Huffpost Business
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Michael Port Headshot

How To Develop A Personal Brand Identity

Posted: Updated:

Brands are not just for big corporations. In fact, a personal brand will serve as an important key to your success. A personal brand will help clearly and consistently define, express, and communicate who you are.

Personal branding is far more than just what you do or what your web site and business cards look like. It is you--uniquely you. It allows you to distinguish yourself from everyone else: what is unique about who you are and what you do.

Your brand is about making yourself known for your skills and talents. More than that--your brand is about what you stand for. Successful people find their style, build a brand based on it, and boldly express themselves through that brand. To let the world see your true, authentic worth is powerful and it makes you memorable.

There are three components to your personal brand identity:

  1. Your who and do what statement.
  2. Your why you do it statement.
  3. Your tagline.

I want you to laser-beam your focus on these three aspects of your personal brand until you feel totally and fully expressed when you put words to your who and do what statement, your why you do it statement, and your tagline.

Your Who and Do What Statement.

Your who and do what statement lets others know exactly who you help and what you can help them do. It is the first filter that people will put you through when considering your services for hire. Your potential clients will look at it to see if you help people like them in their specific situation.

Your Why You Do It Statement.

After potential clients identify with your who and do what statement, they will want to know if they connect with you on an emotional, philosophical, or even spiritual level. They'll want to know if they connect with your why you do it statement: the reason you do what you do, what you stand for and why you get up every day to do the work that you do.

Those who resonate with your why you do it statement will feel it on a deep level and be emotionally attracted to you. Many others in your industry will share your who and do what statement. Similarly, your why you do it statement and even your tagline don't necessarily need to be wildly unique. Just deeply meaningful to you--and to the people you're meant to serve.

Your Tagline.

Your tagline, based on your why you do it statement, is something you'll never get tired of hearing. And the first time you hear someone refer to you by it, you'll want to cry tears of joy. You'll formulate one simple sentence that allows people to define you in a manner of your own choosing. You'll never get tired of saying it or hearing it because it's based on what you stand for and what's important to you. And, most importantly, not only will it very deeply and truly mean something to you, it will resonate with the people you're meant to serve.

Your tagline lets others know what it's like to be around you. It says something about who you are at your core, and it's the essence of what you want to achieve or experience in the world. Think of it as the bigger vision that is the inspiration for what you do in your business, Your why you do it statement and associated tagline is the way in which you want to touch others' lives in a positive and meaningful way.

Your Turn to Develop Your Personal Brand Identity.

Your Who and Do What Statement.

Written Exercise: Start with the basics. Keep it simple and straightforward. What is your who and do what statement? Who do you help and what do you help them do? The first time around, just come up with something accurate and clear for now--make sure a child can understand it. Finish this statement, "I help..."

My example: I help service professionals get booked solid.

Your Why You Do It Statement.

Written Exercise: Set aside that inner critic and give yourself permission to think big-- I mean really big, bigger than you've ever dared to think or dream before. Be your most idealistic, inspired, creative, powerful you. What is your purpose? What is your vision of what you hope to achieve through your work? Remember, your work is an expression of who you are. Keeping the preceding in mind, craft a possible why you do it statement.

My example: I want to help people think bigger about who they are and what they offer the world.

Your Tagline.

Written Exercise: Craft a possible tagline that represents and demonstrate your why you do it statement.

Example: I'm the guy to call when you're tired of thinking small.®

The more bold, authentic, and concise your personal brand is, the more easily you'll attract those you're meant to work with. That's how a personal brand works--it defines you, but first you must define it. Your personal brand will give you the ability to attract fun and exciting clients who understand and get you. And you get them.

-----------------

Called "an uncommonly honest author" by the Boston Globe and a "marketing guru" by The Wall Street Journal, Michael Port can be seen regularly on MSNBC and is a New York Times Bestselling author of four books including Book Yourself Solid, Beyond Booked Solid, The Contrarian Effect and The Think Big Manifesto. Get free chapters from the new, updated and expanded, edition of Book Yourself Solid at www.BookYourselfSolid.com