What stories should you tell to brand yourself? Try this exercise: Take about a minute to write down what you are most known for. In what area(s) can you offer yourself as an expert? Ideally you are considered an expert in some area of your career or professional life, but hobbies and interests can be fair game, too. Now, compose a brief story about your expertise in each area, perhaps how your expertise has made a difference or changed someone’s life. Note that branding statements are usually written in the third-person.
Here’s an example from my partner, Randall Hansen, which brands his career as a college professor:
Branding Statement: Dr. Randall Hansen is an educator who thrives on empowering people to achieve their personal success.
The story behind the statement: Education is not about lecturing; it is not about describing the steps or procedures of something “ it is about opening someone’s mind to learning, and that’s what I am all about. It’s about turning the helpless or lost person into someone who is self-actualized and can find his or her own way out of the situation. For example, I had a graduating senior who was feeling great pressure to find a job, and while he knew some basics of job-hunting, he was allowing circumstances to overwhelm him. I did not need to lecture him about the best methods of finding a job, nor did I have to create or edit his resume; instead, I served as the calming voice in his head that mentored him and allowed him to truly start his job-search. Because I worked one-on-one with him and provided guidance and support when he needed it, he was able to develop and follow up on several job leads that eventually led to a job offer that was the perfect opportunity for him. And by accomplishing this task on his own, he not only was able to land this job, but he also now has the skills, confidence, and ability to move forward in his career and conduct future job-searches with ease.
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