Top 10 Personal Branding Books for Entrepreneurs

Download Now: Free Sales Plan Template
Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman

Updated:

Published:

Attention and familiarity have become currencies in today’s interconnected digital world. Digital platforms have become marketplaces and amplified the value of these currencies. 

Personal Branding Books

Case -in -point for business owners: With one tweet about an open position with your company, you can attract hundreds of applications. Say one of those applicants is someone whose tweets you like regularly. They’re more likely to get the job, right? 

In this instance, personal branding increases the status and reach of the applicant, broadening their access to opportunities. 

As an entrepreneur, your personal brand can bring in new customers, build parasocial relationships, and expand your network. 

But how do you go about building a personal brand, if you don’t yet have one developed?

You can use the lessons from these top 10 best personal branding books for entrepreneurs to help you craft an intriguing personal brand and grow your business. 

Why entrepreneurs need a personal brand 

According to the Harvard Business Review, your personal brand is about how you’d like people to perceive you publicly — or, in other words, your status. A well-crafted personal brand identity signals credibility, helps you stand out from competitors, and sparks next-level opportunities for networking, partnerships, marketing, and more.

So, why is this important for business owners? Because recognition and trust can directly impact business growth.

While you may not want to be an all-out influencer, a 2022 study found an influencer’s perceived expertise and trustworthiness positively supported customer purchasing intentions and attitudes toward brands. 

Your personal brand attracts new customers or clients and could help your startup secure funding. Not to mention, social media allows you to interact with people all across the world. It’s like speaking at a virtual conference daily, and without the hassle of flying from city to city. 

Therefore, it’s worth investing your time and energy into improving your personal branding strategy regardless of your business model or stage of growth. 

Best books on personal branding

These are the top 10 books on personal branding for entrepreneurs: 

1. Crush It!: Why NowOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crush It! by social media star and five-time New York Times best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk is a must-read. The book presents an actionable road map for entrepreneurs, not just inspirational anecdotes. 

For instance, it teaches how to use social media platforms to their maximum potential — like exploiting “underpriced attention” on TikTok or Threads before they go full mainstream. 

Vaynerchuk emphasizes the “give value first” principle, meaning you should always be giving value to your network before you start taking value or asking for it. On social media, that means sharing your expertise and knowledge in a way that captures and retains attention. 

Another key lesson from the book is platform diversification, notes Esther Kiss, CEO of Born To Influence, a PR and marketing agency that provided PR and media support to Vaynerchuk during a campaign for his book “#AskGaryVee.” 

“What happens if your Instagram gets deleted one day?” Kiss asks. “You should always have a reason for people to follow you on multiple platforms, whether it’s a newsletter, YouTube, or LinkedIn.” 

2. Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future by Dorie Clark

Reinventing You by Dorie Clark provides a systematic approach to identifying and leveraging your strengths. With an emphasis on reinvention, Clark teaches how to pivot or upgrade your personal brand. 

The book illustrates successful brand transformations with case studies, providing insights and actionable strategies. 

For example, Clark details how an executive transitioned from a corporate role to a nonprofit leader, underscoring the necessity of rebranding in career advancement. 

If you’re unsure how to turn your strengths and experiences into a compelling narrative, this book is for you. 

3. Known: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age by Mark Schaefer 

Known lays out an actionable, four-step process to create a recognizable personal brand. In it, Mark Schaefer offers nuggets of wisdom while analyzing real-life success stories, from a teacher gaining global influence as a blogger to a business consultant securing major contracts through a YouTube channel. 

Instead of abstract theory, the book provides a clear road map through practical exercises. One exercise involves identifying your “sustainable interest” — an area where you have passion and expertise, allowing you to sustain a long-term commitment. 

The book also describes how you can overcome “content shock” (oversaturation) with personal branding.

4. Epic Content Marketing: How To Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi

  • Rating: 4.6 stars

Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing hammers the importance of storytelling for personal brand differentiation in today’s cluttered digital marketplace. With detailed examples, he illustrates how you can leverage stories to capture your audience’s attention across all channels.

For instance, he cites the Lego Group’s strategy of developing engaging stories around its product line, leading to high consumer engagement and loyalty. The book further pushes how narrative storytelling can win more customers or clients without an uptick in digital marketing. 

Your story is your competitive advantage. And if it’s “epic” enough, you won’t have to sell. 

5. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

If you’re thinking, “How do I know what content to post?” then Platform might be your solution. Michael Hyatt provides an in-depth, step-by-step guide to carve out your own space. 

First, he presses on the necessity of a compelling product because it establishes you as a thought leader. Next is the WOW (write outstanding words) method for creating engaging video content. 

WOW focuses on writing scripts with crisp, precise language and a clear focus on audience needs, making it a perfect framework for TikTok and Instagram Reels. And if you want to reach younger audiences, video content is a must

6. Personal Branding for Dummies by Susan Chritton

  • Rating: 4.3 stars

Don’t be fooled by its title — Personal Branding for Dummies by Susan Chritton is packed with valuable insights that can even benefit well-known business leaders. The book stands out for its simplicity and specificity, breaking personal branding into manageable chunks. 

She underscores the importance of authenticity, bravery, and consistency with her three-part ABC approach:

  • Authenticity: Asks you to represent yourself honestly
  • Bravery: Challenges you to venture outside of your comfort zone
  • Consistency: Advises sticking with content creation across all platforms 

For practicality, Chritton suggests developing a brand statement — a concise articulation of your values, skills, and passions. She demonstrates how it guides each decision you make, ensuring you stay consistent while striving for engagement and growth. 

7. Primal Storytelling: Marketing for Humans by Anthony Butler

  • Rating: 4.7 stars

Anthony Butler’s Primal Storytelling makes a compelling argument for the timeless craft of storytelling in the digital era. The book brings a refreshing perspective by focusing on both what content to create and how to tell it. 

According to Butler, your unique voice is your most potent storytelling weapon, and he provides the tools to unearth and refine it. 

One exercise involves deconstructing your favorite speeches or articles to understand their narrative structure, tone, and pacing — honing your instinct for impactful storytelling

He also outlines the “Primal Storytelling System” for creating emotionally resonant content that holds your target audience’s attention. It involves aligning your stories with primal human emotions, such as fear, joy, or curiosity. 

8. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message so Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller lays out a refreshing approach to crafting compelling brand messages. Centered around his StoryBrand framework, the book guides entrepreneurs to place their customers as the hero and their brand as the guide. 

One standout example is Miller’s take on Apple’s branding. In the StoryBrand framework, Apple customers aren’t just buying a computer. They’re joining the rebellion against the status quo, with Apple as their guide. 

For personal branding, the book helps build a narrative that resonates with and actively involves your audience. 

9. Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy

Influencer by Brittany Hennessy takes a deep dive into real-life case studies of successful influencers, revealing unknown tools and strategies that helped them rise to prominence. 

One notable example is how influencers develop unique content themes and maintain consistency across posts. Hennessy pinpoints how this strategy cements a distinctive personal brand, improves audience engagement, and boosts favorability with algorithms on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. 

A critical lesson from the book is the role of authenticity. Hennessy points out how viewers can sense inauthenticity and that honest, relatable content resonates most. 

Therefore, you need to be you in every post, tweet, and story. Genuineness cultivates trust, authority, and loyalty among followers. 

10. LinkedIn Unlocked: Unlock the Mystery of LinkedIn to Drive More Sales Through Social Selling by Melonie Dodaro

  • Rating: 4.5 stars

As the title suggests, LinkedIn Unlocked is a comprehensive guide to using LinkedIn for personal branding tailored toward driving sales. However, Melonie Dodaro’s approach extends beyond, with an emphasis on brand positioning

You need to position yourself as an expert. Dodaro recommends completing your profile in full detail (with a professional profile picture, compelling headline, and keyword-optimized summary). She also advises posting regular, high-value content relevant to your expertise. 

Another useful tactic is strategically using LinkedIn Groups to connect and engage with potential clients or partners in your industry. Join discussions, provide insights, and build relationships that aid in your growth.

When you build your personal brand, it allows you to connect with others and showcase your authority. It’s all about giving your two cents, telling your story, and radiating authenticity and relatability.  

Subscribe to The Hustle Newsletter

What did you think of this article? 

Give Feedback

Love

Meh

Hate

Pop up for DOWNLOAD NOW: FREE SALES PLAN TEMPLATE FREE SALES PLAN TEMPLATE

Outline your company's sales strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

    Pop up for DOWNLOAD NOW: FREE SALES PLAN TEMPLATE FREE SALES PLAN TEMPLATE

    Powerful and easy-to-use sales software that drives productivity, enables customer connection, and supports growing sales orgs

    START FREE OR GET A DEMO