Your Personal Manifesto: What It Is and Why You Need It
Want to focus on building your Personal Brand, but not sure where to start? Then perhaps it’s time to work on your personal Manifesto.
Your Manifesto can do for your personal brand, what vision, values and brand objectives do for traditional business brands: it can ground you and guide you, by verbalising the core of what it is that you stand for. So far so good. But what exactly is it?
Let’s start with the Webster’s New World College Dictionary definition of a traditional Manifesto: “a public declaration of motives and intentions by a government or by a person or group regarded as having some public importance.”
To transfer that to a Personal Branding context: your Manifesto is the place where you can set out in black and white what exactly it is that you intend to be known for. Writing your Manifesto will take you right to the heart of what your Personal Brand is all about.
So what kind of thing should your Personal Manifesto actually say? Of course there’s no fixed rule, but the key is to keep it brief and simple. Begin with your ‘raison d’etre’, and conclude with your intentions. Think big. Your goal is to articulate, in a series of clear statements:
- What motivates you;
- What you believe in;
- What you are going to do about it.
Write in the first person, and limit yourself to clear statements that are positive (“I do”, rather than “I do not”); committed (“I will”, rather than “I will try to”) and bold.
If the character of your personal brand is warm and human, Alexandra Franzen’s manifesto template provides a great starting point: she bases her document around the statements “I love”; “I believe” and “I am committed to”. If declaring what you love is not your style, consider modifying the verbs to introduce a more factual flavour: try “I make”; “I help”; “I connect” … experiment, and find the phrase that resonates most comfortably with you to express what your brand is all about.
Through the act of writing your Manifesto, you can breathe life into your Personal Brand by articulating some of the defining elements of its character and actions. Visualise the change you want to bring about; verbalise the motivations that drive you, and commit to what you will do, today and every day, to be that change.
Whether you choose to publish your Manifesto for the world to see, or pin it to the inside of your wardrobe door, is entirely up to you. How widely you share it is not important, because the person who really needs to buy into it is you. What is important, is the extent to which you hold yourself accountable to the commitments that you make within it, and the way that those commitments are reflected in your behaviours, your attitudes and your actions. The success and authenticity of your personal brand may depend upon it.
Want to read more on Personal Branding? Read my related article, Personal Branding: Smart Investment or Needless Narcissism?
Need help developing your personal brand? Drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help.