Quotes About Personal Branding: 5 Must-Read Quotes to Master Your Brand

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Building a successful personal brand takes a combination of hard work, strategy, and the right mindset.

Some of my favorite personal branding quotes focus on the latter two ingredients.

These personal branding quotes inspire, and cut through the noise with direct, clear advice.

I like to draw inspiration from a variety of different sources, and enjoy seeing where it can be applied in my life. You will see this in my approach to personal branding. The following quotes are attributed to people ranging from successful entrepreneurs and business executives to a character from Mad Men and a high school soccer coach.

That said, here are five of my favorite quotes about personal branding to help inspire you on your brand-building journey.

Personal Branding Quote 1: Eve Arnold

“You are paying for future you to get paid.” — Eve Arnold, Part-Time Creator Club

One of the most rewarding aspects of personal branding is helping others by sharing your expertise, offering mentorship, and supporting your community.

Not only will this feel great, but giving away value for free is a powerful marketing strategy.

Entrepreneur and content creator Eve Arnold captured this idea with the quote above from the article she wrote about her first $1,000 week selling products on Gumroad.

She is suggesting that by investing time in creating free content now and building an audience, you are setting yourself up to receive that value back later.

The more value you provide to your audience, the more likely they are to reciprocate at some point by buying one of your side-hustle products, providing a job opportunity, or offering help on a professional challenge of your own.

Put value out into the world in the form of the content you create and the way you engage with your audience, and see what comes back to you.

Related: 5 Famous Personal Branding Examples

Personal Branding Quote 2: Bobbie Barrett

“This is America. Pick a job, and become the person who does it.” — Bobbie Barrett, Mad Men

The reason I picked this quote has nothing to do with Mad Men, or America specifically.

This quote from one of my favorite shows, Mad Men, captures a mentality that I think everyone should keep in mind as they persevere through the doubts and imposter syndrome that comes with personal brand building.

If this quote were to be said today, you could just as easily replace “this is America” with “this is the internet.”

  1. If you want to become an ecommerce business owner, setup a Shopify store and get selling.
  2. If you want to write for a living, get on Medium and Kindle Direct Publishing and start making money.
  3. If you want to be a freelance digital marketer, start applying for gigs on Upwork and Fiverr.

This list can go on. The point is, the opportunity we have because of the internet and its tools is an amazing one. The barrier to entry has never been lower for someone who wants to build a business or embark on a new career path.

In the words of Bobby, pick a job, and become the person who does it.

Related: Personal Branding Case Study: Elon Musk's Personal Brand Power

Personal Branding Quote 3: Thomas Frank

”The true frequency hack for content creators is knowing your sh*t cold and being able to talk about it spontaneously.” — Thomas Frank

This quote from YouTube and Notion growth expert Thomas Frank was inspired by his ability to shoot seven videos for a course he was creating in one sitting.

There’s no substitute for being an absolute expert in what you do. It pays off and makes personal branding easy. That is why focusing your personal brand on things you genuinely enjoy and have a knack for is a personal branding tip I mention often.

For example, I genuinly love marketing and helping people think through their personal brand strategies. Writing about these topics doesn’t feel like work to me, and I find myself reading about them in my free time.

It is easier to come off as a passionate expert in the heat of the moment when it’s actually true, and not a marketing facade.

Personal Branding Quote 3: Justin McLaughlin

Personal experience and a unique voice will matter more than ever. — Justin McLaughlin

As uncomfortable as it is quoting something I wrote myself, I think this excerpt from my personal branding book summarizes a critical idea that is worth discussing.

Cringe aside, we operate in an incredibly noisy internet environment. That environment is set to get noisier, with generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools making it easy for anyone to create decent content at scale.

The average blog post, social post, and video are poised to improve thanks to AI, for example. Soon, it will actually be harder to make bad content because our tools will be able to achieve a decent quality bar for us.

However, I think premium, hard-to-replicate content from top creators will not be overtaken by AI. Sure, top podcasters, YouTubers, and bloggers might use AI to speed up their production processes and spend more time on strategy, creativity, and community engagement.

The great creator’s “moat,” or competitive advantage, is their unique perspective, lived experience, and established trust with their audience. Their content goes the extra mile because it includes data sources and information that AI doesn’t have access to.

The most genuine, skilled creators will be the ones who stand out in an AI-internet saturated with AI content.

I don’t care how many ChatGPT-generated articles someone publishes. It will be hard to compete with this type of content and the aforementioned attributes of top creators.

To bring this point close to home, could someone create a book similar to mine with ChatGPT or another AI writing tool? Sure they could, and I bet it wouldn’t be half bad.

However, people read mine because it is instilled with 10 years of lived experiences, personal lessons, and unique data points and perspectives. You won’t get that from AI.

That unique voice is what will differentiate creators and content as AI-generated content fills the internet.

Read more on this topic in my recent piece: How AI Will Create More Versatile Marketing Professionals

Personal Branding Quote 4: Kieran Flanagan

“Brand Marketing -> Creator- led Marketing: B2C and B2B will be disrupted by creators. People buy from people. The marketing channels still growing in popularity favor creators vs. brands. In the future, brands will tell their story through the creators who work there.” — Kieran Flanagan, Chief Marketing Officer, Zapier

This quote from Zapier Chief Marketing Officer Kieran Flanagan captures the increasing value of the creator in today’s digital landscape.

The “people buy from people” trend that is occurring in the creator economy and in business marketing is one reason creators are seeing so much traction:

  • Creators are building 1-person business empires that are viewed as more than a personal brand. People like Justin Welsh have built significant income streams and brand recognition. These creators have target audiences, products, and revenue — the qualities you typically associate with a corporate business.
  • Businesses are recognizing the power of creator-led marketing. I don’t mean paying influencers to post an ad on Instagram. I mean having embedded creators among a company’s employee base. These in-house creators have their own audiences, serve as subject matter experts in their market, and help their companies attract customers. Toshiba Tech Director Maegan Lujan is a great example. Her prominent personal brand enables her to serve as a spokesperson for her employer, while simultaneously growing her own audience and business as a personal branding strategist.

The lines between the businesses run by top content creators and corporate businesses are blurring. This creates an opportunity for people to build their own audience and career leverage while also excelling in their day job.

I wrote a dedicated piece about personal branding for employees that further explores why employees with strong personal brands are an asset to their employers.

This trend is also beneficial for independent creators. The barrier to entry has never been lower for building your own 1-person business and spinning up marketing channels, like a newsletter, TikTok channel, or YouTube channel.

For example, if you have read this far, or happen to have read my book, you are demonstrating that people now have a level of comfort consuming content and products from individual creators.

This is a trend AI technology will accelerate. With AI helping entrepreneurs and employees at corporate brands create high quality content in higher volumes, the distinctions between corporate brands and creator-led businesses will continue to narrow, and the value of individual creators in the B2B and B2C marketplaces will increase.

Personal Branding Quote 5: My High School Soccer Coach

“You have to look good to play good.”—My High School Soccer Coach

This next quote is a fun one. It’s a quote my high school soccer coach said nearly 20 years ago that stuck with me.

It is a proven fact that you feel better and more confident in yourself when you dress well and have a new haircut.

The motto from my coach carries a similar message. He believed having nice uniforms played an important role in the mental aspect of the game for players. It made us feel confident and valuable.

That quote was his own flavor the the quote: “dress for the job you want.” This quote suggests that projecting a visual persona aligned to your goals can help you to achieve them. We wanted to be good soccer players, and he helped us dress like them.

When it comes to personal branding, this same idea applies. For example, having a social media profile that puts your best foot forward is the digital equivalent of a fresh haircut and outfit.

That way, when you draw attention to yourself through your content creation and networking efforts, you won’t be as worried about what people think when they view your profile across social media platforms.

Having a recent professional profile photo and filling out your bio and other content fields will make your profile feel complete. In comparison, an outdated profile photo and underselling yourself by not filling out your bio might make you feel self-conscious on a platform like TikTok or Twitter.

Be sure that any channel you associate yourself with and every profile you create is one you are proud of. Then you are set up to grow your personal brand without feeling self-conscious or concerned about what people will find when they start engaging with your digital channels.

For example, I’ve taken care to fill my LinkedIn profile out in detail. It includes a professional bio, a recent headshot, descriptions for each of my job roles, and featured posts linking to content I am proud of, like my first book.

I feel confident when I go to post on LinkedIn because I know if someone clicks my profile to see who is publishing the content, they will find a profile that puts my best foot forward.

Key Lessons From These Quotes About Personal Branding

I’ve summarized the key takeaways from my favorite personal branding quotes into bite-sized, actionable tips below:

  1. Giveaway free value and watch it get reciprocated.
  2. Don’t let imposter syndrome get in the way of opportunity.
  3. Make your unique voice a differentiator.
  4. Take advantage of the increasing value of creators.
  5. Optics and first impressions matter.

Final Thoughts on These Quotes About Personal Branding

Personal branding is equal parts strategy, hard work, and the right mindset to approach those two things. This selection of my favorite quotes on personal branding help me maintain the right mindset as I craft my personal brand. I like to revisit them often to fuel my own motivation, and gut check myself as I create content and consider the reputation I am building.

I hope these quotes about personal branding help to guide you on your own personal brand-building journey as they have on mine.

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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