Businesses invest a lot of money, time, and effort into developing and promoting their brands. A successful brand policy has a significant impact on a company’s position in the market. And there are other benefits to having a solid brand. For example, it can provide the business with direction and purpose or help it attract talented employees.
But brands are not just for companies. Fierce competition for jobs and opportunities means employees and freelancers are joining the brand game too. Having a distinctive personal brand is not only helpful but necessary for attracting the attention of employers or clients, getting access to new opportunities, and making valuable connections.
Building a personal brand is a complex process, as there are multiple elements that define a brand identity. One of them is the personal brand statement. In this article, you will learn what it is, what role it plays in personal branding, and what makes it successful.
Personal brand statement: what it is and why you need it
Defined in the simplest terms, a personal brand statement is a catchphrase that you can use to market yourself as a professional. It summarizes what you do best, who you do it for, and why you are unique in your field. The statement should communicate the value you can provide in a neat and creative way. It should also make an impression on the target audience, encouraging them to work with you and it should be written in keeping with your brand voice.
Having a strong personal brand statement has many benefits. It can help you stand out from competitors, attract the attention of target customers/employers, and make it easier for you to network with other players in the industry. It can get you noticed and remembered by the right people, which can then lead to valuable opportunities.
In today’s fast-moving business world, grabbing people’s attention is crucial. But it’s also one of the hardest things to accomplish. Businesses try hard to stand out. Just think of how much they spend on their online advertising campaigns, merchandise, local vanity phone numbers, and other promotional tools…
Your personal brand statement won’t cost you any money, but you should definitely invest some time and effort into it.
Writing your statement
So, how do you write an effective personal brand statement? You can follow these instructions, which we have supplemented with some simple do’s and don’ts. We have also provided some real-life examples of great personal brand statements to inspire you.
Your statement should contain four essential pieces of information:
- your area of expertise.
- the benefit you can provide to the client or employer.
- the people you want to target with your offer.
- the unique skills that set you apart from competitors.
You can convey this information in whichever order you choose. Ideally, it should be distilled into one or two sentences.
The writing process itself can be summarized in these six steps:
- Make a list of your skills and strengths. It can include your education, experience, completed projects, professional achievements, or personal qualities that help you succeed in your profession.
- Think of your target audience. Who would your dream employer or client be? What would they expect from you? How should you address them in your message? What kind of language should you use to appeal to them?
- Get familiar with the personal brand statements of your competitors and find a way to stand out among them. You can decide what makes you different and bring it up in your statement. You can also come up with an original way to describe yourself and your work.
- Write the first draft, emphasizing your unique strengths and referencing your target audience. Use the notes you made in points 1 and 2. You can put it on a piece of paper, use a text editor, or a whiteboarding app. Try out different versions, and play with ideas. If you need to, brush up on some of the copywriting fundamentals.
- Edit your first draft into a simple and catchy phrase. Then polish your statement. You should make sure that each word you use contributes value to the whole. Don’t use too much jargon. Make it solution-oriented. You can reach for an original format (such as a question) or adopt a creative approach to the task, as long as you can justify it with your unique selling position. This will help you generate more online retail sales.
- Add a call to action or a challenge to make people want to engage with you. Try to make them think of what they would miss if they ignored your offer.
Once you have written your brand statement, you need to make it public. The most obvious places to put it are your CV, website, online portfolio, your professional profiles on social media, and business card or paper business card alternatives (for instance, digital business cards offered by suppliers such as Blinq).
Adapting your statement to the context
You can modify your statement slightly to adapt it to different contexts. For example, put a longer version on your website or in your online store, where it will promote your ecommerce brand. A shorter version can be put at the top of your CV and in your LinkedIn profile. Your statement will work even better if you combine it with compelling visuals.
Before you show it to the wider world, you may want to test what impression your personal brand statement makes on other people. For instance, you can consult your friends and colleagues. Remember that you can always tweak your statement to make sure it reflects your changing skills and growing experience.
Personal brand statement do’s and don’ts
Personal branding experts often share advice on best practices to follow when writing a personal brand statement. You can find a lot of helpful tips online. Below you will find five suggestions to help you achieve success with your statement.
1. Be specific
Avoid vagueness when talking about your skills, achievements, experience, or past collaborations. Generalizations, such as “I have successful app development projects in my portfolio” sound much less convincing than something precise, such as: “I am the author of a successful integration app for company ABC and an award-winning app for the free eSignature service XYZ”.
2. Appeal to your target audience but don’t exclude other groups
It is good to reference your target audience in your statement, either by addressing them directly or by using words and phrases that belong to their professional jargon. Remember, though, that being too exclusive may put off some potential clients or contacts who do not identify with your specific target group.
3. Be authentic
Authenticity is key when it comes to introducing yourself to potential employers and clients. It will help you build trust and establish your credibility with them. You should only promise things that you can deliver, even if they do not sound as impressive as you might want them to.
4. Keep it business-like and professional
You need to strike the right balance between being creative and original and making sure you sound credible as a professional. This is especially true when you are still working to establish your reputation in the industry. Those who are already at the top of their game may be a bit more experimental in their approach.
5. Don’t sound too aggressive or desperate
While a call to action or encouragement to get in touch are generally welcome in personal brand statements, especially on professional platforms that often serve as communication tools for business purposes, it’s important to make it gentle and tactful. Personal branding should be more like business negotiations than advertising.
Some examples to inspire you
Examining some examples of successful personal brand statements should make it easier for you to come up with one for yourself. Take a look at how professionals showcase their skills on LinkedIn, which is the best-known professional social media platform, and on the freelancing platform Fiverr.
The following three examples were among LinkedIn’s ten best personal brand statement examples of 2020:
This statement was praised for reflecting Ray’s values and stressing his commitment to helping those in need. Adding the information that he provides his services for free makes the statement more memorable. It also helps him stand out on the platform used predominantly by professionals who seek to monetize their skills.
Marie’s statement stands out as being solution-oriented and reflecting her caring, optimistic personality, which she has made into her trademark. Note that she addresses her target audience directly in her brand statement, offering to help them achieve their goals. Plus, she has integrated the statement with a visually attractive image.
Maria’s statement works well because it is short, memorable, and vivid. Even though it's very concise, it conveys a lot of information. It identifies the target audience (entrepreneurs or professionals who might be interested in strengthening their brands), indicates how she can help them, and presents her as a highly effective professional in her field.
4. Mscarlet design
This personal brand statement, posted by a freelancer advertising her services on Fiverr, is slightly longer than the winning statements chosen by LinkedIn. It is split into two parts; one listing her skills and professional objectives, and the other giving a more detailed account of her background and the things she can do for her clients.
The first part sounds original, is memorable, and stands out. It could potentially be used on its own in a different context; for example, on the professional’s digital or NFC business card.
Now that you know what makes a great personal brand statement, you can look for some more examples to analyze and draw inspiration from or you can get straight to writing your own personal brand statement. Good luck!
Got your personal brand statement ready to go? Add it to a Blinq digital business card