Thank you very much for that warm introduction. It’s a pleasure to be here with the leaders of the Business Resumption Planners Association. My name is Frank Short, and I’ve prepared this presentation on personal branding for you. My title is “The Art and Power of Being Brand You.” I use the word “art” because we are all our own canvasses—and each of us is unique, wonderful and a genius at what we do. And I add the word “power” because each of us has the power to change out life or, at least our personal brand.
These days, I am the Chief Career Catalyst, Career Marketing Communications Writer, Personal Branding Coach, and Head Janitor atFrankShortWrites.com. Based on my background, you may safely assume that I know something about branding in general and personal branding in particular.
To begin with, I am a former copywriter and creative director with Leo Burnett Company, DDB Worldwide and some smaller advertising agencies. I have written ads, commercials, public relations and all sorts of marketing communications for leading advertisers such as Kellogg’s, Nestle, Commonwealth Edison, and General Motors.
Here’s some truly exciting news about your personal brand. It can become a wonderful way to help you keep your job, get cooler projects to work on, earn a promotion, or land a new job.
I want you to come away today with three important ideas: First, a working definition of personal branding. Second, valuable knowledge of what career marketing communications can do to promote your brand. And finally, three action steps that can help you create a strong personal brand.
Number 1) Personal branding may be defined as the most effective way to clarify and communicate what makes you different, special, and valuable to your colleagues and employers. It makes it easy to understand what your value is, and it clearly communicates that value to your target audience.
The definition of personal branding also means discovering or rediscovering your unique strengths, skills, values and passions.
Number 2) Career marketing communications consist of things like your own personal business cards, resumes, LinkedIn Profiles, personal websites, and much more. They are all important tools to help promote brand you. Every marketing message you send needs to reach your target audience at the touch points that exist between you and the people you work with.
Number 3) Later on in the presentation, I will introduce you to a three-step process that sums up most of what you really need to know about the art of creating and maintaining a powerful personal brand.
But before we go any further, I would like to you to write your answers to three questions about yourselves. 1) Who do you think you are? 2) Who do your colleagues, clients, or customers think you are? And 3) who does your boss think you are? The answers do not include the title that is on your company business cards or your job description. They mean what professional attributes do you possess from a personal branding point of view. Take five minutes to write as much as you can. We’ll get back to these questions later.
“To be or not to be.” That is the question for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Fortunately, you won’t have to answer such an existential question because, whether you like it or not …
YOU ALREADY ARE A BRAND! And the question really is … Are you a strong brand or not? And if not, can you summon the artistry to become a powerful brand? Now this doesn’t mean that you have to be Coca-Cola, Apple, Kleenex, or Chevy. And you don’t have to be a celebrity brand such as Donald Trump, Michael Jordan or even Kim Kardashian.
As a person and as a brand, you must “Stand for Something or You Will Stand for Nothing.” I think it was Lincoln who said, “A person who stands for nothing can be fooled by anything.” And to my way of thinking, you need to brand yourself for career success if you don’t want to be fooled with.
So you need to do three things before you can Start Up, Stand Up and Stand Out.
Now there are three main concepts or steps that I would like you to take note of. The first step is to start up in order to extract your unique promise of value. The second step is to stand up to express your brand to others. And the third step is to stand out or exude your personal brand in all that you do.
Extract means to dig out your unique selling proposition, value statement, or branding statement. This means asking what you offer your colleagues and employers that makes you different from everyone else who has a title or job description similar to yours?
In other words it pays to know yourself to grow yourself. I like to think of this point as the place where the Oracle at Delphi meets Madison Avenue. The Oracle told the ancient Greeks to “know thyself.” And modern-day Madmen like me want you to define your “unique selling position and proposition” or your own USP.
This brings us to your unique branding statement: What makes you different, special and valuable? What are your personal and professional attributes—your strengths, skills, values, and passions?
It’s essential that you define your brand community. It’s the opinion of your peers and colleagues, internal and external clients, and bosses and communities like this one that matters. So look around and meet your judges, the jury members, and your executioners. Or, as Butch Cassidy asked the Sundance Kid, “Who are those guys, anyway?”
And be sure to know and tell your story. Let people know what you bring to the party. Articulate your own Statement of Value, or Market Positioning Statement or Unique Selling Proposition. Call it what you will.
Remember it’s what your target audience—colleagues, customers and bosses—think that counts. Now let’s take a few minutes to discuss how to promote your brand.
Which brings us to our second step: Express your brand to the people who count or who may count. As a former ad man as well as a current career marketing and personal branding expert, this is my favorite step.
Create great career marketing communications tools for yourself or have an expert like me do it for you. These tools include business cards, resumes and bios, LinkedIn profiles, a career website or a blog, etc.
Professional logos, head shots and personal business cards—in addition to your company business cards—are also a must. Complete the cards by adding your own branding statement. You never know when opportunity will knock. So keep a couple of your very own cards in your wallet at all times.
And next to the logotype, you’ll find my personal branding statement: resumes that work as hard as you do! There is no reason why you, too, can’t have your own personal business cards.
I cannot stress enough the importance of having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Also make sure it’s complete with tools like Slide Share for your actual résumé or executive bio or the white papers you’ve written, etc. And get it keyword optimized for job category search-ability. Of course, Facebook and Twitter are other important social media tools.
Having a personal career website may seem like you’re taking things over the top. But it is a real career builder because you can put so much content in it, including a blog, YouTube videos you’ve created or videos that show you giving presentations and sales pitches.
The whole idea of expressing your personal brand is to promote brand-you in every way possible. So be sure to shout out your brand—clearly, cleanly, concisely and convincingly!
This brings us to Step Three: Exude your brand. Manage your brand environment. Remember that sometimes your personal brand goes ahead of you, and sometimes after you, but your brand name always goes with you wherever you go.
So be on brand at all times and in all that you do. Once you discover yourself, express yourself and brand yourself in every way.
Get a visual identity that lets your brand community know and remember who you are. Looking the part does not mean “dress for success” or “dress to impress” but that’s part of the picture. And have you ever considered what the appearance of your office or cubicle says about you. Don’t be a Dilbert. If your office is messy, coworkers and bosses may think that your work may be sloppy. If it’s too neat, they may think you don’t have enough work to do.If it’s too neat, they may think you don’t have enough work to do.
And finally, and this is important, whether you’re networking on or off the job: increase your career karma. Pay it forward to your acquaintances, your colleagues, your company and your community. Go the extra mile. Give a little to score a lot of points and enjoy the satisfaction of having done so.
And the final suggestion for step two is to assess your online identity. If you haven’t Googled yourself lately, do it when you get home tonight. You might be surprised at what you find. So build your personal brand in bits and bytes.
In summary, evolve and resolve. You don’t have to try building your personal brand all at once. You can do it piecemeal. I have. So, take your time. But do what it takes.
And finally, finally, here’s the commercial. Please take the handout home; it provides a brief overview of what we’ve discussed today. If you would like to have me make this presentation before a group you are a member of, please contact me. You can address your inquiries to me by phone or by e-mail. I’ll do my utmost to help you by giving you a free personal branding consultation on an individual basis. I wish you good luck in all your personal branding endeavors. Thank you very much.
Personal Branding:The Art & Power of Being Brand You! by Frank Short
Presented by Frank Short— Chief Career Catalyst: Career Marketing Communications Specialist Resume & LinkedIn Writer Personal Branding ExpertBeing Brand You
Former Copywriter with Leo Burnett and DDB Worldwide Wrote advertising copy for Nestle, Kellogg’s and General MotorsBeing Brand You
Personal Brand Can Help You: Keep Your Job Get Cooler Projects Earn a Promotion Land a New JobBeing Brand You
You’ll Get Three Take Aways: 1) Definition of Personal Branding 2) Knowledge of Career Marketing Communications 3) Three Steps to Building Your BrandBeing Brand You
Definition of Personal Branding: Clarify and Communicate What Makes You Unique and Valuable.Being Brand You
Discovering Unique Attributes: Strengths Skills Values PassionsWhat’s Your Brand?
Career Marketing Communications: Personal Business Cards Résumés LinkedIn Profiles, and moreYour Personal Brand
Three-Step Program for Creating & Maintaining a Personal BrandYour Personal Brand
Answer These Questions: 1) Who do you think you are? 2) Who do your colleagues and customers think you are? 3) Who does your boss think you are?What’s Your Brand?