As you campaign to obtain your target job or launch a business, your personal brand statement should be communicated. According to Career Distinction: Standing out by Building Your Brand by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson, your brand statement should possess three qualities:
1) It consists of just one sentence.
2) It can be easily understood by a 12-year-old.
3) You could recite it from memory.
A well-written personal branding campaign creates a strong, consistent and specific association between the individual and the perceived value that individual offers. Personal branding is common among entertainment, political and sports figures.
In business, individuals such as Donald Trump, Martha Stewart and Jack Welch have created enormous personal visibility and success by actively promoting their personal brands. Donald Trump will show you how to get rich. Martha Stewart will show you how to look good. Jack Welch will show you how to manage a business.
Below are two personal brand statements from Arruda and Dixson:
“Sitting at the intersection of technology and business, I use my passion for communication to help IT professionals in Fortune 100 companies express themselves in ways that are understood by business people.”
“I inspire and activate high-achieving salespeople in healthcare organizations through my focus on motivation, positivity, empathy and competition.”
Personal branding typically begins with identifying your core competencies, expertise, demonstrated abilities, and existing level of recognition, informed by market research or feedback. Questions to be answered revolve around who needs to know about you, what needs you are best positioned to fill, and what differentiates you from others in your field or space.
Personal branding consists of three elements:
1) Value Proposition: What do you stand for?
2) Differentiation: What makes you stand out?
3) Marketability: What makes you compelling?
Monster.com list eight essential steps to identifying your brand:
1) Identify the primary “product” (service, resource, special ability, etc.) you have to offer others.
2) Identify your core values. What really matters to you?
3) Identify your passions. What things or ideas do you love?
4) Identify your talents. What have you always been recognized for (particularly as a kid)? What do you do better than most other people? What skills do people seem to notice in you?
5) From your hopefully long list of talents and qualities, choose the top five, the ones you do best and enjoy doing the most.
6) Compile the items on all your lists into a statement of your specialty. What are you particularly gifted at delivering?
7) Write a paragraph emphasizing your specialty and your five key talents, weaving in your most important values, passions and skills.
8) Now add a tag line to your brand.
The tag line tells your story
A tag line is a slogan that tells people something memorable about you. It summarizes what you do or the services you provide.
Many people refer to “going where no man has gone before,” for example, without realizing that they are referencing Star Trek films. A senior project manager working in the crossfire between the marketing group and packaging designers at a stressful manufacturing facility has developed this tag line: “An efficient problem solver who understands and enjoys both the creativity of designers and the practicality of marketers.”
My tag line for my consulting practice is “Building careers and organizations that thrive.” While going through the process of writing my tag line, I felt confident speaking those words about myself, and I am confident every time I see and speak my tag line.
You must believe your personal brand and tag line before others do. I challenge you to take the time to identify the brand called YOU.
Tammy McIntyre is owner of McIntyre Employment Service, an agency providing individuals and small businesses with career development services. She welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.