You’re at a party. Your host introduces you to someone you haven’t met before. He’s tall and good-looking, and his entire attention is focused on you.
He grins and says, “So, tell me about yourself.”
You stare at him like a deer caught in the headlights. He wants me to tell him about MYSELF? What do I say?
He’s still waiting. You’ve got a split second to come up with something.
What should you say?
- Ask, “Well, what do you want to know about me?”
- Tell him what you do for a living?
- Tell him what you do for fun?
- Just make sure you slip in the fact that you’re single?
We know first impressions matter. We know that it takes mere seconds for someone to decide if this is a relationship worth pursuing. Any veteran of speed dating can attest to the fact that it’s hard to rock those first few minutes.
Most advice on first impressions focuses on non-verbal body language.
- Stand up straight
- Make eye contact
- Relax and smile
But what about the talking part? If you fumble while thinking of something to say, will he look past that?
Maybe. But why take the chance when you can ensure this never happens to you?
Here’s my simple solution. Have a one or two-sentence personal brand statement prepared in your mind. It sums up who you are and why he might like to get to know you better.
Your personal brand is what makes you unique. In business, it helps distinguish you from your competitors and lets clients and potential employers know why you’re the best fit.
Personal brands are important, too. Especially when you’re dating.
An online dating profile crafted with your personal brand in mind stands out. It catches the right attention from the right people. It even suggests potential conversational topics.
A good personal brand should evoke surprise and delight. There’s something about you he wasn’t expecting. He’s intrigued—in a good way—and he wants to know more.
For many of us, it’s not easy to showcase who we are. We’d rather speak plainly about who we are and try to be as humble as possible. Treating ourselves as a “brand” feels inauthentic—and more than a little vain.
But do you really want a man to see you as ordinary and nothing special?
Of course not! You want him to see your best attributes. You want to stand out in his mind.
Although it would be wonderful if he could discover your specialness on his own, he’s got other women to meet and new profiles popping up in his online dating feed every day. You’ve got to give him a nudge in the right direction.
You can do that by giving him a short summary of what makes you so cool.
That’s not something you can come up with on the spot. It takes time to think of a good personal brand statement that’s short, pithy, and memorable.
Knowing what makes you unique is the first step. Why are you different from all the other women he’s met? What do you have to offer him? How do you want him to see you?
Coming up with a personal brand is a process of distillation. You take everything you are—like your love for cute cat videos, your eclecticonica music collection, your bucket list, your bachelor’s degree in art history—and reduce it down to its essence.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Ask your friends how they would describe you.
- What are people most surprised to learn about you?
- Why do men value your friendship?
- What people, places, things or activities make you come alive?
- What 3 traits would you like to be known for?
Notice that you don’t have to include any particular facts about yourself, like what you do for a living, where you grew up, or how old you are. Your personal brand is what YOU decide defines you.
After you’re done brainstorming, highlight 3 to 5 of the most intriguing, unique qualities and see if you can combine them in a catchy sentence or two.
Online dating provides a great forum to test out your personal brand statement. Put it up and see how it affects your responses. You might like to try out several different versions to see which is the most popular. (And don’t forget to select profile pictures that support your brand!)
Now comes the hard part: Remembering to use it.
Try putting a sticky note on the steering wheel of your car. When you see it, pause before starting the engine. Act as if someone just made an introduction.
Say your sentence out loud so you get used to the feel of it rolling off your tongue. The next time you meet a keeper, you’ll be glad you practiced.