Creating your personal brand statement –An exercise

Complete this sentence. Writing exercises are ­_____________. I hope you answered fun, because we are about to jump into a personal branding writing exercise: Creating your personal brand statement.

Personal brand statement -Writing exercise -Daisy QuakerSay it with me, “Yaaay!”

Why you need a personal brand statement

A personal brand statement is a clear statement of who you are, what you do and why you do it. It can give you direction, focus and a way to set yourself apart, and it helps the world figure out what you’ve set out to do.

It’s a big deal for corporations to have personal brands, but it’s also a big deal for you. So you’ve got to carve out a small chunk of time and dedicate it to creating your personal brand statement before you dive into building your personal brand.

So let’s get started in creating your personal brand statement

Who are you and what do you do?

This will help you find your personal brand identity. It’s not enough to say “I am a consultant” or “I am a businessman/woman” what does it really mean?

Remember when you were learning nouns such as teacher, or leader or coach? These are roles that give others a picture of you in a snap! So focus on finding a role that paints a picture, and don’t from being adventurous by using terms like innovator, storyteller, and artist. This might not make it into the product but it will set you on track.

Now, what do you do? I’m not talking about an “I work with companies to blah, blah, blah.” statement. That’s too generic. Make it something specific, clear, but simple. How does your identity + what you do =helping others? Remember simple is powerful. A personal brand statement example for a graphic designer might be: I’m an artist who helps businesses bring their creative visions and ideas into reality. So simple anyone can understand their big idea, ad what’s more they become curious.

Another approach might be to start with a phrase like “I want to help ……”

If you’re starting out, i.e. of building your business, starting your career or looking to move up in your in your field, a good starting point would be to talk about your goal.

“Help” is a keyword in this exercise because it approaches your goal as a service which not only gives the feel-good vibes, but it also attracts others that need the help you offer.

Why do you do it?

Without further ado, what makes you do what you want to do? What is your purpose?

Think about the big picture, the overarching goal, the main thing that drives your focus and just let your creativity and imagination run the show. Sure it might not give you something concrete at first but with refinement you will get a very clear way to explain what you do to others. Once again, avoid big words; keep it simple, honest, ambitious and real.

After some drafts I came up with my personal brand statement:Personal Brand Statement Examples

“I want to help people find and leverage their uniqueness to achieve success in their career or business.”

Now that was fun right?

I feel motivated and purposeful! Writing a personal brand statement is really a motivational activity, it allows you to close your eyes and imagine. Told you writing exercises are fun! Spend some time working on and thinking about your personal brand statement, write it up, print it and put it somewhere you can see the same way a business would hang up their mission and vision. It will help you as you go about building your personal brand.

But we are not done yet.

Once you have figured out your personal brand statements we can get started on creating by-line. I will publish the 2nd part of the personal brand statement exercise –the tagline next week. Look out for that post next week or sign up to the personal branding mailing list to get each post delivered to your e-mail so you can always get your copy of personal brand building tips and advice.

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What TMZ and HuffPo can Teach Us About Irresistible Headlines

Whether you succumb to reading gossip on TMZ, or favor more newsworthy articles on Huffington Post, there are common tactics used by writers on both ends for irresistible headlines that can capture readers for your small business website or blog.

Image of Paparazzi Cameras-Headline tips from TMZ and Huffington PostThese tactics re-work basic headline formulas in ways that readers can’t resist. These formulas are used everywhere from the magazines at the check out counter, to the newsletters in your inbox, or just posts on your favorite website. Attention grabbing headlines catch our interest and entice us to read a the story even if it’s just a quick skim.

Is your content not getting the clicks it deserves? Tweaking your headline can be the boost your posts need.

So what headline tips can we learn from a gossip website, and a news site? Take a look at the some I found on both sites, and how they work with basic headline methods.

Arouse curiosity

Shake up the status quo, with a “Why”. If a reader is curious, then they will want to know more. And if they want to know more ,then they will click and read atlas the first paragraphs.Observe the use of the basic “Why” Headline

TMZ:
Why Jamaicans HATE ‘Cool Runnings’
HuffPo:
Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus
Why Promising to Save the Middle Class May Just Not Be Enough!

The why headline is an easy grab of attention because it arouses a casual browser’s interest.  ‘Cool Runnings’, the Disney movie based on a Jamaican bobsled team, is a popular feel good story on persistence. A  common point of view, would be Jamaicans would like the movie, so a title that puts a different spin on that is bound to get clicks. Huffington Post’s headline also puts a spin on a common held belief about evangelicals and their relationship with a religious figure.

Give headlines a teaser of whats to come

A basic numbered lists work really well in telling the reader what to expect. Compare the power between “Get a better body” to “5 Minutes to a better body” Numbers can work in a variety of situations from checklists, to ideas, tips, and tricks.

Huff Po:
7 Reasons Why Diamonds are a Waste of Money

The beauty of it is the writer can talk about a variety of things from the shady history of diamond trade, to newer more precious stones, to how common diamond rings are, to a review of increasing divorce rates and the myth of everlasting love. It works because it sparks interest, and gives a hint.

Pose a challenge in the headline

Ask a question. This basic tactic arouses a reader’s curiosity and make them want to know more. A greatly phrased question can entice the reader to get answers to the question through the story.

TMZ:
“Can Rob Lowe Save ‘Two And A Half Men?’
HuffPo:
Is Cheating Contagious?

Both questions make a reader wonder and challenges them to answer the question, and the only way to know is by reading the continent.

Surprise the reader with the unexpected

In this instance use celebrity names, figures, shows, or a familiar subject with a twist. TMZ is a celebrity gossip site, so the use of celebrity names in unexpected situations is rampant. But even if it is not a tabloid scandal, headlines  about subjects we are already aware of gets more clicks when used in a surprising way.

TMZ:
Michael Phelps — Gold Medal Loser in Real Estate

HuffPo:
What Arranged Marriages Taught Me About Love
What Steve Jobs Taught Me About Stepfamilies
7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From ‘Star Trek’

These headlines take a subject that is commonly known or understood and puts a different spin or context. Arranged marriages are not traditionally seen as loving, and Steve Jobs, the admired innovator, is an unlikely source for inspiration on family bonding. Michael Phelps has been anything but a looser at the Olympics, so putting the unexpected link sparks curiosity.

Inspiration can come from many places, re-working your headlines with these tricks could help make your content stand out and earn you more readers and social media shares.

Image credit: Flickr-practicalowl

This post is part of a series that will get published every Monday on Content Marketing or Blogging, follow me via Twitter or E-mail and never miss a copy of helpful small business online marketing strategies.

Daisy Quaker is a freelance internet marketing consultant, specializing in social media, content marketing, e-mail marketing and internet marketing strategy. Find her on Twitter and tell her what strategies work for your business.