Imagine how great it will be when you can rattle off (in your sleep) a one-liner about your professional brand? You will, after you take a deep dive into discovering how to procure your descriptive characteristics and eloquently express your brand. Good news, this won’t take long and you will also be writing your personal brand statement. These days, they are one in the same.
Let's talk basics. Your brand is less about you and more about perception. Branding is the art of harmonizing integrity, creativity and reputation - built upon a trustworthy persona created with valuable content that people can relate to and feel confident sharing. When people think they know who you are they follow you more enthusiastically, and then organically recruit others to join in and follow you too, solidifying your reputation. Grab a notebook, and a pen, this is hands-on exercise.
First step - let's bring self-awareness to you brand! You need to genuinely perceive yourself and understand what others think of you. Sometimes, what we think and what others think do not line up. We may think that our output is much different then what people perceive. Your appearance, the way you talk, the way you “carry” yourself, the way you communicate over the phone, over email and in person - all of this reflects on your brand. Does your social media line up with what you say you are? Is your messaging consistent? Do you have a firm handshake? Do you look people in the eyes when you speak to them? Are you an active listener? These are perceived behaviors that you need to be aware of as you are thinking about your brand.
Let’s dissect your brand and reconstruct it to line up with who you are today and where your brand is heading. This activity can be done every time you need to freshen up your brand image.
Let's get warmed up. Write down a sentence that describes who you are what you are striving to do. Some questions to get you thinking. Who are you? What do you do? What makes you unique? How do you do this and who does it affect?
Next, tell a compelling life story. People are attracted to storytelling with facts, solutions, relatable content that offers more “we” statements than “I” statements and calling attention to others when appropriate. Tell your story from a place of vulnerability and confidence, considering your uniqueness and keeping it PRIME.
Dive deeper -- Think about how you feel about yourself. Write down 5 aspirations qualities. These are personal goals about the person you are striving to be.
Now, call, text or visit with a friend, family member, peer or colleague with whom you respect and ask them how they would describe you as a person in a couple sentences. You can tell them you are conducting research about yourself to help you with your brand statement. For even more fun, 'call on' a couple more people and collect more data. Write down what they have to say about you.
Now that you have some hard data let’s keep going, you are almost there. Think about who inspires you? Write this person's name down. This can be anyone living or deceased. Ask yourself, why do they inspire you? Keep writing...
Let’s review the notes. Look back on what your friend said about you. See what you wrote about how you perceive yourself and what you aspire to be. What do the qualities of the people you admire say? Your statement is in there somewhere, now it's time to practice writing it.
Let's free flow and write a few sentences using what you have already written but in your new mindset of keeping it PRIME!
Take your sentences and reduce it to one sleek and sexy sentence. Say it out loud, call your friend back and repeat it to them. Then write it three more times. The act of writing and speaking it into existence beckons the universe to accept it.
Congratulations, you now have your professional and personal brand statement. You can use this for your LinkedIn headline, your email signature, your next quote, a resume header and of course, your elevator pitch! This statement is organically you, coming from both an objective and subjective viewpoint, and you should feel empowered about what it says about you and where you are heading with your brand.