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The Secret to Successful Personal Branding

I love that scene in You’ve Got Mail when Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan “It’s not personal it’s business” and she replies defiantly, “What is so wrong with being personal? Whatever anything is, it should begin by being personal!”

It is so good, and so true!

So now to the topic at hand, do you want to know the secret to effective personal branding?

Lean in a little closer and I’ll whisper it to you. I’ll even give you a hint….it’s right there in the title…look closer…

Whatever anything is, it should begin by being personal


Don’t be too hard on yourself, it took me three businesses and almost 15 years for this to sink in properly. I used to be idealistically in love with the idea of being the sentient, wise, creative voice behind the brand. My logo shining center stage like a magnetic beacon, while I frantically worked the pedals behind the curtain like the Great and Powerful Oz. (google it my Gen Z friends). I kept myself hidden and took on the corporate ‘we’ in my tone.

I was the opposite of uninhibited

A funny image I know, but it is a pretty accurate picture. In all seriousness, you will have to work twice as hard if you insist on having a logo for your entire brand identity. Step out from behind the curtain and make it personal though…now you have something special. Something no-one else has. Now your brand is fueled by your uninhibited ideas and vision, by your life force. Claim it, declare these are my thoughts, my ideas…I am the Great and Powerful Oz!!

Okay, I’m Oz, now what?

Now you need to know how to add personalized elements into your brand without falling into dreaded overshare territory. I created my proprietary Golden Rule to help clients do just this. While I also live by the original Golden Rule of treating others as you want to be treated, I also recommend trying mine to set the foundations of your uninhibited personal brand.

Here is the idea behind it. The 6 basic elements you need for any successful brand are 3 Brand Pillars and 3 Brand Values. I talk about these more in my one-one coaching sections but I’ll share more with you here in case you are a DIY girl like me.

Remember the Golden Rule

Your Brand Pillars are the central core of your brand, the three ideas everything you create is based on. For example, mine are branding, personal development, and motivation. If you are a copywriter yours might be, social media, email, and website copy.

Next, consider your values. You need at least three. This is where the personal side of things comes into play. Spend some time on this step, don’t just rush through to pick three that sound good. These need to resonate with who you truly are to create that connection to your audience. My brand values are growth, simplicity, motivation, and generosity. Our copywriter persona might list fun, quirky, and energetic as hers.

The Golden Rule will show you where the values and pillars intersect. Here’s the part that is truly great…those intersections are your content! The messaging you create to personalizes your pillars and content in a way that is unique to only you. Keeping with our copywriter example, she might use the intersection between quirky and social media to share her favorite Spotify playlist to set the mood for writing.

Curious to know how well your brand stacks up?

Let’s do a little experiment:

Take away all identifying factors that make up your brand, the garnish.

Remove your logo, colors, and website

Lose all Canva graphics and video content

What’s left?

Your voice!

Your messaging!

Keys to your entire visibility strategy!

Without the garnish will your audience still know it is you? Have you so clearly honed your unique voice they can spot you in a crowd? If not it is a good thing you are here. Looking for more personal branding scoop? Read this and this and download my new (free) resource, Your Personal Brand Plan 5 Steps to Easier Branding, coming soon!

Want more? Watch my IGTV video here to see my weekly Golden Brand content wrap up and updates.


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