#230: Developing Your Own Personality Brand — Why It Matters and How to Get Started

We’ve all heard the expression “you are your biggest asset.”

So why do so many of us feel reluctant to let our personality shine in business?

Maybe it’s because we don’t know how. Or worse, we fear showing too much of ourselves will alienate potential clients. Or it just feels uncomfortable to put ourselves out there.

Surprise, it’s actually the opposite!

Now more than ever before, people are hungry for personality. Having a distinct point of view and brand message could be the difference between your business barely surviving or thriving.

That’s what drives connection. And that’s why freelancers and creative professionals (and organizations of all sizes) need to develop their genuine personality brand to stand out in a sea of sameness and a world of duplicates.

In today’s episode, I’m joined by Danielle Hughes. Danielle helps individuals and organizations write and develop a Genuine Personality Brand, creating content that sounds like you by giving you the space to truly be yourself in your messaging.

We talk about:

  • The difference between “personal” and a “personality brand”
  • What this means for freelancers
  • Why authentic personality in your copy and content is more important than ever
  • Common misconceptions about personality branding
  • How to get started on the path to creating and building a Genuine Personality Brand

This is not about pretending to be someone else or creating a brand that doesn’t reflect who you are. This is about being more YOU, regardless of your individual personality temperament.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smartphone, tablet or iPod.

Tell us about yourself and your business 

Danielle’s company is More Than Words Marketing. It’s a branding and copywriting consultancy based in New York. She helps individuals and organizations develop their genuine personality brands.

What do you mean by “genuine personality brand,” and how does it differ from simply being yourself? 

It’s not that different. But many people feel they can’t be themselves in their business. They wear different hats for business versus family/friends. We’re trying to fit ourselves into a mold.

But standing out and being an individual is valued now — whether you’re a person or an organization

Standing out from the crowd in a genuine way is something that many prospective clients value.

How do you do this without feeling uncomfortable? You put a bit of your personality into your messaging to create more of a genuine connection.

Everyone has a personality. Your personality isn’t private. So, you need to find your defining characteristics.

Why is having a personality brand more important in today’s climate? 

The landscape is more cluttered than ever with content and messaging. If you’re generic, you get lost in the crowd. You may be excellent at what you do, but your message won’t resonate.

The more you own your personality, the more people will respond. People want messaging that speaks to them.

How can we make this work if we’re shy or introverted?  

You may be shy, but you can still bring out things about yourself without getting too personal.

Think about your resume — it has a section for passions and hobbies. It’s not personal, but it’s still part of who you are.

Just because you’re shy or introverted doesn’t mean you can’t highlight the things you love.

You don’t have to portray yourself as an extrovert or pretend to be something that you’re not. You can still share some things about your life so your content doesn’t sound like a robot.

What if someone doesn’t like your personality brand? Could this alienate some prospective clients? 

If you do it right, you WILL alienate people. By being who you are, you attract people who are a good fit. If you appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.

The more you are you, the more you’ll connect with the people you want to work with.

The more you are you, the more you’ll connect with the people you want to work with.

What can we do to develop our personality brand — and highlight it to clients and prospective clients? 

Danielle uses “About Me Mad Libs” to help people develop their personality brand. She gives two traditional prompts and one whimsical prompt to get people writing about themselves. They help reveal your personality.

If you sign up for Danielle’s newsletter, you get her About Me Mad Libs for free.

It also helps to pretend you’re writing to a friend instead of a client. You’ll write less stiffly and more like yourself.

You can also reach out to people in your sphere and ask them to describe you. You can use these descriptors in your messaging.

Through some of these exercises, you can create a brand guide for yourself.

What about “taboo” topics, such as religion and politics. Should we avoid these?

It depends on what you’re comfortable with. Again, it’s about being a personality brand, not being personal. If you’re comfortable owning your position on religion or politics, then that’s fine. But you risk igniting a firestorm, so use your best judgment.

Of course, this will also depend on your target market. Some companies have a particular point of view and want their writers to share that viewpoint. You might alienate some audiences, but you might attract others.

Where can listeners learn more about you? 

Danielle’s website:



By the way… whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1. Grab a copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers.

You’ll discover a different way to think about your challenges during this crisis. Plus you’ll get clear recommendations to get you through the storm safely … and to come out the other side stronger than ever. — Click Here

2. Download a free copy of my book for writers who are NEW TO FREELANCING.

I’ll show you the 3 things you need to do to get your business off the ground safely and land your first paying client faster.  Click Here

3. Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories) … just hit reply and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

4. Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just hit reply, put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll back to you with more details.