The First 7 Days of Personal Branding

personal branding

Thousands of people are trying to brand themselves every day, but the majority seem to be making critical mistakes within the first week of their own personal branding campaign. If you haven’t thought about personal branding much and are looking to start branding yourself, here is what you should do in the next 7 days:

Day 1: Pick a niche
Branding yourself as being a jack of all trades isn’t easy. If you want to be looked upon as an expert you need to pick a niche and more importantly one that you have a passion for. This doesn’t mean that if you know a lot about cars that you should brand yourself as an automotive expert, but instead you need to figure out what sector in the automotive space you can brand yourself in. For example, it could be exotic cars, American cars, classic cars, or even sports cars. Whatever suites your interests and whatever you have a lot of knowledge in, that is what you should brand yourself as.

Day 2: Help others in your space
Before you start getting an ego you need to start giving back to the community by helping out others. Don’t think as this as a chore, but instead look at it as a branding opportunity. It can be as simple as answering people’s questions on forums, but whatever it maybe just make sure you are providing value.

Day 3: Participate within your community
If you are trying to get well-known in the automotive industry you need to participate in that industry. Whatever your industry may be, look out for blogs, forums, chat rooms, or even social networks that are related to your industry and start participating in them. This way not only do you start getting to know the average Joe, but you also start getting to know the leaders within your space.

Day 4: Network
Whether you are at work at a large corporation or you are online all day long you need to start networking with new people. They could be people within your industry or people outside who are just looking to learn more about your space. Networking will open up new opportunities for you in the future so make sure you know everyone that you possibly can. This doesn’t mean to be a networking whore, but instead actually get to know other people. So for this day I recommend that you get to know at least 1 new person on a personal level.

Day 5: Start a blog
Blogging is a great way to portray yourself as an expert. All you have to do is write great content every once in a while and you will start to gain some followers. I know you probably don’t have much time, but all you have to do is just blog once a week for a few months and you’ll notice that you are becoming better known throughout the blogosphere.

Day 6: Plan ahead
If you really want to create a strong personal brand you need to start thinking about the future. This could be thinking about how your industry is changing and what you can do to be a leader or just listing out all the future conferences and making sure you are there. The possibilities are endless so you need to think of how you can leverage the future to your advantage.

Day 7: Don’t expect the world
You are probably expecting to be well branded at this point, but you shouldn’t be. Don’t expect to gain much traction within your first week, month or even a year. If you are in a large industry it will take time to brand yourself as an expert so keep on pushing forward and never give up.

There are probably other tactics that you could use to start branding yourself within 7 days, but these are the ones that you may want consider starting off with. If you have more time you probably can do a lot more, and if you don’t have much time these tips should be enough to get you started.

P.S. If you need more help with personal branding go here.


  1. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker :

    Thanks,Neil, these are great ideas, especially for a new blogger. These are the steps I have already been doing. Your blog gives me a little more focus. Patricia

  2. Bas van de Haterd :

    Good Stuf. Specially Day 7. Although I would move ‘day 6’ forward a little. Like to day 2, since your blog is probably your personal branding tool number one. It’s also good to have a link when you react to your blog, so people who are interested in reading more about you and your opinions, can.

    • Good point. That way if you already have a blog running you could link to it when helping out others.

  3. Michael Martine :

    This is a good general introduction to beginning steps for… setting up a blog and gaining an initial audience. But I’m afraid you lost me on how this is personal branding. In all of this, where is what you stand for? Your operating principles? What kind of image you project? Your defining project/client portfolio? Does your blog match your other point-of-contact materials? Are there distinct markers of your personality that come through in your blog? It seems to me that these are what personal branding is. I really like your blog, Neil, but I’m scratching my head a little bit on this one! 🙂

    • Here is why each step helps you with personal branding:

      Day 1: This covers that if you want a strong personal brand you need to carve your niche.

      Day 2: Helping others is a great way to build a name for yourself as an expert. When you also help people for free it causes them to talk about you in a positive fashion which is great for branding.

      Day 3: If you want to be well branded within a specific community you need to get involved with that community.

      Day 4: Networking is also similar to helping others because it allows others to get to know what you do. It also helps with branding because the folks you network with will talk about you to others.

      Day 5: Not much more I can say about blogging other then it has been effective in branding.

      Day 6: Planning how you can leverage future events to help brand yourself is important.

      Day 7: Not much more I can say about day 7.

      As for your other questions they also relate to branding but this article was about how to start branding yourself.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  4. Dan Schawbel :

    From everything I’ve read, you are known for “day 2” Neil. I think blogging is the ultimate way to start your branding and that it takes a long time to gain the confidence and respect of others.

    It’s worth the investment.

    • Thanks for the kind words! I try and help others as much as possible, but I feel I did it much more in the past. After my book is done I think I’ll have much more time to help others.

  5. Vijay Teach Me :

    7 Day plan, not just for the first 7 days but the all the next 7 days to follow.


  6. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker :

    I am new to blogging, but I assumed that branding means making a name for yourself in the field having to do with your blogging topic. Reading Michael’s comment has me questioning my assumption. Patricia

    • You are correct in the fact that personal branding is making a name for yourself, but it doesn’t have to deal directly with your blogging topic. Some people use blogs as journals and in most cases those types of blog topics aren’t too effective with branding.

      If you are going to have a blog as a branding tool then you probably want to choose a topic that you want to be associated with.

  7. Neil, I think you did the second step very well when you were knew. I came to know about it in Copyblogger. It seems you helped others in your niche by providing free SEO Design. I’ll be starting a blog in my own domain name probably by nest month and this is surely a must read article for me. Thanks.

  8. Thanks Neil. This is very helpful tips. I think the key element is “passion”, without it, most likely one will just quit.

    • I would even go as far as saying passion and dedication is a must for everything. I have seen too many people doing things for the wrong reasons which is why they always end up quiting.

  9. Vikram Rajan :

    Spot on Neil! Wonderfully done.

    We can then spend our days developing our competencies, our character (values & style), and our charisma.

    ~ Vikram Rajan

  10. Thanks so much for this post Neil. I’m going right to work on applying what you have outlined here.

  11. The one of these I have most problem with is day 1. I often feel by being jack of all trades I increase my opportunities to capture at least some paid work. Truth is it probably just goes to the experts!

    • As a business owner I rather higher an expert in most cases. Being a jack of all traits can be useful in a management position, but it is wiser to put your eggs in the expert basket.

  12. Thank you for this information, very useful and beneficial tips, I will start using them right now!!

  13. Day 3: Participate within your community
    Day 4: Network

    How about save a day, and sign up on several web 2.0 social network sites?

  14. Marketing Student :

    I am currently doing about personal branding in university for a module called personal and professional development, so far I have been finding this the hardest of all but after reading your 7 steps, I seem to understand it a little better and I have realised it is not as hard as I thought it was. The steps of personal branding was very helpful, but I believe certain things listed can be done in a single day. Such as day 5 and 6; I can start a blog in the morning (pre-planning on layout and such and go from there) and then with the blog in mind plan future steps that I can follow. Doing this would cut down my time ratio and leave me with extra time to focus on things that need attending to such as advertisement. If days 5 and 6 are done in a single day then I would have an extra whole day I could invest in improving the layout, design aspects (if any) and try to make it easier for others to read and understand… just a little thought

    • Well you should plan it out however you find it most effective for you. Some may need to switch it up to fit their own schedule… don’t follow the time verbatim, just go by the steps on what you need to do.

  15. I think helping others and networking are most important when branding yourself. The more you help people out, the more people are talking about you and what you can do.

  16. Hi Neil,

    First all, a lot of awesome material on your thank you.

    2ndly got 3 Questions:

    1. what would you say your niche is?
    and in that niche what is the “sector” as you mentioned in Day One of Pick a Niche.

    The reason that I ask is because I like to get started as an online marketing consultant but I see so many people trying to do the same thing…

    2. Is there room to get in now without having TONS of experience in IM..and what is your suggestion on differentiating yourself from others from others?

    3. Knowing what you know now, how would you get started online and why?
    ie., Week 1…
    Week 2…
    Week 3…

    This probably won’t be a short answer and if you’ve already written about it, just send me there..otherwise..really looking forward to your response.


    • 1. Mine has changed over the years. But I would say SEO.
      2. There is always room.
      3. The easiest way to start is to just create a blog and write great content. If you keep on doing this, you will build a good following over time.

  17. Credit Increase :

    I do know this isn’t precisely on subject, however i have a web site using the identical program as nicely and i am getting troubles with my comments displaying. is there a setting i am missing? it’s attainable you might help me out? thanx.

  18. I definitely enjoyed every little bit of this,I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  19. This blog entry above is great help for starting up your own personal brand. I would take this as an example to start my own brand. Reading through this blog makes me realize it is not a joke, because it tells you the truth as it gives your both the good and bad aspects of starting your own personal brand. Thank you for this , its great help

    • I appreciate your support. Good luck with creating your personal brand. Let me know if you have any questions along the way.

  20. Hi Neil,

    Im currently studying BA in Marketing and one of my modules is Personal and Professional Development. As I am new to this, and dont have much knoweledge, I must thank you for this blog as I has informed me a lot. I can now say with confidence, that I am prepared to create my personal brand.

  21. Executive Programs :

    Hey Neil Thank you so much for the ideas. These ideas will specially helps those who are new to the blog and these steps are used to create a blog. Thanks once again.

  22. Hello Neil,

    I am a current marketing student who is studying about personal branding and I honestly found your 7 days step to help me much more in breaking it down into chunks of task i need to undertake to personal brand. So I just wanted to take the opportunity and thank you so much and keep doing what you do!!

    Juweyria Hersi.

  23. Felipe Trombini :

    Control the emotions are the most difficult thing to do.
    Its hard to handle it, but….lets keep going and working.

    Thanks for the article.

  24. Hi Neil,

    This is really very informative post for personal branding . But i guess the very Day 1 : Pick a niche is the toughest part and you should emphasize or elaborate and help the readers on how to choose the right niche because there are so many things that i like and i am passionate about but when it comes to writing about them i get lost. So please help us with few tips about how to pick a niche .

    • It is definitely the toughest for some people. Many know what niche they’re interested in from the beginning. They’re already passionate about it. Start with passion, then narrow it down based on competition, the amount of content you can produce, etc.

  25. Hello, your idea on reducing personal branding to 7 days is very interesting and unique. I find it an informative which makes it easier for the reader to understand and encourages them to try it out. Additionally, I find days 4 and 6, the most important since networking is one of the easiest ways of meeting and engaging new people in industry. Secondly, being well prepared and planning ahead of time is also important since it is essential to continue branding yourself throughout your career and not just in one week. Lastly, I like how you concluded because it mentions that there are other tactics that the readers can use which makes it more convenient as the can either do try out different ways to do it by themselves or follow the simple instructions given by you.

    • Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad that you found my article informative. Good luck implementing these strategies for your brand!

  26. Mr Neil,
    In my perspective, I find your article very informative as it clearly puts down the steps and process of why and how branding can be done besides why is it important to go with the flow in the industry and to think about it in a futuristic way. You have made it quite simple and easy for the readers to understand and implement the concept for their personal branding.

  27. Mr Neil,
    As a student of marketing, your article was very helpful in defining the process that occurs in the first 7 days of branding and the strategies and tactics which you have used in the article has give me an insight on how to work upon my personal brand in the future.

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