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How to write a personal mission statement that sparks inspiration (with template!)

Everyone loves a good story. That’s why knowing how to write a personal mission statement is key to landing clients.

Alright, I’m going to be honest. The first version of my about page was essentially my resume. I listed all the things I was good at, the top-notch nonprofits I’d worked for, and all the fancy degrees I had. It was nowhere near the personal mission statement I have today. Here are my top five insights on how to craft a personal mission statement that really speaks to your values and skills.

I was clearly missing an essential feature of effective marketing, you know, just my whole ethos: stories are meaningful. People want to buy from people. They make purchasing choices based on who they know, like, and trust. 

The fact that I’m good at what I do is part of my story. But I’ve gotten in the habit of weaving those resume bullet points into a narrative that digs way deeper into my why. And y’all, my why is pretty compelling. I bet yours is too.

1. Why your story matters in writing a personal mission statement

Customers are inundated with marketing messages every moment of their day. Crafting a brand narrative with a foundation in captivating storytelling is one way to overcome brand-indifference.

On the other hand, when you approach potential clients as a corporation, they will find it hard to relate to you or connect with you. Hiring and buying decisions are emotionally driven. As creatives, we are selling ourselves, not our deliverables.

2. You are the hero of your story

A story has a beginning, middle, and an end, and a character who changes by the end. You are the hero. A really good story has twists and turns, so lean into everything you learned and experienced on your journey.

Here’s the gist of my story.

<The Begining>

I came into nonprofit marketing with a knack for writing and a devotion to supporting minority communities. I was quickly tasked with projects I had no experience and little expertise in. I often felt overwhelmed and in way over my head. I spent those first few years taking advantage of every nonprofit marketing webinar, conference, workshop, and training I could get my hands on. I asked lots of questions. I asked experts to give me feedback on my work. It all paid off. 

Over ten years later, I have built both an expertise and passion for nonprofit digital marketing. I created and grew digital marketing programs in several organizations, including some of the largest public health organizations in New York City. I earned a Master’s in Public Administration and was hooked on building a career in nonprofit marketing. 

<My Aha Moment>

Then my first daughter blew into my life like a tornado. I was so in love, I couldn’t go back to my 9-5 nonprofit job. (I tried!) That’s when I started Maria Bryan Creative, a nonprofit marketing consultancy. 

<More in the Middle>

I’ve proudly supported numerous nonprofits and ethical businesses to reach their marketing goals, all truly incredible people making a difference in health, education, environment, and social justice.

<The End + My Why>

As a small business owner and a former overwhelmed nonprofit marketer, I know how challenging marketing solo can be. I thrive on supporting small nonprofit founders to become confident and successful marketers.

One marketing truth has stayed tried and true with every organization I work with and every old and emerging online platform. Stories are meaningful.

On just about every discovery call I’m on, nonprofit founders say to me, “I also think stories are meaningful. That really resonated with me.”

And good thing, because storytellers and world changers are my tribe.

3. Find the heart of your story before you write it

Before going into the nitty-gritty of writing your story, it’s important to understand who you are and what you stand for. Your story needs to be consistent with your values, your passions, and your core mission. 

Here are a few questions to reflect on when you are crafting your story. Your answers don’t have to be related to your business. Just free-write what comes to mind. 

What life experiences have shaped you? Identify defining moments and experiences in your life that have taught you important life-changing lessons.

What lights you up? What are your passions?

What do you stand for? What values define you and your work?

What aha-moments came from these experiences?  

What are your superpowers? List all the hard and soft skills you bring to the table.

What do you have in common with your clients?

Who are your favorite clients, and why?  

What do you create for your clients?

What pain points and problems do you solve?

What do your clients gain from your work aside from the actual deliverables?

3. Look for patterns and intersections when it comes to writing your personal mission statement

Once you’re finished answering these questions, look for patterns and points of intersections in them. Your experiences, strengths, values, passions, and even the challenges you faced along the way make up the one and only you. Your story makes you the perfect creative for your most ideal audience.

Time to craft your personal mission statement!

Now that you have clarity on what makes you uniquely you, you have all the elements needed to bring it all together and write up your story.

When you structure your story, write about what was happening in your life before you started your business, what happened to make you take it on, and the impact of your work.

Your story should be central to all your messaging and marketing. 

When the foundation of your story is built on who you uniquely are, your brand becomes authentic, your messages become trustworthy, and when the right clients find out you exist, they’ll feel like they hit the jackpot.

Next Up: Part Two! We’ll take a closer look at how to use storytelling techniques to develop compelling ‘Home’ and ‘About’ pages and how to repurpose the content across your other marketing channels. 


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Maria Bryan

Maria Bryan is a digital marketing strategist and content marketing writer for nonprofits, and founder of Maria Bryan Creative. Nonprofit marketing is how she reconciles her love for storytelling and passion for public service. Maria’s a new Tallahassee, Florida resident, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. She’s a mama of two daughters, a toddler and one on the way.

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