Start defining your personal brand right now with this simple fill-in-the-blanks template

by | May 17, 2022

Personal Brand - fill in the blanks

You want to define your personal brand to get clarity about what content you should be creating to attract your dream clients. 

But you can’t do it right now. You’ll do it later. 

Because you’ve googled it and you don’t have time to define all this:

  • Your values
  • Your brand voice
  • Who your dream client is
  • The transformation you offer them
  • Your unique selling point (USP – what differentiates you from your competitors)
  • Mission statement
  • Vision statement
  • Your higher purpose
  • Your brand story
  • Your origin story
  • A gazillion other things that came up in searches for personal brand…

Problem is that you’ve been putting this off for a long time now, and your online presence continues to be a bit of a random activity… like throwing darts blindfolded – except the darts turn out to be carrots. 

Look, your personal brand is going to evolve anyway. It’s never “finished”. The most important thing is to actually start the process of defining it. 

So yeah, just start going through the list above, but before you do that there’s something I want you to do… 

You can do it today. 

You can do it NOW. 

It’s really simple, and it will give you clarity almost immediately. 

What I want you to do is imagine that you’re at an event. An industry conference say. It’s between talks and you’re at the coffee table, you grab a biodegradable cup and as you pour your coffee you notice something out of the corner of your eye…

Someone on the other side of the room is pointing in your direction, and asking their companion “Who’s that there? Getting coffee?”

What would you want the answer to be?

I’m going to give you a template to fill out for the answer in a moment. 

But first, let’s talk about why I ask you to define your personal brand this way…

Because it gets you out of your own head, and thinking about how other people think of you. 

It focusses you on people – not abstract concepts – and it means you have to answer the question in real language. Not idealistic buzzwords. 

You can read more about why I pose this question here. 

Now – here’s the template you can use to answer the question:

“Oh, that’s [name], they help [who you help] to [what you help them with], they’re very [personal attribute] – go to them if you want [main selling point].”

Answer it quickly, don’t overthink it – you can overthink it later as you refine it!

So to give you an example, here’s how mine might look:

“Oh that’s Frank, he helps solopreneurs to build their personal brand, he’s very supportive – go to him if you want a strategy to grow your business online.”

So to go through the blanks in the template one at a time…

  1. Name
  2. Who you help
  3. What you help them with
  4. Personal attribute
  5. Main selling point

We’ll skip name. I really hope you don’t need help with that one. 

Who you help

The next blank to fill in is who you help. I filled in this blank with “solopreneurs”. In actual fact, I help service-based solopreneurs. 

And actually it’s probably more like service-based solopreneurs who have a solid business, built up mostly from word of mouth, they’re nowhere near six figures and they’re interested in growing awareness of their business beyond word of mouth so they can increase their income. 

But chances are that nobody but me is ever going to say that, so I shortened it to solopreneurs. 

It’s important to dig into the details, so you know exactly who you serve, and then shorten it down to something people would actually say. It doesn’t have to be one word, but it does have to be something someone would actually say. 

You could say “they help overworked parents”, or “organic gardeners”, or “people considering a career change”.

But if you JUST put “people” in this section I will have to have you thrown in the dungeon with no possibility of parole.

What you help them with

This is the broad strokes of what you do. The main label you want people to use, and that they would use. 

This can be trickier than it seems, I know. For example, I could say:

  • He helps solopreneurs to market themselves online
  • He helps solopreneurs to build a meaningful online presence
  • He helps solopreneurs to become better known for what they do

The list could go on and on. But I’ve settled on personal brand for now. 

It was easy when I used to build websites for people. People called me a web designer. Job done. 

So maybe it’s obvious in your industry, or maybe, like me you just have to choose one to run with. 

Don’t agonise over it. If you already know how people describe what you do – use that. If you don’t, pick the one you like best for now and move on. 

Your personal brand will evolve. So pick one, try it on for size, and see how it goes from there. 

Personal attribute

This one’s fun. This could be anything really – but I like to think about how I want my clients to feel, and use that. 

Again, it doesn’t have to be a single word, but it does have to be something someone would say. 

So you can’t have an 18 word list of your best attributes here. It has to be short, and realistic. 

If you know what people already say about you that’s what goes in this blank. 

“Supportive” has come up in feedback from clients for myself and Marci quite a bit, and I really want my clients to feel supported. One of my main brand values is “untroubled” and I believe that you feel less troubled when you feel truly supported. 

So think about how you want your clients to feel, and find a word, or phrase, that describes that experience. 

Filling in this template for themselves, one of my clients used “very easy to talk to”, which was really important in an industry that tends to be full of jargon and complicated topics that make people feel out of their depth. 

It doesn’t even have to be something entirely positive – it could be “they’re very abrupt in their manner but they’re lovely really”. Or even “they’re quite rude, but brilliant.”

Because if you know there’s an attribute that people notice about you that isn’t entirely positive, you might want to use that and either lean into it as a differentiator (rude but brilliant), or make sure you offset it (abrupt but lovely).

Main selling point

“What you help them with” is similar to what you do, but this is why they come to you. 

So this is like your main selling point. Note, I did not say “unique selling point”, just main selling point. You don’t have to agonise over something unique here, just focus on the benefit you offer. Keep it simple.

For example, I help solopreneurs develop a strategy to grow their business online. 

I help them develop their personal brand – but very few people wake up on a Thursday and think “I want a personal brand”. 

However, I’m sure lots of us have woken up on a Thursday thinking “I wish I knew how to grow my business online like such-and-such-a-person.”

So if you’re a website designer, this might be “go to them if you want to increase your conversion rate.”

Or if you’re a business coach it might be “go to them if you want your management team to operate at a level you didn’t even think possible.”

You’ve filled in the blanks. Now what?

Print it out. Pin it to your wall. This is what you want people to say about you. So how can you make that happen?

Create content that supports the statement. 

Let’s look at mine again:

“Oh that’s Frank, he helps solopreneurs to build their personal brand, he’s very supportive – go to him if you want a strategy to grow your business online.”

So how do I go from this statement to building my personal brand?

I post about solopreneurship a lot on social media.

I create content about personal branding.

I make an effort to be supportive. I write encouraging, supportive posts aimed at helping people with their personal brand and marketing. And I try to be supportive in my social media comments as well.

I also post about strategy, and how I’ve helped clients grow their business. 

Starting to build your personal brand doesn’t have to be complicated. 

You can start with this super-simple, but effective little tool to create a solid foundation to begin your personal branding work. 

So if you’re a solopreneur, I hope you’ve found this to be a supportive post that helped you put a simple strategy in place to build your personal brand, so that you can grow your business online.

See how this works?

If you’re interested in getting started building your personal brand on LinkedIn, check out the Personal Brand Firestarter.

Frank Prendergast

Frank Prendergast

I've over two decades of experience helping businesses with their online presence. I'm also the owner of the most-talked-about moustache in the marketing world and I'm the Frank half of the award-winning digital marketing team Frank and Marci. Follow on LinkedIn