How to Create a Personal Branding Statement
By now, you’re likely aware of how important building a personal brand is for most any modern day professional. But here’s the challenging part: how do you let the world know about your personal brand? Using social media marketing, a personal website, and even your LinkedIn profile are all great ways to spread your message, but developing a solid personal branding statement will help take your personal brand to new heights.
First, what is a personal branding statement? A personal branding statement, or elevator pitch, is a short description of who you are and what you do. It should be about thirty seconds, and give the person you’re communicating with a good understanding of what you specialize in. The term elevator pitch comes from the concept of introducing oneself to a company executive on a quick ride in an elevator together.
The term may be a bit dated, but it’s still relevant as ever. Nowadays, ‘about’ pages on personal branding websites, ‘bio’ sections of social media profiles, and intros at networking events are great places to use an elevator pitch. Here’s how to create a personal branding statement that compels your audience to follow, understand, and engage with your personal brand.
Address a Problem
One of the major problems with most personal branding statements is that few of them address a problem that the target audience can relate to. Often, people will hop right into what they do — industry jargon and all — and the content goes in one ear and out the other. Catching your audience’s attention with a relatable problem is a great way to break through that barrier. It’s important too though, that you cater that problem to the audience you’re addressing.
For example, if I was introducing myself to a group of company executives who might benefit from Marple’s app, I might say, “Did you know that 92% of people in a recent Nielsen survey said they trust recommendations from individuals over brands? Being the face of a company can carry a lot of responsibility, and managing your online reputation can be challenging.”
But if I was addressing a group of job applicants about using the app, I’d say something like, “Has a not-so-flattering search result about you ever affected your chances at getting called back for a job opportunity? Nowadays, most hiring managers admit to googling candidates before making an offer, so it’s important to know what’s out there about you.”
Offer a Solution
After you’ve connected with your audience through a relatable problem, the next step in creating a personal branding statement is to offer a solution! Explain how you can help them overcome that challenge, and give a few details on how exactly your product or service works. Just remember: avoid industry jargon and stick to easily understandable terms and phrases. This introduction is usually quick, and there’s no need to overwhelm your audience with too much information, especially when it’s difficult to understand.
If I were speaking to either a group of company executives or job seekers, I’d continue with, “I create marketing content for Marple, an app that helps you manage your online reputation. Marple takes a look at the search results that pop up on Google, and allows you to mark them positive or negative, and even report them for removal.”
Explain Your Unique Value Proposition
What will really set your personal branding statement apart from the thousands of others out there is your unique value proposition. It’s easy to say that you make shoes, for example. But what people will remember is your statement about making the “most comfortable high heels ever, according to a focus group of 100 people”. Or, maybe you’re a marketer. How good does a marketer that “helps take the overwhelm out of digital media creation by repurposing your highest impact content” sound compared to “a digital marketer”?
Find what makes your brand, your product, or your service uniquely yours and call it out! Remember, this should focus on how it really helps your ideal client, so don’t just use this as an opportunity to brag. Discuss how it will help them!
Put it all Together
Once you have those key components, throw it all together for your final personal branding statement. Here’s a sample of what I’ll be saying the next time I’m in an elevator with a very important person:
“Has a not-so-flattering search result about you ever affected your chances of getting a professional or personal opportunity? [PROBLEM] I create marketing content for Marple, an app that’s looking to help change that. Marple takes a look at the search results that pop up on Google, and lets you take control of your online reputation by marking them positive or negative, and even reporting them for removal. [SOLUTION] Unlike many other reputation monitoring services, we allow you to monitor one search term for free! [UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION]“
That personal branding statement isn’t just for show — it’s true! Marple lets you monitor your online reputation by sending you notifications whenever new results pop up about you on Google. Not only can this be beneficial for company executives and job seekers, but parents often find it helpful for preventing cyberbullying from affecting their children, new businesses can use it to monitor sentiment about their product or service, and teachers might use it to keep personal content from entering the classroom.
Don’t let negative search results define your personal brand. Let your elevator pitch do the talking, and let Marple handle the rest.