Branding is nothing new in the corporate world, but personal branding has really come on the scene in the past 5-10 years. Although the term is a little difficult to nail down in terms of a definition, it is essentially a promise of value that people come to expect from you. Let ’ s look at how to go about creating your brand.
A personal brand consists of 3 A ’s: First, your Authentic Image—This is &quot;the genuine you&quot;—not costumed to play the part of someone else, but cast in the right role… a Master F.I.T.™ role that allows you to be radically rewarded and enthusiastically engaged in work that adds value to others. The slide indicates “doing work you’re passionate about.” Even if you’re doing work right now that you’re not truly passionate about, the essence of who you are can still shine through. Let’s say, for example, that part of your brand image is about optimism—in other words, you bring optimism to your work, your team, your customers, and so on. That optimism will shine through whether you are selling computers, planning production schedules, or fixing machinery. The second “A” in your brand has to do with Advantages—This “A” is synonymous with benefits and value. It’s your value proposition—what makes you able to contribute to the organization’s bottom line. You can identify and articulate your advantages by writing Success Stories that capture a numbers-oriented, bottom-line value to employers. We’ll talk more about developing SMART Stories in just a minute. Awareness—The final &quot;A&quot; refers to communicating your brand in a manner that makes people attentive and responsive to it. You can do this through your resume, your networking interactions, and your interviews.
Although every person can have a personal brand, it is particularly helpful for professional and management candidates. You might be thinking, “ do I really need a brand? ” If you don ’ t intentionally put forward the image that you want people to have about you, they will be the ones determining your brand attributes, and you may not like what they choose! Some of the reasons why a compelling, cohesive brand will help include: Creating employer desire to hire you because a good brand includes a value proposition for employers Controlling what networking contacts and interviewers remember most about you. You can do this by emphasizing your brand elements as you talk with people. Lowering the barriers to hiring by creating trust. A strong brand creates trust because people know what to expect. Differentiating you from the competition – candidates with a strong brand look more professional than those without. Guiding you in decisions about which interviews to pursue Making you more attractive to employers, even when there are no formal job openings available.
This slide shows how you can start to mine for your brand attributes. Note that the form here has three columns: adjectives, which will be your “ soft ” brand attributes. Nouns, which will be your “ hard ” brand attributes. And Verbs, which will be your “ advantages / value proposition. ” [Note: if time allows, and the people in the group know one another to some degree, turn this into an exercise by saying “ Pair up with someone and we ’ ll work through a few of these questions together. ” ] Note the brand-building questions under the first column: What do people admire/love most about you? (including your boss, coworkers, colleagues, friends, family members, etc.) And, what mannerisms differentiate you? [If paired up, tell them to Ask your partner to answer those questions about you. Take just a few minutes. Then switch partners.] Next, let ’s look at the brand-building questions for the nouns, or “hard” brand attributes. As you can see, the examples for this are business strategist, troubleshooter, turnaround artist, transformer, corporate marketing, environmentally proactive. The brand-building questions include “what reputation are you most proud of? What products or services are you most passionate about? And What roles or titles do colleagues most associate you with?” [If group is paired up, direct pairs to share answers as one another, as they did with the last column.] And finally, the last column, which has to do with your impact or results. Think of this as the BLESSING THAT YOU BRING TO EMPLOYERS. Note the examples include resurrecting failing or fledgling telecom ventures; bringing technology concepts to reality; leveraging market opportunities. If you are in an early or mid-career phase of your life, or in more of a support role, your examples might sound like this: supporting executives to be more efficient and increase their billable hours; or, calming angry customers so that they can get their needs met and the company can retain their business. Note the questions include “if you could have just one impact on your work-world, what would it be? And, what is your value proposition? In other words, I make money for my employer by, and then fill in the blank. [If group is paired up, direct pairs to share their answers. It may be more difficult for pairs to describe one another’s advantages/value if they have not shared a working relationship. If so, then the individual can talk with his or her partner about what he or she does to impact his/her workworld or make money for employers.]
Once you get clear on the soft and hard attributes of your personal brand and the value you bring to employers, you ’ ll need to be thinking about how to communicate that information throughout your job search.
This slide offers just a couple of examples of a brand statement. The first one, Initiate and drive game-changing strategies for big growth and business turnaround in global technology markets. Is a brand statement for a technology executive. The second one, Thought leader in California utility market, bringing clarity and consensus to complex, politically sensitive issues. Is a brand statement for a utilities expert. The final one, Discrete, intuitive admin assistant, freeing executives from the minutia to do what they do best. Is a brand statement for an administrative assistant. So you can see that these brand statements work for virtually any level of position you are targeting.
As part of communicating your brand, you ’ ll need an “ elevator pitch. ” We ’ re referring to it here as “ U in 30 seconds ” and, a slightly longer version of “ U in 2 Minutes ” This is a critical part of your job search. It demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively, gets across key job-search information quickly, and is an effective use of time in networking groups. If you can ’ t fit it on the form on the next slide, don ’ t include it!
For any of you who ’ d like to dig a little further into personal branding, you might enjoy some of these websites. Also, be sure to review chapter 7 of The Christian ’ s Career Journey for a complete chapter on the topic of branding.
What questions are coming up for you based on this destination of branding and personal marketing documents? Next week we ’ll be looking specifically at resumes. Keep in mind that chapter 7 of The Christian ’s Career Journey covers this topic in more detail with additional explanation and resources on this topic.
The Non Trad Search 4 12
The Non-Traditional Search David Hughen Principal, AustinHR.com
Gaining or Keeping Competitive Advantage In This Economy• Economic Conditions have Changed Radically in the Past Four Years. How do we play in this new game? Is it really a new game, or a replay of history?• Employers are making multiple decisions as they try to determine what yields success Doing more with less Time horizons can shrink overnight forcing new plans and redesigns with budget constraints Hiring remains selectively stalled
The Shift in How Business Gets Done - Core - Fixed Cost Operations -
The Shift in How Business Gets Done - - Core Fixed Cost Operations -
The Traditional Search• Limit your time on traditional search activities• Sure…work on your resume, interview skills, networking, personal assessment, etc.• But why spend most of your time on… • Job boards? • “Informational interviews”?
The Non-Traditional Search• Instead of a job candidate – solve business problems• Create your brand! • Define competencies / expertise • Set up your LLC or sole proprietorship • Create a simple web site – mission / charter, problems you solve, case studies, bio • Business cards • Approach your supply chain, vendor network
The Non-Traditional Search• Instead of a job gap – work continuation• “I’ve formed a business to provide services…”• Partner with other professionals with compatible skills• Join the Freelance Generation • Odesk.com, eLance.com, Guru.com • Research rates charged by experienced freelancers, look at their portfolios• Ensure your LinkedIn profile shows your current status as looking for business projects and other work
The Non-Traditional SearchConnect with a Non-Profit --Apply your expertise to their operations --And…they have well-connected boards of directors --Gain personal strength from this activity
What is a Personal Brand? A personal brand consists of 3 A’s:● Authentic Image The genuine you, doing work you’re passionate about, in a way that sets you apart from everyone else● Advantages This is your value proposition—what makes you able to contribute to the organization’s bottom line● Awareness A brand must be communicated constantly and consistently … in a manner that makes people attentive and responsive to it … don’t hide your light under a bushel!
Why Do You Need a Personal Brand?A compelling, cohesive career brand will help …● Convey your value proposition and create employer desire to buy (hire)● Control what networking contacts and interviewers remember most about you● Lower the barriers to hiring by creating trust and conveying value● Differentiate you from the competition● Guide you in decisions about which interviews to pursue● Make you more attractive to employers, even when there are no formal job openings
Have Fun With This!www.ahundredmonkeys.comDon’t pick a name that makes you one of the trees in the forest• Class Actemployee training company• Alfalfatax and financial planning• Cruel Worldcareer placement service• Proving Groundsales training company• Bigfootaccounting services
Branding Statements: 15 Words or Less● Initiate and drive game-changing strategies for big growth and business turnaround in global technology markets.● Thought leader in California utility market, bringing clarity and consensus to complex, politically sensitive issues.● Discrete, intuitive admin assistant, freeing executives from the minutia to do what they do best.
U in 30 Seconds U in 2 Minutes● Critical functional part of your job search.● Demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively.● Communicates job search value proposition quickly.● Effective use of time in networking groups.
Alexandria’s Story• Her online resume was found by a recruiter• Joined an IT company• She’s a great fit. More pay than her last job.• Will stay in touch with her network and keep her site alive
! Behaviors That Fit Fit is Everything •Humility --there’s something greater than you •Flexibility --absence of entitlement •Resilience --responsive to change
More Info on Branding● Tom Peters’ article on personal branding that started it all: www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html● Robin Good’s 10 tips to creating a personal brand: http://brand.blogs.com/mantra/personal_brands/● Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Blog: http://personalbrandingblog.wordpress.com/● Reach Branding Club: www.reachbrandingclub.com● Reach Branding Blog: www.thepersonalbrandingblog.com
Peters: What Makes You Different? “Start right now: as of this moment youre going to think of yourself differently! Youre not an "employee" of General Motors, youre not a "staffer" at General Mills, youre not a "worker" at General Electric or a "human resource" at General Dynamics (ooops, its gone!). You dont "belong to" any company for life, and your chief affiliation isnt to any particular "function." Youre not defined by your job title and youre not confined by your job description. Starting today you are a brand.”
10 Tips to Creating Your Brand• Think like a free agent.• Discover what sets you apart and market it shamelessly.• Get visible.• Stop networking, and build a network.• Add value - and then some.• Accelerate your brand power by getting in sync with a major trend in your field and moving to the head of it.• Link up with an important, ethical cause as a complement to what you like to do• Share before looking for profit.• Help others become as successful as you.• Question yourself and your approach systematically - get forever curious.