Our Top 7 Best Personal Branding Books
Personal branding books are one of the most effective sources of branding knowledge you can find, and many people disregard them.
It’s normal to get stuck in a pattern of paying attention to your own brand and not experimenting with anything new. While this is easier in the short term, it’s also an quick way to get stuck in mud and slow your growth.
That’s where personal branding books come in.
Think of it this way:
If you were born with one eye, you’d only be able to see in two dimensions. Two eyes allow you to see the world from two different points – your brain then combines these two perspectives into one, so you can perceive depth.
When it comes to your personal brand, are you seeing things in 2D? If so, it’s time add a new viewpoint. There are a number of personal branding books out there, almost all by authors from very different backgrounds.
Each one approaches personal branding with a unique perspective. This gives you the unique opportunity to try a new perspective on for size to start seeing your personal brand in 3D.
With more and more people preferring a quick and easy blog post as their source of information in the branding industry, we think personal branding books are being overlooked.
There’s definitely a lot of value being shared on blogs and industry sites right now, but there’s something about the format of a book that we feel conveys a more comprehensive expression of the author’s strategy. This is why in the world of fast information we think it’s worth it to sink your teeth into something a bit more substantial from time to time.
Below we have compiled a list of the best personal branding books we can recommend. These are based on our experience reading them ourselves as well as feedback we have gotten from friends and clients.
The top 7 personal branding books on my shelf:
1. Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success
by Dan Schawbel
If you want personal branding books that will help get you up to speed and take an A-Z journey through the process of personal branding, this is a fantastic place to start. Everything in this book is broken down into clear steps for building your brand and is full of plenty of resources that will help you continue to educate yourself.
2. Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand
by William Arruda & Kirsten Dixson
This book on personal branding is a great resource if you want to prepare yourself for the job hunt and give yourself every advantage. The authors are well-respected experts in their field and this is an easy read.
3. Be Your Own Brand: A Breakthrough Formula for Standing Out from the Crowd
by David McNally & Karl D Speak
This is a neat book that compares similarities and differences between branding products and business with branding individuals. There is also a lot of helpful information on the importance of building relationships for the sake of your brand which is sometimes missed in other personal branding books.
4. The Brand You 50: Transform Yourself from an ‘Employee’ into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion!
This focuses on the fundamentals but through the lens of distinction which we really like. What makes you, you? This is an older book but it still holds true today.
5. U R a Brand! How Smart People Brand Themselves for Business Success
This is a nice and concise book on personal branding that gets right to the nitty gritty of how to position yourself in today’s marketplace. It’s a nice quick read that you will definitely learn something new from.
6. The Brand Called You: Create a Personal Brand That Wins Attention and Grows Your Business
by Peter Montoya & Tim Vandehey
One of our favorite parts of this book is the emphasis on how to use your brand to earn consistent business, client, or job opportunities. They also have some interesting bits on the importance of creating a personal brand that resonates with people emotionally and how that can benefit you.
7. The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking who you are through personal brand management
by Hajj E. Flemings
This personal branding book is another quick and easy read that will help you wrap your head around the concept of thinking of yourself as a brand. Sure, it’s something that many people know they should do (that’s probably why you’re reading this right now) but a lot of times they don’t see it holistically. This book helps you develop the instinct of considering “how will this affect my brand” which can be your true north going forward.
8. Bonus (a personal favorite, IMO one of the top 4 books of all time):
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
by Keith Ferrazzi
We love this book because it emphasizes the importance of networking when developing your brand. Many books on personal branding are written from a “me first” perspective, while this book helps show the importance of connecting with others and how beneficial it can be for your goals. This is definitely a must-read and we highly recommend it.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the best personal branding books out there, but it is an excellent place to start when it comes to learning more about the art of personal branding. Whenever you’re feeling stuck or uninspired with the current state or direction of your personal brand, it’s a great idea to turn to the greats in the field and consider their opinions and experiences.
Good luck and have fun! If you have any other suggestions for books on personal branding that you think we should include, share them in the comments below and we’ll take a look.
Books suggested by our readers
a. Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself As a Business of One
By Jeff Beals (thanks Susan Baird for the suggestion!)
Author: Pete Kistler
Pete- Thanks for the list. I can attest to the greatness of Dan Schawbel. I started to follow his blog and have found everything on his site to be great content. He is a must follow for everyone: @danschawbel.
@Susan – Thanks for the suggestion! I added Jeff’s book to the list.
@JoshHurlock – Right on, Josh. Dan’s commitment to providing value to his network is incredible and simply unmatched.
I appreciate the inclusion of must read personal branding books. Continue to write great content you are expanding the personal branding movement and I look forward to reading other great personal branding stuff that you write about.