Business

Are you ready to establish your value proposition?

In this third personal branding column, we work up your value proposition, which is the heart of your personal brand.

By Ginny Mackin. If someone asks you about your personal or professional value, you might freeze. It’s a daunting question. And, if you are like most people, you are uncomfortable naming your attributes out loud.

Let’s change that and help you determine your value proposition, which is at the heart of your personal brand. We will use a simple formula that defines who you are, what you value and what differentiates you from everyone else.

What do I mean by a value proposition? And what does one look and sound like?

Value propositions are specific, actionable and digitally translatable. They are based upon your beliefs, your work and life experiences, your personality and your desire to have an impact on your business, your stakeholders and society at large.

A personal value proposition is designed exactly the same way we develop one for a product, service or company. So, imagine you are “Beth,” our imaginary marketing data specialist.

We are going to follow Beth through five questions to illustrate how this comes together.


Who are you?

Be as specific and precise as possible about who you are and what your superpower is. Don’t be afraid to boldly state your aspirations.

Example: Beth is a marketing analyst or a big data specialist with deep luxury goods market knowledge and aspirations of being a chief marketing officer.


What is it that you do?

Name two or three areas you want to be known for, that you speak up and advocate for and where you spend your time. This step sets your reputation and guides your behaviors going forward.

Example: Beth, our big data specialist, may say that she (a) translates and simplifies consumer market data into actionable insights to develop and commercialize breakthrough luxury goods products; and that she (b) studies market conditions with a specialty in developing countries to determine expansion opportunities.


What is unique about your approach?

Now, name two or three ways to describe how you approach your work and make your performance stand out. Now is your chance to bring in personal experiences that have shaped your career.

Example: Back to Beth. She (a) has deep luxury goods market experience because she has been in the industry since age six when her parents started their leather goods company; and she (b) uses a data-driven and cultural anthropological approach to identify unique product, sales and market niche opportunities.


What are some adjectives that describe you?

These are the descriptors you want others to use when talking about you. There are a million words to choose from. Choose carefully – these are words that guide your behavior.

Example: Beth believes she is bold, confident, methodical, fun and approachable.


Finally, what is the reason you do all of this?

What is the impact your unique value can bring to your stakeholders and your company?

Example: Bid data specialist Beth does this because she wants to help luxury goods companies make data-driven decisions and invest for growth.

Now that we have answered these questions, let’s share Beth’s value proposition. Ready to see how it comes together?

Hi, I’m Beth and I am a big data specialist with deep luxury goods market knowledge and a goal of becoming a chief marketing officer. I’m known for translating and simplifying consumer market data into actionable insights for luxury goods product development and commercialization. I have experience in developing countries as well as examining potential sales and market expansion opportunities.

My approach is unique because of my deep luxury goods market experience. I have been in the industry since age 6 when my parents started their own leather goods company. Based on my experience, I combine a data-driven and cultural anthropological approach to identifying unique product, sales and market niche opportunities.

If someone were to describe me, they would say that I am bold, confident, methodical, fun and approachable. And I do what I do so that luxury goods companies can make data-driven decisions and good investments in growth.

Wow, right?

Now imagine how this could become your elevator pitch, the basis for your “ask” of others, your social media summary, biography and resume. This is a formula for developing a distinguishable, repeatable story and is the heart of your personal brand.


Ginny Stone Mackin is principal of Grace & Stone Communications in Cornelius. She led communications at Ingersoll Rand, Duke Energy, and Wachovia Corp. and was a senior manager at Bank of America. Ginny delivers the Brand You (T) curriculum, a behavioral approach to building leader and team brands. Ginny@GraceandStonecomms.com

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