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Branding boiled down to three simple questions

Everybody’s talking about branding these days. Marketing consultants want to charge companies to create brands — and sometimes rightfully so. Website consultants want to charge to create an online brand — again, sometimes rightfully so. Image consultants want to charge you to create your personal brand.

But is that money well spent?

At a seminar this morning, Celann LaGreca, principal at the LaGreca Group, offered three basic questions for creating your personal brand. As small business owners, our personal brands and our company brands are tightly intertwined, as you see in the following three questions:

  1. What are you passionate about?

  2. What are your skills and talents?

  3. What does your organization need and value?

Answering these three questions creates a simple personal brand statement. For example, in my bed and breakfast business, my brand statement might be, “I offer comfort and rest to travelers on their journey.”

That simple statement can then be used to create a 30-second elevator pitch, such as: “I am Julie Mierau, and I own Omaha’s only bed and breakfast. We marry the elegance of yesteryear with the conveniences of today. Call me at The Cornerstone Mansion when you need to create a momorable event or celebrate a special moment.”

The pitch statement includes who you are, what you help people with, what sets you apart from others, your company tagline and why someone should contact you. Working through this simple exercise can help you more clearly define the image you want to present to others, whether in social settings or professional ones. It can make those sometimes-awkward networking sessions a bit easier to dive into — which in turn can drive business through your doors.

What’s your personal brand statement?

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