Friday, September 28, 2012

Personal Branding Quick Tip 5: Promote Your Value


Now that you have passion for what you do; love who you are; understand what value you offer the world; and accept it too... it's time to market and promote that value to the people who matter.
Why? You might be asking.

Isn't enough for me to know how I make an impact? Surely the key decision makers around me - my manager, the Board - know all this too?
The key to success in life I have found, is to assume nothing.
  • Assume no-one knows anything about you.
  • Assume no-one has noticed you staying at work late.
  • Assume no-one has observed the insights you add in meetings.
  • Assume no-one has a clue who you are...
...and you're off to a great start!

Promoting your value is a more complex process than I can explain in a 'quick tip' such as this. But the basics are these:
Who needs to know about you?
We're talking about people who have decision making capabilities: your manager; a senior partner; your clients; your Board
How can you get in front of them?
Think about coffee meetings, networking opportunities, and social opportunities at work.
What do they need to know?
Go back to earlier tips about understanding and accepting your value.
How can you tell them?
What stops most people from 'promoting their value' is a concern they will come across as arrogant.

You can promote yourself and do it authentically: it's a question of defining how you want to come across in a way that works for you.
- Rebecca

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Personal Branding in Distress: Does Your Email Signature Destroy Your Brand?

I've just received an email from a man who shall remain nameless.

The email was vaguely interesting - I say 'vaguely' because there were numerous typos in the text which automatically gets my back up, makes me lose my train of thought and frankly leads me to judge the sender's professionalism.

And then I reached the email signature. Now, I'm all for quirky 'job' titles but this one for me went too far. It read:

Joe Bloggs
Head of Crazy Ideas; Wacky Guy; NFP Benefactor; Ladies' Man


This was an email from 'Joe Bloggs' asking me if I'd be interested in doing a joint venture with his company.

Err, no thanks!

It's funny - 'Joe Bloggs' might be a very interesting candidate for a JV but it's incredible how much this email signature irritated me.

For a start, it's not particularly professional.

Secondly, anyone who wishes to publicise their 'not for profit contributions' in such a lewd way, is clearly in it for all the wrong reasons (in my opinion).

And lastly... Ladies' Man? Come on!

The issue with your email signature is that it's short, sweet and 2-dimensional.

In other words you've got 5 seconds to make a good (or terrible, in this case) impression and it's an opportunity to bring you, a 3D individual, to life.

I think it's important to ensure your email signature is reflective of a brand other people would trust and wish to 'do business' with.

What do you think about email signatures? Are they easy to get wrong? Does it really matter? Am I being overly sensitive??

- Rebecca

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Personal Branding Quick Tip 4: Accept Your Value

Last week, we explored what I mean by 'your value' - read that post here.

Understanding what you offer the world - through your innate talents, skills, passions and experience - is only the first step.
Most people, when faced with a list of all their positive qualities, reject it out of hand:
  • "Surely everybody is like that"
  • "Surely everyone can do that"
  • "There's nothing special about me"
Well, here's a news flash for you: you are special and you do have an inordinate amount of value to offer.
The question is: do you believe in yourself enough?
It isn't possible to 'sell' your personal brand (and all the positive qualities and value it contains) to other people if you haven't sold yourself on the prospect first.
The confidence and trust other people have in you are formed from the confidence and trust you have in yourself.
So chances are, if your confidence in 'self' is only a 4/10, their confidence in you will probably be a 4/10 too.
If you have personal objections as to why 'you're not good enough' your absolute first step is to work through those objections with a trained coach.
You truly are the only thing that is holding you back.
- Rebecca 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Personal Branding Quick Tip 3: Understand your Value

What am I talking about, 'value'?

Each of us has an inordinate amount of talent to offer the world whether it's about solving problems; making others feel good; how you think; or bringing more money through the door.

You are sitting on a mountain of value and, to develop clarity of what your personal brand stands for, it's important to understand what exactly you can offer (and are already offering) the people around you.

The key to this is simple: be honest with yourself. Now is not the time to be bashful!

To keep it easy, focus on just one situation for now, such as work.

1. What do you offer your company in terms of your skills, innate talents and experience to date?

2. Which areas are you under-capitalising on?

3. What can you do that no-one else can?

Knowing why you are such an asset is critical!   Read Tip 2 here: Love Yourself or Give Up Now   Read Tip 1 here: Your Personal Brand Relies on Your Happiness

At a Career Crossroads? Define Your 'Meaningful Contribution'...

Fulfillment in life, and at work, often boils down to your contribution. And more particularly, your meaningful contribution.

Both terms 'contribution' and 'meaningful' will mean different things from person to person.

'Contribution' might be about...
... the time you offer to others
... the financial input you give
... the thinking you provide

And 'meaningful' might be about...
... who you help
... how you help them
... or why you choose to make that difference.

What I have discovered, working with hundreds of people now in the areas of career change and career fulfillment, is that 99% of the time, it boils down to needing to feel prouder of the inputs and outputs of your day.

Quite simply most of us are looking to make a more 'meaningful contribution' and feel as though we are adding greater value to the world around us. Perhaps the key to professional happiness is understanding how you would define this idea?

- Rebecca