Characteristics of a Good Personal Brand

A personal brand is really about combining a product or service that you believe you can offer customers and various elements of your personality. The success or failure of this personal brand you create is dependent on various external factors that play a significant role in the relationship your brand has with its peers and its customers.

First of all, in order to be truly successful, your brand needs to be able to distinguish itself from the competition. It needs to be able to offer to its customers, an additional benefit or value that the competition cannot bring to the table.

A Personal Brand Statement is mandatory, so as to encapsulate what you as a brand stand for, for the benefit of your customers. Personal brand statements should be short and succinct, while summing up all that you stand for as a brand. It should be malleable, and adapt itself to changes in the market and among customers.

Your personal brand should clearly state its benefits, both practical and emotional, so that the customer knows fully well what he is getting by doing business with you. It should also be reflective of who you are as a person, because, lets face it, you are the brand. You are going to be who people interact with when they do business with the brand and you are the one who will be taking all the significant decisions when it comes to the brand and what it entails.

Personal brands should also have a strong presence online, whether it is via a website or a blog that you maintain to keep your peers and customers up to date with what is going on with you and any changes that the brand is undergoing. You can also create a web presence by creating a Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn profile for your brand so that it has a significant presence in forums where its customers and peers socialize and do business. Having a presence online is absolutely essential.

Flexibility is a large part of any online business personal brand. You are a person, at the end of the day, and you evolve with time, as do your customers and the market within which you operate. It is therefore mandatory that personal brands remain flexible and adapt to the various changes that may take place within their environment and their market space.

Your business card, your references and testimonials from people who have done business with you in the past are also a key part of the brand.

Ten Characteristics of a Powerful Personal Brand Statement

For every unique combination of talents and gifts, there is a venue to express them. This venue may be hidden from you at the moment, but when you find a compelling way to articulate your talents and gifts, you will become fearless in articulating them.

One way to articulate who you are is to create your Personal Brand Statement: expressing in a very compelling way what you have to offer to the world. To be compelling, your Personal Brand Statement (PBS) must be in alignment with your values, your passions, and the vision you want to create.

A compelling Personal Brand Statement (PBS) has these characteristics:

1. Hearing it makes people go “WOW!”

Providing good or excellent service is not enough these days. If you want to create a livelihood from your business (i.e. it’s not just a hobby), then you need to stand out from the crowd. Clients are attracted to people who make them go “WOW!”

2. One outbreath long.

You should be able to say your PBS in one outbreath. This is like creating a “sound bite” that people can easily remember. Test it: can the other person repeat back to you what you said, verbatim?

3. Clearly states practical benefits.

The practical benefit of what you are should be clear or at least clearly implied.

4. Reflects your own personality.

Your Personal Brand Statement should be uniquely identifiable with you. If any one of your peers can say the same statement in the same way as you, then you need to inject more of you in it. Stay away from the generic “I help you increase your profits.” Your personality can be projected in how you phrase your statement, in the words you use, your tone of voice, etc.

5. Projects confidence and energy.

Your Personal Brand Statement should roll off your tongue easily, without tripping. You must be able to project it.

6. Gives enough to cause them to ask for more.

Your PBS is a “teaser” to start a dialogue with your customer. You’re not trying to sell them right then and there.

7. Real and grounded – fits with who you are.

Going beyond reflecting your personality, your PBS basically describes how you express your personal mission in the physical world… your role in the world. Use “I” phrasing instead of trying to create the impression that you’re something bigger or other than who you are. (This is a tendency especially with self-employed people.)

8. Can be truncated into an even shorter form.

Your Personal Brand Statement should be able to be truncated into even shorter forms that become slogans, brand names, product names or themes.

9. Evolves with time.

Your Personal Brand Statement evolves with time, reflecting what you are passionate about in the moment. A PBS eventually becomes stale. As soon as you get bored with it, simply change it!

10. Can be repeated well by others.

The ultimate success of a Personal Brand Statement is how well it creates “word of mouth.” If your PBS meets all of the above requirements, people will accurately talk about who you are and what you offer, triggering the attraction forces that work so well!

Personal Branding: Characteristics of a Strong Personal Brand

How many times have you been at a networking function and been lost for words when asked “what do you do”?

We all have. But do you see this as a threat or an opportunity?

Developing a Personal Branding Statement or PBS can be a powerful way to help market yourself to prospects, clients or potential employers.

Here are 8 characteristics of a strong personal brand:

1. WOW factor. It must be memorable with high recall. Hearing it makes people say ‘WOW that’s interesting …… tell me more’. Be truthful, accentuate interesting or key parts of your role without fabricating the facts.

2. 10 words or less. The fewer words the more powerful it will be. Often a strong summary will work for all networking functions. However tailor your spiel for the conversation, people will be more interested in something they recognise.

3. Focus on benefits. The statement should address the age old marketing question ‘What’s in it for me’, known as the WIIFM.

4. It should reflect your values, beliefs and personal mission in life rather then just a profession. Be passionate about what you do and relay this in your message.

5. Saying it should give the impression of confidence and energy.

6. Use it as a ‘Teaser’. Don’t tell the whole story – think of the analogy of a newspaper, radio or TV headline encouraging the target audience to want to find out more. The questions generated by your opening spiel should act to direct the explanation to the person’s needs. Let them identify areas they are interested in rather then covering it all.

7. Positioning. Marketing is all about positioning – use it to position and differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

8. Be flexible. Slogans, brand names and themes change over time and in different situations. Change it to fit your market, interests and career aspirations. Know enough about what you do to be confident and flexible, uncertainty can portray distrust or other negative implications.