10 Must-Read Books for Personal Branding

The more that you read, the more things you will know


August 19 2017

Make no mistake: these days, there is simply no denying why personal branding is important. The art of creating a unique, special and solid brand around yourself is crucial, since it gives audiences and potential employers a good indication of what you can offer—your reputation, performance, and value. In essence, personal branding allows you to create a solid message about you to the rest of the world.

Personal branding is not exactly a new concept: Over the years, businesses, human resources managers, marketers, online gurus, and social media experts have noted the growing importance of personal branding. For example, a 2010 study showed that three out of every four human resources departments are mandated to search the online reputation of their job applicants. A 2013 study found that nine out of 10 executive recruiters they research potential candidates online first before considering whether to hire them or not.

If you decide to start creating your personal brand but are not sure where to start, you may want to start with these 10 books to help get you started.

1) "All Marketers Are Liars" by Seth Godin

You cannot go wrong with American author Seth Godin, who is also known as a top entrepreneur and public speaker. In his boo “All Marketers Are Liars”, Godin states that if you want to market yourself well, it would do you well by ditching the traditional principles of fact-based marketing. 

Godin argues, in order to be a good marketer, you should tell people real and authentic stories. Godin challenges you to ask yourself: What is my story? Is this true? Will people believe it? 

The book provides readers case studies from real brands as well as insightful advices how you can create compelling storytelling into your personal branding strategy.

2) "Buzzmarketing" by Mark Hughes

Personal branding specialist and real estate marketing guru Mark Hughes emphasizes personal marketers should think of outside of the box, especially when it comes to sending you message to people. 

Hughes did not stop short in providing memorable, funny marketing anecdotes that happened in real life when people noticed a certain brand. 

For instance, Hughes dedicated a whole chapter of his book on one of the best success stories on television: American Idol. He said the show’s buzz momentum came in the form of text-messaging, which generated a lot of interest and interaction from viewers who felt empowered on who gets to win the competition.

Hughes also shared the success of Ford Mustang which tapped the power of print advertisements to raise buzz about the product. “When you create a buzz in the media, people want to know what all the buzz is about,” Hughes wrote. “Capturing the attention of the media is valuable, but marketing plus media buzz is priceless.” 

3) “Careerkred: 4 Simple Steps to Build Your Digital Brand and Boost Credibility in Your Career” by Ryan Rhoten

Personal brand master and speaker Ryan Rhoten teaches people who to build personal brands, especially in today’s digital-first age. The book provides insights on how digital personal brands can be created in the online world we live in today. Rhoten says, with the right digital brand, people can get recognized for their expertise all over the world.

4) “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek

British-American author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek reminds you the secret behind the most compelling marketing messages—answering the “why”. For Sinek, answering the “why” in marketing messages is the most important, because this the reason why people get inspired.  

Sinek gives readers a view on why some marketing platforms succeed—because they all begin with their brands’ why.

5) “Confessions of an Advertising Man” by David Ogilvy

How can you get it wrong from the “Father of Advertising” himself? If there is one person in history whose tips you should follow, then it should be David Ogilvy. Founder of top advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather, Ogilvy was credited for some of the industry’s iconic marketing campaigns, including those of Dove soap, shirtmaker Hathaway, and beverage brand Schweppes.

In this book, Ogilvy relayed some of the best marketing secrets he knew, which allowed for the successful growth of some of the biggest brands out there. If you want to jumpstart your personal branding and how to communicate best with people, then you should consider Ogilvy’s book as a must-read. 

6) “The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice” by Todd Henry 

American author and speaker Todd Henry will help you develop a mindset that you need to achieve best things. For Henry, it is important you stay energized while you are addressing everyday problems, including creating your personal brand.

Henry gives you a guide to support your creative branding process and how to stay fresh and relevant in today’s marketplace.

7) “What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story” by Michael Bosworth and Ben Zoldan

Not only is the book full of interesting marketing tips, it also provides good brand examples and emphasizes the need to establish an emotional connection with audiences. For Bosworth and Zoldan, incorporating stories with real passion and authenticity and emphatic listening gives your personal branding strategy a major boost and lead your way to further success.

8) “The Brand Gap” by Marty Neumeier

American author and marketer Marty Neumeier provides five disciplines that personal marketers can use in order to improve their brand strategy as well as execution. With the use of real-life case studies and stunning metaphors, Neumeier says these five disciplines—differentiate, collaborate, innovate, validate and cultivate—can help you build the personal brand you want to craft.

9) “Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams” by Barbara Sher 

This book by best-selling author and lifestyle coach Barbara Sher may have been published a decade ago, but her advices ring true even today. The book tells you to be clear with your messages and strategy. For Sher, taking a single career path may not be the best strategy for you and offers advices and tips how you can do everything you love by starting new projects and welcoming new ideas. 

10) “Positioning” by Al Ries and Jack Trout 

Top marketing guru Jack Trout is the one who coined the term “positioning” in 1969, which has now become a popular marketing term. With that alone, you can consider Trout and marketing expert Al Ries’s book a must-have when it comes to learning more about building your personal brand. 

The book answers the question: how can your personal brand rise above the commotion and competition? Ries and Trout give you pointers how you can position yourself in an ever-expending, increasingly competitive market.

Crafting The Right Personal Brand 

With the help of these 10 books, mastering your unique, personal brand is as easy as 1-2-3. These books can help you in discovering the right personal brand for you in a highly-competitive world.

Crafting a compelling personal branding strategy is not that difficult. When you create a brand about yourself, the promise of the value you are offering will precede you and more often than not, provide you with immense benefits throughout your career.