When we deliver our personal branding workshops and training, one of the exercises is to have people work on a Personal Branding Statement.
The 3 step process starts with what we call “5 in 5” where we all sit down with a partner and talk for five minutes about:
- Their educational experience
- Their work experience
- What they love about what they do
- What they find hard
- Where they want to be in 3 years time
We use that information and our internal compass to define and establish a Professional Purpose – the reason why we do what we do and (beyond money) why we get out of bed in the morning.
These 2 steps combined help formulate a Personal Branding Statement that can be used as the basis for the all important LinkedIn summary. The nice folks at LinkedIn tell us is so crucial for setting out our stall and being discoverable and worth engaging with on the platform.
There are a number of schools of thought on what should go into a Personal branding Statement, but here are the three main elements that we recommend:
- You’re on a Mission – the professional world has changed dramatically since the Internet came along and, more than ever, we have the opportunity to be bolder in our professional desires and take control of the direction in which we want to go. If you’re satisfied with your Professional Purpose, use that to extrapolate some kind of mission statement that gives anyone reading it no doubt of where you want your career to be headed. Having a mission in the public domain acts as a sign post, a filter and gives you something to feel accountable about.
- You Have Value – your value comes in all different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to articulate it in multiple ways. Your experience, length of time in industry, who you have worked for in the past, your educational background and what you’re passionate about focusing on next, all in their own way give an indication of your worth to a potential employer or client, but also what you might expect in return for their patronage. Including some value indicators, both from yours and your current businesses/company’s perspective is an easy – but often overlooked – way of perfect a more compelling personal brand.
- Zero Hyperbole & Buzzwords– Maybe it’s my shy and retiring English sensibility, but I’m not a big fan of over-egging a Personal Branding Statement or LinkedIn summary with big, fancy, unsubstantiated and yawn worthy claims. Nor do I condone the kinds of buzzwords I outline in the post on LinkedIn. Take some time to (as this post’s title suggests) craft a Personal Branding Statement that shows the real you intelligently and honestly without seeming overblown and having a lack of self-awareness.
If you’re interested, here’s mine:
Focusing on helping businesses and individuals achieve success through enduring social media, digital PR and personal branding strategies, my 15 years online advertising industry experience and 7 years at Microsoft as their Digital Marketing Evangelist, enables me to provide counsel to my clients that are 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 I put the customer (my target audience) first, I mention the fields I work in and the valuable 7 years I spent at Microsoft, I give an indication of the way I work and let anyone reading it be in no doubt what my mission is.
It didn’t take long to write, maybe longer than it took to write this blog post in the end, but it’s a living statement too. As my career reaches new milestones and other experience comes along that is of value, I’ll adapt the statement accordingly.
As crucial 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.
Spend some time crafting it properly and it will stand you in good stead until the day you retire!
Remember to check back in a fortnight for the next installment in our series: Personal Branding: 10 Steps to Your Perfect Strategy
And don’t forget to:
Check out our book now in paperback: Introduction to Personal Branding: 10 Steps Towards a New Professional You
@MelCarson – Founder of Delightful