How to build your personal brand without embarrassing yourself

“Hello, I’m pleased to meet you. My name is…”

Oh no, you’re already judging me.

7 seconds is all it takes for you to make a first impression – hair, clothes, facial expression, voice tone – boom. Some studies suggest it as quick as 3 seconds, another I read was a tenth of a second.

And what about your digital first impression?

How about when a potential client googles your name, or looks you up on LinkedIn – what will they find… and what will they think of you?


What we’re really talking about is your personal brand.

The meaning of the word ‘brand’ has really shifted over time. Once understood to mean a name, sign, design or wording, ‘brand’ now describes more fully what the public will think about you based on the information that you give them to interpret.

The guy who created the iconic Coca cola writing, Walter Landor, got it, when he said,

“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”

You know what that means? It’s all about perception.

And who holds the control button to influence that perception?

Here’s the good news, YOU DO!

And it doesn’t have to be embarrassing.

You can build a personal brand using digital tools without embarrassing yourself… here are 3 quick tips to consider.


1.    Create a great first impression with your Profile

With focus shifting online in these post-pandemic times, the brands that will get known and grow will have a sharp, consistent and compelling brand presence on digital channels.

If you do nothing else, please do me a favour and diarise some time to review your current LinkedIn profile.

Think about it how could that influence the perception that people have of you? What does your profile pic look like? How are you describing yourself? Have you represented your education, skills to match the career or job you want? And what do other people say about in the recommendations section?

Are You Trying To Design A Persuasive And Powerful LinkedIn Profile? Download Your Step-By-Step Guide Here (With A Few Bonus Goodies).

2.    If you want to be the authority, first become the author.

In other words, if you want to get known in your industry and beyond, then that renown cannot be bought with ads alone (70% of people would rather learn about a brand through an article than an advert, according to Content Marketing Institute)… it must be earned one piece of content at a time, over time.

Authoring content can look like as simple as taking a photo of a product and explaining its benefits through to videos or written articles known as blogs (59% of Marketers still consider a blog as the most valuable channel), creation of guides / fact sheets, e-books, webisodes, podcasts, guest posts on other sites and news channels etc.

How do you avoid embarrassment here? Read the next point…

3.    Make it VALUABLE

If you’re going to embark on sharing content using digital channels remember your audience are assaulted with more information from every direction online and offline than any other point in history; so, make your contribution exceptionally valuable.

  • Share resources/articles/research on key topics that are useful and helpful to your audience PLUS always add your unique views on them.
  • Share lessons from events you attend – it’s fine to share the snap from a recent event, just add value by adding something you learned that can help others.
  • Make it timely, relevant and of course, interesting. If they’re going to read it/watch it – make it good!


Question – Do you need help articulating your personal brand and laying out a strategy?

Celebrity can happen by accident, but to become a Stand Out Leader you need to earn that right. It means your message will be heard, your ability to influence will be exceptional, and you’ll make yourself irresistible and irreplaceable.

And that needs a plan, and a person in your corner.

If this interests you, let’s talk. I help leaders to quickly activate a professional online brand with the capability and confidence to maintain it. This might look like:

  • 1:1 confidential and customise consulting services,
  • detailed masterclass sessions or
  • speaking topics for larger groups or sales teams.

Uncovering your brand is exceptionally hard when done in isolation, it’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the jar. 


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I’m on a quest to help ideas, leaders and brands stand out (without selling out) in this age of online influence. I’m a conference speaker, a masterclass presenter and creator of the Stand Out Effect: a modern-day quest to uncover what makes brands stand out without selling out. What’s unique about me is that I understand the nuance of business from a large corporation to a small business and can translate the challenges and opportunities of the power of social media in each context. I draw on deep experience of working within corporate and public sector environments, and I also have had the privilege of working with over 2,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs through state and federal funded programs in the last year.