In the last five or six years, personal branding has become a key part of career advancement and career transition. Yet many people still have no idea what a personal brand is or how to craft an effective one.
We all recognize famous corporate brands. By simply seeing a logo or hearing a jingle, we instantly call up our preconceived notion of what that company is all about.
A personal brand statement is your version of a company logo or jingle. It is a clear, precise and memorable message that is specific to you. It is your unique promise of value – the value you can bring an organization or company. It is what differentiates you from other worthy candidates who are competing for fewer executive positions.
It’s crucial that you articulate your personal brand consistently both online and in person, including your “elevator pitch” at networking events, online portfolio, social media profiles, resume, cover letter, and any other materials.
How to crowdsource your personal brand
One of the chief difficulties people face when crafting a personal brand statement is not really understanding themselves – who they are, what they stand for, or their desired career direction.
Start out by consulting books, websites, or a certified career professional who can guide you to answer these questions.
Then, you’ll want to test your own self-perception against the impression you make on other people. Do some research amongst your peers, friends and other acquaintances. Here are a few good questions to ask:
- What are the first few words that come to mind when you think of me?
- What is it about me that you can rely on?
- What strengths do you most appreciate about me?
- How would you describe me to someone I’ve never met?
- What do you think would make me a valuable employee/executive/leader?
Once you have all of this raw data, it’s like doing a word puzzle. Keep trying different combinations of your personal brand message until you have a winner. Go back to your acquaintances and get their input as well.
Aim for a finished product of 15, 17 or 19 words, since I’ve read that people remember and relate better to phrases with an odd number of words.
An effective personal brand statement will seduce a key influencer, enticing them to call you for an interview, introduce you to an important contact, or keep you mind for future opportunities.