Creating a strong personal brand is one of the best ways to land more clients, sell more products, and make more money.

If people trust you, having your face and name attached to a product instantly makes it more likely to sell. Your followers will be ready to open their wallets.

Just look at Brian Dean from Backlinko — he was able to build a multi-million dollar business by establishing himself as a thought leader and teaching people through online courses. He then sold his company, Backlinko, to SEMrush for $4 million dollars.

This is just one of many successful personal branding examples. Let’s take a look at a few more so you can learn how to create a personal brand for yourself and reap the benefits of credibility.

Why Care About Personal Branding?

Did you know that people might be searching for you on Google?

According to CareerBuildermore than half of the employers today won’t hire candidates without any online presence.

But having social media profiles isn’t enough. You also have to make sure that they reflect your personal brand. After all, more than half of business owners chose to hire someone due to their strong and positive online presence and personal brand.

That’s why you must manage your online reputation through positive personal branding. Neglecting this part might mean you’re losing out on potential business.

And if you think that you can separate your personal brand from your business brand, you might have to re-evaluate it. A study from Weber Shandwick reported that 45% of a company’s reputation is attributed to the CEO’s reputation. More than 70% of respondents also said that the CEO’s reputation also plays a role in attracting employees to a company and motivating them to stay.

This is why it’s important to study other successful personal branding examples and emulate them in your own brand.

10 Personal Branding Examples of Real People Who Made It

Let’s dive into some examples of personal branding from real people like you and me:

1. Neil Patel

As one of the top SEO resource persons on the internet, Neil Patel has built a great personal brand and is now one of the most recognizable names in the online marketing circle. He is also an entrepreneur, investor, and analytics expert, helping companies like Amazon, HP, and Viacom grow their revenue and expand their online presence.

To date, Neil is the co-founder of several multimillion-dollar companies: HelloBar, CrazyEgg, Kissmetrics, and QuickSprout.

Text describing who Neil Patel is and what his personal brand is about

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Early adoption of best practices

Neil started online marketing in 2001, making him one of the pioneers of digital marketing. Back then, only agencies were talking about it.

Quick building of expertise

Neil learned digital marketing skills fast, enabling him to start teaching people right away to establish his knowledge.

His personal brand statement is pretty powerful, too:

“I am a New York Times bestselling author. The Wall Street Journal calls me a top influencer on the web, Forbes says I am one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says I created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. I was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.”

2. Seth Godin

Marketer and entrepreneur Seth Godin is so famous that you only have to Google “Seth,” and his name automatically appears at the top of the search results.

Known as the Godfather of Modern Marketing, Seth is the author of 18 bestsellers, translated into more than 35 languages. One of his most successful books is “The Icarus Deception,” which reached its campaign goal on Kickstarter within three hours.

Seth Godin's personal branding website

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Innovation

Though Seth didn’t invent any modern-day marketing methods, he adapted age-old ones and applied them to current situations.

He understands the problems that people face, experiments to see what works, and puts it out there so that everyone else can benefit from his insights.

Seth’s personal brand statement is simple but to the point:

“Hi. I’m Seth Godin. I’m a teacher, and I do projects.”

3. Jeff Goins

Writer Jeff Goins is the person behind the online community Tribe Writers. He manages a blog and podcast for writers to help them write better, unlock their creativity, and take practical steps in marketing their work.

Jeff Goin's personal branded website

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Focus on conversion

One of the first things that you’ll see when you go to his website is the opt-in form that encourages you to sign up for his list. The opt-in box states, “Hi, I’m Jeff. Can I send you something?” which is a straightforward way of asking for an email address while also providing value to his subscribers.

Testimonials

Jeff’s homepage also features testimonials from Darren Rowse, Michael Hyatt, and Brian Clark – three other well-known influencers in the online marketing space.

Featuring these testimonials front and center makes people trust him automatically even if they haven’t heard from him.

4. Jon Morrow

Jon Morrow of SmartBlogger.com has built his reputation as one of the most successful bloggers online. Even though he doesn’t use his name as the title of his blog, his constant guest posts and helpful blog posts enabled him to build a solid personal brand. In fact, his website gives him over $100,000 of revenue a month.

Jon Morrow's personal branding statement and story on his website Smart Blogger

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Unique story

Stories humanize people. Jon’s story as a person living with spinal muscular atrophy has inspired people to follow his lead and start living their dreams. His personal brand is a statement that anyone, regardless of your circumstances, can create something powerful and successful.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging across the biggest sites on the internet enabled Jon to make a name for himself. One of Jon’s guest posts is the most-read post on Problogger.

He is also active on social media, which makes him easily accessible to readers.

5. Oprah Winfrey

Say the name “Oprah” anywhere in the world, and most people immediately know who you’re talking about.

Considered the queen of personal branding, Oprah Winfrey has leveraged her brand to get paid, become a billionaire, and achieve her dream life. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is the highest-rated talk show program in history in its 25 years of airing. She is also one of the richest and most influential women in the world.

Oprah Winfrey's podcast website

What Made Her Personal Brand Successful?

Authenticity

Oprah’s branding is all about being authentic, thus gravitating people toward her. She uses her brand to influence people’s actions and make them change for the better. For her, it’s all about helping people become the best version of themselves to reach their full potential.

Consistency

Oprah has always been consistent with what she represents. It’s easier to build trust because people see her act a certain way consistently and intentionally. That is the reason for the “Oprah Effect” – a critical factor in her endorsements because she can easily influence public opinion and purchasing decisions.

Oprah’s personal branding statement is “to inspire, educate, and empower people to live their best lives.”

This personal branding example was built on the foundation of interviewing famous people. To build your personal brand, consider harnessing the power of influencers within your specific niche. For a comprehensive understanding of this marketing strategy, explore our guide to hosting a virtual summit.

6. Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo is an American life coach, author, host, and motivational speaker who started her coaching journey while bartending and instructing fitness classes.

Oprah dubbed her “a thought leader for the next generation” because of her influential personal brand.  She has amassed over 100,000 followers and fans all over the world with her award-winning web show, Marie TV.

About Marie Forleo's personal brand

What Made Her Personal Brand Successful?

Strong online presence

In a world full of self-help gurus, Marie stands out from the rest not just because of her authenticity and relatability, but by how well she packaged herself on the internet.

Every bit of her website and social media channels feel 100% authentic to her brand and vision. The design, colors, and photos all showcase her quirky and down-to-earth personality and are all well thought out. People see what her brand is all about just by looking at her website.

Marie’s company has an extremely effective personal brand statement: “That with humility, passion, focus, and relentless commitment — you can bring just about any dream to life.”

7. Ramit Sethi

Known as the author of the bestselling book, “I Will Teach You to be Rich,” Ramit Sethi teaches people how to use psychology and systems to live a prosperous life.

His blog of the same name tackles topics such as automating your finances, finding your dream job, starting an online business, and mastering your inner psychology.

Ramit Sethi personal brand statement

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Valuable content

Ramit gives out no-nonsense financial advice to his readers, focusing on big wins worth hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of the usual personal finance tips.

Best of all, 95% of his materials are free. This marketing strategy not only earned him a loyal following but also makes his subscribers feel that he genuinely cares for them.

Proven system

Unlike most financial gurus, Ramit has a proven method of living an abundant life. He makes his audience choose which path they want to take – earn more money, find their dream job, or save more money – and personalizes his content depending on their goals.

8. Simon Sinek

Motivational speaker and bestselling author Simon Sinek only has one goal: to inspire people to do things they love so that all of us can change the world for the better. He discovered remarkable patterns in how great leaders and organizations think, act, and communicate and imparts this knowledge to his followers.

Simon’s TED Talk in 2009 about the concept of “Why” is the third most-watched video on TED.com, with over 40 million views.

Simon Sinek's personal branding statement

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Key messaging

Simon knows what his message is and can articulate that to his audience. Even his website and social media channels reflect his message and personal branding statement.

By nailing his why, Simon can sell his vision and not just his products.

His personal brand statement is “to inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.”

9. Tim Ferriss

As an entrepreneur and the world-renowned author of “The 4-Hour Work Week,” Tim Ferriss is listed as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People” and Fortune’s “40 under 40.”

Aside from being an angel investor to big brands such as Uber, Shopify, Facebook, and Alibaba, Tim is also the owner of “The Tim Ferriss Show” podcast, a business podcast with over 400 million downloads.

Needless to say, Tim is one of the best self-branding examples on the internet.

Tim Ferriss and his dog on his website home page

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Radical ideas

One of Tim’s most popular books is “The 4-Hour Work Week, which eternally cemented him as an A-list business guru. But what made the book popular is its innovative and unique ideas that don’t conform to the way the world works.

Being a misfit like Tim isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Radical ideas can defy established trends and create new trends that might help other people.

10. Elon Musk

Everyone knows technology entrepreneur Elon Musk and his multitude of businesses: Tesla, The Boring Company, SpaceX, Neuralink, and OpenAI. Elon is one of the world’s richest and most powerful people with a compelling personal brand.

Elon Musk headshot

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Sticks to his mission

Elon’s business decisions are all guided by his mission: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport and energy so that he can change the world and help humanity. This has created a compelling brand story for him and his companies.

Even in his memos, Elon reiterates this mission so that everyone in the company is aligned with one another.

Makes his audience the hero

To achieve his mission of changing the planet for the better, Elon essentially enlists his audience to take part in it and become part of the story. Every Tesla owner has a personal role in reducing carbon emissions on the planet.

Elon acts like a guide to his clients in achieving their goals as he shows them how they can generate an impact by supporting his mission.

11. Bill Widmer

Bill Widmer has been a content marketing and SEO professional for over a decade. He’s used his personal brand to write for major marketing blogs like Single Grain, Social Media Examiner, Hootsuite, Search Engine Journal, and more.

His guest blogging landed him some prestigious clients including Ahrefs, Sumo, Oberlo, and others. His appearance on these sites and his client testimonials are what make him an excellent example of a personal brand.

Bill Widmer's website homepage

What Made His Personal Brand Successful?

Dedication to high-quality content

Even when he’s writing guest posts for free, he spends many hours meticulously crafting every word, image, and even the formatting of the post. He is dedicated to ensuring every article he writes is as helpful and interesting as possible, while also being optimized for search engines.

Stuck it out for the long haul

It took Bill nearly three years of full-time writing before he started to make a name for himself and earned a liveable wage from his craft. Sometimes you have to keep at it for a while to see success.

Conclusion

Building a personal brand is one of the most important things you can do for your career. Regardless of whether you want to find a high-paying job or build a business, it’s worth investing in your brand.

These examples of personal brands should have given you a good idea of what it takes. To sum it up, you should:

  • Have a focus on valuable content worth consuming
  • Stick it out (it can take three years or more to build a brand)
  • Be consistent and authentic in your online presence
  • Use tools like guest blogging and social media to be seen
  • Adopt trends as early as possible
  • Create personal brand statements that encompass what you’re trying to accomplish

Ready to take your personal brand to the next level?

Click here to learn how to use virtual events to establish yourself as an authority in your field and start building your online presence.