By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding
For the first 12 of my 13 years so far in the branding business, I had a certain complex.
I thought I was the only one in the relationship who could write a client’s company or personal brand foundation. Comprised of elements like their position, for example, which is the definitive statement on how they are different from everyone else in their business and possibly the entire world.
It took 12 years of writing clients’ brand foundations to realize that really, there are only a small number of buckets into which things like position statements fall. And therefore that I can show my clients what the buckets are – and then, for creative inspiration, I can show them some examples of position statements I have written in said buckets.
So now, my clients can pen their own position. Many of my personal branding clients have done so already.
Their work has been sensational.
Like Cindy, The Silver Lining Specialist. Or Angela, The Financial Decoder. Or Enzo, The Non-Accountant Accountant. Or Victoria, The Wall Crusher (do not mess with this lady). Or Agnes, the Memory Maker (actually, it would be a good idea not to mess with this lady either).
Each of these corporate executives, from the health care industry, wrote their position statement themselves. You may recognize that the common strain among the statements is that each refers to its owner as a noun. Indeed, each was authored by its owner through reference to the bucket that I call “I am a noun.”
The other approach I teach is the “My unique offering is” bucket. As shown by Eric: I put the fun into finance. And Jane: A secret recipe of people, products and technology. And Alicja: My strong convictions lead the way. And Beryl: Freedom within a framework.
Want to write your own position statement?
First, be clear on what a position is:
- It is a statement of how you are different, now.
- Or, it’s at least a statement of how you want to be known as different, even if you are not quite there now (but you need to get there soon).
- It does not have to be totally unique. Subway’s position is all about fresh food, after all, in a world where fresh would seem to be the minimum standard. But it’s essential that if you want to own your statement in this fashion, you must “live” it.
Next, ask yourself some questions:
- What immediately comes to mind when people think about me? To find out, query some people who’ll be brutally frank with you. Better yet, get someone else to do the questioning.
- Then ask yourself: what do I want people to think about me in the near future and ongoing?
Then use these writing techniques to ensure your statement has maximum impact:
- It must be one sentence, or even an incomplete sentence.
- Keep it short – really short – so people (including you) can remember it, and start to use it when they refer to you.
And finally, what to do with your position statement?
- Put it next to your name in your LinkedIn profile, like Krista has done here.
- And at the top of your bio, like Scott has done here.
- Put it in your email signature and make sure your signature is at the bottom of every single email you ever send, from whatever device you send it. It’s amazing how few people even have the most basic contact information at the bottom of their emails. This is such a simple way for you to stand out and, in addition, take the shocking step of making it easy for people to reach you.
- Make it part of a full brand foundation, like Brian has done here.
Far more important: live up to your position every day. Lavish the world with your unique gifts, and you will be one step closer to fulfilling your highest potential.
NEW VIDEO: Check out my presentation in Houston earlier this year (to client USG) on what a brand really is. (For the abbreviated version, start at 3:45 and stop at about 6:00. For the longer version, watch the whole thing.)