A Single Question Can Help You Identify Your Personal Brand

Melissa Zehner
3 min readNov 19, 2020

You don’t have a brand; you are a brand.

When was the last time you thought about your personal brand? If you think personal branding is just for influencers, think again. A strong brand can serve as a stepping stone to a variety of opportunities: expanding your network, attracting clients or customers, creating a community of like-minded colleagues, or even lining yourself up for that coveted promotion.

If you’re new to the idea of personal branding, Ahmed Ali Akbar’s personal branding course on Knowable is a good place to start. True to his easygoing nature, Ahmed offers a simple strategy for discovering a personal brand: ask.

The question you should ask everyone around you

Yes, you can identify your personal brand by simply asking. Here’s how I did it.

Following Ahmed’s advice, I asked several people: “How would you describe me in three words?”

Some distinct themes emerged. Exhibit A:

  • Driven
  • Driven
  • Driven
  • Ambitious
  • Driven
  • Relentless
  • Driven
  • Driven

Okay, so there’s no question that I’m driven. I know that this is one of my core traits, and I was thrilled to see that it’s so evident to others–I’m proud that I’ve built a reputation for being hardworking and ambitious.

The next group of descriptors was also consistent:

  • Outgoing
  • Gregarious
  • Effervescent
  • Energetic
  • Spunky
  • Extraverted

More wildly accurate observations by those around me. I am, well, all those words…

You’re getting the picture, right? I just combed through the responses I received and looked for patterns. It’s that easy.

Yes, asking is simple — but it’s also smart

I’m sure there are plenty of methodologies that require you to jump through fiery hoops or create Venn diagrams or…

Melissa Zehner

I’m a marketing leader who specializes in connecting with online communities in meaningful ways.