A professional brand is critical to your career, whether or not you are currently in a job search. Your brand is essentially what you are “known for” as it relates to your career. It’s the value you bring to help people or companies to be successful.
STEP 1. Define Your Professional Passion
Your professional passion can be defined as the intersection of where your EXPERTISE and INTERESTS meet MARKET NEEDS. For example:
Expertise: Planning , organizing and designing events; Connected to a variety of industry vendors through extensive network; Previous experience in travel industry; Extreme attention to detail; Knack for understanding client’s vision and goal, and translating them into a fully executed event;
Interests: Creating elegant “destination” experiences and events in remote locations that enable people to celebrate special occasions and milestones in ways that are unforgettable.
Market Needs: Dual income couples have little time for wedding planning and can benefit from the connections, experience and efforts of a Wedding Consultant. Increased demand for “destination” weddings since couples now have friends, relatives and loved ones all over the world.
STEP 2. Define Your Value Proposition
Consider the questions:
– What problem(s) do you solve?
– What skills/approach do you use to solve it?
– What impact does it have?
– What would happen if this work were not done?
– What makes your strategy/approach unique (i.e., Differentiator)?
STEP 3. Craft your Branding Statement
Your branding statement is the foundation upon which your entire career strategy (Your job search, Resume, Linked In, Marketing, Networking, Interviewing, etc.) or business will be built.
EXAMPLE: Combining my deep expertise in creating, planning and executing distinctive “destination” events with my extensive network of specialty vendors and travel knowledge, I partner with clients to design wedding celebrations that are a unique and memorable experience for both the couple and their guests.
- Keep this statement to no more than 1 – 2 sentences.
- Avoid starting with a job title. This can box you into an incorrect stereotype based on the perception/assumption of your audience.
- This statement is not an “elevator pitch” per se, but may be useful in networking.
- Make sure it’s clear to all. Avoid too much industry jargon or fluff that is meaningless.
- Consistency is key. Your brand should be the thread that ties everything together.
- While you likely have many skills, pick the most relevant for your branding statement. This should be specific and targeted rather than a list of everything you excel at.
Step 4. Test and Evaluate
A critical part of creating a successful brand is ensuring that others understand specifically what value you bring. This is harder in some industries/fields, particularly as roles become more complex. Here are some ways to ensure your brand is clear to others:
1. Contact colleagues, friends or clients and ask them what you are “known for.” If the responses aren’t consistent or on mark, you may need to re-vamp your branding statement and/or how you market yourself.
2. Use an analogy. Some jobs are more challenging to describe, so an analogy can go a long way in helping someone understand your value proposition. EX: I translate code for computers in the same way that a Translator might convert French into English.
3. Include a brief example that people can relate to. This can deepen the understanding and help your brand hit home with potential customers.