Branding creates a unified image people associate with a company, organization, or individual. Branding statements, a short phrase or slogan about the brand, are a key part of this strategy. Businesses around the world use these statements to convey their mission and values to potential customers. As an individual, you can do the same. A personal branding statement says something about you — not a product, business or service. Your branding statement will tell your audience who you are, what you do, and why you’re not like anyone else.
Your Personal Catchline
A branding statement can be thought of as a catchline: something memorable and unique. Summing up everything about yourself into a single, catchy line can be a real challenge, which is why we put together this guide. You’ll need an open mind and a productive place to think to get started.
Brainstorming Your Personal Branding Statement
1. List things that define youHow do you think about yourself? Is your primary identity tied to your work? Your education? Think about how other people describe you to their friends and coworkers. This list may include things that aren’t tied to your work, like your values or references to your personal life. That’s ok! The goal is to have a strong vision of who you are going into this process.
2. Identify your target audienceMake sure you know who you’re talking to. An unfocused branding statement, or one that is targeted to the wrong group of people, can spell disaster for your personal brand. Think about the demographics of your target audience, and what that group cares about.
3. Sell yourselfWhat makes you the right person for the job? Why are you the one and only right choice for people in your target audience for the services you offer? Now is the time to get into your specific skills and experience, and talk about what you can offer the world.
4. Keep it simpleTechnical jargon and an expansive vocabulary can show off how smart and qualified you are, but they’re more likely to turn off potential customers than bring them in. Use clear language instead. This is not the place to dazzle with your lyrical prose or encyclopedic knowledge. Experiment with different short phrases that can stand alone.
Crafting Your Personal Branding Statement
Now that you’ve finished with your notes and you have a few experimental phrases scribbled down, it’s time to get to the real work. Make sure you’re keeping it honest and to the point. The goal is to sell yourself, not to make promises you can’t keep. Remember that a branding statement is about catching the attention of your audience. Once you have that attention, you can get into your longer and more detailed pitches. One sentence is best, two the absolute most. You have to keep it short and memorable.
After you have a draft statement you like, be sure to test it out. Talk with friends, coworkers, and family to see if it makes the right impression. That means asking whether they believe it’s accurate, putting your best foot forward, and easy to recall. You may want to ask them a few days later, to see if it sticks. Take their suggestions into account, but remember your brand is about you and your ideas. When you have something you’re happy with, remember to revisit it from time to time. Your personal branding statement isn’t set in stone, any more than you are. Be sure to update it from time to time as your skills, interests, and expertise change.
A Sample Personal Branding Statement
Personal Branding Statements and Name Recognition
One of the most important reasons to put together a personal branding statement is to build name recognition. This is the first step in making sure potential customers reach for your number when they need your services. People are much more likely to choose a name they know over one they don’t recognize, so the more you put yourself out there the better your chances are. Being recognized is important regardless of the business you’re in.
You may already know the names of some of the big players in your field, even if you’ve never worked with them. This kind of reputation is something you can work on building, and your personal branding statement is a part of that.
The last step, and the most important, is to actually use your personal branding statement. Add it to your social media profiles, to your biography on Multileveling, even to your email signature. Combining this with the other aspects of brand building will create a consistent picture of who you are and what you do, and build the kind of reputation and name recognition you need to build your business.