We all have our own unique talents and specialties that shape our lives and our careers. All of the things that make you YOU contribute to your personal brand. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a member of a corporate team, you need your own personal brand, apart from your company, in order to sell yourself as an individual. Building a brand requires many elements, and a personal brand statement is a perfect place to start.
What is it?
You may be wondering: what is a personal brand statement? It is a brief descriptive statement that tells the world who you are and what you’re good at. Essentially it’s, “I do this in order to achieve this.” It should be compelling and specific enough that potential clients and business partners get the gist of what you do and become curious to learn more. Your personal brand statement makes your first impression when you introduce yourself and your expertise.
Consider a major brand like Target. Their brand statement is: “We strive to make Target your preferred shopping destination in all channels by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation, and exceptional experiences—consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.” If you were to put your own personality and expertise into words, what would you say? That’s your personal brand statement.
Why is it important?
Now more than ever, having a personal brand is essential in the digital age. Your online presence, from social media platforms to your company profile or business website, is a major part of your brand. It’s how others perceive you and it drives whether or not they decide to pursue a personal or business relationship with you.
As a woman, controlling your personal brand is even more relevant, and sometimes more challenging. Expert Leslie J. Voss says:
“The issue of personal branding remains more topical for female entrepreneurs, as women still have to self-define themselves in the world of gender stereotypes and leadership gap. Traditional gender expectations, confidence gap, and other challenges women overcome today all influence two elements of their brand-building:
Outer: dress code, a manner of speaking, self-presentation.
Inner: self-perception, a vision of the future, self-identification.
A woman can influence and correct both elements if she understands what is so valuable about her brand and how to communicate this message to the world.”
Self-promotion is key when it comes to networking, and a personal brand statement is an ideal way to start. Whether it’s inside or outside of your industry, building connections is based on communicating your skills and values in a unique way. Your personal brand statement can open doors to new networking or career opportunities.
How to write your own
It may seem impossible to fit everything you do into just one statement. Here are some tips to get you started:
- The goal is to keep it simple. If you were to explain your career and your abilities to a person unfamiliar with your industry, or even a child, what would you say? Avoid jargon and empty buzzwords like “synergy” and “self-starter.” At its core, what are you passionate about and what is your role in the business world? Think of it as your personal elevator pitch.
- Be unique. After all, it is a personal brand statement conveying how YOU stand out from the crowd and what YOU bring to the table. What are your unique selling points? What sets you apart and ultimately defines what you do?
- Give yourself 5 minutes with no judgment or second thoughts to write down all of the words and phrases that come to mind when you think of yourself and what you do. Let your mind wander: you might just come upon a specific adjective or talent you hadn’t thought of before.
- Read through your resume or LinkedIn profile and consider past projects you’ve completed. What is one thing they all have in common? A shared purpose? A special perspective or talent? How do those contribute to future accomplishments and projects?
- Build around an action verb. What do you create, grow, or ideate? How does it affect your clients and achieve an end goal? You are an active member of the business world whose specialties achieve unique outcomes. Let that shine through in your personal brand statement.
Everyone should have a personal brand statement and not only should it communicate what you bring to the table, but it should also be consistent across all platforms. With a quality personal brand statement, you’ll be able to attract the right opportunities your way and achieve your professional goals. Learn more about branding yourself through our community boards where professional like-minded women all over the globe share their personal experiences!