Are You a Job Title or a Personal Brand?

What do you say when people ask you, “What do you do?” or “What’s your job?” If you’re like most people, you answer with either your job title or the industry you’re in or the company you work for. And THAT’S what makes most people generic, replaceable and just another cog in the wheel in the eyes of the people who matter to them professionally. The key distinction is: Are you a job title or a personal brand?

The Difference between a Job Title and a Personal Brand

Let me explain what I mean. You have two choices when you want to talk about what you do. You get to decide if you want to be generic or specific. You can be a job title or a personal brand. It’s all up to you. For example, you can say, “I’m a nutritionist.” OR you can say, “I treat your kid’s illness with my proprietary diets.” Another example: you can say, “I’m a real estate agent.” OR you can say, “No matter how bad your credit is, I can help you buy the property of your choosing.” The difference is in the ‘promise’. A job title is merely a word or phrase that broadly describes what you do. However, a specific answer communicates to your audience a unique promise of value – a statement of what your Personal Brand stands for. When you consider yourself a job title, you’re not implying that you’re uniquely and authentically relevant to your clients. On the other hand, when you consider yourself a Personal Brand, you tell people what you do, who you do it for, and most importantly, why they should care (how you’re different).

Components of a Branded Introduction

So there are three pieces of a strong branded introduction:

who your target audience is: for example, I work with service professionals who want to get more clients.
what benefit your work brings to them: I help them find their unique promise of value and how they can stand out from the crowd.
how you’re different: I not only use my consultation and coaching tools but also I draw upon my 16 years of experience of working with more than 30,000 people

How can you weave these three into a very short interesting story about what you do for a living? (Refer to my examples above)

Seth Godin says, “There are proven strategies that generic products can use so that they’re more likely to be stumbled upon by someone searching. Name your new book with all sorts of keywords in the title, for example, so it organically ranks higher for those very keywords…

The alternative is to create a product that earns a reputation sufficient that people choose to talk about it, choose to argue about it, choose to look for it. Not something like it, but it.

Nice to be found. Essential to be sought.

This was always a good idea, but in a post-search era of mobile and social, it’s now the best idea.”