, he’s also effective at getting publicity for social media comments. His branding often involves making controversial or cryptic statements that cause all kinds of debates. Someone who’s not running a big company obviously won’t get the same attention as Elon Musk, but you can study the way he’s cultivated an outlandish personality that he expresses in interviews, videos and posts. I wouldn’t recommend trying to copy him, but you can build your own brand in a similar way, by being yourself and letting your uniqueness shine through. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
8. Madonna’s Ability To Evolve Over Time
Having a personal brand that can change and grow with time is the tough part. I admire chameleons like Madonna. She is not only individualistic and instantly recognizable, but she can also morph into wildly different styles year after year while always remaining on brand. Having a recognizable brand is one thing, and being able to highlight different facets of yourself over time is the ultimate goal. To me, the only way to have a lasting brand is to remain true to yourself. Being an original soul is how you’re able to be truly different and stand out in a genuine way, especially over a long period of time. Anyone can sniff out a fake personality, so be honest about who you are if you want people to believe in your personal brand. – Robert De Los Santos, Sky High Party Rentals