Your Brand? Your Mission?

I thought this might help those of you out there looking at brand and mission perspective. My good friend Danielle Leslie posted this on the Youtern blog back in April. It was just too juicy not to share.

Before we continue investing our valuable time crafting, manicuring, and fine-tuning our online personae, we should ask ourselves: What personal brand should I portray to help me accomplish my short and long-term goals? If we don’t know the personal brand we are building, then we might as well be asking ourselves  a different question: “What if the crafting, manicuring and fine-tuning is all bullsh*t?”

If you are still defining your personal brand, here’s something to get the wheels turning and help you at least nail down a draft of your personal branding statement. If you are confident about your personal brand, here’s a simple exercise to double-check your efforts.

An Exercise in Deciding Your Personal Brand

I was reading Another 20 Something, and I found a personal branding statement that really resonated with me.

I thought, ‘Wow, most people would have been stumped at combining those two professions– photography and public relations– in a single branding statement. Instead of getting caught up on what she wanted to do, Sheena answered a larger question: Why do I enjoy doing what I do? What is at the heart of the work I am doing? For Sheena, that appears to be helping organizations tell powerful stories and connect with their audiences.

I broke down Sheena’s branding statement to reveal the different parts and how they work together to create a balanced personal branding statement.

After doing this, I grabbed a pen and a notepad, (I’ll go for the typewriter next time), and I started crafting my personal branding statement. Ask yourself these questions, just as I did:

–  Who are my customers? (What target group am I providing a product or service for?)
–  What goal can I help my customers accomplish? (For Sheena, it is connecting her customers with their key audiences.)
–  What action will I take to help my customers accomplish their goal? (For Sheena, it is helping them tell powerful stories through words and photos.)

Now, attempt to piece it all together. It should look something like this:

Danielle [verb] [customer] [customer action] [customer payoff] [my role].

Danielle helps creative professionals grow their brand impact and earning power by landing key brand collaborations as their Business Development and Marketing Manager.

This is certainly not the end-all be-all for branding statements, but it’s a good start for beginners and a good test for the advanced. I’ll continue posting personal branding exercises in the future because this is just the beginning. If you know of other individuals who have successfully branded themselves and have a clear branding statement, please post in the comments! In the meantime, I have to untag myself in some unflattering Facebook photos and craft a witty Twitter status.


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