Hi, what do you do?
In 10 seconds or less, can you summarize what you do for a living? Everyone should be able to do this.
The original purpose of an elevator pitch was to prepare you for that chance meeting with a potential client, so that you could quickly summarize your value proposition for them.
But, as you know, business moves at warp-speed now, and that 2-minute elevator pitch from the 1980s is outdated and about 110 seconds too long for today’s business purposes.
So, please tell me…. what you do? The best answer today is a 10-second clear and memorable message.
Personal branding means being specific and clearly unique.
Human nature propels individuals to embellish the ‘brand you’ story. When I ask someone for their ‘pitch’ it often sounds like a long laundry list of absolutely everything that you do exceptionally well.
The problem with this is, hiring managers and clients don’t ever hire “Anyone that can do Anything, Anytime, Anywhere”.
Decision-makers hire experts. Specialists.
Tip #1 – Personal branding is about your unique value offering.
- Your specialties should actually be ‘special’. Please limit this to only one or two credible and valuable areas of expertise.
- How are you a ‘thought-leader’ in your industry?
- Clearly describe the unique service offering that others will pay generously for.
To determine your personal brand, ask yourself and others: What makes you outstanding?
- Are you clear on the value you provide?
- Can you easily describe what you do, and what your valuable service offering is?
- Can others clearly define you?
Tip #2 – Personal branding is about being memorable.
It’s quite possible to meet hundreds of people in any given week. How many of these folks do you actually remember? How many remember you?
My personal branding statement always begins with a warm genuine smile, and I say: ‘Hi, I am the Personal Branding Gal’.
This statement is clear about what I do. I like it because it also states what I don’t do.
And that’s important because branding has many meanings, and I want it perfectly clear that I don’t do product branding, logo branding, and I’ve certainly never tried branding livestock either (yuck).
So, I am simply ‘the Personal Branding Gal’.
And, people seem to grasp my positioning statement quite easily. How do I know it works? The results are measurable by the number of referrals that regularly call our office asking to speak to the ‘Personal Branding Gal’.
The goal is to have your elevator pitch or personal branding statement easy for people to remember you by. It should let you easily introduce yourself. Others should be able to refer you to others as easily as saying:
“You should talk to <insert your name>, they can help you because they are an expert in <insert your expertise>.”
Tip #3 – Personal branding helps you become more clearly defined and differentiated.
- Is your personal brand message current and relevant for where you are at today?
- Why would someone choose to do business with you over someone else?
- What do you do that will cure that which keeps the client awake at night with worry?
It’s easy to tell when you’ve got Tip #3 covered. It’s when you receive leads and referrals from potential customers asking for your own special service offering statement, verbatim.
Tip #4 – When is personal branding important? Answer: Always.
Sooner than you think, someone will go to the web to check you out.
Whether you are seeking a new job, a new wife, a board appointment, meeting the kids’ teachers, joining a club or volunteering, having a personal brand that clearly defines and differentiates you is important.
And when people do go to the web to look you up, you want to ensure that the information they discover is actually the information you want them to find!
Have you Googled your own name recently?
Please try it, as I personally know of far too many people that have discovered some shocking and negative results for similar-name and same-name people.
Be thankful that you aren’t one of the 105 people on LinkedIn named Donald Trump. And, if your name actually is Donald Trump, then you have some serious personal branding issues to deal with already!
Yes, it does take plenty of effort to get yourself clearly defined and differentiated in a short elevator pitch. But it’s worth it.
If you can capture your unique perspective and valuable expertise in an easy to articulate 10-second message, then I promise that personal branding will keep you far ahead of the competition.
Enjoy your branding experience, and if you need any help along the way, I hope you find an enthusiastic personal branding pal to help.