People often ask me why they need a personal branding statement as part of their personal branding strategy.
It’s an important starting point for the all-important LinkedIn summary, which is crucial for being discoverable and making to want people to engage with you on the platform. On a larger scale a Personal Branding Statement is needed if you’ve ever attended a networking event and someone says, “Tell me a little about yourself and your company. “ Do you know how much or how little to say? Read on.
Step One: Five In Five
When we conduct our personal branding workshops we give two people five minutes where they can talk about the bullet points below. If you don’t have a partner, you can time yourself for five minutes and write out the answers. The point is to succinctly answer these questions and not spend too much time thinking about trying to come up with the right answer. Ready? Take five in five and briefly talk about:
§ Your educational experience
§ Your work experience
§ What you love about what you do
§ What you find hard about your work
§ Where you want to be in 3 years’ time
Step Two: Put The Elements Together
Using this info, you can start to craft a personal branding statement. Here are the three main elements that should go into one:
• What’s Your Mission? Having a mission in the public domain acts as a signpost as well as a filter, and gives you something to feel accountable for.
• What’s Your Value? What do you add to the marketplace? Note: this is where a competitor analysis comes in handy, which we talk more about that in our book. If you say, “Here’s how we’re different than our competition.” It’s important to have sufficient data to back that up.
• Zero Hyperbole and Buzzwords –Don’t use the same vocabulary that everyone else is using. Here are the top-ten non mentions according to LinkedIn: Motivated, passionate, creative, driven, extensive experience, responsible, strategic, track record, organizational, expert. Stand out be different.
Still not sure if you should put yourself out there? I’ll go first. Here’s an my Example Statement:
I help businesses and individuals be more discoverable, shareable, and memorable, and achieve success through enduring social media, digital PR and personal branding strategies. My 17 years online advertising industry experience and 7 years at Microsoft as their Digital Marketing Evangelist, enables me to provide counsel to my clients that is truly relevant, robust, and real-time. Always striving to keep pace with the ever-changing nature of digital media and technology, I aim to improve my clients’ competitive position through partnership, tenacity, and accountability.
Notice that I mention my work experience, and I follow it up with what I’m thrilled about now. Part of my mission is helping my clients, which we’ll get into in another article. Stay tuned.
Step Three: Rewrite and Revise
Did it take long for me to write my statement? Not at all. I maybe spent a day or so of editing, but it’s a living statement. As my career reaches new milestones and other experience comes along that is of value, I’ll adapt the statement accordingly just like you should do with yours.
And no two statements should be alike. If you’re verbally sharing your statement with someone, you want to be well prepared but you don’t want to sound too rehearsed. I recommend long, medium, and short statement versions. Also, you could create different versions depending on your audience—one version for your stakeholders, another for your peers and so on.
As important as a Professional Purpose is to your internal professional self, a Personal Branding Statement is your shop front to the hundreds of people looking to hire, partner, and connect with you.
During our Personal Branding Workshops, we have attendees write down everything they can think of that might be relevant in creating their personal brand and then edit it based on peer feedback and attention to their mission, value, and experience.
Spend some time crafting it properly, and it will serve you until the day you retire!
Want to know more?
Download Our Book on Amazon, Kindle & Audible: Introduction To Personal Branding Ten Steps Toward a New Professional You