29 January 2015

We were lucky enough to get an interview with personal branding expert Lisa Orban. A chartered clinical psychologist, Lisa trained and practised in New York City for eleven years before relocating to London. Bringing together her extensive training, experience and passion in both psychology and branding, she founded personal brand consultancy Golden Notebook, through which she helps clients make a name for themselves by discovering their distinct and authentic personal brand — one that consistently represents who you are, and reflects both inner and outer confidence.

Here are her insights into personal branding.


What exactly is a personal brand?

Your personal brand is a combination of attributes – your personality, credibility, reputation, presence, values and personal style.

Everyone has a personal brand, whether they realize it or not. Personal branding, therefore, is the process of identifying that brand and managing it effectively to get results.

Why do you need a personal brand and how will it help your career?

A strong personal brand can help your career in a few ways.

Personal branding is firstly about an enhanced self-awareness, which involves taking a close look at your vision, purpose, passions, strengths and values in life. When equipped with greater self-knowledge, you’re more likely to feel more self-confident, which by default raises the confidence that others have in you and your business.

We also define specific goals to help you actualize your vision and purpose. In this way, personal branding helps you to chart a course to your destination. A strong brand can help build differentiation; showcasing what makes you unique and stand out from the crowd. By communicating this, you set yourself apart from others in your career.

The personal branding process can also help you identify the right consumers, and better understand what they need, value, and want.

How can a person strengthen their personal brand?

The first step in strengthening your personal brand is to better understand the current state of your brand. My first personal branding tip is to properly assess your personal brand (both inner and outer brand).

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Hhow would you describe your personal brand?
  • What values, strengths, passions and achievements stood out the most in the past year?
  • Does your personal style and lifestyle accurately reflect the image you intended to project?

You can find inventories out there to help with this. A 360° assessment (an anonymous questionnaire sent to your colleagues, friends and family) is an excellent starting point in helping you to better understand how others perceive your brand. From there, you can work in many ways to strengthen your personal brand (see tips below).

What are the best career break activities for people who want to show their socially responsible side?

I would encourage people to think about what makes them feel most passionate and their “personal best”. What charitable organisations or causes tap into this passion? What activities feel the most meaningful and fulfilling?

Also, examining personal values (which are at the very core of your personal brand) can provide direction in seeking out socially responsible opportunities. For example, if compassion, health and community are strong values, someone may gravitate towards organisations who work with communities in underdeveloped countries.

How does this translate into better job opportunities?

These activities open up opportunities to make connections. You may share a passion or an interest with these people so there is already an opportunity more meaningful connection. Nurture these connections, as you never know where they might lead.

Furthermore, living in accordance with your values and finding opportunities to express your passion, sense of purpose and personal strengths help to build the “core” of our personal brand, which can translate into a more confident and successful you.

Of course, increased confidence alone may not find you a better job opportunity, but it can certainly increase your chances of landing a job, and your charitable work or activity will likely make you a more interesting candidate.

What are your top tips?

In addition to my first tip above (properly assessing your personal brand), my other top tips include:

  • Differentiate yourself. Identify what might differentiate your personal brand from others.
  • Tap into your passion and purpose. Think about what makes you feel most passionate and when you feel your “personal best”.
  • Live by your values. Determine whether you are living congruently with your values, and how to resolve any discrepancies between your behaviours and your values.
  • Chart a course. Develop realistic and achievable personal goals to give your brand a clearly identified direction.
  • Establish presence. For your personal brand to make an impact, it needs to get noticed by others.
  • Make a personal impact. To have a strong brand, you need to be able to make a positive impression on others, communicate effectively and be memorable.
  • Develop your personal style. Everything communicates your brand identity to others, including appearance.

Above all, treat your personal brand as an important part of your overall career development.


Thanks for your insights, Lisa! If you'd like to know more about Lisa's company Golden Notebook, and find out what she can do for you and your personal brand, visit www.goldennotebook.co.uk. She's also on Twitter and Facebook.