Get Known for Something Special

Volvo is known for safety. Lexus is known for luxury. Southwest Airlines is known for no-frills service and on-time arrivals.

What are you known for? Or perhaps the real question should be, “What would you like to be known for?” If you are managing your career as a business, you understand the necessity for having a strong brand to differentiate your business and assure a strong competitive advantage. The problem is, you may not have done anything about it yet.

Let’s take a moment to understand what branding is. Branding is the process of creating distinctive perceptions in the minds of consumers about you and your business. It establishes your business identity, assures marketplace visibility, and provides consumers with a good handle on your reputation.

Now, just for a moment, let’s assume that your business is not branded.

In this case, the marketplace has no real idea of who you are, the benefits you provide, or the unique value you offer. Your business is, for all practical purposes, a big blank in the minds of consumers. It will be difficult for consumers to form bonds of trust with you as long as your brand identity remains a mystery. You know the rest: no trust, no transactions.

On the other hand, a bold, proactive approach to branding provides long- and short-term benefits, among them:

  • building trust and confidence within your network;
  • differentiating yourself from competitors;
  • leveraging your brand to generate new opportunities; and
  • increasing revenue potential.

Think of it this way: Branding is the platform from which you can broadcast the incredible value of doing business with you.

A New Twist on Taglines

As more and more professionals discover the value of running their careers as a business, the need for high-impact personal branding becomes a necessity, not a luxury. The judicious use of taglines can be a powerful tool for helping ME, Inc. professionals announce their unique value to the business world

Good things come in small packages. This is especially true of taglines, those often-overlooked word groups strategically placed near corporate logos to announce the unique value and benefits of a brand. As such, taglines have what Eric Swartz (The “Tagline Guru”) calls “marquee value.”

Taglines have been around ever since businesses started using advertising to generate sales. Over the years, some have actually become quite memorable, e.g., Morton Salt (“When It Rains, It Pours”), Hallmark Cards (“When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best”), and American Express (“Don’t Leave Home Without It”).

In the world of marketing, branding and advertising, taglines often get a bad rap. That’s because development of a “winning” tagline is an unusually daunting task; it must convey the essence of a brand in a powerful, concise way without being vague, pretentious, or overly trendy. Copywriters often spend long, tedious hours developing the perfect tagline.

And while the graphics team can misfire on a precise shade of lavender for a brand’s logo and still deliver powerful visual appeal, copywriters have no comparable margin of error. They either nail the one, indisputable winning tagline to the thunderous ovation of a wildly approving crowd — or give it a quiet, nondescript burial. Mediocre taglines — and even some better-than-average ones — never see the light of day.


OK, now for the twist.

Most of us have been conditioned to associate taglines with products or services provided by companies to keep their brands resonating in the minds of clients and would-be customers. But a growing number of professionals — especially those in transition — are latching on to the 21st century paradigm of managing their careers as a business. As CEOs of their own “ME, Inc.” enterprise, they become responsible for all functions carried out by actual CEOs (e.g., R & D, Sales & Marketing, Public Relations, Finance, Legal, etc.) and that, in turn, means they must be just as well-branded as any other viable commodity in the marketplace.

[Note: For those who have adopted this model, described fully in the new book “Win The Race for 21st Century Jobs” (by Rod Colón and Chip Hartman, etp press, © 2010), the primary reason this must be done is because the actual product of a ME, Inc. business is the business-owner himself/herself.]

Is it far-fetched to think of an individual branding herself with a clever and succinct tagline? Not at all. Most ME, Inc. business owners can benefit greatly by creating a genuinely memorable tagline following their names — electronically and in print — everywhere it appears. If the tagline successfully captures the individual’s unique “value added component”, then the consistent use of this phrase becomes a mantra that reinforces the promise in an exceptionally powerful and innovative way.


It’s easy to write about an idea such as “ME, Inc. taglines” or “vanity taglines” but it’s a totally different task to develop a sufficient number of plausible examples to illustrate the message.

The list below presents the concept of personalized taglines. If you understand the basic idea, find a copywriter to help you craft your message to achieve realistic brand quality. Since the examples below are for illustrative purposes only, they should be regarded only as branding fiction, not standards of excellence in tagline development.

GRAPHIC ARTIST (possible taglines might be …)
• Graphically agile, creatively nimble
• Formidable imagery … unbeatable value
• A full spectrum of ideas and solutions
• We visually translate your most complex thoughts.
• We remove the need to airbrush your bottom line!

TAX ACCOUNTANT (possible taglines might be …)
• In taxing times, count on us.
• Find an error in our calculations and we’ll pay your fee!
• We axe the tax so you can relax.
• Think Positive. Think Refund.

FORENSIC SCIENTIST (possible taglines might be …)
• We will unravel evidence of underperforming personnel
• Our solutions are the chalk outlines around your biggest problems
• We’d appreciate your fingerprints, signature, and DNA on a contract

DENTAL HYGIENIST (possible taglines might be …)
• Invest in your smile … call us today!
• Your gentle dental health engineers
• Enjoy life: Get the crud out of your mouth!
• Your frontline defense against Toxic Mouth Syndrome

INVESTMENT MANAGER (possible taglines might be …)
• Think of us as your money’s personal day care center.
• Our idea of fun is dollar-cost-averaging the night away
• Our portfolio of ideas will expand your portfolio of investments

WEB DEVELOPER (possible taglines might be …)
• You need a web site. We need a contract. Let’s talk.
• We eat, breathe, and dream HTML 24 by 7
• We build web sites to die for … although it’s quite unnecessary to do so.
• ROI-driven, business-savvy, technical artistry. But enough about me …


While the idea of a personalized tagline may sound like a great idea, you’d be well advised to discuss your ideas and examples with a branding professional before making the commitment to publish. If you fail to capture the unique essence of your ME, Inc. business in a catchy, concise and high-impact way, you could easily be headed for a large-scale branding disaster.

The reason for this should now be apparent: There is a veritable obstacle course of language and semantic pitfalls just waiting to sabotage your best efforts in devising that perfect personal tagline. The fact that the tagline must speak for you when you are unable to do so makes it all the more risky. Whatever you do, be sure to consult with a branding expert who also has a masterful grasp of language to increase your chances for success.


As a ME, Inc. business owner, you have an obligation to brand yourself, recognizing that if you fail to do so, others will inevitably do it for you — and their perceptions may fall far short of yours.

You say you’re an aspiring event planner but haven’t been able to land the position of your dreams? If you’re signing your name as “Very truly yours, Mary Smith”, you’ve completed the basics of closing out your letter but you’ve missed a terrific opportunity to distinguish yourself from the other 829,000 individuals going after the same position.

By contrast, what if your closing went something like this: “Very truly yours, Mary Smith, Inc. : Event Planners to Make All Your Moments Memorable” — do you think that might garner some extra attention? Or maybe just a little curiosity to find out more?

Let’s put it this way: In an era marked by an ever-increasing need to stand apart boldly from your competition, the wisely-developed and judiciously selected personal tagline can clearly promote your CEO of ME, Inc. business. As the global marketplace becomes larger and more complex each day, it’s vital for the survival of your business to stake out every possible opportunity to differentiate yourself from the masses.

A personalized tagline may be just the answer.


1. Colón, Rod, Win The Race for 21st Century Jobs, etp press, © 2010
2. Cone, Steve, Powerlines: Words That Sell Brands, Grip Fans, & Sometimes Change History, Bloomberg Press, © 2008
3. Swartz, Eric, The Tagline Guru (personal research of his published work on taglines and telephone interview)
4. Swartz, Eric, The Tagline Guru (web site:
5. Trout, Jack, Differentiate or Die – Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition, John Wiley & Sons, © 2000
Hello. My name is Chip Hartman. I own a small business called Meridia Systems ( based in Morris County, New Jersey, USA. I'm a writer, a newly published author, and visual information specialist.

This blog will explore many topics but will be heavily focused on networking, the 21st century job search, personal branding, online marketing and advertising, and visual communications. I plan to make the posts informative, mildly entertaining, and as thoroughly engaging as possible. I think it will work quite well. Occasionally, it may fall flat on its face. That's life.

I'd like to kickstart the blog by acknowledging a group of people that have had a profound influence on my life over the past three years: The Empowering Today's Professionals Network (the ETP Network) headquartered in Jackson, NJ. Rod Colon, Founder and CEO of the ETP Network, has not only opened up the doors to 21st century networking ... he's blown the roof right off of it and exposed its inner workings for everyone's benefit.

Let me get specific. The old view of networking: Dress up, stock pockets with business cards, pop a few breath mints, attend a networking event, shake hands, exchange business cards, promise to get in touch but never do, then go home.

The 21st century view of networking: Learn how to connect with others properly, build relationships from those connections, cultivate and nurture those relationships, leverage the power of social media, weed out the unproductive branches, become a veritable beacon of good will and abundant sharing, and get as close as you can to establishing yourself as an authority in an area of special interest to you. Whoops, almost forgot ... ALWAYS FOLLOW UP!

The new method gets you to your professional destination in much less time and with far more dignity than the old method. And it's the lynchpin to the 21st century job search. Rod Colon and the ETP Network have proven it.

Chapter 1
Welcome to the ETP Network

The ETP Network (Empowering Today’s Professionals) was established specifically to help individuals in transition find jobs. Find out the how’s, who’s, what’s and why’s of this amazing organization and its Founder and CEO, Mr. Rod Colón.

Chapter 2
The Machinery: Build, Track and Maintain Your Network

The modern day job search is built on the machinery of networking. If you’re new to networking, this chapter gives you the basics, beginning with the art of small talk all the way up to the development of a warm, trusted network.

Chapter 3
The Mentality: Run Your Career as a Business

Once you start the network machinery running, the next step is training yourself to think of your job search as a business with you as its CEO. All of the decisions affecting your job search begin and end with you and you will learn the fine art of taking responsibility for them.

Chapter 4
The Magnet: Your Value Proposition

As you begin to identify opportunities that look like a good fit for you, you’ll learn how to develop a solid value proposition (the job description, a “targeted resume” and a special cover letter called a “T-Letter”). This is the magnet that will attract employers to you.

Chapter 5
The Methodology: The 7-Step Job Search Methodology

The centerpiece of my Job Search System is a precisely-engineered 7-Step Job Search Methodology. You will locate perfectly matched opportunities, find and leverage advocates within the company using polished networking skills, and submit your value proposition

Chapter 6
The Hidden Job Market

Many individuals who are looking for jobs are unaware that there is a Hidden Job Market! The Hidden Job Market consists of positions that have not been advertised and positions that don’t yet exist undefined because the employer has not yet realized the need for the position!

Read more chapters . . .