Marketing Books to Help You Build Your Personal Brand

Growing one’s own brand is still a popular concept, particularly among millennials. According to Business Insider, 1.8 billion photos are published on social media every day.

Personal branding, according to Inc.com, allows you to build a reputation and an identity while still keeping a personal level of trust and contact, which is typically done through social media.

When you look at the marketing efforts of a major organisation like Apple Inc., you can see how the tech giant carefully establishes a unique voice and a signature image that connects with its fans. People are significantly more driven to trust individuals than coworkers, according to Forbes’ Jayson Demars.

“If people believe they are talking with a real person, they are significantly more likely to follow you, talk to you, trust you, and engage with you,” Demars said. “This is when the advantages of humanising your brand really show.”

Growing your personal brand will not only increase trust among your fans, but it may also prove to be one of your best investments.

If you have a huge social following and create innovative content, this will not cost you anything and will help people learn more about your skill set and career goals. Don’t panic if you haven’t started building your own brand or aren’t sure where to begin.

We reached out to professionals in the field, including psychology and marketing expert Dr. Robyn LeBoeuf, to compile 12 of the best marketing books to help you enhance the most important brand in the world.

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1. Buzzmarketing, by Mark Hughes

When it comes to communicating your message to the people, Hughes forces you to think outside the box. The former marketing executive uses relatable, memorable examples to get people talking about your company. 
He tells a lot of amusing stories, like how he renamed an entire city for a marketing campaign.

While renaming a city isn’t required to get people talking about your personal brand, Buzzmarketing will force you to think outside the box.

“Despite a long history in marketing I took away several things from this book and enjoyed it so much I bought a copy for all my marketing managers. it’s a fun, easy read yet reminds us marketers of things we already know but frequently need reminding.” – Rebecca

2. Confessions of an Advertising Man, by David Ogilvy

“Which persons – alive or dead – made you consider pursuing a career in advertising?” Adweek magazine asked people in the field. and David Ogilvy was at the top of the list.

If there’s one person you should listen to when it comes to growing your brand, it’s David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising.”

“Confessions of an Advertising Man,” his book, reveals his marketing strategies that have helped some of the world’s most well-known firms achieve phenomenal success. He offers the following insight:

While renaming a city isn’t required to get people talking about your personal brand, Buzzmarketing will force you to think outside the box.

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

If you are looking to grow your personal brand, take note of Ogilvy’s time-tested, successful pointers.

“This book is a “must-read” for anyone considering going into advertising, as Ogilvy personally invented the industry as we know it today. However, if you want to know how to conduct yourself in the world of business, how to write, how to communicate with people, this is also the book for you.” – Tom

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3. The Brand Gap, by Marty Neumeier

How do you create a brand that is so compelling that it draws people in and becomes a part of their daily lives? Neumeier discusses five disciplines in this book to assist you in bridging the gap between brand strategy and brand execution: 

Develop, Collaborate, Innovate, Validate, and Cultivate.
Neumeier invites you to apply his five disciplines to your own experiences and to focus on innovation while establishing your own brand, using visual metaphors and real-life examples.

“As the owner of a small company trying to figure out branding, this book was an invaluable read in helping me get going in the right direction. Branding is still a very large boondoggle of a neverending project, but now I at least feel like I have a better understanding of what it is I’m after. I see good branding everywhere, this book explains, as much as is possible, how to get there.” – Mark

4. Positioning, by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Trout created the phrase ‘positioning’ in 1969, which is now widely used in marketing. This book is a great place to start if you want to understand what positioning implies for your personal brand.

Ries and Trouts’ words still ring true decades later. Every year, it appears that the media becomes louder, making it even more difficult to reach your target audience. So, how can your personal brand rise above the ruckus?

‘Positioning’ explores how you may frame your personal brand to your audience, and how you can stand out from the crowd, from how we think about our friends to why we identify with a political party.

“This book is fantastic! They give you some clear examples of why companies rise and fall because of their failure to position themselves in a way that makes sense to the market. They talk about how companies go from successes to duds because of their inability to understand their place in the market.” – Matthew

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5. Influence, by Robert Cialdini 

Bob Cialdini, a psychologist and marketer, examines how people are persuaded to alter their beliefs and teaches you how to become a skilled persuader. He explains his six ethical persuasion concepts to you:

Reciprocity, Scarcity, Liking, Authority, Social Proof, and Commitment/Consistency are all important factors to consider.

Cialdini backs up each of his concepts with psychological research and examples so you can get the most out of his book and learn how to execute an effective elevator pitch when you come across your big break.

“I highly recommend this book to all professionals. It does not matter if you are a manager, salesperson, pastor, or non-profit volunteer. The ideas in this book, once applied, will make it easier for you to accomplish your goals.” – Kevin

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6. Branding Pays, by Karen Kang

One of the first lessons Kang teaches is that while everyone understands the value of having a well-curated social media presence, few people truly take the time to manage their personal brand.

“Google your name and see what comes up.” Do you want your brand to be reflected by the links and images that appear on the first page of search results? If not, you have some work ahead of you.”

Kang provides accessible, real-life examples of how to develop your personal brand across all social media platforms, as well as actionable advice that you can put into action right away.

The creator of American Relocation Connections, Bill Mulholland, ensures that his company is well-represented online. “We know that when potential clients are interested in our services, they undertake research online,” Mulholland said.

“This is precisely why we are continuously attempting to increase our online presence by soliciting feedback, producing relevant information, and engaging with our fans.” Businesses must ensure that their excellent customer service is shown online for all to see.”

“As a career services professional, I stress to students the importance of maintaining their personal brand. We started using this book in our career management courses because of its practical application. It’s easy to understand (“cake” and “icing”) with concrete examples. The book teaches you not only how to develop your brand, but more importantly, how to manage and maintain your brand.” – J.P.

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7. Career Warfare, by David D’Alessandro

In his no-nonsense, to-the-point guidebook to the business world’s battlefield, D’Alessandro shows you how to pick up the tools you already have at your disposal and best manage your personal brand for your professional development.

This book is more focused on a corporate environment, though the lessons can easily be applied to a small business or for an individual. If you are wondering how to deal with your corporate landscape, try some of D’Alessandro’s take-no-prisoners style tips.

“Whether you’re looking to thrive in a large company or launch a successful start-up, David D’Allesandro’s book will help you get there sooner. Combining C-level experience with street-smarts, D’Allesandro delivers actionable insights and powerful recommendations on everything from using the power of information to stand out to keeping clients happy.” – Luke

8. Brand You 50, by Tom Peters 

As the corporate world evolves, one constant remains: your personal brand will define you, your future profession, and the relationships you develop.

“The white collar job as it currently exists is doomed… So, what’s the gimmick here? There is just one word for it: differentiation. Turning oneself into a brand, as we call it… “Make a name for yourself.”

Peters adamantly asserts that surviving entails sticking out rather than fitting in. He will provide you with 50 actionable methods to help you take your personal brand to the next level, as stated in the book’s subtitle.

“As usual, Tom Peters delivers the goods! His concept of Brand YOU! is great, and his ideas for practical implementation are even better. If you want to stand out and reach for real excellence, read this book.” – Carl

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9. The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield

Canfield, co-creator of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, knows a thing or two about motivating people to make positive life changes.

Canfield provides 64 success principles based on real-life examples of people who struggled but eventually succeeded, ranging from Olympians to blue-collar employees.

‘The Success Principles,’ hailed as one of the best self-improvement books on the market, reads almost like a self-help book, but its main objective is to inspire you to take control of your personal brand and restart your professional development.

“This book is a fantastic resource for anyone who desires to get to the next level. This is a smorgasbord of personal development, psychology, and business and financial books wrapped in one burrito. Are you hungry? This book will satisfy your appetite for success.” – Thomas

10. Guerilla Marketing, by Jay Conrad Levinson

Levinson was responsible for some of the world’s most known brand icons over his extended career as an ad agency executive, including the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Tony the Tiger.

Levinson discusses his guerilla marketing (a phrase he developed) experiences and explains how, with enough ingenuity and smart thought, you can turn any circumstance to your advantage.

He also highlights best management techniques, which is important given how quickly technology is advancing.

Despite the fact that Levinson’s book was initially released in 1983, his lessons are ageless and easily applicable to today’s personal brand.

“Great book that gives you a quick introduction to the world of marketing, especially helpful for the small business owners. If you’re an entrepreneur, this book is a must-read.” – James

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11. Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath

Chip and Dan Heath dig into the psychology behind viral social trends, such as the horrible urban legend of a traveller waking up in a tub of ice, thanks to a local organ-harvesting ring. They attribute the spread of “sticky communications” to six characteristics:

Simplicity

Unexpectedness

Concreteness

Credibility

Emotions

Stories

As you read about SUCCESs, the brothers Heath will show you how to apply these traits to your own personal brand’s messaging, and how to make your ideas stick.

“It’s brilliant! It packs the information of a textbook while maintaining your attention like a comic book. The book on how to make ideas stick is very sticky itself. Strongly recommended.” – Vincent

12. You, Inc., by Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford

Harry and Christine, husband and wife, are both CEOs of their own businesses, and in this book, they share the lessons they’ve learnt along the road.

They give over 150 suggestions for using good communication to establish your personal brand, and while the teachings are straightforward, Beckwith cautions that there is a significant difference between “knowing” and “doing.”

Despite its short length (just over 300 pages), this is a book you’ll want to read slowly and thoroughly.

Everyone aspires to be successful both professionally and personally. The 12 greatest marketing books to help you establish your personal brand will introduce you to the most successful personal branding methods, which will help you generate more talk about yourself on social media.

“For knowing nothing about sales, this was a great launching pad for me to get more interested and read other sales books. Pretty motivational with great bits of information to redefine how you see the world. This book has definitely shifted my approach to “getting out there” making myself more visible.” – Scott

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This collection of literature spans the 1960s to 2015, and astonishingly, many of the themes and principles remain relevant across generations.

Human nature will always care about engaging stories – the personal brand that you convey in your elevator pitch – no matter how much business evolves or expands. These tried-and-true concepts are still relevant today, demonstrating the importance of a strong personal brand.

It won’t be long before you master your personal brand with ease, thanks to the life-changing advice contained within these 12 marketing books!

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