Our 4-Step Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process

The First Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

Start really hearing (and recording) others’ positive feedback. Yes – write down each and every compliment too!

Truly hearing and owning the positive feedback and compliments you gather is the key to this part of the process. It’s also the single FASTEST way to get a clear understanding of the value that you provide to others.

This is not as easy as it sounds!

Many of us tend to experience “temporary hearing loss” when we’re praised. You know how that feels!  It’s a numbing out that blocks our hearing and prevents us from taking in what’s said. Compliments land on us – then slide off – as if we’re covered in non-stick coating.

Truly taking in praise may be a new experience! And it’s a real “feel good” thing to do once you get over the shock factor.

To Complete Step 1

  1. Practice really hearing compliments and positive feedback, and writing them down.
  2. You’ll also want to go through old performance reviews, letters of recommendation and even saved thank you notes.
  3. Identify all of the points that others have identified as praise worthy, and write them down.

This Cache of Positive Feedback Tells You:

Specifically why others value what you do

Which of your skills, talents or personal qualities
they find exceptional

Now – what you need to be careful of at this point is the desire to dismiss others’ input as less “true” than your own beliefs.  Other people are much more objective about you than you are about yourself. So their views are actually more likely to be accurate than your own.

The Second Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

In this step you’ll go beyond passively accepting input and take a more direct and active approach.

To Complete Step 2

  1. Identify 10 – 15 people whose opinions you respect and ask them: “What is the single greatest value that I provide?”
  2. Record their responses.

Yes – you DO need to write them down, or better yet, get as many people as possible to send you their feedback via e-mail.

The Third Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

In Step 3 you will compile all of the responses you have received into a single document, and categorize them. Don’t change the writers words or phrases,  even if you think the words they chose  to describe you sound odd or feel a little uncomfortable.

To Complete Step 3

  1. Look through all of the feedback you’ve received and identify common themes.
  2. Sort “like comments” into “like categories” and title them.

For Example: These comments would all be grouped together, as they address “like” sets of personal traits and attributes. A title for this category could be “Drive and Curiosity.”
– You have a unique combination of curiosity, proven success, and drive.
– You are outgoing and curious.
– You have an intense curiosity about the world, about life and about people.
– You have an inspiring thirst for knowledge.
– You strive to learn.
– You are open to learning.
– Your questions are  effective in uncovering and developing learning opportunities for others.

The Fourth Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

Step four takes you back to the direct track.  Ask the same or a different group of 10 – 15 people, whose opinions you trust, to help you validate the input that you have sorted into categories.

To Complete Step 4

Ask the people who are willing to help you validate your responses to:

  1. Review the common themes you created
  2. Comment on their accuracy, and suggest changes that will make your categories cleaner and more specific
  3. Rank your categories  in order of dominance ( From your strongest to weakest)
  4. Rank your categories in order of importance to them.
    For example, is your curiosity more valued by them than your drive to achieve  results?  If you work in a research setting, it may well be.  When conducting research, asking “why” and not accepting things at face value is important.  But if you work in a manufacturing setting – asking “why” things are done in a specific way may be seen as less valuable (or even as a weakness) by your colleagues and boss than your drive to get the work done.

At the end of this process you will know precisely what others value about you!

Keep in mind that the views of those you invite to participate will be colored by the work they do and what’s important to them.  So if you want to move into real estate development and out of construction work,  get input from people who are already IN real estate development.

If you get input from people who work in construction, what you’ll define is your value proposition within the construction market. And that knowledge won’t help you advance yourself in the real estate market.

You May be Surprised by WHAT Others Value in You!

But once you have their input, and that input has been validated, you will be clear and well equipped to communicate your value to others.

What Functions Will Your Value Proposition Fulfill?

You’ll find that people appreciate getting an up front summary (or headline statement) of what YOU can do for THEM.

  • This is why your value proposition is important TO OTHERS
  • Your value proposition is important TO YOU because it gives you a solid foundation for your professional and personal path. Think of your value proposition as the headline of your success story!

Now go ahead and declare your value to the world!

For example, if you are a financial professional whom people value because of your ability to communicate complicated data in a clear and understandable way, START putting that headline out there. Tell people that’s what you can do for them, and put your energy into doing just that.  As it’s a natural skill for you, it will be easy and enjoyable. And STOP doing what you think you need to do that was NOT identified as valuable by those who took part in your value proposition development process.

Have fun developing your value proposition!

It will take you to your “Sweet Spot.”  Keep working it to stay there!

And if you run into any problems, please use the contact page to ask us for assistance.

Is Your Authentic Personal Brand’s Value Proposition Attracting the People, Opportunities and Success You Want?

Your Value Proposition is the “Sweet Spot” of Your Authentic Personal Brand   What does that mean?

 When your personal brand is fully authentic and well built – its value proposition has the ability to effectively convey  “your appeal” as well as “the key value you provide” to the people and organizations that want what you’ve got.

Common Questions & Misconceptions

The questions I get asked most often about Authentic Personal Branding make it very clear that the concept of a “personal value proposition” is woefully misunderstood.

5 Top FAQs about Authentic Personal Branding

  1. “How can my brand fast track my success?”
  2. “Is my core value the same as my value proposition?”
  3. “How can my Authentic Personal Brand attract the business opportunities I want?”
  4. “How can my Authentic Personal Brand make my expertise and experience distinct and appealing?”
  5. “How can my Authentic Personal Brand get me top dollar?”

When I translate these question into “brand-ese” they all ask:

“How can I develop the effective, compelling, authentic value proposition that will not only lead me to success, but keep me there?”

My initial response to people who ask  this question, is to ask them:

“How clear are you on the value you offer?”

Why do I ask that?

“Because in order to clearly communicate your value, you have to be both clear and specific about what others value in you.”

  • Are you a strong natural leader who attracts followers easily? Are you comfortable with the responsibility of inspiring and directing others’ actions?
  • Are you an “out of the box thinker” who always comes up with fresh ideas and innovative strategies? Do you find it impossible to do things “just because” they’ve always been done?
  • Are you the insightful manager who turns “maverick lone rangers” into top performing business teams?  Can you turn “the power of one” into stellar team play?

To help you clearly communicate your value proposition, I’m going to walk you through the exact 4-step development process I created for MIBOSO’s Authentic Personal Branding clients.

Use these four steps to zone in on the “sweet spot” of your Authentic Personal Brand and craft a powerful, memorable, attractive and authentic value proposition.

Your Value Proposition is the “Headline” that Pulls Readers
into the “Full Story” of Your Authentic Personal Brand!

But wait!  Before you begin to develop your value proposition you must put aside EVERYTHING you’ve ever been taught about NOT blowing your own horn.

Because even though an effective value proposition is NOT “about you”, it DOES require you to “advertise” the value you offer to the people and organizations who are “out shopping” for the strengths, values, talents, ideals, passions and experience that you (and only you) possess.

“Advertise” Your Value!

In order for your “ad” to deliver a positive response with the “shoppers” who are looking for what you offer,  its  unique  appeal must convince them YOU are exactly what THEY’RE seeking.

Your Value Proposition is Brief and Believable

Your value proposition is a brief, believable statement. It tells the people who want, need and value what you’ve got, exactly WHY you’re the one they should choose.  What makes your claim believable? The evidence with which your Authentic Personal Brand backs up the claims made by your value proposition.

Your Value Proposition Gets You Noticed!

Your value proposition acts like the news story headline that grabs readers’ attention by giving them a sense of the value they’ll get from the full story.

The strength, appeal and relevance of your value proposition is what makes readers either:

a) Decide to take action, and contact you

b) Think about taking action at a later date – and file your information

c) Drop your headline into the trash can and forget all about you.

Your Value Proposition is Engaging and Appealing

Your value proposition communicates in such an engaging, appealing way that those who are interested in what you’re offering  just HAVE to pursue you in order to get more of what your value proposition promised.  Now that they’ve had the taster, they’re keen to place their order.

Your Value Proposition Will Make Your Target Market Salivate!

So now that you know WHY your Authentic Personal Brand needs a value proposition, you can prepare yourself to start developing one that’s just as appealing and delectable as the little pieces of “Chocolate Heaven” in the photo above.

In my next post, I’ll walk you through the 4-step process I use to build value propositions for MIBOSO’s Authentic Personal Branding clients.

You may not want to make YOUR target market salivate, but you do want to fill them with the same sense of desire and positive anticipation that you feel when you anticipate digging into your favorite treat!

Beware “The Bermuda Triangle” of Authentic Personal Branding

After investing the time, energy and money required to build an Authentic Personal Brand, it’s  surprisingly easy to undo all your good work and destroy your brand.

Legends tell us of the sirens’ songs that seduced sailors to enter treacherous waters where their ships were damaged or destroyed.

The temptation to enter dangerous branding waters can show up with an equally unexpected strength and allure.

If you heed the siren’s call,  you risk destroying your Authentic Personal Brand in the place that I’m calling “The Bermuda Triangle” of Authentic Personal Branding.

How will you know when you’re drifting into these perilous waters?

Three Danger Signs Mark “The Bermuda Triangle”
of Authentic Personal Branding

If you encounter any of these signs, conduct an assessment or “health check” on your personal brand immediately.  Then plot a course to get yourself out of that area, as quickly as possible.  If you can’t get out on your own, don’t hesitate to call us for assistance.

Danger Sign # 1: Arrogance

When you allow arrogance to influence your brand, it will be marred by an offensive undercurrent of superiority or self-importance.

Choose CONFIDENCE!  Not Arrogance.

Because if YOU don’t have faith in the value your brand delivers, others won’t either.

While humility and modesty (the opposites of arrogance)  are not the sort of personal brand traits that people respond to negatively, they do block the effective promotion of a brand. An overly humble or modest brand simply disappears into the shadows. It simply gets overlooked.  Don’t let that happen to your brand! Confidence is the middle ground between arrogance and humility. That’s where to keep your brand.

Arrogance will create BIG Responses!

  • It will heat people up, irritate them or make them angry
  • It WILL get their attention.
  • But it WON’T attract or keep a loyal following.
    (And if it does, you definitely DON’T want those followers!)

Danger Sign #2: Hype

When you succumb to the allure of hype and sensation, your brand messages become riddled with questionable claims, deception, or trickery that artificially amplifies your brand’s impact.

Choose AUTHENTICITY!  Not Hype.

Authenticity is hype’s polar opposite.  Authenticity builds trust. Hype sets you up to fail.

It’s accurate to believe that you can make a LOT of impact with hype!

It will attract MEGA attention which may include national or international media coverage. But it’s the wrong way to go.

The amount of effort that’s required to sustain hype’s fabrications over time causes so much stress that the truth will inevitably emerge.

The truth will inevitably emerge.  When that happens:

  • Your brand’s authenticity will be destroyed
  • You will lose people’s trust
  • Any attempts to salvage your brand will do more harm than good.

Danger Sign #3: Opinion

Once opinion has infiltrated your brand, you begin to present your beliefs or judgments as facts.  In truth, they are not based on provable facts, hard evidence or logic.

Choose EXPERTISE.  Not opinion.

We all have opinions. But expertise (opinion tempered by experience and fact),  has a far greater appeal and tremendous “staying power.”  Of course it takes time and effort to develop expertise.

Opinions cost nothing because they have no value.

  • Because there’s such a glut of opinions available, they have absolutely no value as a commodity in trade.
  • When you present your opinions as expertise, you are opening yourself up for attack by those who DO have the expertise you are aping.
  • Your lack of expertise WILL be exposed – and your brand will be destroyed.

In our socially-networked and professionally linked in world, there’s nowhere for a pretender to hide.  You will be exposed.  It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”

Protect your Authentic Personal Brand!
Keep it “ship shape” and “on course,”  (heading towards your vision).

Ignore the sirens’ song when you hear them, because:

  • Your brand is your “gold.”
  • Your brand is your reputation.
  • Your brand is irreplaceable.