When you’re building a company or your career, simultaneously crafting your personal brand may not always be a top priority. As it turns out, though, the two go hand in hand. According to Forbes, cultivating your personal brand can lead to a higher chance of achieving your goals, growing your wealth, and minimizing imposter syndrome.
Given the potential that can come out of investing in your personal brand, I asked the Dreamers & Doers collective:
What is the most impactful thing you’ve ever done for building your personal brand?
Better yet, I asked about the advice they would give to others, so you can put their insights into action immediately.
If you’re ready to start your journey toward building your personal brand, look no further than the tips shared from these 29 female business leaders.
Co-Founder and CEO of Caire Beauty, a skincare brand targeting women over 40 who are experiencing dramatically changing skin due to hormone decline and menopause.
As a bi-racial woman who has had to navigate the worlds of -isms, I’m a huge believer in the value of having two different types of coaches, versus just mentors and advisors. Mentors were scarce for me in the corporate world, so a lot of my personal brand was crafted using my own wits. After a while I realized I needed help due to some of the deep level bullying that had occurred in my past. I engaged a leadership development coach who works to navigate corporate egos and startup woes. I coupled this with a communications/presentation coach who helped me to dig in deeper to elevate how I crafted my personal brand. Understanding that there are different types of coaching truly changed my view of coaching as a definite need, especially in growing a startup. Envision how you want others to perceive you and to ask yourself the tough questions to help you to evolve your sense of self.
Founder and CEO of Brilliantly, helping women with the transition from confronting breast cancer to embracing life through innovative products and thoughtful content.
One of the first branding exercises I did for Brilliantly involved me articulating my personal brand. Writing out who I am, my strengths, and what I represent has allowed me to stay true to myself and remain authentic. Be unapologetically authentic and take the time to get to know yourself—both your strengths and weaknesses—and own them all.
Founder and CEO of PerfectDD, a mission-driven sustainable clothing brand designed to fit and flatter DD+ cups, sizes 0-14.
While sharing my unfiltered story, including my struggles, I discovered that so many women relate. What I once shied away from because I thought I was “different,” is what made me stand out and helped create the niche I am servicing today. Be authentic. People understand there are highs and lows and you’ll be surprised how many people want to be supportive.
CEO of Ashley Reed, LLC, aiming to awaken the high-achiever.
It’s going to sound counterintuitive, but stepping out of my head. As someone who spent 18 years in marketing with organizations like Amazon and iHeartMedia, I felt my head immediately pulling my focus toward strategies and tactics. But none of that matters if your foundation isn’t strong. When it comes to personal branding, authenticity should always be the foundation. Take the time to pause and recenter into your authenticity and your why. Find your foundation in those, then let them guide your marketing and communication approach.
Public Speaker and DEI Consultant at Blindish Latina, working with companies and organizations to advance workplace disability awareness, inclusion, and accessibility.
First, I got clear on what I wanted to be known as—a Disability Stigma Smasher™ and expert on disability inclusion in the workplace. Then, I fully believed in my voice and what I have to contribute to the world. From this foundation of confidence, I began sharing my thought leadership on a consistent basis on Instagram and LinkedIn. Now, I’ve built a strong personal brand and regularly have opportunities coming to me. Consistency is everything. When you identify your core messages, you must share them on a regular basis in different ways and keep going even when it seems like no one is listening.
Brand and Messaging Strategist at Hilary Hartling Headquarters, helping entrepreneurs create captivating brands that resonate.
The most impactful thing I’ve ever done to build my personal brand is to form genuine and high-value relationships with other entrepreneurs and business owners in my industry. This has led to more client referrals and being invited to be a guest expert, keynote speaker, or podcast interviewee because more people know what I do and the expertise I bring to the table. The three-part advice I’d give to others who are currently working on building their personal brand is to build your personal brand strategy, defining who you want to be and what you want to be known for; find your community and get around others who are on the same journey and/or mentors you can form relationships with; and make a plan for how you can give value to the people you’ve decided to circle up with and share your expertise.
Marketing Consultant and Business Coach at ReBrand Journey, guiding professionals and businesses to build their brands and reach their goals.
The most impactful thing I have done to build my professional thought leadership brand is follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of my content focuses on providing value for my audience’s pain points related to my business niche. Less than 20 percent of my online content is self-promotional. My advice for those looking to build their professional brand online is to define their audience’s pain points and industry topics. Next, write and collect content on those topics to share. Lastly, share that content across platforms regularly to become a thought leader on that topic.
Artist at LvL Studios, creating sculptures, ceramics, and public art installations with major companies, institutions, and organizations.
When I decided that I wanted to include “artist” on my list of personal titles, I knew I had to do more than stay within my four walls. For me, that meant writing about my actual feelings, not just the things I was an expert on. It wasn’t easy, but taking those risks changed my life. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to zig when everyone else is zagging.
Solopreneur at Amanda Lien, LLC, a copywriter, editor, and creative writer specializing in thought leadership articles and ghost-written content for business leaders.
It’s really easy to de-prioritize myself and my brand in favor of working on other peoples’ brands. But there is equal value in treating myself like a client. This investment has paid dividends in not only client acquisition and retention, but also my own confidence in what I have to offer the world.
Co-Founder and CEO of PathMatch Inc., the first decentralized AI-enabled career management platform for Gen Z.
As an Asian female growing up in the United States, I was socialized and taught to overachieve, but also to be humble and not share my successes. This socialization stayed with me until my 40s when, as a female founder, I realized the importance of developing my personal brand. Posting content and thought pieces felt wrong and uncomfortable as I felt like I was bragging, until I started working with a hypnotherapist/Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner who has worked with me to reprogram how I think about my personal worth and brand in a different light. No one is going to learn about the amazing things you are doing and your contributions to the world unless you share it with them. Your personal brand is one of the few things we have control over. It shapes how people view you, how much money you attract, and who wants to come work for you.
Misasha Suzuki Graham
Co-Founder of Dear White Women, LLC, aiming to help White women use their privilege to uproot systemic racism.
The most impactful thing was to be bold in our mission statement for Dear White Women, and for me personally to stand up and speak my thoughts. I had spent so much time trying to soften my voice, that it diluted the urgency of our platform. Once we got very clear, specific, and uncomfortable, our podcast became stronger, our book was born, and we started landing speaking engagements. Personally, I realized how much power I had in my voice and have leaned into it ever since. Don’t be afraid to say what you stand for, and do it with conviction and intentionality. People want to know your “why” behind your brand—so share it widely, and do so knowing that this is your truth. It’s this truth, after all, that will attract people in the end.
Branding Consultant at Nicole Tremaglio, helping brands adapt to trends and technology so that they can provide an integrated customer experience across digital and IRL channels.
Defining my purpose, core values, and value proposition, and then taking consistent, aligned action is the most powerful thing I’ve done to build my personal brand. Think about what kind of impact you’d like to make through your work, who you can help, and how your expertise, knowledge, and unique point of view provides them with the antidote to their struggle. If you experience outside judgment, don’t take it personally. Building an unshakable sense of self-trust helps you tap into your intuition and make decisions for your personal brand that feel good.
Founder of Storybeat Studio, harnessing the power of multimedia storytelling to increase the visibility of thought leaders, organizations, authors, entrepreneurs, and changemakers.
I invested in portrait photography and found the right photographer for me. These photos allow me to recognize myself while sending the message I want to send. The photographer I worked with, Meka Hemmons, has a clear mission for the work she does: “You don’t have to change a thing about yourself. Let me show you how beautiful you are.” It aligns with my own brand and mission that we all have uniquely beautiful stories to tell. When I experience moments of doubt, I look at my photos to remind myself of who I really am. There is room for the do-it-yourself approach, but there are also key areas where you need to invest in yourself. Look to experts you admire who align with your unique mission, vision, and values.
CEO of The McGuire Method, a communications coaching business that teaches leaders acting skills so they present, persuade, and negotiate powerfully.
My communications coaching business is built around my personal brand. I thought hard about how I wanted to be perceived and built out a presentation persona to match. I then walked, talked, and dressed like Allison McGuire, badass CEO, instead of Allison McGuire, please-work-with-me founder. Once I felt strong in myself, that perception shifted and my business took off. Make a list of your most inspiring traits and how you want to be perceived. Then lean into those traits and be proud to showcase your strengths. Confidence is infectious.
Founder and CEO of Allobee, a one-stop business solution for the overwhelmed entrepreneur.
Over two years ago I started a podcast called MOMentum Radio, which eventually turned into Allobee Radio, where I interviewed women who were creating momentum in the world. This podcast allowed me to talk to some of the top women entrepreneurs and leaders in the country in an intimate session. Through these interviews I was able to not only get mini-mentor sessions for myself from women I looked up to, but they also planted seeds of relationships that have flourished over the last two years. It allowed for doors to open that I never thought were possible, including speaking and now writing a book.
Founder of Business of Community, helping community founders build profitable businesses via events, education, and community.
Writing a newsletter has been crucial to positioning myself as an expert in my industry. Even when only a handful of people were reading my writing, publishing regularly helped me clarify my ideas and develop a unique point of view. Sharing my ideas and frameworks started attracting clients and partners who aligned with what I believed and I was excited to work with. After just a few months of writing, I was able to build and successfully market an online course and community experience that I’m really proud of. Find the one or two mediums that align with the way you want to show up and focus on fewer channels.
Founder and CEO of Clutch Talent, a technical recruitment agency, representing top engineers.
From day one, I focused on building genuine connections with software engineers from underrepresented backgrounds in tech. I hosted private events, connecting women in engineering with peers. I made myself available for coffee chats and calls to help people navigate challenges in their careers. I approached my network because I wanted to drive change in our industry’s demographics. Now, it’s what I’m known for and it has brought meaning to my work. Let your passion drive you and do not be afraid to push against the status quo. You can help raise up other people, even in the early stages of your own career.
Founder and CEO of Doodle Couture, New York, a modern accessories brand for dogs.
The most powerful thing I ever did to build my personal brand was announcing to my entire professional and social network on LinkedIn and Facebook that I had left my 20-year leadership career in the wine industry to pursue my dream of entrepreneurship. I did it to hold myself accountable to my new path and to be completely genuine in my intentions. I knew that by doing it, I would never be able to turn back. Be authentically yourself. People see through anything less, and there is nothing more unique and valuable for your brand than the most genuine version of you.
Founder and CEO of The Soulcademy™️ and Studio Co.Creative, a heart-centered learning and community to guide your entrepreneurial journey.
I stopped listening to other peoples’ opinions of how I should grow my business or run my life. Now, I let my body and my soul inform my brand-building moves. What feels true, what feels in alignment, what feels expansive and uplifting? Standing in my truth and purpose has been an act of liberation. Get crystal clear on your purpose and values—that is what you can anchor into as you continue to grow and evolve. And don’t be afraid to turn your light all the way up so your soul-aligned people can find you.
CEO and Founder of I’m All Courage, a school for ambitious leaders to evolve, heal, and express their highest potential.
I built my personal brand by being true and authentic to myself and my values. Knowing who I am, my core values, and what I stand for allowed me to form my vision for our humanity and get clear on my part in it. All my actions, the speeches I give, the second draft of my memoir, my blog posts, the communities I join, every post on social media, or interaction IRL are all informed by my values and that vision. I am playing my part in this symphony of co-creating a better world here and now. My advice is to be authentic to yourself. Follow your truth, say what you want, and present yourself as you are. You are your brand’s powerful edge.
Co-Founder and COO of The Rise Journey, providing human resources strategy and organizational culture consulting.
I built my brand by reaching out to members of my community and sought feedback, asked about their needs, and initiated a conversation about how to meet those needs. You have to recognize that it is not about monetizing every move and every conversation, but monetizing when it’s important and when it’s right. By having a lot of conversations and coffee chats, I was able to build trust and accountability. That meant that people could trust me and hold me accountable and I could trust them and hold them accountable in return. You have to be ready to offer without expecting anything in return. And always lead with a learner’s mindset.
Founder of 13thrive, a mindfulness consulting firm that helps leaders build community at work and lead with clarity.
The most impactful thing I’ve done for building my personal brand is fully embracing my feminine leadership. I leaned into my natural ability to connect directly with people and let others be seen. When I networked I always asked, “how can I support you or your business?” I showed up consistently as a feminine leader across all my social media platforms, website, and my email list. My consistent messaging and authenticity helped me connect with like minded peers and aligned clients. First understand what your unique positioning is by asking what you are already well known for and what you do I do with ease. Once you’ve answered these questions and there’s clarity on their positioning, begin establishing your personal brand through storytelling and consistency across all mediums.
Founder of Where Digital Goes, a sales-focused digital marketing agency.
When you are busy leading others, the thought of building your personal brand may seem like another task on your long to-do list. It doesn’t have to be this way! Being a professional in your industry doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and be human. Complement your niche-related content with personal stories and other interests you enjoy. Be you! And spoiler alert: You don’t need to be on every social media channel! I advise my clients to create for themselves first, in a format they enjoy. Pick your favorite platform and show up consistently, and the right audience will be drawn to you.
Rosario B Casas
Co-Founder and Managing Partner at XR Americas, BCPartners Tech, and Brooklyn2Bogota Digital Transformation Community, focused on reducing the gaps in technology.
A critical moment in building my personal brand was discovering what makes me feel comfortable with who I am. This gave me an easier way to be authentic and bold. My advice is to find ways to be unapologetically authentic. The majority of times, there are other people younger than you, or at an earlier point of the career, who are looking for a role model. There, you can ultimately make a difference.
Founder of Sunflower, connecting early-stage founders to top designer and developer talent.
I build my personal brand by collecting and publishing testimonials from my clients. As founders and service providers, we can so easily forget to celebrate and share our wins. Now, I make time and space to pause after each project and get a testimonial from my client. We want to work with people we can trust. And so offering words from others that people can relate to only helps move the needle a bit from, “Can I trust her?” to “Yes, I can trust her!” My business and brand has grown 100 percent by word of mouth to being known as very “founder friendly.”
Founder of konakafe llc, a creative consulting and wellness hosting company.
I built my personal brand by having a professional-looking stock library of my face and services. I was literally putting my best face forward. Figure out what your aesthetic is: colors, textures, words, backgrounds. Think of it like you’re building your magazine cover. What kind of style and value do you want to project? And have fun and know that your brand can evolve over time!
Founder and CEO of In The Black, a collaborative wealth advisory practice.
I shut down my social media presence—specifically, Instagram. As a wealth advisor, I realized that my presence on Instagram was not serving me or my clients. While I was providing valuable information, Instagram was not the right medium. I pulled back from social media and really got clear on who I am and what I stand for. While social media can be beneficial, if you’re too focused on it, you will miss some amazing opportunities.
Founder and CEO of Perkies, creating innovative undergarments for women to wear; most notably the Perkies Sticky Bra.
I say, “yes,” to as many things as possible—speaking engagements, mentorship opportunities, even dinners with friends. You never know who you will meet and how these chance meetings can help you build up your brand and get you in front of the right people. Not to mention, socializing helps with burnout while still getting work done.
Founder of Dog Spotted, the premier NYC dog community connecting dog parents with veterinarians and other experts for content and services.
To build my brand, I established my voice, shared my story on our website and Instagram, and developed relationships in my space. My advice is to define your values and goals, and map out your plan to accomplish said tasks in a time-bound fashion. Take small steps such as, “In April, I’ll partner with three similar Instagram pages for an Instagram Live,” “In May, I’ll update my about page with new accomplishments and press.”