Why you need a concise personal brand
If you do not answer the question, “What makes you unique or what value do you offer?” how will anyone in a brief encounter, like an interview or networking meeting, figure this out? It is your job, not theirs, to create noteable, connectable, and interesting mind pictures of you. If you don’t, you’ll just be a nice person that blends into their memories.
Your personal brand is formed when you communicate why you stand out from the crowd and why you are potentially a valuable connection. In additon to appreciating a concise and clear message, people also have a sixth sense for authenticity, so it is important that you dig deep to uncover and polish how you describe the gem that you are.
Be remembered or lose potential opportunities
How you present your unique value also serves to motivate a person to remember you, which would be critical if next week they come across your perfect career opportunity. Maybe days after meeting you a person crosses their path that would be of value for you to meet. If they don’t know what dots to connect, aren’t motivate to make the connections, or cannot recall or find your name, then your opportunity is lost.
The challenge many of my clients have is when it comes time to write out their ‘brand’ message the page either stays blank or becomes overwhelming. Like the saying, “the fish is the last to discover water”, it can be hard to define your uniqueness or pair down the details because you have been hanging around with yourself for sometime. To help make the process easier here are 5 steps to help you discover, find a way to communicate, and take pride in the uniqueness you bring to the world.
5 Steps to communicate Why You are Unique and be Memorable
1. Connect to your purpose. Understand the “Why” of what you do. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” (Simon Sinek). I recommend watching Simon Sinek’s TED talk for some inspiration on this. It is easy, and boring, to describe ‘what you do’ but when you tap into and share ‘why you do it’, your energy goes up, your eyes sparkle, and people listen.
2. Ask your existing clients why they chose you. Who knows better than the people who chose you over the competition? Help them drill down by probing beyond the “I think you’re good” response. Ask, “Why do you think I’m good? What exactly do I do best? How am I helping you?” This should be enlightening. What you think is important to your clients, may differ from what they think. Find out what they value and it will also help to cement your relationship.
3. Identify your passion. What aspect of your job do you enjoy most? This would translate into your strengths. Gain insight from performance reviews and co-worker feedback. A theme should surface here. When you love what you do, you do it well. It’s what you might do if you are avoiding something, or you would do it eventhough your not being paid.
4. Make a list of your character traits and core values. Branding can be your life experiences, sense of humor, communication style. Think beyond the results you provide to personal core values. Are you an excellent listener? Do you follow-through well? Are you direct? These character traits define your brand. Lead with them.
5. Compose a 30 second elevator speech on your area of “expertise”. To get started answer these three questions:
- Who you are? This is not your title, but what you do to deliver value.
- Whom do you serve? These would be the recipients of what you do. Get granular here, who is it that benefits from what you do?
- How do you help? What exactly is it that you are providing to the people you serve? Are you saving them time, providing financial security, finding them a home to raise their children in?
Now pull it all together:
Using the above insights, craft a generous summary of who you are. Let the words flow. Your goal is to help people understand what it is they’re gaining in a relationship with you and who you are.
Remember – there is no one else exactly like you. You are uniquely awesome. Only you have the combination of strengths, passions, purpose, experiences, apptitudes, style, and expertise that wonderfully combine to make you.
Once this is done, challenge yourself to cut the words in half. Then cut in half again, and even again. I suggest taking a day or two in between your edits, but not too long or you will lose the momentum.
Now speak it out with friends and peers to try it on and get honest feedback.
To explore further how to discover, illuminate, and communicate your brand so people love, like and remember you, I recommend you set an intention now and block time to start this process. Set yourself a SMART goal and make it happen!
Other helpful tools include:
1. Three Big Questions by Dave Phillips – book and Kindle available at Amazon
2. In-depth psychometric assessment using the Birkman Method with interpretation support from myself, Leanne Abraham to gain insights on your strengths, needs, motivations, and more.
3. Career Coaching & Branding Strategy with a career coach. Let me help you pull this together as part of my bespoke career coaching services.