Your personal brand statement is as unique as you are and having a compelling and exciting statement will open business doors for you like nothing else will. Your statement should connect you with whoever reads it.
Before you can start to build your brand identity, your jumping off point must be your personal brand statement. Once you have a statement that draws people to you and your business, you can start to build your exposure and reputation online. All of the other elements of your reputation, such as your elevator pitch and biography, will begin with your personal brand statement.
What is a personal brand statement?
Your personal brand statement is a brief statement that definitively states what you excel at, which audience you serve, and what makes you stand out among your competition. It is a statement of your unique value promise. Your statement must be unique to you and only you. It should also be consistent with what you actually do. You should think of it as a doctrine that you keep returning to in order to continually working toward greater perfection.
One thing that a personal brand statement is not is a job description. Your job title is how other people describe you, including employers who have a desire for you to fit whichever positions they are attempting to fill.
Your personal brand statement is not is a mission statement, your purpose in life or your career objectives. It is a statement that has the sole purpose of marketing your business and your brand. It should be a statement that other people can remember easily and it should make people understand that you have a solution to their problems.
Why do you need a personal brand statement?
One question that you must be asked very often is what do you do? Do you get the impression that people truly understand what you do? If you think about how you respond to that question you may discover that your answer to the question is not buttoned up enough to eventually be in the position of doing business with some of those people.
Think about your business. The chances are very great that you are not the only person who does what you do. That is not important. What is important is what is your edge over your competition. If you don’t have an edge, you need to ask yourself why and you need to come up with something that places you above all of your business competitors so that people will want to buy what you are selling instead of what anyone else is selling.
How do you write a personal brand statement?
The first thing that you should do is to list your business and career attributes on a piece of paper. Once you have completed your list, take a hard look at it and choose those items on the list that really make you unique. Those items will be your unique selling points (USPs). Once you have identified your unique attributes and values, you need to write a one- to two-sentence brand statement. Your statement must answer the following questions:
What value do you provide (in other words, which problems do you solve)?
What is unique about what you do (your USPs)?
Which target audience do you provide value for?
The communication in your personal brand statement must be clear, concise and meaningful. You shouldn’t clutter your statement with words that are not really important. Your statement must ensure not only that you provide a unique value but that your value is in the most appropriate context as well. What may be of value in a large setting, for example, may not hold the same value in a small setting.
Focus on your target audience
Make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thin when it comes to your target audience. If you do make that mistake, you won’t be able to come across nearly as effectively. Being a generalist when it comes to personal branding is not recommended. People want to feel that they are being catered to by you on a very personal level. Your focus should be narrow and very specialized. You need to identify which target audiences would benefit the most from your products and/or services and go after that audience.
Make your personal brand statement memorable and catchy
Your statement should have simple language. The last thing that you want to do is to intimidate your target audience. Whenever you meet someone new, be sure to make an impression on that person that will stick with them. Your goal is not only to have that person remember you but you also want him or her to tell other people about what you do.
Your personal brand statement should be real and sincere. Don’t ever pretend to be someone you are not in your statement. The way that you will effectively build relationships with your audience members is by proving to them over time that you are a subject matter expert and that you really know what you are talking about. You can’t tell them that you are a credible person. You need to let them figure it out for themselves.
Your statement may change over time
Over the course of time, your statement may change and grow as you and your business change and grow. However, be careful that you don’t completely overhaul your statement every week. It is OK to make subtle changes but you never want to give the impression that you are fickle and are not really sure what you are doing.
Your personal brand statement is a critical part of your business identity and reputation. You can think of it as the first tool in your arsenal from which you build all of the other tools that will contribute to making you and your business a tremendous success. Now is the time to write an extraordinary personal brand statement that will speak volumes for you and your business.