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Elevator Pitch vs Personal Branding

I asked our friend John Boyens to share with us the difference between your elevator pitch and your personal brand.  As usual, John was spot on:

According to Wikipedia; Personal Branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization. Personal Branding often involves the application of one’s name to various products. The relationship between brands and the customer’s needs to be constantly made and remade. There is a constant desire for a reinforcement of the self-brand and its visibility, influencing companies to promote a self-brand.

In 2018 Forbes documented 5 Ways to Build a Powerful Brand.  They include:

  1. Understand your value
  2. Show rather than tell
  3. Understand how much your value is worth
  4. Deliver on your value consistently and get testimonials
  5. Increase your value through education

According to Wikipedia; an elevator pitch is a short description of an idea, product or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time (20 to 30 seconds). This description typically explains who the product/company is for, what it does, why it is needed, and how it will get done.

Finally, when explaining an individual person, the description generally explains one’s skills and goals, and why they would be a productive and beneficial person to have on a team or within a company/project. An elevator pitch does not have to include all of these components, but it usually does at least explain what the idea, product, company, or person is and why it/they are valuable.

So which is more important?  An elevator Pitch creates curiosity whereas a Personal Brand creates a following/movement!

Our research shows that a prospect buys the person first, the company they work for/represent second and the product and/or service third.  The reason they buy the person first is that they “trust” them! In order to get someone to trust you they have to feel that you have their best interests in mind and that your focus is external (on them) versus internal (your commissions). That means your Personal Brand needs to shine through. Here are some tips for doing just that:

  • Understand/Demonstrate your value! You value is not your title, how much money you make, who you work for…your value is how you help/take care of your customers.
  • Show people your value…don’t tell people your value!
    • Show thought leadership/subject matter expertise
  • Understand your value is not what you charge…it’s what your customer receives!
    • Be an influencer/ connector
  • Deliver your value consistently and create evangelists for your Personal Brand
    • Remember, you can’t VIP yourself!
  • Become a life-long learner
    • Creating a Personal Brand is not a destination but rather a journey for a lifetime

In closing…when you build a solid, memorable Personal Brand you will create mutually beneficial, long-term and profitable relationships with your customers!

John Boyens