How this international speaker built her personal brand – get her tips

A microphone before a crowd of people, waiting for a speech on personal brand.

All of us have a personal brand. It’s the way we’re perceived by those around us.

Whether you’re a full-time employee, independent freelancer or business owner, your personal brand speaks before you even open your mouth. Being intentional about what you want it to stand for shapes the opportunities you attract. In this article, we explore how you can position yourself as the go-to authority to attract your dream job (and yes, you can stay true to yourself!).

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What makes a personal brand?

It’s important to keep your personal brand consistent online and offline (in-person). When people meet you, read about you, or engage with content you share, they want to feel like they’re getting to know you on a deeper level, not meeting a new version of you each time. This helps to reinforce your personal brand and attract new clients, connections and opportunities. 

When shaping your personal brand, consider how you are perceived in each of the following areas and how you can make them more consistent across the board. 

Your personal brand online

  • Social media content.
  • LinkedIn (including posts and reviews sent and received).
  • Contributing articles to industry magazines.
  • Blogs (either your own or contributions to someone else’s).

Your personal brand offline

  • Public speaking opportunities.
  • Volunteer activities.
  • Participation in team functions.
  • Initiating conversations with people (especially leaders) from other parts of your business.
  • Networking with people in your industry, beyond your own business.

“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
~ Chris Ducker

How international speaker, Simone Heng built her personal brand

Simone Heng is an international speaker on the topic of human connection based in Singapore. She is the bestselling author of Secret Pandemic and a Certified Speaking Professional. So how did she build her personal brand, and what can you learn from it?

I had been working for almost 20 years in old media and had a small following from that, but I knew this community didn’t feel really connected to me. The connection we had was built on me taking pretty pictures and posting vanilla captions. I didn’t really have any real influence I could be proud of. 

I always say rebranding is harder than branding, and I had to transition from being a media personality to being a credible expert. Things really started to grow when I did three very specific things. 

1. I started thinking about how I could serve my audience instead of my following being about me.

And I asked myself, what do they need that I could help with? I created almost one tip a day on public speaking during the pandemic to help other people in their careers. 

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2. I started being vulnerable, sharing my story and my struggles.

3. I started to accept what made me different from other speakers.

I leaned into that psychologically instead of trying to conform, and then amplified my unique qualities online. How can you lean into and amplify what makes you different?

Planning exercise: how to build your personal brand

The following exercise was inspired by the ASPIRE Career Designer. Grab a journal or notebook and write your answers to the following:

  • What do I want my personal brand to stand for? 
  • How would the people around me describe me? 
  • How would I like to make others feel?
  • What can I do to create a stronger and more consistent personal brand?
  • How do I deliver my work differently to others?
  • If I were to write a job ad to replace myself, what skills would I include? What skills would this person need to have to do my job really well?
  • What new opportunities would I like to attract?
  • How can I position myself as the go-to authority to attract those new opportunities?

Now it’s over to you!

We hope the building a personal brand exercise and tips above will help you build the life and career you dream of. With commitment and a bit of planning, plus Simone Heng’s tips on amplifying what makes you different, we think you can do anything and attract any opportunity you want to!

Our ASPIRE Career Designer is a self-coaching journal and a career planner developed together with career coaching experts to help you design your career success. Click here to learn more.