It’s complicated. By day I work in marketing for EveryoneSocial. But by night I have my own personal brand. A loyal following on Instagram devoted to posts about fashion, French, and the (not so) occasional glass of champagne and slice of cake.

Like many in the working world, the lines between my professional brand and personal brand are blurring. I try to say that I’ll use LinkedIn and Twitter for work, and Instagram and Snapchat for play, but inevitably the lines between business and pleasure get crossed. They’re both, after all, an intrinsic part of my personality, and my personality can’t be split into categories. Thankfully the two don’t contradict one another, but rather complement one another.

Our personal life can absolutely benefit when we share our professional life. And our professional life can benefit when we share our personal life. Rachel Skarsten, for example, is an actress on Reign—one of my favorite shows on television—and she certainly posts about work from time to time. But if she only posted about work, I probably wouldn’t follow her.

Thankfully, she also posts about her glorious hair (nailing that perfect “ash” is no easy task), her travels to Paris, the wedding she attended of one of her closest friends, and yes, sometimes unique behind the scenes fittings from Reign. I follow her, in other words, not because of her professional brand, but because of her personal brand. And sometimes that personal brand happens to get me to watch the latest episode of Reign.

Because we don’t just love the actress, the entrepreneur, the designer, the makeup artist, the comedian, or the model, it’s the complete person we fall in love with. And that person makes up a powerful brand. One we want to follow, emulate, imitate, and ultimately buy from.

Here are six of my favorite personal branding examples on Instagram:


Sara Blakley

Sara is the founder of SPANX, and she totally talks about her business on occasion. But we’re obsessed with her because of her inspiring #bellyartproject and the hilarious things her husband and kids do while she’s away on business.

sara blakley

India Hicks

India has a clothing line she sometimes promotes, but in the meantime we love catching glimpses of her glamorous life on the islands.

India Hicks

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi lets us peek in her makeup bag from time to time, but we follow her on Instagram because we have a thing for her #yachtlife.

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa sometimes shares #bts shots from her current acting projects. But she’s even more famous for the moody pictures she takes of her boyfriend Austin Butler, and the beautifully bohemian photos they take while traveling.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy will always tell us when there’s a new episode of The Mindy Project streaming on Hulu, but we can’t help but binge on the stunts she pulls with her coworkers and the amazing outfits she wears on tv shows.

Caroline de Maigret

Caroline is a French model and author of the book “How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are.” And having 470,000 followers on instagram didn’t exactly hurt her book sales. But it’s the glimpses of her Parisian life that really give her our gaze.

This is the beauty of the personal brand: that there is no one thing that defines us. Because of this, when we use our social media accounts to reflect the multifaceted human beings we are – we become more relatable to those that follow us. And that’s why these personal branding examples are so powerful.