A few weeks ago Marion Korherr stressed the importance of creating a strong brand for your startup in her webinar. Often it is the strength of your brand that will decide whether you manage to stay alive in the competitive startup environment. If your idea isn’t wrapped up in a trustworthy and nice design, your audience is unlikely to feel comfortable with and attracted to your product or service. Kyle Borchardt, LinkedIn consultant and founder of active4.org, takes the topic of branding one step further. He believes that your personal brand is just as important. How you present yourself both online and face to face has a strong influence on how easily you will get to the places you want to be.
So how do you create an epic personal brand for yourself?
In order to build a personal brand that accurately reflects your personal and professional identity, Kyle suggests asking yourself the following questions :
- What drives you personally?
- What drives you professionally?
- What are you passionate about?
- What makes you different/special/unique?
- What are your top 3 strengths?
- What are your top 3 weaknesses?
- What five words make up your core values?
Once you have completed this set of questions, notice if there are any patterns or trends in your answers. What are the keywords that run through?
Then consider these questions:
- What is my mission statement?
- What quote defines me?
- How do I currently position myself to my peers and colleagues?
- Who is my niche audience?
- What can I offer my audience?
Prepare an elevator pitch
With the answers to these questions, you are all set to create a short elevator pitch. Write a short paragraph that sums up the answer to the second set of questions. Often your personal brand is not as much about who you are, but who you strive to be. If you had the courage, the discipline, and the energy to be anyone, who would you be and what goals would you work to achieve? That is the kind of personal brand and elevator pitch you should make for yourself.
What you should consider when creating your elevator pitch, is not to brag about yourself and not to use a lot of meaningless filler-words. Instead, your elevator pitch should be:
- authentic: be honest and true to yourself.
- brief: be concise and precise.
- capture attention: be catchy and surprising.
- connect to your audience: be open and relevant.
Start building your personal brand
It may take some time to create a badass pitch, but once you have one, you can use it in so many situations: For your LinkedIn profile, on your social media, at job interviews, at networking events, and even during Moonshot Pirates Bootcamps. It shows character and strength to know yourself, your values, and your vision well, and it makes you and your projects much more persuasive.
The work isn’t done once you have answered those questions. On the contrary, you should see your personal brand as a continuous project or an ongoing story. As you gain new experience, develop yourself, and meet new people, you might have to update your brand. That is normal and perfectly alright. You need to feel your brand in order to live in accordance with it.
For further tips on personal branding and how to design a brand that will really get you the jobs, the social connections, and the experiences you wish for, watch Kyle’s webinar below. There he also runs you through the questions and shares his experience with how he has used his personal branding to reach his goals.
Kyle Borchardt is currently a LinkedIn Talent Insights Consultant, is passionate about helping organizations create a holistic employee experience, and is dead set on visiting as many countries as he is old. Kyle’s professional work has moved him from Chicago to New York City to London to Vienna to San Francisco and now back to Chicago where he is actively helping organizations and individuals build a strong brand. At his core, Kyle wants to help people uncover their stories and live their best life.