Defining your personal brand.
This can be tricky for some because you spent most of your time working on your company’s brand. You know how to talk about your company and how it fits into the marketplace. This may seem like a step backward but it isn’t. It’s a step that can help you take a major leap forward. Defining your personal brand is about understanding what you as an entrepreneur bring to the table. You, after all, are your company. This is your vision. The idea that you are trying to turn into a profitable reality. And a big part of what makes your company’s brand so appealing is you.
Why do you need to define your personal brand?
There are many reasons why you need to have your personal brand defined. You, as the face of your company, need to be able to sell yourself. Many entrepreneurs have a great vision and know how they need to get there. But they don’t have the capital it will take. If you are in this boat. You need money. Funding to make your idea a reality. This is often a huge road block for many entrepreneurs? And one of the most important things you must do to find funding is selling an investor on you and your ability to turn ideas into profitable realities. But before you can sell yourself you need to clearly define what sets you apart.
How to define it?
What sets you apart? Is what you bring to the table different from what others bring to the table? This is where your personal brand really starts to take shape. Think of all the ways that you offer something different than others. Do you provide a level of customer service that is not typical in your industry? Do you help your client by providing them with an accountability partner? Are you known for providing tactical useful solutions to everyday problems? Are you known as a good listener and sounding board? By answering these questions your personal brand should begin to take shape. You will start to see your position within the marketplace. It’s how you’re able to communicate why doing business with you is different than doing it with someone else.
Getting it down on paper
Once you have defined your brand you are ready to put it down on paper so that you are able to effectively communicate it to others. After all, having a personal brand doesn’t benefit you and your goals if you aren’t able to articulate it. This is done by creating a personal brand positioning statement.
What is a personal brand positioning statement?
A positioning statement for your personal brand is no different than the positioning statement for your company’s brand. It’s just a few sentences that articulate the unique value that you have to offer. Here are some of the basics questions to ask yourself as you start the process of creating your own personal brand positioning state.
- What are you known for? This is what we covered above where you talk about what you bring to the table. Be careful not to get too far into your company’s work
- What is your style? How would others describe you? How would you describe yourself?
- What are you passionate about? What drives you? What motivates you?
- Who are your offering it to? This is the group you defined in our post Do You Really Know Who Your Customer Is? Are You Sure?
- How are you different?
Now that you have the framework here are things to remember as you put it into words.
- Stay authentic to who you are. Don’t position yourself in a way that doesn’t fit who you are and how you work.
- Keep it short. This is not meant to be long. Only two to four sentences are necessary.
- Easy to remember. Keep your statement simple so that you can easily remember the general idea of it. You aren’t going to memorize it but you do need to know it.
How to use it
Okay, so you have defined your personal brand. You’ve got it down on paper. But now what. First thing first… DO NOT MEMORIZE IT. Your personal brand positioning statement is not meant to be an elevator speech. It is meant to serve as a foundation for you and your approach to communicating your value to others. This statement will help you create some unique message points that you can use when talking to others.
These message points will allow you to quickly and clearly articulate what you are about. They should be short and easy to remember. One important thing to remember is they don’t have to be detailed descriptive sentences. It is more important for you to have statements that will serve as conversation starters than to have a speech you might find yourself stumbling through. Remember that your personal brand is about selling yourself and all you have to offer along with making people feel comfortable with you.
A personal brand positioning statement also provides you with a lighthouse of sorts. This statement can be your beacon. A tool you use to measure opportunities against. Does the opportunity fit with your personal brand? Is it something you should be doing? Is it true to who you are?
As an entrepreneur remember that you are always selling yourself. So, it is important to do it well.
By: Amy Matthews, CEO, AMI LC