Personal Branding Action Plan - Checklist + Complete Guide for Starting Your Personal Brand

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The importance of personal branding is unquestionable. A strong personal brand can help professionals find their next job role, generate audience growth for entrepreneurs, and give young professionals a head start on their careers.

But how do you get started? Creating a personal branding action plan to ensure you are accountable for your goals, get off to a good start, and stay consistent in your content creation efforts is a great way to add structure to the beginning of your personal branding journey. 

People with strong personal brands have developed processes, habits, and tools that enable them to continue growing their brands. Use the personal branding action plan in this blog post to start developing your own strategy and good habits.

Personal Branding Action Plan Contents:

  • Set Personal Brand Goals
  • Select Your Niche Topic and Target Audience
  • Determine Your Personal Brand Attributes 
  • Pick a Channel and Start Creating Content Now
  • Choose Your Tools for Personal Branding
  • Build Habits and Track Progress 

Personal Branding Action Plan: Set Personal Brand Goals

Question to answer: what do you want to accomplish with your personal brand? 

As with any pursuit, starting with defining your goals is the first step. What do you hope to accomplish with your personal brand? Is it to build an audience for a new business? Do you want to expand your network to yield more job opportunities

Answering these questions and aligning on your personal brand goals from the start will inform the rest of your strategy. The tactics, marketing channels, target audience, etc. that you choose will be dictated by your goals. 

For example, if your goal is to start a side hustle clothing business selling products to 18-24 year olds, you might decide to use TikTok as your promotional channel for reaching that target audience, and set up an ecommerce store on Etsy, Shopify or Instagram to serve as your storefront or point of sale.

Action Items: 

  • Set the top level goals for your personal brand. These should be your ideal end state ex. Land a new job by a specific date, or make a target amount of money online through your side hustle by a specific date

Use our personal branding framework to set your personal branding goals.

Personal Branding Action Plan: Select Your Niche Topic and Target Audience

Question to answer: what are you saying, and to whom are you saying it?

Personal brands tend to take a natural evolution similar to the way business brands do

Gary Vaynerchuk— a strong personal brand we previously covered in this case study — started out talking about growing businesses and marketing. These are two topics he was primarily focused on early in his career, as he was actively using marketing and business strategies to grow his family’s wine and liquor business. As his brand grew, he introduced new topics that he discussed, expanding to creating content about motivational speaking, personal growth, and hobbies like trading cards and yard sale flipping. 

Each of those topic areas speak to a specific target audience, with business owners and marketers coming to Vaynerchuk for professional advice, a broader audience enjoying his personal growth and motivational content, and niche segments of his audience enjoying his hobby-focused updates.

Corporate brands like Amazon follow similar trajectories, with the ecommerce giant getting its start as an online book store and then expanding to being known for ecommerce products across categories, music, TV, etc. 

Read Gary Varynerchuk’s book Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too for more personal branding examples and case studies

Talk About a Specific Topic to a Specific Target Audience

The marketing motto that advises brands to speak to a very specific audience to avoid being generic and not resonating with anyone in particular holds true for personal brands. If you speak about a range of topics that are too unrelated, people won’t know what type of content to look to you for, and it will take longer to build a following. In contrast, consistently talking about the same topic will help you build an audience of followers interested in that topic that will grow and compound as your network expands.

Start talking about something you know well or enjoy talking about frequently (even better if it’s both) and focus on that at first. Keeping the topic your personal brand is known for narrow in the beginning will help you scale an engaged following. This is a rule you can break later once your following is larger. You can then introduce other topic areas over time as your audience grows and naturally segments just like corporate brands do. 

Ish Verduzco is a good example of someone who has followed this playbook with his personal brand. Verduzco started out talking about marketing and social media strategies frequently given his background as a social media and community building professional. As his audience on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn grew, he introduced new topics like discussing NFTs, Web 3.0 technology and personal development. 

Read Ish Verduzco’s book How to 10x on Twitter to learn more about his approach to personal brand growth

Action Items: 

  • Select a topic that will be the primary topic you write and create content about to share online in order to grow your personal brand following. This should be a topic area that resonates with a specific group of people — that is your personal brand’s target audience. Be sure to start out with one specific topic and build a following and reputation for that topic before expanding more broadly. 

Personal Branding Action Plan: Determine Your Personal Brand Attributes 

Question to answer: 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 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. Your attributes should align to your goals, match your personality, and be ambitious. 

Tips for choosing your personal brand attributes:

  • Your attributes should support your personal brand goals - 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. 
  • Consider your personality type and communication style - For example, an introvert might not want to make an attribute of their personal brand to be super bubbly and overly communicative, for example, 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 long-form, more thought provoking pieces of content less frequently may be a better fit for that individual’s communication preferences.
  • Make your personal brand attributes attainable - Keep in mind that these attributes should be realistic and within your wheelhouse while still pushing you to step out of your comfort zone. For example, if you don’t have natural musical talent or a strong motivation to improve your musical skills, making musical prowess one of your personal brand attributes probably isn’t a good idea. Thinking of areas where you have a unique perspective or combination of skills and challenging yourself to make those qualities a part of your personal brand is a better option. This is not to say don’t work on improvement and that a certain goal is impossible. Rather it’s a suggestion to double down on what you are good at and enjoy to increase your likelihood of success.
  • Look at influencers and thought leaders in your niche — what do they talk about? What is the tone and style of their communication? What qualities would you associate with them? Doing this analysis for a few personal brands can help you to identify your desired personal brand attributes
  • Identify where there are gaps and pain points in your niche  - Consider common questions people ask in your niche, support that people need, and value they are looking for - basing your personal brand goals on these will set you up to be a value add to your industry’s community 

Action Items: 

  • Write down the attributes and qualities you want to have your personal brand be associated with. These should be based on your personality, communication style, and also invoke your high level goals and vision set in the first step.

Check out these examples of personal brand attributes for inspiration.

Personal Branding Action Plan: Pick a Channel and Start Creating Content Now

Question to answer: what platform will you create content on?

While planning and strategy are critical components of a personal brand, so is making sure you don’t wait on the sidelines too long and get stuck overthinking. While you are fine tuning the goals, strategy and business models for your personal brand behind the scenes, it is the perfect time to start creating content and learning. 

Pick a channel you know your target audience uses frequently and start posting there with content about your niche topic area. This will help you start learning right away about what topics and types of content resonate with people in your niche. 

You should also consider your content creation strengths when selecting your channel and cater to those. If you are a good writer Twitter or LinkedIn may be a good fit where Twitter threads and text-based LinkedIn posts do well. If video is your strength, TikTok and Instagram are opportunities. 

Examples of ways to get started on your personal brand now through content creation:

Start creating on TikTok 

TikTok creator Dulma regularly references how the mentality of getting out there and creating ASAP was a big part of her quick ascent to an influencer and entrepreneur success story in one year.  

Content creator Dulma exemplifies the power of getting started creating content and not letting fears of judgement or imperfect content hinder your progress.

“I started posting on TikTok less than a year ago and I'm now a full-time creator getting paid by startups and billion dollar companies alike to do what I love, and it all started because I was willing to throw things at the wall and be seen as "cringe" without overthinking it” - Dulma in this Tweet

She found an active community of people on TikTok interested in direct to consumer (DTC) and ecommerce brands, and started creating content at volume for them. She learned what resonated over time, and honed in on a brand review content type where she analyzes brands and explains what they do well — a content type that her audience loved and that led to explosive personal brand growth. 

Use these TikTok personal branding content ideas to start your own TikTok channel

Start Tweeting

Twitter is a channel being leveraged by tons of creators, professionals, and entrepreneurs to build followings and achieve their personal brand goals. Creators with big Twitter followings consistently urge their followers to start creating content and to do so consistently. Waiting until you’re “ready” isn’t a thing, and you will actually get better faster by getting out there and creating content.

Content creator and Notion expert Easlo is proof that getting started creating content ASAP leads to big results.

Entrepreneur and Twitter influencer Easlo delivers that mantra to his followers with Tweets like this one. Easlo is proof that starting to create, learning as you go, and sharing what you learn is a framework that leads to growth, as he scaled his following to 200K+ in just 2 years.

Twitter is the perfect channel to get started on, as the barrier to entry is writing a single 240 character Tweet and hitting the “Tweet” button. Think of topics and insights your target audience will find interesting and start posting them. Develop a process and strategy over time to quantify this and make it structured ex. I decided I am going to post 1 Tweet per day and share one large Tweet thread per week (more on this below).

Get the Twitter growth playbook Easlo used to scale his Twitter to 200K+ followers: Twitter Operating System

Start posting on LinkedIn

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi is a prominent writer and coach for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to grow their personal brands. Her advice and content often includes a message urging her followers to start writing today on channels like LinkedIn, Medium, and newsletters in order to start side hustles and grow their followings. 

Creator Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi's "create now and learn as you go" approach to social media content creation has yielded significant audience growth.

Kaur Sodhi is certainly an expert on using writing for channel growth and business development, but at one point she was just like everyone else until she decided to get out there and start creating content. A few years later of consistently writing and publishing across channels, and she has a massive personal brand that serves as a case study. 

Follow this same mentality with your personal brand on LinkedIn if that channel ends up being one you choose to build a following on. Start posting regularly, seeing what resonates, and double down on that. This combination of starting as soon as possible and publishing consistently is a formula proven to work.

Get Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi’s LinkedIn Content Mastery course where she shares insights from building a LinkedIn following of 90K+ 

Comment on content from other people and share it

Another good strategy for getting yourself out there and in the game is to start engaging with other people’s content. Comment on LinkedIn posts, reply to Tweets, and comment on TikToks. Engaging with other people’s content — especially thought leaders in your niche — will help you get in the habit of creating content online, and lead to immediate exposure as people see your comments and find your profile. 

This is a good tip for anyone who is nervous about starting to create online, and is a habit you should keep in your personal branding action plan going forward as it will continue to drive value even when your channels have already grown.

View these personal branding tips for introverts to help you get over your fears and start creating today. 

Action Items:

  • Select a platform that matches your target audience and content creation strengths 
  • Start creating content!

Build Content Creation Habits and Track Progress 

Question to answer: what will your content creation routine be?

A personal branding action plan is a great way to get the ball rolling. But consistent action is what will help you scale and reach your goals. 

Now that you’re out of the gate in terms of starting to create content and have goals in place for your personal brand growth, it’s time to put structure in place to ensure you stay on track. 

Build Content Creation Habits and Mini Goals

You should come up with habits, routines, and mini goals that help you to structure your personal branding efforts. For example, if your goal is to grow your personal brand on Twitter by getting your first 1,000 followers, you could decide that for the next month you will Tweet once per day, reply to 3 Tweets from other creators, and write and publish one multi-Tweet thread per week. Setting a cadence like this will keep you on task, and help you to create habits that lead to your personal brand goals. 

Creating subgoals like committing to a certain content volume is a good idea to help you strive for consistency.

Tack Progress

Developing a process and routine for tracking progress is another good form of accountability. Using the Twitter growth goal example above, you could decide that every Sunday you review your Twitter analytics and measure follower growth, post engagement, and how many pieces of content you were able to publish that week. Tracking progress regularly is rewarding because you see the fruits of your labor in real time, and it also offers insights into what content types are resonating so you can double down on those.

Action Items

  • Create a structured routine and process for content creation and make a habit out of it
  • Set a specific interval for measuring and assessing progress ex. Every sunday I review Twitter analytics and compare to the previous week’s metrics

Personal Branding Action Plan: Choose Your Tools for Personal Branding

Question to answer: what tools will you use to create content faster and monetize your brand? 

How will you create content? Where will you sell products? What about productivity? With the scaffolding in place for your personal brand strategy, it’s time to figure out the tools you will use to build your brand. 

This includes the platforms you will use to create content, monetization methods, and anything else you’d like to add to your personal brand content creation machine to make your process fast, efficient, and organized.

Content Creation

Content creation is a big part of personal branding. Whether your goal is to grow on Twitter, LinkedIn, or another channel, you will have to create quality content consistently. 

In addition to the native tools platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter have for content creation, there are a range of personal branding tools you can leverage to help you create better content and to create it more efficiently.

  • Drag and drop design tools like Canva make everyone a designer 
  • Social media automation platforms like Sprout Social, HubSpot and Hypefury make writing, scheduling and publishing content more efficient 
  • AI can be used for copywriting with tools like ChatGPT and Copy.ai

Monetization

If monetization and selling products are a key part of your vision, finding ways to monetize your content will be important. 

  • E-commerce platforms like Shopify and Gumroad enable creators monetize their brands by selling products and services 
  • Affiliate marketing allow you to promote other people’s products and earn a commission 
  • You can use your personal brand audience to generate leads for freelancing as a copywriter, web developer, video editor, professional coach, and other services

See examples of products from other creators on our personal branding products page

The goals you established earlier in your personal branding action plan will inform which of these tools you should use. For example, if your focus is LinkedIn growth through writing more on the platform, writing tools and social media automation will be the most valuable for you. If design will be a big component of your brand, a design tool will be critical for making assets like graphics. If selling products is a part of your strategy, you will need an ecommerce platform.

Experiment with different tools as you fine tune your content creation process and try different monetization methods to see what works and drives the most impact for you. 

Final Thoughts

The only thing preventing you from building your personal brand is starting. Use the personal branding action plan in this blog post to structure your process and keep yourself accountable so you get going and remain consistent.

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.

As always, thank you so much for reading. If you’d like more personal branding and marketing tips, here are more ways I can help in the meantime:

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