A classic branding story involves a letter being mailed and successfully delivered to the Playboy mansion in Chicago in the early 1960s. The envelope had no address on it; the only thing on the envelope was the iconic Playboy bunny logo. That is branding.

Hugh Hefner is a master of branding personally and professionally. While Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson all have powerful professional brands, Hefner respectively wove his personal and professional brands together.

Professional branding is the communication of what a client or customer will experience when interacting and, hopefully, doing business with your company.

Branding is not about pleasing everyone in every case. Wal-Mart has a brand that is totally di erent than Nordstrom’s. They sell plenty of the same items, but the experience in each is totally di erent. Apples OS X and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems are both successful, but they have completely different brands and fans.

Brand Components Include:

Professionally designed marketing materials (logo, stationery, ads, etc.)

  •  Professional Website with Mobile
  •  Cleanliness of your facility
  •  Level of client or customer service
  •  Consistency of your marketing on and o ine
  •  Consistency of colors and look on and o ine
  •  Consistency in how your sta treats clients
  •  Updated bio
  • Updated professionally shot headshot

    As with personal branding, your professional brand is loud and clear every day. Take control of that message and build a brand you can be proud of.

    Ways to Write a Professional Bio

    Often, this is the most difficult, even for people who are used to writing. You can be too close to the subject to do a good job. However, I’ve written most of mine; once you write your first bio, the rest are just edits of the original.

    With sites like elance.com, outsourcing is easy. No doubt the writer you hire will interview you. Below, I’ll give you some key questions to ask.

    This is not as crazy as it sounds. Record your answers to the ques- tions below and have the recording transcribed. This will probably end up a much larger document than you want, but you can edit it down to the appropriate size.

    Steps to Writing a Good Professional Bio

    1. What tagline or slogan can you create to describe what you do or who you are?

    I was dubbed the ‘Teacher of Teachers’ by Martial Arts World magazine. Do you have a media tag you can use?

    2. Make a list of any o cial awards or recognitions you’ve had.

    3. Create a list of your most signi cant professional accomplishments and list them in a career timeline

    Here is an example:

    MATA Executive Director John Graden’s Career Timeline

    2013 – Author, The Art of Marketing Without Marketing

    2013 – Founder, Empower Boxing & Empower Kickboxing

    2008 – Author, The Impostor Syndrome: How to Replace Self-Doubt with Self-Con dence and Train Your Brain for Success

    2004 – Founder, Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA)

    2003 – Author, The Truth About the Martial Arts Business

    1998 – Author, How to Open and Operate a Successful Martial Arts School

    1997 – Founder, American Council on Martial Arts (ACMA)

    1995 – Founder, Martial Arts Professional Magazine
    1994 – Founder, National Association of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA)
    1993 – Author, Black Belt Management

    4. Choose the third-person or rst-person voice. In most cases, you want the third-person voice.

    First Person: “I started studying law in 2001.”
    Third Person: “Melvin Grant started studying law in 2001.”

    Third person lends more authority and credibility. First person is more conversational and less formal. Adjust for your audience.

    5. As you write your bio, try to include a testimonial or a line or two that appeals to emotion rather than logic.

    For instance, “The reason I hired Alan was because of what was in his head. The reason I’ve stayed with him so long is what is in his heart. He really cares.”

    6. Include your contact info and capitalize the rst letter of each word in your website address. For instance change www.tampabayestateattorney.com to www.TampaBayEstateAttorney.com

    7. Questions to Answer in your Professional Bio:

    a. When and why did you start in your eld?

    b. What do you enjoy most about being a professional in your eld?

    c. What are some common but incorrect assumptions people have about “your occupation”?

    d. Why would a person choose your services over the services of your competitor?

    e. What books or white papers have you published?

    f. What are you professional affiliations?

    g. What media coverage have you had and why?

    h. What, if any, college degrees or specialized training do you have?

    j. What three personal facts might be interesting?

    k. What gives you the most satisfaction from your work?

    l. What awards or recognition have you or your business received?