Personal Branding

The Perfect Recipe For A Great Personal Brand


In the last three years, the term “personal branding” has gone from buzzword to must-have career requirement. We’re now expected to be able to convey our uniqueness in a powerful way that validates how we save and/or make companies money. Personal branding is about being memorable for the value we can bring to an organization. Easier said than done, right?

The Recipe For A Great Personal Brand Has WOMP

If you want your personal brand to leave a strong, good impression, you need to think of it like a great meal. It starts with quality ingredients that are put together in an unexpected way. Yes, maybe you’ve had chicken a thousand times before, but the first time someone serves it in a delicious new fashion, you remember it. And more importantly, you tell a lot of people about that exceptional chicken dish. Suddenly, that recipe has Word Of Mouth Potential (a.k.a. WOMP). That’s what we want for our personal brands – some serious WOMP.

How much WOMP does your personal brand have? Get an “Am I Money?” Assessment from CareerHMO to find out!


Are you money?


Test & Improve Your Personal Brand With These Questions

I have five questions I use to create an incredible personal branding statement. Simply answer each one, then use the answers to create a short statement that ties it all together. They are:

  1. What problem do you love to solve at work? How are you the aspirin to an employer’s pain?
  2. What’s your process or methodology for doing it? How do you systematically tackle the problem to get it solved?
  3. What analogy can you use from everyday life to help someone understand better what you do? How can you help someone who doesn’t understand what you do get a grasp on it?
  4. What proof do you have that what you say is true? How have  you done this successfully before and what are the facts and statistics to back it up?
  5. What do you want to do next with this valuable skill? Where do you see potential for this skill to be of great value (i.e. save or make significant money) for an employer?

Here’s How I Use It…

When people ask me, “What do you do?”  I use my personal branding statement. It’s far more effective than simply saying, “I’m a career coach.” Why? When you give a job title, you throw away your ability to control the impact of your first impression. The person who hears “career coach” is left to determine what they think of me, my profession, and my value. I want them to remember me for my own unique brand of career coaching. So, I say some version of this:

“I love helping people get rid of chronic career pain. As a career coach, I use a methodology I built to help people take control of their careers and feel more satisfied by walking them through a self discovery process that lets them figure out what skills they want to leverage for employers. Then, I show them how to market those skills.

“It’s very similar to being a personal trainer. I work with my clients and customize their approach for their own needs so they can get better results. I’m also there to motivate them and push them through the tough parts so they can get stronger and develop the skills they need to be better at managing their career long-term.

“Now, I’m using my methodology and 10 years of expertise to expand my online career coaching program called CareerHMO which already has over 2,000 members. It’s the first virtual career coaching program that offers elite level coaching at an affordable price so that the everyday professional can get help. I believe nobody can job search alone. Just like a pro athlete, we all need coaches to help us realize our true potential.”

NOTE: I don’t say it verbatim – that would sound rehearsed. Instead, I’ve studied it enough that I can now adjust it as needed. Depending on the situation, I might make it shorter, or change the wording a bit, but the overall theme is the same. Most importantly, I want them to know that:

A) I cure career pain.

B) I’ve got a proven way to do it.

Your Next Step

Answer the questions above and then craft your own personal branding statement. Then, post it in the comments here. I’d love to see what you come up with. And, if you need more help, then why not check out CareerHMO and the disruptive job search we teach?


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J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. Cristi Prescornita

    Somehow true, but I think that there is not an universaly recipe to follow for duplicate performance. Our essence is unique as we all are uniques. We can reach same results but in different manners. It’s also true that we can educate our nature, but this depends entirely on our will and determination.

    What am I doing ? Try to guess!

    I provide Solutions to Aquire desired Level of Efficiency and Satisfaction!

  2. Thanks for sharing these questions. I’m going to use them as I start developing my own personal brand and website. Love all the great information I get from Careerealism.

  3. J.T., well done but no surprise. I am in the late stages of prepping for a Branding presentation myself and I love the idea of the personal branding statement. Your logic is so sound in terms of suggesting people NOT lead with a title. I feel that way about LinkedIn and in general and always suggest people view themselves as more than a title. Thanks for the great info.

  4. JT there is some good advice here. However what seems to be missing from the ‘personal brand statement’ is a true reflection of your personal brand. I am seeing a lot of ‘how to’and ‘benefits’ which are all good but I am not hearing or seeing the essence of you.

    To really get to that essence you need to communicate the emotional attributes that people associate with you but no other career coach. The steps and process can always be copied. Badly maybe but always copied. But they cannot impersonate JT and that is what part of your personal brand statement needs to reflect so that you attract the right clients and not those that are not a good fit for you or them

    Just my toonies worth.

  5. Hi J.T., awesome article. I loved it so much, I just wrote a blog post about it linking back to this article. It’s at

    Here’s my branding statement:

    I love to be the person who people go to for answers, like a human search engine. I can take information gathered from a number of sources and combine it into something useful and thorough that ultimately teaches other people something in a way that is easily understood.

    I like to figure out what the problem is that needs to be solved, and then I start compiling a list of the resources I will need to use. I love to take notes to organize my thoughts, so I use many outlines and style them like a to-do list. I rely on a combination of my memory, writing, and organization skills to help get my point across to my audience.

    On family game night, I am the person who reads all the instructions for a new game before we play it so I can be familiar with the rules and details of it. Then, when people have questions, I can look up the answers and add my own interpretation of it so we can all learn to play the game the right way faster.

    In the past, I wrote more than 500 press releases for a branding organization. Our clients each had several social media profiles and websites whose information I had to combine into a 1-3 page press release. I have also tutored many students who were called in for job interviews after I taught them how to prepare their answers and streamline their resumes and cover letters.

    I believe my skills would be of great value in the training industry as an instructional designer or training coordinator. Using my research skills, I would love to create training manuals and presentations for multiple industries that would help employees learn new skills and increase their efficiency.

    Thanks for the advice!

  6. I provide results-oriented print and website design solutions that help businesses achieve their communications and marketing goals. I work directly with clients to gather information about their needs and vision for the project, then develop design ideas based on the client’s information. To develop these projects, I employ graphics software including: Adobe Creative Suite applications such as Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop; and Microsoft Office applications including: PowerPoint and Word.

    With my experience as a print production manager and electronic prepress specialist, I am always looking for design solutions that save my clients money. In some cases, my recommendations have saved clients up to 25% on printing projects. In addition, my website design experience, including applying federal accessibility requirements along with search engine optimization techniques, have improved visitor response by up to 10%.

    I am looking for an opportunity to continue providing these results-oriented skills to a prospective employer. If given the right opportunity, my creative talents and technical knowledge can be applied to any creative challenge.

  7. I love prompt delivery of legal services as well as efficiency and quality of the service itself. I stay up to date in legal trends, via for example Google alerts/hard copy journals, to deliver on this.

    Furthermore I utilize cloud computing in my unit to ensure seamless service delivery at all hours-as access to data is ensured all day and night. Also, I ensure resources, e.g financial, exist back to back so there is no lapse in timeliness of service delivery. Then I ensure check up on clients by a neutral party, this helps me to be realistic about client’s satisfaction level.

    Our unit is, like, the super efficient ‘911’ service for prompt and efficient legal service delivery to subscribers. You call in, we treat it and we’re over and done with it in no time.

    With the approach above, more subscribers renewed their subscription and brought new subscribers on board too.

    I look forward to utilizing this skill in delivery of service in Business to Business/Customer transactions with a higher volume of investment and transactions as a Company Secretary and Legal Adviser in a reputable and standard corporation.

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