Welcome everybody! My name is Scott Jacobs and I’m the CEO of Harvest Consulting. It is a pleasure to be here. Today, we’re going to talk about Personal Branding and getting the most out of your networking.
So the first question you might ask is – why is Jacobs speaking tonight, right? The answer is not “they couldn’t get anyone else”
Well, I have 30 years experience working with or for large, medium, and small businesses (I know, I look too young to have been in business for nearly 30 years, right?), I’ve started at least three businesses, and I currently own 2 small businesses. Also, for the past 5 years I have been organizing and managing a networking group for folks in job transition. My hope is that if I help someone, perhaps they will land and help me once they have budget or maybe it’s just that “what goes around comes around” philosophy. And the most important reason I’m here tonight – of course, I’m president of the Brad Austin Fan Club! I am a partner in a company that started a blog, called the briefcaseproject, it is a blog dedicated to providing business advice to entrepreneurs and small business owners on a variety of topics: legal, CPA-finance/accounting, HR, and I handle marketing)– if you’re interested it checking the blog out the address is thebriefcaseproject.com
The goals for today’s session - I would like for you to a walk away with 2 things A methodology for developing your own value proposition statement Applying what you learned to help in communicating your value quickly when you introduce yourself
So let me ask you, what is your definition of the word brand? Can I get some examples?
Put simply, the definition for brand is the promise to the consumer. In our case, our personal brand would be our promise to our future employer. That promise begins to define your positioning and how you will differentiate yourself from other candidates for the job you’re seeking. What do you offer and why, and how are your skills and talents unique and what value will a future or current employer see in that value? Which, obviously will translate into your compensation.
In the consumer packaged goods business, a statement is written sometimes called a brand character statement. For our purposes, I think we could consider this our elevator speech, right? How we introduce ourselves. The idea is to give human characteristics to the product, characteristics that everyone can relate to. Here’s an example of a brand character statement for a famous soap brand. Can anyone guess what brand this is? Interestingly, with P&G, there is R&D process is so strong, they build products and brands from a chemical/molecular level – they discovered that a certain chemical formulation they created provides antibacterial qualities – protecting the family from germs = so P&G really developed the brand name from a molecular level to reflect the benefit to the consumer. Just for fun, I thought we’d take a look at some brand positioning statements or promises that brands and companies have established for their consumers, let’s see if you can recognize which brands match up with these statements.
Here are some promises made to consumers or brand representations. On a piece of paper write down which brand you think matches up with the positioning statements listed here, don’t shout them out– take just a few minutes to do this and then we’ll go through it quickly
How many of you own any type of Apple product? Have you ever visited the Apple store? What was your experience? Apple has extended their brand promise “easy to use” to the retail, customer experience in-store with the Genius Bar, store design, and fast. Friendly, and expert advice.
We build excitement!
Remember Mr. Whipple and don’t squeeze the Charmin. One of the great spokepersons in brand history and TV history
The number on most recognized word is?
Here’s kind of a neat design trick Landor the design firm that developed this logo did. Nice representation of movement, moving forward (good icon for a delivery company)
Talk about brand magic!
We bring good things to life. GE has moved its position and is now taking a leading roll in the green movement – their eco-imagination campaign and emphasis on products that are good for the environment is a new key corporate positioning.
Ivory was P&G’s first brand. They were and still are the pioneers in marketing research. Ivory soap was delivered in wheel barrels and crates to homes. P&G would then go back and talk with women about what they thought about the product – they discovered that the soap bar floats and they used that in their advertising for years, along with the product being 99 and 44/100s pure! I guess you all know that soap operas got their start through P&G?
Now let’s talk about personal brand. Here’s a formula to help you think about and ways in which we can define personal brand.
Let’s start with Strengths. How many of you have taken the StrengthsFinder test? These are my 5 main strengths. I even incoprated them into my resume. (Read them to the audience) When I started up my consulting practice, I thought about what the company would represent. Since the company is me, I had to ask that philosophical question, “Who Am I?” This all stemmed from trying to create a company name. (Give example)
Here’s another way in which you can get outside opinions on your strengths. Ask people you know, who you’ve worked closely with in the past, what they liked most about you, what qualities did they appreciate the most. This is a nice ego boost also!
Let’s now take a look at Value. A personal value prop statement defines the clear and tangible benefits you will offer an employer
So let’s take a look at an example of a value proposition statement. Here’s example using my favorite subject – beer.
Here’s how they boil the value prop into something a bit more usable – a tagline. Now let’s take a look at how we can apply this formula to our personal brand.
Here’s how we can go about developing our own value proposition statement. Start with your name, decide what company you are targeting. (Handout) I can’t emphasize the importance of coming up with a target list. The networking you can be doing will help you then uncover the next area – the employer’s need. (the problem that the company is experiencing), your target job title, then your experience (e.g. state 2-3 key accomplishments that prove your experience), unlike other candidates that do not have this experience, here’s what you will do for the target employer.
Let me tell you the story about how a client I worked with transformed her company from where she had been to where she wanted to go, and how we have used her value prop statement to help guide us. Darcy working for large NY studios, production companies that were ineffective, inefficient, and generally a pain in the ass to work for. Her claim to fame is that she worked for many years on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a storyboard artist and an animator. She has been a lone wolf and is really trying to become a full blown company, not just a sole proprietor. She had a name in mind – Flaming Medusa Studios – pretty edgy, right?
I worked with her and we developed this VPS. She stated that she needed some PR. It was rumored that there going to be a 25 th Anniversary showing of the TNMT movie and she wanted to get some publicity in and around the time that was going to occur.
Darcy Vorhees came to me through a friend. She stated that she needed some PR. Her claim to fame is that she worked for many years on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a storyboard artist and an animator. She grew tired of working for large NY studios, production companies that were ineffective, inefficient, and generally a pain in the ass to work for. She moved back here. It was rumored that there going to be a 25 th Anniversary showing of the TNMT movie and she wanted to get some publicity in and around the time that was going to occur. I worked with her and we developed this VPS
Again, here’s the formula to help us think about how we can define personal brand. We’ve define strengths and value – now let’s look at visibility.
When looking at visibility, think about what orgs will help you learn about an industry or trends. (Centennial and Right Management handouts) Get a perspective on your target companies by meeting with those that are on the inside, or meet with some of their vendors – they can tell you a lot about companies they serve, changes they’ve gone through, etc. Most importantly, you want to find out what your potential target employers needs are and how you will meet those needs and what you bring to the table. Now you’ll know what you can offer an employer, and how to position your value.
Engagement is the last part of the formula. Once you’ve met with someone, follow up and let them know how you’re doing and where you are in the process. I can’t tell you how important this is, and surprisingly, how the few number of people who actually do this. If I’ve agreed to help you and I’ve met with you, don’t I want to know the results of my efforts? Stay in touch, it is crucial!
Here’s a way I would stay in touch with my network. I had a graphic designer work with me to come up with the look. Every couple of weeks, I would edit the content and send it out.
Here are some of the clients I have served or currently serving. Tulong is a start-up apparel company that manufactures women’s, men’s, and children garments out of recycled cotton and recycled polyester made from soda bottles, we are featured in this month’s Cincy Magazine, and Wood Herron & Evans is a 150 year old law firm based in downtown Cincy.