18 Sources Of Personal Branding Credibility

Original Post: Here

view photostreamUploaded on January 13, 2009
by Hans Bruno Lund

The most important part of your personal branding strategy lies in your bio, which is sometimes called a profile. A bio, just like a brand or career, isn’t something established overnight. It accumulated and builds as you become more established. Your bio may appear in several different places at a given time, including the summary section of your LinkedIn profile, a page on your blog called “About me” or “Your Name,” at the bottom of an article you wrote for your favorite publication, on the back of your book and just about anywhere else. A bio depicts your credibility, achievements, brand positioning, as well as your story and possibly your vision or mission.

How to create a bio

Most bio’s are either too long or too short or aren’t compelling enough. When you’re first starting out, you’ll have to establish a bio more on what you intend to do, than what you’ve already done. After several years, you’ll hopefully have enough achievements, experience and endorsements to weave through your bio.

Here is what goes into a short bio:

Sentence #1: Start with your name and personal brand statement. Your name should be the same as it is everywhere else it’s written. If your name is Matthew, but you cite your name as Matt everywhere, then stick with Matt. Continue the first sentence of your bio with your personal brand statement, detailing how you want to be positioned in the marketplace. Remember that a personal brand statement isn’t a job title and that is depicts what you’re an expert in and the audience you serve (Best Children’s Doctor in Chicago, for example).

Sentence #2: Immediately state your most prominent achievement to date. Your first sentence positions you as an expert in your field and explains what you do to serve customers, clients, etc. This sentence is more about capturing the reader and pulling them in, as well as showing a lot of credibility. Most people won’t read the next few sentences of your bio unless you nail this one. An example could be a book you got published, an award you won or your successful business that is serving Fortune 500 clients.

Sentence #3: Depending on what industry you’re in and your positioning, this sentence could change. It could talk about what your company does or a list press mentions from high profile media outlets or a second achievement you’ve had to support the first one. Basically, sentence#3 and any other following sentence in your bio, should support the first two sentences.

Picture your bio like an essay.

If you want ideas on what to include in your bio, I’ve listed 17 different sources of credibility that you can add to it. Some may apply to you now or in the future.

17 sources of personal branding credibility

  1. A full-time job or consulting business related to your brand.
  2. Endorsements from respected experts, celebrities or other authors in your field.
  3. One or more media mentions citing you as an expert or quoting you.
  4. An award you won or a big achievement that most people don’t obtain.
  5. The number of clients you’ve worked with over the course of your consulting career.
  6. A written column or freelance work you’ve done for one or more media sources.
  7. A previous book you’ve gotten published.
  8. An executive position at your company.
  9. The number of year’s experience you have in your field.
  10. Corporate boards you currently sit on.
  11. Graduating from a very well respected university such as Harvard.
  12. The number and names of companies, associations, and universities you’ve presented to in your speaking career.
  13. A blog or website that you own that receives considerable traffic and attention.
  14. A successful company that you started that was sold to a larger company or has achieved a high standing with the media and/or customers.
  15. Research you’ve done in your field that is unique, relevant and timely.
  16. A well-known “branded” company that you’ve worked for such as Nike or Apple.
  17. A major project that you worked on that made a major impact on your companies business.
  18. A revenue number you’ve achieved at yoru company or by selling your company.

An example of a mesmerizing bio

“The subject of a Time magazine feature called, “The Man Who Can’t Miss,” James Patterson is the bestselling author of the past year, bar none, with more than 16 million books sold in North America alone. In 2007, one of every fifteen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patterson title. In the past three years, James has sold more books than any other author (according to Bookscan), and in total, James’s books have sold an estimated 170 million copies worldwide. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children’s lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at #1 on the list in one year—a record-breaking feat he’s accomplished every year since 2005. To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author (46 total), which is also a Guinness World Record.” Read more of James Patterson’s bio here.

Why this profile will rock you

Sentence #1: James took his bio to the next level by using a strong endorsement upfront, even before mentioning his name. What this tells the reader is that he’s famous, credible and what you’re about to read in the rest of the bio will probably blow your mind.

Sentence #2: It’s debatable if this is his biggest achievement relative to the other sentences written in his bio about the New York Times bestseller lists, but it sure is impressive. It shows that he has a lot of books out, which means he’s a proven author with a track record and a successful writer.

Sentence #3 through 6: The rest of his bio (and this is only a portion of it), really digs into the second sentence by proving how many books he’s sold and how he’s one of only a few authors ever to have achieved what he has.

Your turn

What does your bio look like? Are you proud of it? What are you adding to it every month or year?