Crafting Your Professional Definition

Crafting Your Professional Definition

The key to creating a compelling brand that attracts opportunities is to deliberately and specifically define the brand that you want to create. Your professional definition helps you to brainstorm and evaluate your professional strengths and positioning. While there are probably many people that do what you do, there is nobody who does it like you.

Set Yourself Apart

The goal is to define yourself professionally in a way that sets you apart from your peers, highlights your skills and accomplishments, and puts you in the position of being the best.

We sometimes don’t do a great job at seeing what is truly remarkable about ourselves. When I started to build my personal brand and speaking at conferences, attendees asked me what I did, and I would just unassumingly say “social media.” At one conference, after I gave my typical answers, a friend chimed in, “Krista is being modest. She was an executive at P&G and was one of the first social media marketers – even marketing on Myspace. She now runs a really successful training company.” I had never thought to mention these things when I introduced myself. I also did a terrible job at stating what I did.

Not only that, but I realized that I couldn’t rely on my friends jumping in to represent me well – I needed to explore the things that made me credible and gain confidence mentioning them when I met people.

Ask Yourself the Right Questions

In defining your professional self, regardless of where you are in your career, it is important to think about what you do and how to explain it to others. Start by answering the following:

  • What field or industry are you in or do you want to be in?
  • What are the words used to describe your work or industry?
  • How can you more specifically define your talents into a niche?
  • Can you be more specific about what you do – for example, a lawyer vs. a trial lawyer who specializes in civil disputes with a strength in jury assessment?
  • What are the core skills for what you do?
  • How do you do your job better/differently than others in your profession?
  • What sets you apart from others who do what you do?
  • What are your greatest professional strengths?
  • What are you best at?
  • What do you love the most about your job or what you do? (This could be functional – solving complex
  • problems – or emotional – helping people.)
  • What experiences do you have that make you stand out? (experience, clients, courses, programs, employers, education)

The above questions will help you to think about your professional strengths to bring to life in your personal brand. You may not have answers to every question right now – that is okay.

I still don’t have the perfect answers to all the personal branding questions. Spend some time thinking about each question and generating your best response, and then move forward.

Others may see you better than you can see yourself. Don’t hesitate to ask trusted friends and coworkers. Many of the best parts of my personal brand came from me listening to what other people said about me.


The is taken from an excerpt of “Launch Yourself”, by Krista Neher. For your free action planner and bonus resources, visit


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