5 Tips to Write a Strong Personal Branding Statement
A personal branding statement will give you confidence, clarity, and charisma.
Originally posted on the Strikingly Blog on June 8, 2015.
As far as personal branding goes, there is one relatively easy, concrete, and crucial thing that can consolidate your image, make a lasting impression on others, and even help steer your career direction — a personal branding statement.
Nowadays potential clients, hires, and collaborators will Google you and research you online, before even thinking of reaching out for an inquiry or interview. (Think about it — don’t we all?) They will have an image of who you are and what you do, before ever surfacing on your radar. This could work for or against you. How do you position yourself positively?
The first and best action plan would be to create and publicize a personal website yourself, giving you control over what others find and learn about you when they look you up online. Another action might be to tidy up your image across social media; yet another would be to maintain accounts on platforms relevant to your work, like LinkedIn or Youtube. But all these these can be strengthened and spearheaded by a personal branding statement.
What is a Personal Branding Statement?
The personal branding statement is a synopsis, ranging from one to several sentences long, that defines and communicates your personal brand. It is your own vision of who you are, what do you, and what value you bring to others. It is a useful device that describes your most important endeavors, abilities, and accomplishments; at the same, it can reflect your personality, beliefs, and even your world view. Once formulated it can be cited and summoned anywhere, anytime, whether on your personal website, on social platforms, or in real conversations and communities.
Ready to give it a go? Here are our 5 tips on how to write a strong personal branding statement.
1) Make it conversational
Write your personal branding statement in a conversational tone, as if to a friend across the coffee table. The point is to make a connection, to generate some level of chemistry with the other person. So you want to convey your statement in a manner that is open and personable, rather than formalized behind a stone wall of professional propriety.
- Avoid 3rd person — by definition it just doesn’t sound like it’s coming from you, which is contrary to the point of personal branding. Either go with 1st person to be friendly and inviting, or omit pronouns to set a sleek and deliberate tone. (“The name’s Bond. James Bond.”)
- Generally avoid big words and highly technical descriptive phrases. You need to craft your personal branding statement with real people in mind, on the receiving end. Being simple and human is likely to impress and resonate with people more than trying to project overly intense authority. “I save infant kangaroos” will work better than “I resuscitate fledgling marsupials”. Keep it friendly — save the advanced detail and jargon for those who know enough, and are interested enough, to read more deeply into you.
- Practice saying it aloud to someone as you write your statement, since you will actually be doing that from time to time. If it sounds natural and substantive, then it is!
Mohamed’s personal branding statement is friendly, genuine, and memorable.
2) Stay sensible. Stay classy.
It’s easy to sort of let go in your language and imagination when writing a personal statement, especially for the young and casual . But the way you talk with your closest friends, or the role you see yourself playing in a movie someday in some multiverse, should not necessarily be incorporated into your personal branding statement. Those yearnings must be checked. While it is by all means good to write a personal branding statement that pleases and motivates yourself, you don’t want to cross the line and come off as flippant, thereby hurting your chances in front of potential leads.
- No slang, emoji, or creative spelling and punctuation. Unless you are absolutely sure that is what appeals to your entire target audience.
- Never, ever include highly sensitive or polarizing quips. Puns and references may be okay for certain professionals, but be cautious.
- Don’t call yourself a guru, hero, ninja, or visionary unless you actually are one. If you have any inklings of doubt in calling yourself a “consulting samurai”, then I’m afraid you probably are not one yet. Please stick with “consultant” for now.
Andre’s personal branding statement is young and charismatic, but professional at the same time.
3) Write your statement in bit-sized, movable parts.
Think Ironman’s armor — you want to assemble your personal branding statement in detachable, standalone parts, so that you can select and adapt various bits depending on the platform and purpose. One size does not fit all — you may need your statement lightened for social media, shortened for an email signature tagline, lengthened for your career bio, or specially focused for particular conversations. Always going with your full-on personal branding statement, regardless of the situation, will likely cause awkward interactions and missed opportunities at points.
Your personal branding statement doesn’t need to be perfect. You will naturally find yourself tinkering with your statement over time to reflect changes and advancements in your life and career, especially if those trajectories are still shifting. For the purposes of continuity and fluidity, it’s definitely preferable to tweak and improve bits of your personal branding statement, than have to periodically throw out and reinvent the whole thing.
Chiara’s personal branding statement comes in bite-sized parts. She can mix & match for different platforms and purposes, based on what she wants to emphasize.
4) Reflect your core values, beliefs, causes.
Impress with a voice that says: “It’s not just about me, but something much bigger”. Values, beliefs, and causes connect people on a deep level. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a technical, artistic, business, or rice field — a mere few words revealing true personal culture, can connect even strangers more quickly and powerfully than polished descriptions of abilities and accomplishments. Take some time to realize what matters most to you, and convey that.
Samir’s personal branding statement doesn’t even start with himself, but his world view. You get a strong, inspiring sense of his beliefs, his way of thinking.
5) Show your unique value.
Above all, differentiate yourself. Weave a story that defines you uniquely; write a personal branding statement that could describe no one else but you. Because if not, and your statement is just a lifeless job description of your functional areas, then ultimately you are replaceable, unremarkable in the eyes of others. That would defeat the whole purpose of personal branding.
Showing your uniqueness and individuality is the best way to breathe life into your personal branding statement. Everyone has a unique set of values, passions, and attributes that drives them in work and in life. Know what it is that makes you the individual you are, and no one can ever dismiss that. That is what will make others want to know you, connect with you, and work with you.
Hannah’s personal branding statement feels genuine, passionate, and highly unique.
What will a person think about you — how will a person feel about you — when they read your personal branding statement? Is it impactful and impressionable enough for them to remember, and maybe repeat to their friends and contacts? These are important questions to ask, considering you will be judged by potential clients and collaborators — either favorably or negatively — based on your self-testimony. So spend some time formulating your personal branding statement. Make it conversational, classy, flexible, powerful, and unique. When you’re ready, incorporate it into your personal website, social media, and real life conversations. Your personal branding statement will become a trusty, lifelong compass and calling card.
For more Strikingly tips on how to distinguish yourself and bring in the right opportunities, check out our other posts on personal branding.