Creating Your Personal Brand – Part I: Defining Your Brand

The most important first step in creating an effective, compelling, personal brand that drives referrals, buzz and word-of-mouth business is to DEFINE your personal brand as narrowly as you can.

Consider these essential elements:

  1. What value do you provide (rather than what services you offer)? Here’s an example, if you are a personal trainer, try positioning yourself in terms of the result: “lose weight,” “get in shape,” or “get hot.” Keep in mind that to cut through the clutter, you’ll want to choose something memorable, something “sticky.” David Barton Gym uses “Look Better Naked.” Now that’s memorable.
  2. Who is your target customer? Get specific. If you say “everyone” or “anyone,” that’s simply not defined enough – especially online.
  3. In what geographic area do you focus?
  4. What makes you different from your competition (your USP – unique selling proposition)? This is a tough one because a UNIQUE selling proposition by definition means that other people can’t say the same thing. So if you say “unparalleled service” or “top-notch quality” that’s simply not unique enough (because everyone says that). How are you truly different from everyone else? That’s your USP.
  5. What are some basic key words (like “luxury real estate” or “small business coach”) that you’d like associated with your name?
  6. What do you want to be top of mind for? From the above, create a one-liner that describes who you are and what you do, that you can start using in multiple places (more on where to deploy this later). For example, mine is “Michelle Villalobos delivers never-boring workshops, seminars and keynotes to help professionals – especially women – market, sell and promote themselves. Our programs are 100% performance guaranteed, or you don’t pay.”

Keep in mind that your goal is ultimately to be “top of mind” for something, and it’s impossible to be top of mind for multiple things – at least at first. So if you have a side business or have two jobs, you need to choose one brand that encompasses both, or just focus on one. Later, once your brand is established, you can start to expand your brand and leverage it into new areas.

Think of Martha Stewart, who got her start focusing on food and catering. Once established in that niche, she started expanding her focus to encompass “homemaking” in general. Plan now for where your going 1 – 3 years out.

Stay tuned for parts 2 – 10 of this Personal Branding Series. Want more? Check out our Personal Branding video training program at

Michelle Villalobos is based in Miami, FL and travels nationally & internationally to consult on brand strategy and deliver workshops, seminars & keynotes, especially for women’s groups and companies marketing to women. 

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