What do you want to be known for? Personal brand attributes are the characteristics and qualities people associate you and your personal brand with.
Before you start investing heavily in your personal brand development through activities like content creation and networking, having attributes in mind that you want your brand to be associated with will help you to stay on track for achieving your goals.
In this blog post we will go over different types of personal brand attributes, review personal brand attributes examples from each category, and offer tips for selecting your own attributes as you work to build your personal brand.
Before we get started, let’s recap what personal brand attributes are.
Personal brand attributes are the characteristics that make a personal brand unique. Examples of personal brand attributes include the tone with which someone communicates, the visual style of content they create, the values they stand for, and the underlying mission, goals, and vision that drives their personal branding efforts.
In this blog post we answer the question “What Are Personal Brand Attributes?” in more detail if you need a primer before considering your own attributes.
It can be helpful to think about personal brand attributes as belonging to several categories. Similar to how business or corporate brand attributes involve the brand’s mission, personality traits, communication style, and visual aesthetic, personal brand attributes fall into different categories:
An important aspect of any brand is its mission and vision. Microsoft, for example, has a mission and vision dedicated to improving productivity for people and businesses globally.
Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur who has built a prominent personal brand, made goal oriented attributes like a strong work ethic and focusing on your passions in life as cornerstones of his brand.
An important step in planning your personal brand strategy is aligning on your goals — what do you hope to get out of your personal brand? Is it monetization? More job opportunities? Knowing this ideal end state will inform the attributes you want to personify with your personal brand.
For example, if you are an entrepreneur like Vaynerchuk, perhaps a portion of your personal brand content strategy is focused on sharing your entrepreneurial journey and building in public. In this scenario, fitting personal brand attributes would be accountable as you share both your successes and failures with your audience, work ethic, and business savvy as you learn and share your growing expertise as a business owner.
As you pursue your personal brand goals, the attributes needed to accomplish them will naturally become a part of your personal brand. However, you can also be intentional about recognizing what attributes are needed to succeed in your respective niche, and make an effort to reflect them in the content you create and your approach to networking.
Personal brand attributes examples that are goal or mission oriented:
Use this personal brand framework to structure your strategy.
When people talk about corporate branding, they sometimes speak of “brand personality.” That is because marketers strive to make corporate brands emulate personality traits that a person would have in order to make people like the brand more and build brand affinity.
Personal brands are the same way to no surprise considering that it is a brand belonging to an individual. Personal brands usually accentuate the individual’s personality traits, with confident, extroverted individuals likely having brands that come across that way. The same goes for introverts who may wield brands that give off the impression of being more reserved, sparse and thoughtful in their communication style. More casual, light hearted communicators will likely deliver a similar feeling in their personal brand communications, just as people who present themselves with a more serious tone will demonstrate that quality in their brand.
You can’t change your personality. But you can determine which aspects of it you want to bring to the forefront of your personal brand. Consider your personality and preferences - are you reserved? Do you enjoy lots of short, fast paced interactions? Or do you prefer less frequent, but more in depth discussions? Do you like communicating with humor and using a casual tone, or do you tend to be more serious?
Taking a personal inventory in this manner can help you to determine which of these attributes you intentionally pull forward into your personal brand as you create content and communicate with people on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, blogs, email newsletters, and personal websites.
Ensuring that the attributes of your personal brand match your personality will make communication feel more natural and enjoyable in your personal branding efforts, while choosing attributes that clash with your personality can set you up for failure.
For example, an introvert might not want to make a bubbly and overly communicative tone an attribute of their personal brand, as those qualities would be hard to keep up and misaligned to the individual’s natural communication style. A more reserved communication style and cadence that involves releasing longer, more thought provoking pieces of content less frequently may be a better fit for that individual.
Personal brand attributes examples related to personality traits:
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This category of personal brand attributes was intentionally listed after the goal and personality dependent attributes. That is because those attributes will influence the communication style you use in your personal branding.
The tone you use, your word choice, the topics you discuss, and the communication mediums you use all convey attributes of your personal brand. For example, if you are using Twitter to build your brand following, Tweeting in a light hearted and humorous style will make humor one of your personal brand attributes. This same concept applies to other communication styles, like using a more serious tone as you post on LinkedIn sharing business tips and advice — this communication style and using LinkedIn as the medium will give your brand a more serious, professional quality.
The best way to hone in on your communication style is to start creating content. That will allow you to see what feels right to you, and analyze the way people respond to your content. You might find that an overly humorous approach to communication works, or that it doesn’t resonate with your target audience.
Knowing that this type of insight can only be gathered by putting yourself out there and experimenting, your best bet to determine the communication related attributes of your personal brand is to consider your personality and goals, and then try different communication styles that match them in order to find the right balance.
Personal brand attributes examples related to communication styles:
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Visual brand identity is a subcategory of your communication style attributes. Just like corporate brands have iconic logos, color schemes, fonts, and design styles that make them standout (think Apple logo or the Nike “swoosh”), personal brands also have a visual aesthetic.
As an extension of the way you communicate verbally and in written form, visual communication should match those attributes. For example, if your written and spoken communication style is minimalist, concise, and witty, your visual brand should follow suit by being clean, sharp, and minimalist. Using that example, if you have a minimalist communication style, having graphics, website designs, video content, and other visual aspects of your brand presented in a busy and cluttered design style won’t match.
Another example is if your communication style is loud, bubbly, and humorous, then a design style that features bright colors, larger typography, and faster paced video content would be a good supporting visual style for your communication style.
Visual personal branding is nuanced, and can seem intimidating — especially if you are not a designer. As you are first planning your personal brand, keep your visual branding simple and basic to start, and let it evolve as you grow into your personal brand attributes and solidify them.
Bonus tip: once you know your personal brand attributes, seeking out a designer to review your brand and brainstorm how to best visually communicate it might be a good investment.
Visual examples of personal brand attributes:
Once you’ve aligned on the attributes your visual aesthetic should communicate, consider the personal branding opportunities platforms like TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram offer. Content types like profile pictures and cover photos offer visual personal branding opportunities on social media, while websites and email newsletters offer their own branding opportunities like font types, design themes, and photo and video embedding.
Related: Personal Branding Challenges: Tips for Overcoming the Most Common Personal Branding Challenges
Here are more personal brand attributes to consider as you plan your personal brand’s characteristics:
Personal brand attributes help to set the foundation for your brand, and determine the impressions that it gives your target audience. As you develop the strategy for your personal brand, reference the personal brand attributes examples covered in this blog post.
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