We’re talking all about personal brand statements and three main approaches to craft them.
A personal brand statement is your fastest, slimmest and sincerest elevator pitch. It’s that one-to-two sentence blurb that sums up what you do.
It goes without saying that every professional should have a personal brand statement. You might be wondering if you need one or if your’s currently fits the bill. Here’s the fastest test.
What happens when someone asks you, “What do you do?” Does an answer jump into your mind and flow from you lips? Do you blank out for a few seconds and try to assemble something that will make sense?
If you fall into the latter category, it’s time to get to work.
A Few Places Personal Brand Statements Are Used
You personal brand statement could be used for just about any type of interaction:
- You could utilize it at the family dinner table when a relative or family friend asks what you do.
- You could use it to make sense of who you are to a fast new networking connection over a cup of coffee.
- You could use it to create clarity on your:
- LinkedIn profile
- Author bio
- That speech intro they deliver about you before you rush the stage
In any of these cases, your personal brand statement should spark intrigue and the potential for further conversation.
What a Brand Statement is Not
Here’s what a brand statement should never be:
- Your job title, or your current job position.
- Your personal mission statement or life’s purpose.
- A boring, overwhelming or bloated statement about yourself.
- An outright lie.
An Overview of the Approaches
There three major ways you can craft your personal brand statement:
- The Positioning Statement
- The Value Proposition
- The Direct Statement
Approach 1: the Positioning Statement
The Positioning Statement is created with the following formula:
What you are the best at (value) + who you serve (audience) + how you do it uniquely
This equation puts together a concise statement positioning and contextualizing you in the world.
The personal value equation is used most commonly by veterans, growing pros and job-seekers. It quickly establishes the experience, target and unique service set of all three groups.
For the veteran, it’s a powerful way to discuss what you’re most known for, what industries you’ve served and how you’ve built a name for yourself.
For growing pros, it’s a great way to discuss where you’re focusing, what industry you’re working in and what differentiates you from others in your space.
For the job seeker, it’s a concise of summing up where your skills are, what industry you’re shooting for and why someone would hire you over someone else.
Here’s an example:
George Costanza is a branding professional helping corporate communicators make a splash.
Approach 2: the Value Proposition
The value proposition comes from the following formula:
Verb + value statement targeted at a specific audience
This equation yields a magnetic proposition for an audience.
You’ll see the Value Proposition most commonly with platform-focused bloggers with a product or set service offering.
Here’s an example:
Finding the Life & Business You Really Want
— Chris LoCurto
Approach 3: the Direct Statement
The Direct Statement isn’t created with a formula. It’s a blunt, short statement about who you are and what you do delivered in a quick punch.
Although a lot of entrepreneurs most commonly use the Direct Statement, it’s not limited to them. Anybody can employ the Direct Statement if the context is right.
Here are a few examples:
Your Virtual Mentor
— Michael Hyatt
Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Your Personal Brand Statement
Target Your Audience
Who are you trying to reach? Who are the people who will take the most stake in your personal brand?
It’s better to focus on a specific audience than to spread yourself thin across many. This is especially important when it comes to building a personal platform. No one wants to listen or buy from someone that does everything.
If you’re looking for a job, you also need to be as specific as possible. Pick a segment of the industry you’re focusing on and create your personal brand statement to reflect it. Saying that you’re looking for a job at an agency is too vague. Take it another step.
Don’t Be Phony
Fake it until you make it doesn’t apply here. I mentioned earlier that a personal brand statement should never be a lie—it should be 100% authentic.
You might get away with selling lies in the short term, but eventually people are going to uncover them. This will cause you to lose the most important elements of a successful brand—trust and credibility.
Less is More
It can be tempting to construct a long statement. In this case, less is definitely more. Limit yourself to one-to-two sentences.
Keep Things Memorable
Using complicated words isn’t going to win any over followers. Keep your words understandable and approachable. You’ll be more memorable that way.
A Brand Statement Isn’t a Life Sentence
Once you craft your personal brand statement, you might refine and tweak it along the way. That’s an OK thing to do, and you might find from experience that a few items need polished further.
It’s a good idea to take a good hard look at your statement at least once a year to see if there’s room for improvement. We’re constantly moving forward and growing—it’s OK for your statement to grow with you.
Bonus: Writing Your Brand Tagline
Once you have your personal brand statement, you can start thinking about adding a brand tagline to the package. The brand tagline is a great element to give a set theme to what you do.
If you’re building a personal platform, it will come in handy on marketing materials and other communications usages.
Base Your Tagline off Your Mantra
For me, I use a brand tagline to sum up my philosophy on career, which is “Success is Exposure.” I use that theme to drive this entire site, any content I create and the way I handle questions and interviews.
The key for a mantra tagline is this—it has to be something you believe that can help others. The Success is Exposure mantra is one that I’ve found can apply to just about everyone in any industry, which why I decided to utilize it as my tagline.
Go Write That Personal Brand Statement
Now, go out and create that brand statement! Excited to see what you come up with.
Brand yourself to a better you,