3 personal brand examples to inspire you

3 personal brand examples to inspire you

Whether you need inspiration for your personal business, website or hobby, this post has you covered. Personal branding can be useful in any kind of field, especially now. I’ll mention three of my personal brand favorites, and explain why I like them so much. Read on for some personal brand examples!

My first: Oprah Winfrey


We all know Oprah. She’s a talkshow host, a philantrophist and an entrepreneur. She is one of the few that we recognize by only mentioning her first name. She is practically a full-fledged personal brand celebrity at this point, although she always said that she only became aware of her brand because other people started to calling it like that.

Head over to this blog: Why you already have a personal brand, to hear the story of how Oprah didn’t know she had a brand until someone at a grocery store reminded her of that.

What characterizes her work and her personality is that she’s known as an lovely soul (seeker). Her mission is to inspire and to educate people to find and actually live their life’s calling.

What I love about Oprah

Consistent with her intentions

According to Oprah, there is a lot of consistency in her performances. Whether the interviews that she gives, the articles that she writes, or the boarding school for girls in South-Africa… Her vision on life and her ability to emphatically listen to people, is reflected in her work. She’s always reaching out for meaning and purpose and is interested in giving women a life lesson that can change their lives for the better spiritually.

When thinking about Oprah, she really got why she does what she does. And she really does that thing consistently. If you’re interested in what makes a brand successful, head over to my blog: Key ingredients of a successful brand.


Oprah spoke several times about how she manages her brand. She talks about what she calls the art of intention. One of the ways to live a authentic life and to reach your full potential is to bring your life in line with your purpose by mastering the art of intention, she says.

Therefore, she speaks about understanding the intent of her message before each show – a principal that changed the direction of her show and the popularity of it as well.

“I don’t do anything without thinking about what I ultimately want the energy, the motivation I’m putting into it. What is the end result going to be,” she said. “I only do what I intend to do.”

As she proclaimed, this art of intent is what has helped her to create a successful career – and to what Oprah dedicates the success of her 25 year talkshow to.

I think the beautiful thing about this vision that she has, is that you can use it for both your life and your career as well. Gary Zukav wrote a wonderful book about intents and how you can live your best life. He shows that being consistent with your intents can help you live your best life because you’re more aware of the alignement of your actions with what’s important to you. That alignement is what is needed for your personal brand to grow and refers to two important elements of personal branding: authenticity and consistency.

My second: Paula Begoun


The second of the three personal brand examples is Paula Begoun. Paula Begoun appears as a talk radio host, author and businesswoman because she owns the popular skin-care brand Paula’s Choice. Paula is also the so-called “cosmetics cop”, because she’s known for her view that skin-care and cosmetics should be based on ingredients that have been subjected to peer reviewed research. Her mission is to bring more truth to the cosmetics industry.

What I love about Paula

Her expertise

With every good brand comes a vision. To me, Paula brings that idea to a next level. There are not many brands like hers.

I came across Paula’s Choice a couple a years ago. I was interested in how you can make skin-friendly cosmetics choices. My friend told me to look at this brand because they would give you a great combination: helpful blogs about cosmetics ingredients and useful products that are non-irritating, no animal testing, etcetera. On top of that, Paula also initiated Beautypedia to rate other brands.

All of her businesses are related to Paula. Which makes her the go-to for skin problems and advise about whatever is happening in the cosmetics industry. That’s what makes her a strong personal brand. People reach out for her advise about what’s true and what not.

What I like about Paula is her courage to come up with an slightly different approach than most of the cosmetics brands. She not only explains what’s in their products, she is also focused on products from other brands to give you the insights that you need know about the truth.

This is why your story is so important. It makes people relate to you and, therefore, like you. It also allows you to explain your “why”—why you do what you do. I think a lot of people can relate to her finding that there are a lot of cosmetics products to buy in this world and the lack of ways to find the truth in order to make a great choice.

Especially her expertise and knowledge are useful for people who are suffering from skin problems. With that she’s able to create a brand that’s challenging the status-quo of the cosmetics-industry. Very inspiring if you ask me.

My third: Seth Godin


According to Forbes, Seth is known for this:

[Godin] is a demigod on the Web, a best-selling author, highly sought-after lecturer, successful entrepreneur, respected pundit and high-profile blogger. He is uniquely respected for his understanding of the Internet.”

What I love about Seth

Putting value first

Seth has written a lot of books. I didn’t all read them, but there was one I can recommend because it gave me some lessons about how you can grow your (personal) brand. It’s called: This is Marketing. 

One of the things that he makes very clear is that good marketing should be about the love for your customers, then create some things for them that will make them feel understood and valued. Something that answers their real problems or needs. And then in the last place think about how to profit from it. He has written a lot of valuable, short blogs on sethgodin.com about how you can build a business in the online world.

I admire him for putting marketing into another perspective for me. It helped me grow my own businesses. What’s even more interesting is – he did not invent any of the modern-day marketing methods that he talks about in his books.

In fact, his books are more observations than steps, guides, and to do lists. He simply observes to understand the most common problems that people face, experiments to find out what works and puts it out there for the world to benefit from his insights.

Last note

Allright, those were the three personal brand examples that I chose to mention. I’ve chosen to mention them because all of three are great examples of people who found what they’re truly passionate about and then tried to make a difference by opening up businesses to serve that passion.

So if you’re interested in creating that for yourself – these personal brand examples may give you some inspiration to actually do so. By the end of this year I will launch a DIY-kit on how to turn your online presence into a personal brand. Stay tuned if you have interest!

For sure, there is much more I like about those and other brand personas than what I mentioned above. If there’s a personal brand that you think I have to hear from, send me! I’m open to it.

150 150 Lisanne Swart
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