Personal Brand Attributes Examples - Different Types of Personal Brand Attributes Explained

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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.

What Are Personal Brand Attributes? 

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.

Types of Personal Brand 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:

  1. Goal Oriented Personal Brand Attributes
  2. Personal Brand Attributes Related to Personality Traits
  3. Communication Style Personal Brand Attributes
  4. Visual Personal Brand Attributes

Goal Oriented Personal Brand Attributes 

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. 

Microsoft's brand mission focuses on empowering people to be productive.

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:

  • A “no excuses” mentality - given that many personal brand initiatives like starting a side hustle are executed around responsibilities like a full time job, a “no excuses” mentality that advises people to make time to work on their mission no matter what is often a part of an entrepreneur’s personal brand
  • Subject matter expertise - most personal brand goals will involve learning new things and mastering new skills. Demonstrating this expertise and passing it along to others can become a powerful personal brand attribute as you make it apparent in your content creation and communication that you are becoming an expert in your respective field. Making thought leadership an attribute of your brand will not only serve you in your goals as your skills and knowledge expand, but you will also grow your network as a byproduct. 
  • Pioneering - many personal brand goals such as starting a side hustle, growing your audience on social media, or finding better job opportunities will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Having a pioneering attitude 
  • Consistency - This personality trait is related to your will power and discipline as you work toward your personal brand goals. Demonstrating consistency by keeping those goals on track will help you achieve them faster, and also be apparent to your network as you establish yourself as a consistent presence and resource in your industry. 

Use this personal brand framework to structure your strategy.

Personal Brand Attributes Related to Personality Characteristics 

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:

  • Supportive / service oriented - giving your audience the impression that you are here to help and offer them value
  • Inspiring - having a positive and action inspiring quality to your brand
  • Approachable - presenting yourself in a way that makes people feel comfortable engaging with you 
  • Openness and transparency - communicating in a way with your personal brand that demonstrates to people that you are honest and willing to connect 
  • Resiliency - this one could also fit under the goal-oriented attribute category. If you are a resilient person who doesn’t let obstacles and short term failures derail their goals, that is a personality trait you could reflect in your personal brand that is likely to gain you respect in the eyes of your growing audience and network
  • Modesty - striking a balance in your self promotion as you build your brand will give it a humble and modest quality that people will appreciate 

Learn about the benefits of personal branding.

Communication Style Personal Brand Attributes

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:

  • Being formal (professional) vs. informal (casual) - ex. Always using proper grammar and punctuation vs. writing content with all lowercase letters, using emojis and gifs, and being lax with grammar and punctuation
  • Personal vs. impersonal - the topics you discuss and how much you share personal stories and insights will determine whether your brand feels personal or impersonal
  • Humor - How much humor and wit you use in your communication 

Follow these personal branding tips as you start building your brand.

Visual Personal Brand Attributes

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: 

  • Minimalist
  • Clean 
  • Loud - think bright colors, large fonts, busier graphics with many elements
  • Sharp - think hard edges on design elements, and rigid font types. These give off a strong, confident, but also potentially cold impression if used too much
  • Soft - think round corners, round design elements, and softer fonts with rounded edges. These 
  • Conservative - more corporate, professional looking brands
  • Casual - more fun, less rigid, and laid back visual brands

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

Additional Personal Brand Attributes Examples for Inspiration: 

Here are more personal brand attributes to consider as you plan your personal brand’s characteristics: 

  • Resiliency
  • Accountability
  • Empathetic
  • Innovative
  • Confidence
  • Trustworthiness
  • Discipline
  • Patience
  • Insightfulness
  • Inspirational
  • Resourcefulness
  • Transparency 

Final Thoughts

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.

Bonus Personal Branding Tips and Insights

About the author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012. Thank you for reading and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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