Three Questions to Ask When Developing a Personal Brand Statement

October 23, 2017



Dale Carnegie was a pioneer of personal branding long before a ‘personal brand statement’ was officially coined. Since everyone can be recognized by their unique strengths, abilities and passions, these attributes comprise a personal brand statement. Having a strong personal brand statement is vital to staying competitive whether you use it to land an interview, network successfully, consult with confidence or procure prospects.

If you haven’t considered the characteristics that differentiate you from everyone else, now is the time. By developing a personal brand statement and applying some of Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principles, you’ll be able to send a strong, succinct message about yourself with confidence. Here are three questions to ask when developing a positive, personal brand statement.

  1. What are your greatest professional passions? We all have activities, interests and challenges that keep the fire in our bellies burning bright. What are the activities you are most excited about on any given day? How does what you’re most passionate about impact the value you have to offer a colleague, prospect, potential employer, etc.?
  2. Which top personal attributes define how you make things happen? Apply Dale Carnegie’s 21stprinciple, ‘Throw down a challenge,’ to dig deep and uncover your list of personal attributes. These are characteristics that people at work and elsewhere would use to describe you. Here are a few examples to consider: charismatic, collaborative, dedicated, empowering, enterprising, flexible, forward-thinking, innovative, inspiring, loyal, reliable, risk-taking, self-motivated and trustworthy.  If necessary, ask those around you for feedback.
  3. Which top three strengths have benefitted your clients or employer? Consider how your manager, colleagues and/or clients introduce you to other people. They may describe you as one of the best at—number crunching; communicating; fact finding; problem analysis; delegating; mitigating risk; mentoring and leading, for a few examples.
    Dale Carnegie’s 3rd principle, ‘Arouse in the other person an eager want,’ reinforces that it is imperative to demonstrate how our strengths positively impact others to help compel them to want to work with, or hire, you. Decide what truly differentiates you from the competition so you can weave it into your personal brand statement.

Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to create your personal brand statement. Your answers to the questions above serve as inputs. For example, a seasoned sales representative’s personal brand statement could be, “A charismatic and focused sales leader, I cultivate profitable business relationships built on respect and trust. I manage each client relationship as though it’s a formal partnership and thrive on helping my customers solve problems to ultimately drive bottom line growth for their organization—and mine.” In less than thirty seconds, any recipient of this message can understand the sales representative’s strengths and source of motivation.

Once you’ve finalized your personal brand statement, it should become an integral component of your online and offline communications. Add it to your online professional social media profiles and your resume. Consider condensing it and adding it as a tagline to your email signature.

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