A definitive guide to the best books on personal branding
Personal branding books can be a fantastic resource if you need help developing the ideal image as an entrepreneur, influencer, or professional in your industry. With the best books on personal branding, you can learn all about the steps involved in cultivating an engaging brand, with useful tips, case studies, and even step-by-step instructions.
While there are various ways to learn more about personal branding in today’s digital world, from following experts in the branding world on social media, to taking online courses, books are still a fantastic tool.
A great book on personal branding doesn’t just offer entertainment; it’s a great way to strengthen your understanding of the core components of a successful brand.
Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the most highly rated and reputable books on personal branding, designed to help you reach your professional goals.
The benefits of personal branding books
We’re living in a world where brand identity is everything. It’s not just global brands and large corporations that need to develop an effective presence. Every individual, in any industry, can benefit from a successful brand image.
Learning how to cultivate a compelling brand, with step-by-step information from thought leaders around the globe, can open the door to endless opportunities in the professional world.
The best branding books will drive you towards career success, sharing how to enhance your social media presence, create your personal trademark, and form strong relationships with peers.
Plus, unlike online courses and live-streams, a classic book gives you the freedom to learn at your own pace, and re-read the sections that interest you most.
The best personal branding books offer readers an engaging way to learn fantastic marketing, sales, and identity development tactics that can transform their lives. You might even find the next book you read is the key to unlocking your full potential in the professional landscape.
The best personal branding books will vary depending on what you need to learn, your experience in the branding landscape, and your overall goals.
We based this list on our evaluation of some of the most highly-rated, and compelling reads in the industry. Each of the books below can teach you new skills and branding techniques, so it’s worth adding a handful to your library if you can.
Let’s dive into our list of the ultimate personal branding books.
1. Personal branding for dummies
Author: Susan Chritton
If you’re looking for a simple guide to the world of personal branding, this could be the perfect book for you. Following the straightforward and user-friendly format of the “For Dummies” series, Susan Chritton covers everything you need to know about building a successful brand from scratch.
You’ll learn what it means to develop an identity in your industry, using everything from your resume when applying for a new job, to your social media presence. The complete guide to branding even covers how you can make yourself more appealing to potential employers.
Packed with convenient tips, techniques, and projects to work on, this guide makes personal branding seem simple. You’ll even be able to see how celebrities and famous entrepreneurs have developed their own branding strategies.
Plus, there’s advice on networking and relationship building too.
A significant component of effective personal branding is learning how to craft a narrative that appeals to your target audience. Innovative business leader, Anthony Butler, provides the ultimate guide to the power of storytelling, through case studies, tips, and strategic advice.
You’ll learn how to hone your craft in the digital landscape, building marketing campaigns and content that demonstrates your core values and brand identity. Anthony uses vivid tales to explain just how crucial it is to use the right words when connecting with customers.
Perhaps most importantly, Anthony gives you the step-by-step instructions you need to develop your own personal voice – a crucial part of the brand-building process.
3. Branding yourself: How to use social media to invent or reinvent yourself
Authors: Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy
When learning how to develop a strong personal brand, it’s important to understand how your presence in the digital world influences your reputation.
Social media has become a crucial part of the brand development process in recent years, particularly as more employers and hiring managers assess candidates based on their online presence.
Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy show readers how to reinvent themselves on social media, or develop a compelling presence through social channels to connect with their target audience.
You’ll learn how you can cultivate a consistent image across all of the most common channels, attract an audience, and share your brand with the rest of the world.
This book is packed with unique techniques, easy-to-use strategies, and guides on how to build an authentic storyline, strengthen your search engine presence, and take advantage of various tools for brand development.
4. Branding Pays: The five step system to reinvent your personal brand
Author: Karen Kang
Easily one of the best books on personal branding available today, Branding Pays is the ultimate guide to differentiating yourself in a cluttered landscape. This easy-to-follow guide will help you to define your goals, values, and strengths, so you can tell a universal story with your brand.
The author introduces readers to concepts and techniques used by legendary marketing firms throughout the years, including the company that launched the Apple brand.
You’ll learn the art and science of personal branding with case studies and stories, and access actionable advice you can use to develop your own creative image.
Perfect for beginners and business leaders alike, Branding Pays has proven itself to be a valuable tool, guiding Fortune 500 companies and leading business schools.
5. Building a storybrand: Clarify your message so customers will listen
Author: Donald Miller
Donald Miller knows a thing or two about effective branding. In this book, you’ll discover what it takes to create a storybrand – an image developed around a narrative that connects with your target audience and drives emotional engagement.
You’ll learn how the 7 elements of great storytelling can help you to create authentic personal branding assets, and connect with customers. The book covers everything from how to find your target audience, to developing a marketing plan, and analyzing your competition.
Within this practical guide, Miller shares the top techniques he’s used in the past to help other companies achieve professional success. You’ll learn why customers trust companies, and how you can cultivate relationships with your audience.
6. Reinventing you: Define your brand, imagine your future
Author: Dorie Clark
When it comes to well-known personal branding books, few stand out more than “Reinventing you” by Dorie Clark. This brilliant book guides you through the process of auditing your current brand identity, and defining what you want to accomplish with your personal brand.
You’ll learn how to improve your chances of advancing quickly in your current industry, jump into a new field, or attract the attention of new employers.
The guide mixes personal stories with engaging interviews and great examples from well-known personalities like Tim Ferriss and Mark Zuckerberg.
This is the ideal book for learning more about the key components of your brand, and what it takes to connect with your target audience. You’ll learn about everything from developing your network, to building the right strategy for digital branding in the age of social media.
7. Talk triggers: The complete guide to creating customers with word of mouth
Authors: Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin
Great brands are effective because they get people talking. Whether you’re building a personal brand, or an identity for your new business strategy, learning how to leverage word of mouth is crucial.
Talk triggers is a compelling book which teaches you how you can convince people to start talking more about your personal brand and identity.
You’ll learn how to capture the attention of your target audience with emotional and engaging narratives. Plus, you’ll develop some fantastic skills for networking, learning how to use your differentiators and values to develop better conversations.
The book includes useful case studies and reports from some of the world’s most popular companies, including Five Guys, and Hotels by Hilton.
8. Influencer: Building your personal brand in the age of social media
Author: Brittany Hennessy
An absolute must-have book for today’s digital age, Influencer by Brittany Hennessy covers everything you need to know about building a memorable brand in the digital world. The author teaches everyone how to develop influence and connect with people via social media.
With excellent experience in the influencer and social media market, Brittany knows what it takes to create an identity that stands out to both audiences and search engines alike. You’ll discover how to recognize your audience, package your brand effectively, and even build your business.
The book even offers some interesting insights into the skills you’ll need to learn in the influencer landscape, like how to elevate an online profile, and make money doing what you love.
9. This is marketing: You can’t be seen until you learn to see
Author: Seth Godin
It makes sense that one of the best books on branding yourself would come from a professional with an excellent online brand. Seth Godin, the Wall Street Journal best-selling author, offers an A-to-Z guide of how to boost your presence in the modern world.
Godin’s phenomenal book teaches branding skills applicable to all industries and professionals. You’ll discover how to build trust with your target audience, and cultivate relationships with clients.
There are behind-the-scenes insights into brand positioning, and how to set effective branding goals. Plus, you’ll develop some great marketing strategies along the way.
Whether you’re a small business owner, a budding professional, or a student, Seth Godin can offer you all of the guidance you need to start connecting with the right people.
10. LinkedIn for personal branding: The ultimate guide
Author: Sandra Long
Another fantastic personal brand book for professionals in the digital world, this guide by Sandra Long focuses on developing a powerful presence on the world’s leading professional network.
If you’re looking for insights into the best practices for creating a compelling LinkedIn profile, Sandra has you covered, with step-by-step guidance and tips.
The book includes dozens of case studies from LinkedIn users, as well as prompts to help you write a personalized story on LinkedIn. You’ll get excellent guidance on how to format each part of your LinkedIn profile the right way, and reach out to new connections in your network.
Plus, the book comes with access to a supplemental reader resource website, with up-to-date insights, actionable advice, and downloadable templates and documents.
Another fantastic option for those in search of effective personal branding books, You are the brand looks at the importance of developing strong relationships with customers and clients.
With a strong focus on networking as the foundation of personal branding, Kim teaches readers new ways of forming connections and bonds with business leaders and peers.
Kim stresses the importance of authenticity when developing your brand, and making sure you share the right things with your audience. As you progress through the chapters, you’ll uncover insights into identifying and showcasing your unique expertise, and clarifying your brand message.
Kim also covers some of the different types of personal stories you can use to stand out in your market, and how to price your products for success.
12. From individual to empire: A guide to building an authentic and powerful brand
Author: Laura Bull
Best-selling author Laura Bull creates truly motivational and inspirational guidelines for students learning all about the power of brand development. The “Individual to Empire” book is one of the best personal branding books for influencers and would-be business leaders alike.
You’ll learn how different entrepreneurs got their start, and how some of the major thought leaders in the world today developed their own personal brand. Bull ensures you can use the immutable laws of branding whenever you’re developing a presence online or offline.
You’ll discover how to find your brand voice, and market yourself in a competitive space.
Bull’s authentic tone and simple language makes the book extremely easy to follow, even if you have no prior experience in the branding world. The book also comes with access to downloadable resources you can find on Laura’s website.
This book might be decades old at this point, but it’s still one of the best books on personal branding out there. Dale Carnegie uses time-tested advice to guide readers through the process of connecting with people on a deeper level.
The guidelines and tips included will work for you regardless of whether you’re trying to build authority in your industry, or you’re looking for a career change.
The bestseller has been updated in recent years, to ensure it coincides with the current marketplace, but the fundamental advice remains relatively consistent. You’ll learn how to leverage various fundamental techniques when connecting with people, and how to become more likeable.
While this book doesn’t focus exclusively on personal branding, it includes a number of lessons that can be extremely valuable when you’re developing your own personal brand.
Bestselling author and marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuk has built a fantastic brand of his own over the years, connecting with audiences through authentic content and imagery.
The Jab, jab, jab, right hook book covers various tips on how to market yourself online, build an effective presence on social media, and engage customers.
Once again, this book might not be focused specifically on personal branding, but it does teach readers how to tell their story in a competitive world, and generate opportunities for success. You’ll discover tips for content creation, which can help you stand out online.
Plus, the high-level guidance includes tips from other best-selling pieces products by Gary over the years too.
15. Platform: The art and science of personal branding
Author: Cynthia Johnson
Another excellent option if you’re looking for the best books on personal branding comes from Cynthia Johnson.
This powerful guide focuses on the importance of building influence, both in the online and offline world. You’ll learn how to go from an unknown individual, to a true influencer in your space, with brand awareness, and recognition.
Johnson shares her own stories and experiences connected to personal branding, as well as her insights from working with world-leading brands on strategic growth. You’ll learn creative tips on how to develop your tone of voice, generate social proof, and leverage word of mouth marketing.
One of the best things about this book is the voice Cynthia uses to connect with her audience. The piece is truly motivational, and comes with plenty of technical and creative resources to discover.
Great for business leaders, entrepreneurs, and job seekers alike, Promote yourself is an inspiring book, all about taking the next step in your professional career. Dan teaches readers how to develop their own personal brand, by recognizing their target audience, and their goals and pain points.
The piece draws on exclusive research from the modern workplace, as well as countless interviews with some of the best-known professionals in the world. You’ll discover how to define your strengths, and answer pressing questions about your career.
You’ll also learn how to position yourself effectively on the job market, whether you’re writing a resume or attending an interview.
Dan provides simple access to the unique skills any professional needs to connect with a wider audience, strengthen their narrative, and stand out in a competitive marketplace.
17. Known: The handbook for building and unleashing your personal brand in the digital age
Author: Dan Schaefer
Brimming with new information about personal branding in the digital age, Dan Schaefer’s book teaches students how to become the best candidates for their ideal employer, and shows professionals how to build influence.
With step-by-step guidance and instruction, Dan walks you through the process of developing a branding plan from scratch.
You’ll learn how to develop your understanding of your industry, find your tone of voice, and position yourself as a leader in your space. Plus, the book is packed with valuable case studies from various industries, such as banking, education, and real estate.
With stories to inspire you and exercises to help you put your branding capabilities to the test, this essential guide to branding is a must-have for many professionals.
18. Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action
Author: Simon Sinek
Though often described as a book on leadership, rather than branding, Simon Sinek’s book is a fantastic resource for those learning to develop a strong presence. Start with why covers everything you need to know to understand the purpose and mission of your personal brand.
Based on the most-watched TED talk of all time, this book is intended to help people develop their inspirational nature, and become more engaging in the professional world.
The book is simple but brilliant, offering high-level insights into everything you need to know about becoming a true thought leader.
If you’re looking for a way to increase your impact as a public speaker, entrepreneur, or freelancer, then this book could give you a competitive edge.
With Simon, you’ll discover inspiration from real stories, which teach you just how important it is to understand your mission when building a personal brand.
The best personal branding books are an excellent tool for today’s budding professionals. Whether you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to turn you into the next Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, or you just want to ensure you’re making the right impact on your target audience, these tools will help.
The books above all include useful guidance, instruction and tips on how you can transform your identity in both the online and offline space, and make a positive difference to your career trajectory.
Following the instruction of the authors above is sure to give you more tools you can use to unlock your true potential in the personal branding world.