The 5 Vital Rules of Personal Branding

Personal branding is a smart strategy for ambitious entrepreneurs.

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By Jon Michail

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Your personal brand isn't just a tagline — it's you. It is the process of discovering and clarifying the qualities that differentiate an individual from the rest. Personal branding is a smart strategy for the ambitious and those seeking to set foot or level up their careers.

A personal brand is an expression of who you are, what you do and why you need an engaging, inviting personal digital presence.

While building your personal brand, it is important to keep in mind who you are and why you are here. Too often, we are so concerned with what other people think of us that we forget that first and foremost, we need to be true to ourselves.

Below are five vital rules for creating your own personal brand.

1. Clarity

In order to make yourself recognizable to your target audience, focus on your goals and what makes you unique. A good brand aims to create a strong relationship with its audience (i.e your boss and recruiters). Having a clear goal focused solely on your targeted audience will help you achieve this.

Related: 7 Tips for Using Your LinkedIn Profile as Your Personal Branding Website

2. Your story matters

People connect with stories and with real-life emotions. They also connect with people who have a great sense of self and their purpose in the world. If your personal brand doesn't have a personal touch, you've already lost half of your peers. Your brand is more than a series of random experiences. It's the authentic story of your idea, your hustle and your mission to make you and the world a better place.

3. There's always a downside

The very best personal brands will always come from repeated trial, error, mistakes and failures — not from instant perfection — because instant perfection is a myth.

However, to have a personal brand concept that elevates you above the rest, you may have a failure along the way. That is how you rise.

Related: What Is Your Brand Saying About You?

4. Wear your brand upon your sleeves

The best personal brand advice is to develop a personal brand and lifestyle that will allow you to enjoy living in your truth. When you are authentic, you don't have to look over your shoulder to ensure you are making the "right" decision. You don't have to explain yourself or be an "expert" about everything. You can move through life with confidence as you become more at peace with who you are and what you believe.

5. Leave your legacy

An authentic personal brand should be about more than just building your reputation and community. It should also really be about making an impact that people can remember you for, long after you have gone.

Once you've built a personal brand, we move to own the legacy. What will your aspiration be? How do you want to be remembered?

Having a personal brand is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Whether you are a professional aspiring for greater career heights, an entrepreneur looking to create your own blog or business or a small business owner who wants to be noticed in the crowded marketplace, learning how to use personal branding can help you grow your professional presence and reputation.

Related: How to Become a Confident Public Speaker

Jon Michail

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Founder and Group CEO of Image Group International

Jon Michail is the CEO and founder of Image Group International, an Australia-based corporate and personal-brand image advisory and coaching organization that conducts transformational seminars, workshops and one-on-one coaching in over four continents.

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