Think about some of the world’s most recognizable brands, like for example, Starbucks. Most of us can spot that round, green Starbucks logo from a mile away. Now think about some of Starbucks’ brand attributes — the things they’re known for — like friendly service, comfortable atmosphere, free wi-fi, and a wide variety of coffees and teas.
Most people choose Starbucks because of one or more of those brand attributes. If you just wanted to grab a hot cup of black coffee on your way to work in the morning, then any gas station or fast-food chain will do the trick (and probably save you a couple of bucks). But if you want to get some work done on your laptop and enjoy a soy chai latte, you know Starbucks is a better option. You know this because they’ve built and marketed a memorable brand with the attributes you’re looking for.
Building and promoting your personal brand is essentially the same thing, just on a much smaller scale. (And you don’t need the Starbucks marketing budget to do it!)