Creating & Maintaining Your Personal Brand -- and Rocking Your Network


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Creating & Maintaining Your Personal Brand -- and Rocking Your Network

  1. 1. Today’s IABC Free Web Seminar Creating & Maintaining Your Personal Brand: and Rocking Your Network Presented by Heather Huhman 7 March 2012 With an 80% discounted IABC student membership: • Enhance your knowledge and skills with the highest quality research, articles and best practices. @IABCstudents • Access professional development resources used by top communicators. • Add value to your resume, connect with professionals and gain experience. • Discover the hidden job market. Learn more at
  2. 2. Creating & Maintaining Your Personal Brand and Rocking Your Network Presented by: Heather R. Huhman
  3. 3. Step 1: Determine Your Differentiation What do you bring to the table they can’t? – Write down every skill, characteristic, and interest you have – this becomes your “unique you” What collateral material will you need to communicate your unique you? – Business cards – Online portfolio 3
  4. 4. Step 2: Create an Online Portfolio Find out if your personal domain name is for sale ( If it is, purchase it! Don’t forget to purchase hosting I recommend building and designing your online portfolio using a free content management system, such as WordPress – specializes in hosting WordPress Web sites 4
  5. 5. Online Portfolios, Cont. WordPress alternatives: – – – – – – VisualCV – Carbonmade – DoYouBuzz (U.S. version) 5
  6. 6. Online Portfolios, Cont. On the homepage, include a welcome message to visitors – this can be a similar, more generic version of your cover letter Create a page/tab: – Where visitors can download your résumé in PDF format (iPaper is a good app for this) – For your actual portfolio – Linking to your professional blog – With your contact information 6
  7. 7. Online Portfolios, Cont. What to include in your online portfolio: – Case studies (problem, solution, results) – Class projects – Volunteer/internship work – Professional testimonials/recommendations 7
  8. 8. Online Portfolios, Cont. 8
  9. 9. Online Portfolios, Cont. 9
  10. 10. Step 3: Create a Professional Blog Select a topic or niche Decide on your posting frequency, and stay with it Admit upfront you are not an expert Write interesting content – and write it well Follow and comment on other blogs Promote your blog Don’t be afraid to be wrong 10
  11. 11. Step 4: Develop Your Core Message / Elevator Pitch Elevator pitch = a short sound bite where you explain who you are and what you’re seeking Typically 30-60 seconds or 150-200 words Keep it short & concise in order to hold your listener’s attention but still get enough information out to them 11
  12. 12. Step 4: Develop Your Core Message / Elevator Pitch In general, your elevator pitch should consist of: – Your name (if meeting for the first time) – Current status (student, etc.) – What you seek (internship, entry-level job) – Your unique selling points – Qualifications – Passions – Call to action 12
  13. 13. Step 4: Develop Your Core Message / Elevator Pitch Comes in handy at networking events or when meeting hiring managers and recruiters Helps you answer the interview question “Tell me about yourself” Share a story – Mention past accomplishments and goals you’ve reached (but be concise!) 13
  14. 14. Step 5: Evaluate Your Current Online Presence If you Google your name, what comes up? What can you edit? What should be public information, and what should not? Decide what you want those who search for you to know about you and how much specific information you want to share Knowing what’s already out there will help you create and maintain a consistent online brand 14
  15. 15. Step 6: Get on Social Networks According to recent Reppler/Lab42 research, 91% of hiring managers use social networking sites to screen job candidates – Facebook: 76% – Twitter: 53% – LinkedIn: 48% During which phase of the hiring process? – After receiving an application: 47% – After an initial conversation: 27% 15
  16. 16. Social Networking, Cont. Etiquette: – Listen – Be relevant – Mind your brand – Engage – Give more than get 16
  17. 17. Social Networking, Cont. Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Niche networks 17
  18. 18. Step 7: Become a Networking Rockstar Networking is creating a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship between yourself and a connection 70-80% of jobs are filled through networking – Employee referrals – Unadvertised openings – Connections with hiring managers/CEOs 18
  19. 19. Networking, Cont. Attend lots of events – Make sure people know who you are • If an organization you are really interested in is holding an open event, make sure to go • Make face time, so they know who you are • While you cannot ask for a job, be sure to tell them about your future plans – Don’t just attend events within your industry • Attend events that interest you 19
  20. 20. Networking, Cont. Find ways to bring up parts of your online portfolio in face-to-face conversations – At networking events, think of ways to weave some of the work you have done into the conversation – Kick off the discussion by asking about their job and what their day to day is like – At appropriate moments, mention your interests and accomplishments 20
  21. 21. Networking, Cont. Ping with a purpose – Pinging refers to communicating in useful ways with new contacts so you stay fresh in their minds • Make sure to follow-up with the people you connected with in-person by e-mailing them interesting articles of a common interest, or simply notifying a hiring manager of any changes in your résumé or contact information – Staying top-of-mind is key 21
  22. 22. Networking, Cont. Stay organized – When you meet someone & get their business card, take a few notes on the back to remember important parts of your conversation – Create social networking lists or Excel/Google spreadsheets of important contacts to remember key information (such as title/position, company, things in common, etc.) – Resource: 22
  23. 23. Networking, Cont. Become a follower – Seek out recruiters and hiring managers on Twitter and follow them • Make sure you contribute to the conversation and demonstrate your qualifications -- because any opportunity to converse is an opportunity to impress – If you constantly pop up on people’s Twitter feeds, you will continue to stay top-of-mind 23
  24. 24. Networking, Cont. No matter where you meet someone, the only real way to bring them into your network is by keeping in contact with them After your first meeting, follow-up with them by: – Asking him/her out to lunch or coffee – Sending an e-mail – Engaging with him/her on social networking sites 24
  25. 25. Networking, Cont. Leverage your network Master the “art of the ask” – Smart networkers know the strategies for determining what to ask for, who to ask, and how to ask for any goal they want to achieve – Help can come almost immediately if you’ve laid the groundwork correctly 25
  26. 26. Networking, Cont. Don’t just send an e-mail saying, “Hey, I’d like to meet to talk about job opportunities at your company. Are you free tomorrow?” Instead, say, “I’m really interested in taking my paralegal degree into the nonprofit world. Would you be open to a quick phone call or a brief meeting sometime to share insights on how you did it?” 26
  27. 27. Networking, Cont. Take cues from your contacts – If you ask for a meeting and they’re more comfortable with a short phone call, take it Come prepared with good questions 27
  28. 28. Step 8: Create a Plan Set goals Research your social community Select your brand ambassadors Manage your reputation Establish yourself as a thought leader 28
  29. 29. Questions? Heather R. Huhman Founder & President Come Recommended Twitter: @heatherhuhman 29