A successful brand isn’t developed by throwing a product or service in the air, letting the pieces fall where they may and hoping for the best. Rather, brands that are built to last begin with a mission statement that identifies what the brand is and what it aims to do. It is the philosophy behind the company and serves as a foundation for business decisions.
Whether you’re a photographer, model, stylist or another creative self-starter, the sooner you develop your mission for your personal brand, the better. A mission statement helps you avoid the “um, uhs,” when someone asks what kind of work you do. It transforms you in the eyes of others from an ameteur to a professional. When published on your website or portfolio, it also helps to attract or convince new clients that you are the talent they need.
At the very least, your mission statement should be a sentence or two defining what your niche is, what you do and why you do it. If you work out of a specific area, it should include your regional limits, too.
Your mission doesn’t have to be jammed up with big words to make you sound smarter than you are. The simpler and easier to understand your statement is, the better.
Take H Collective’s mission as a perfect example:
“H is a digital community of creators. We connect creators to each other and to brands.”
The statement on my portfolio website is similar in simplicity:
“Ashlee Schultz is a writer who believes in the power of a positive mindset. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.”
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Your mission doesn’t have to be particularly clever or catchy. You just have to say what you do and say it well.
If you’re struggling to identify who you are as a brand, what you do and why you do it, ask a few friends or colleagues who are familiar with your work to give their input. Then, summarize their observations into a statement that you’re proud of. Once you come up with your mission statement, share it with a few people and see if they agree that it accurately represents your brand. Revise until it fits.
Boom. You have your mission.
This statement will represent every facet of your business. It defines the core of your brand. It serves as a focal point for your audience. It defines your nature as an entrepreneur, the range in which you can work, and your growth potential. It allows you to measure opportunity against your values. It’s your lifeline and your ticket to maintaining relativity in a digital era in which the only constant is change. A clear mission is essentially your vision of who you are and where you want to go.
Ultimately, your mission is the philosophy that your brand shares with its clients. It’s what you hope your audience will convey when they speak of your brand persona and value of your product. It’s how and why you stand out from competition.