Branding is an important aspect of a business’ reputation, used to showcase how they are unique and stand out from the competition. The same can be said for individuals. Personal branding is just as important as your business’ brand and is the key to being seen as a thought leader.
Personal branding is, in essence, your reputation and can define you as a leader in business or in your career. Given the immediacy and interconnectivity of information, business leaders need to effectively manage their personal brand to ensure others don’t create their brand for them.
Similar to an elevator statement, a personal brand statement encapsulates who you are and what you stand for. It’s concise and clear and should make the person hearing it feel something about you.
Here are some examples:
- I use public relations and social media tools to inspire businesses and leaders to achieve their dreams.
- I help companies make the most of talent allowing for change with a focus on implementation.
- I energise, focus and align manufacturing organisations to reduce waste and grow profits.
- Using my holistic insight and innovative finance principals, I promise to help my customers realise their financial dreams.
- I am passionate about growing teams, coaching individuals and seeing people achieve their career goals.
When creating your personal brand statement think about what makes you unique in your field and what characteristics, values or qualities you have that can set you apart from the competition. Be intentional when creating your brand as it needs to resonate with your audience in order to be effective.
What sets you apart?
Take some time to consider the ‘one thing’ that separates you from peers and competitors: what is the heart and soul of your personal brand? This is the most important step to creating your brand statement as it sets the foundation for your communications and strategy across every platform. For example, Richard Branson = entrepreneurship, whereas Apple = innovation. What defines you?
You should start by researching your passions, how you want to be perceived, define your goals and put them into action. You need to understand who you are, what makes you unique and most importantly, be authentic.
Craft your personal brand statement
Now that you have some clarity about what sets you apart, it’s time to write your personal brand statement.
Consider the following:
- What is your niche? What do you want to be known as a thought leader for?
- What changes are happening in your industry/niche that you can use to your advantage or need to be aware of?
- Who are the people in your niche that already have a profile/personal brand?
- Who needs to know about you? Who can share your personal brand with others?
- How do your influencers currently perceive you?
- What is your brand voice? Think about your persona, tone, language and purpose, i.e. funny, warm, scientific, educational, complex, etc.
Own your expertise
To truly create a successful personal brand, you need to accept that you are an expert, own the word expert and wear it like a badge of honour. This will help to create consistency, add value and credibility with your audience. By defining your expertise it may not only increase your credibility but that of your business and lead to increased opportunities.
It is important to define who you are and what your expertise is, but your personal brand statement needs to not just live on paper but also be amplified.
Places to include your personal brand statement include:
- Corporate bio
- Social media profiles you use professionally, like LinkedIn
- Personal website
- Online bio/about profile
- Email signature
- Business card
When you have a strong personal brand statement you are able to communicate and inspire people with what sets you apart. Being clear on your personal brand helps carve out your niche as a thought leader and expert and could lead to increased opportunities for yourself and your business.