The Best Books About Building A Personal Brand
These days, if you want to get ahead, it’s not simply a question of being good at what you do. We’re firmly in the age of social media – which means that an online presence is vital to your professional ambitions and development, and one of the most important things you can do to further your career is to build a personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
First up, let’s look at what personal branding is. A simple definition is a professional or personal image that we wish to project to the world. But, as with most things related to human beings, nothing is ever quite so simple.
A more detailed explanation might include developing a reputation for what you do, whether that’s your job or your passions outside of work, curating a persona that includes your beliefs, your life goals, your values and authenticity, and ultimately what makes you uniquely you.
Doing it well can help to develop trust, create ‘value’ in your professional life, differentiate you from the competition and build a reputation for authenticity, whether you’re just starting out in your career or are looking to take your experience to the next stage. It may not be something that instinctive – but it is something that can be learned.
There’s a number of ways to do this, but to give you a head start, we’ve rounded up the best five books on the market.
Personal Branding For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Susan Chritton
With over 20 years of experience as a career coach and personal branding strategist, Susan Chritton brings her expertise to personal branding. She explains how to build a personal brand that helps you stand out from the crowd and develop an online presence on social media and in relevant online communities.
The book contains information and techniques so you can make an informed choice about what you need from your personal brand, and how to achieve it. Susan gives examples of the tried and tested techniques she’s developed over the years as well as new information on how to maintain your brand presence in an increasingly competitive market.
(Available in paperback at bookshops such as Waterstones as well as digitally on Amazon)
Digital You: Real Personal Branding in the Virtual Age by William Arruda
Personal branding pioneer, motivational speaker, founder of Reach Personal Branding and cofounder of CareerBlast.TV, William Arruda has built his reputation on his passion for his subject. He takes a look at what defines a successful personal brand and offers techniques to develop your career through a carefully structured strategy. He asks the reader to consider questions such as what they do better than anyone else, what they are most proud of and what makes them lose track of time, as well as explaining that personal branding is not simply about the search for personal fame, but rather the pursuit of selective fame.
(Available as a paperback from both bookshops such as Waterstones as well as on Amazon)
Introduction to Personal Branding: 10 Steps Toward a New Professional You by Mel Carson
Mel Carson is described as a Digital Marketing Strategist, Personal and Leadership Branding Strategy Consultant and Coach, Keynote Public Speaker, Author and Business Columnist. He was one of the early adopters of social media marketing and in this book, he outlines ten actionable steps that you can use to maximise your personal brand. These include creating a branding statement, analysing your competitors’ social media presence, optimising your own social media for search engines and differentiating your brand. A short, easily-digested book, it’s targeted at a range of career levels, from CEOs, HR and Training Managers as well as those who are in the early stages of their careers.
(Available in paperback or digital from Amazon)
Creative Personal Branding: The Strategy to Answer: What’s next? by Jurgen Salenbacher
Design, branding and creative economy specialist Jurgen Salenbacher describes himself as a facilitator and coach and has developed a unique personal coaching method that develops creative thinking and innovation. In this book, he discusses how to use brand positioning methodology to determine your next career move, outlines the keys to creative thinking and sets a series of assignments in which readers can explore their own assets and personal skills. Not only an invaluable resource for creative thinkers and entrepreneurs it also offers a ‘go-to’ resource for anyone wishing to change their lives.
(Available in paperback from bookshops such as Waterstones as well as in digital or paperback from Amazon)
Branding Pays by Karen Kang
Karen Kang is a renowned brand strategy consultant and former journalist with over 20 years of experience working with brands such as Apple, AstraZeneca and HP. She offers her considerable expertise to guide the reader through strategies such as refocusing skills and experience to precisely target their dream job, as well as growing a career and levelling up in their chosen or new profession. Karen discusses issues such as globalisation and being prepared for today’s highly connected and extremely competitive job market, and offers templates and action lists to develop your own successful branding strategy.
(Available digitally and in paperback from Amazon)