How to build your own personal brand?

I have attended the 11th Annual Intercollegiate Business Convention at Hynes Convention Center on October 17, 2015, organized by Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business.

I am going to share some takeaways from the workshop “build your own personal brand”, hosted by Chris Colbert. Chris is a serial entrepreneur and innovator in the marketing space with a deep interest in higher education.

I hope you find my summary of the workshop inspiring!


Let’s begin with a pop quiz!

See where you are on building your own personal brand.

10 = always and brilliantly    1 = sadly not

  1. Do you have a compelling website?
  2. Do you intentionally meet people?
  3. Do you tell a compelling story about yourself?
  4. Do you follow up with people you meet?
  5. Do you use social media for professional purposes?
  6. Do you have a business card?
  7. Do you have a database?
  8. Do you know who your competition is?
  9. Do you know who your target audience is?
  10. Do you dress to engage?


Why bother building your personal brand?

There are researches shows that all major decisions are emotional.



  • Be a storyteller who people could be emotionally related to and interested
  • Write your fifteen word cocktail party pitch, and practice them and get ready to present! It will give you better ability to deliver the message when these moments come. The more familiar and comfortable you are with your story, the better you are able to be who you are.


What does BRAND really means?    one or two attributes

Actually everything is a brand.

  • Whether it is a pencil or a cup. Uber, Trader Joe’s, Whole food……are brand!
  • The purpose of any entity is to create value.
  • To create value you need resources
  • To acquire resources you must ask for and warrant them
  • Since all resource givers— friends, employers……have choices. Hence in the business, there is always comparison.


Your One Simple Thing is your promise proven by your capability.


Think of these people below? What comes into your mind when you see them?

You tend to simplify them in one or two words, don’t you? That’s how our cognition tend to work!  


PersonalBrand.048 PersonalBrand.050





  1. TARGET   a twenty word depiction of who this person is
  2. POSITIONING   for [target] who are [segment], [brand] is the [category] that [point of difference] because of [proof.]
  3. ONE SIMPLE THING  the idea and feeling we want to own
  4. COCKTAIL PITCH   above, quickly expressed in conversational and distinctive form
  5. FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS   the 3 most important functions of the brand
  6. EMOTIONAL BENEFITS   the 3 most important emotional associations with the brand
  7. STORIES   the 3 best anecdotes that emotionally support the OST
  8. PROOF   the 3 strongest data points that tangibly support the OST
  9. PERSONALITY   the 3 most important attributes of the brand’s character
  10. TAGLINE   an engaging, distinctive and short expression of the OST



Imagine you are looking for an employee, when you receive thousands of resume for one position. Which one would you prefer?

PersonalBrand.132 PersonalBrand.131

Your CV is your Ad, your Facebook is your Ad, your LinkedIn is your Ad, and your website. 
So work on them and create visual attraction!



Guideline for Your Marketing Plan

  1. What is your goal?  (DEFINITION OF SUCCESS)
  2. Who are you seeking to engage with?  (TARGET AUDIENCE)
  3. Why should they engage with you? (OST AND STORIES)
  4. How will you package yourself to create distinction? (CREATIVE)
  5. How can you most effectively engage with them? (TACTICS)
  6. What media will you employ?
  7. With what frequency?
  8. What is the duration of your campaign (TIMING)
  9. How can you prove that you are worth engaging with? (STORIES AND PROOF)
  10. What are the most important things to measure to ensure you continuously make progress and improve? (METRICS AND MILESTONES)