In this final segment on Personal Branding, we’ll cover steps 9 – 12 which are focused on messaging, image, consistency and visibility.
As a quick review, in Part One we looked at the importance of a personal brand and the initial steps to defining how you choose to be known in the world. In Part Two, we built on your initial foundation by exploring what makes you valuable, unique and impactful.
So, bring out the work you’ve done so far and let’s put on the finishing touches.
- What is your compelling message?
- There are several key messages that you’ll want to create. If you look to the work you’ve completed up to this point, you’ll find that you already have a head start on this.
- First, create a simple statement that quickly identifies who you are. The formula we used in step 5 serves this purpose, “I help X get Y.”
- Second, if you own your own business, it’s important to have a tagline that, in one clear phrase or sentence, defines who you are. One way to come up with this is to reflect on why you do what you do. What is it that gets you up every day? Michael Port, the author of several books including, Book Yourself Solid (https://www.bookyourselfsolid.com/), has become known as “the guy to call when you’re tired of thinking small.” This tagline clearly demonstrates his desire to “help people think bigger about who they are and what they offer the world.” What’s your tagline?
- A third component is to craft a brief story – no more than 30 seconds – that describes your greatest achievement. Start with a short description of the problem, then move on to the actions you took and finally speak to the results that were achieved. This demonstrates the value that you offer.
- Finally, it’s important to craft an overall marketing message that allows you to talk about what you do in an interesting and compelling way. Keep in mind that, if you completed steps 1 – 8, you already have most of the components for this. Michael Port offers a 5-part formula for creating this message.
- Summarize your target market in one sentence. Who do you help?
- Summarize the three biggest and most critical problems that your target market faces.
- List how you solve these problems.
- Demonstrate the #1 most relevant result you help others achieve.
- Reveal the deeper core benefits that they experience (e.g., financial, emotional, physical, spiritual.
Put this all together to develop your message. For a firm that provides tax services, it might sound something like this: “I’m a tax advisor. I help small to mid-size business owners protect their wealth. You know how business owners are looking to maximize their profit while minimizing their tax liability but often complain about how complicated the tax code has become? What I do is get to know my client and their financial goals and work closely with them to create a strategy to achieve those goals in a cost-efficient way that, at the same time, helps them to sleep at night knowing their tax return is submitted correctly.”
10. What image aligns with your message?
- How do you actually embody the brand? Consider everything from how you personally present yourself to your logo and marketing collateral to the types of groups and associations that you will align yourself with. How well do these various components align with who you are and what you do?
- Be consistent.
- If you’ve ensured that you’ve created an authentic message throughout this process, then consistency should be easy. Be yourself, in alignment with your brand, wherever you go and with whomever you encounter. Be clear about how you want each person you interact with to experience you. What behaviors do you need to modify or adopt to create this consistency?
- Be visible.
- You might have the best brand in the world yet, if it’s also a best kept secret, it won’t have its intended result. Determine how you want to gain that visibility.
- Networking is a key strategy for building and expanding your connections.
- Social media is another important strategy to keep in mind. Pay attention to the platforms where the people you want to meet hang out. For example, LinkedIn is critical for anyone in the business community. A strong profile along with being an active member through posting, participating in LinkedIn groups, etc. is a must.
- Look for ways to participate. This could include a leadership or committee position in the community or with a professional association that allows you to meet those in decision-making roles.
Call to Action
So, as this series opened, I ask again. Who needs a personal brand? Essentially everyone who has a career. Whether you own a business, serve others as an independent consultant, or work inside a company, personal branding is a powerful tool to help you further your career goals. I encourage you to set aside some time and work your way through this personal branding process. It’s your opportunity to establish how you want to be known in the world.
Adapted with permission by Center for Executive Coaching.