You Inc.: Personal Branding for Multicultural Women


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Advice on personal branding for professional multicultural women.

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  • Consistency is powerful; people may be waiting for the other shoe to drop, especially when it comes to ethnic minorities.
  • Get ego out of there.
    What do your friends and enemies say about you?
  • Think about in our culture, people who have lots of visibility, yet have actually done nothing! Can you think of anyone? Doesn’t exactly engender goodwill, does it?
    Discuss Trust Deficit
    Prominent Blacks & Latinos are viewed as exceptions, not as a “new norm”
  • Very important to understand that we perceive others through the lens of our own existence.
  • Some people separate their acquaintances by network (e.g., friends on Facebook and colleagues on Linkedin).
    People can take screenshots or photos of your online activity/comments.
  • You Inc.: Personal Branding for Multicultural Women

    1. 1. You Inc. Personal Branding & Professional Success Jessica Faye Carter // November 12, 2010
    2. 2. Why do we need a session on multicultural women and personal branding?
    3. 3. Discussion points • Multicultural women • Elements of branding • Building your brand • Communication and technology • When your brand is in trouble • Key takeaways • Q&A
    4. 4. Multicultural women • Distance from locus of power – Power indicia: whiteness and maleness • Living Room/Locker Room Syndrome (1) • No socially-accepted space for white men and multicultural women to interact • This distance from power manifests itself in two major areas at work – Lack of Access – Ethnic and Gender Challenges (1) Source: Kimberlé Crenshaw, quoted in “Women of Color: Why They Are Finding the Door Instead of the Glass Ceiling,” Perspectives 15:1 (2006).
    5. 5. Branding challenges • Navigating cultural differences • Bolstering credibility • Building a consistent brand that is personally comfortable • Managing information gaps • Dealing with stereotypes and related issues
    6. 6. Elements of Branding
    7. 7. What is a brand? A name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” −American Marketing Association
    8. 8. Nike • Nike is the Greek goddess of victory – Nike is for winners and serious athletes; look at their spokespeople • Nike is cool, trendy, hip – People want to be seen wearing it • Nike is expensive – Makes a statement about the wearer’s economic status (sort of)
    9. 9. Why branding matters • Branding is unavoidable – You are creating a brand whether you want to or not; makes sense to manage it • You are competing against many different people in the workplace – Branding helps emphasize the differences between you and others • Branding is a good self-assessment exercise
    10. 10. Focus: The 3 Cs • Clarity – What three things do you want to be known for? • Credibility – Why would customer/clients trust you? • Connective – How does what you do connect emotionally with others?
    11. 11. Focus: Value & Loyalty • Value – What is the value of the product/service that you’re offering? – Differentiation from other similar products/services • Loyalty – Do clients and colleagues come back for more? – Is your product/service offering sustainable over time?
    12. 12. Building Your Brand
    13. 13. Model for brand building at work • Four (4) dimensions – Packaging • Appearance • Behavior – Value • Competencies • Differentiation
    14. 14. Think: Packaging • Appearance – Clothing (color, fit, season, price point) – Grooming (neatness, style) – Personal style (conservative, trendy) • Behavior – General demeanor (friendly, aloof, quiet, angry, professional) – Speaking style (voice tone, accent, gestures, laughter) • Remember, only part of this is about how you see yourself; the rest is about how others perceive you
    15. 15. Think: Value • Competencies – What is your primary area of expertise? – What is your core skill set? • Differentiation – What sets you apart from your competition? – Why would clients choose you over someone else? – What do you have that others do not?
    16. 16. Building You Inc. • Think of yourself as a bundle of goods and services – Determine your best professional qualities and the benefits you offer – Make sure your “packaging” is congruent with the organization • Ask yourself - what do I want to be known for? – Build relationships/trust – Market yourself/gain visibility
    17. 17. It’s personal...and it isn’t • Branding is both personal and impersonal – It’s personal because it involves you – It’s impersonal because it’s about a package of goods and services – If someone doesn’t need your particular combination of goods and services, it’s not necessarily about you, it’s about what they need
    18. 18. External influences • Outside influences on your brand that are beyond your control (but which you can affect) – Manager – Colleagues – Grapevine – Stereotypes – Opinions
    19. 19. Internal vs. external branding • Internal – Reputation at employer; relationships with co- workers; evaluations; manager • External – Media mentions, industry involvement, “lists,” outside engagements • Expert branding – Research, publications, conversation partners
    20. 20. Branding roadmap • Self-awareness – Know thyself; separate your opinion from others’ • Recognize the factors that you are managing against • Identify your 3 attributes and value proposition – Use these to debunk stereotypes while highlighting your attributes • Get started!
    21. 21. Communication & Technology
    22. 22. Communicating your brand • You are communicating your brand all the time – In person with self-introductions, meetings, daily interactions, etc. – Online through Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. – Communication is not one-size-fits-all • How you present your brand in person and online matters
    23. 23. Communication • How do you talk about yourself? – self-deprecatingly, confidently, arrogantly • How do you describe what you do? • How do you communicate with others? ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ – Feeling/emotional/relationship appeal – Technical/quantitative appeal, or both • Are you tailoring your communication style to your audience? • Other considerations: sense of humor, laughter, personality
    24. 24. Social Media
    25. 25. The “blurred identity” • Social technologies are blurring the boundaries between your professional and personal life online • Technology has “flattened” the world, but the underlying relationship dynamics haven’t really changed • Managing technology is critical for your brand
    26. 26. Managing the blurred identity • Privacy Settings – Limit others’ access to your personal information; segment friends by interest – Not foolproof • Recognize “friending” issues – Colleagues, clients, managers, family • Dealing with references/likes – May be visible to others – Company policies • No such thing as anonymity
    27. 27. A Technical Situation You logged into your Facebook account yesterday evening and noticed several new friend requests. Some are from college friends, one is from a family member, two are from colleagues in your department, and another is from a client. You’re a little uneasy about a few of these requests. One of the colleagues who contacted you is a friend; the other, more like a “frenemy.” And while you like the client, who is really cool, you also know that he can be a little bit sensitive and you have to be careful in your interactions with him. It’s getting late, so you accept the requests from your college friends, but wonder how to handle the others. Do you accept the requests from both colleagues, or just the one you’re friends with? How do you respond to the client?
    28. 28. When Your Brand is in Trouble
    29. 29. Brand difficulties • Performance issues – Underperformance – Performance at the expense of relationships • Image concerns – Professional style – Communication • Exposure challenges – Underexposure – Overexposure
    30. 30. Reinventing Your Brand • Identify the problem – Setup a focus group about You Inc. – Consider performance evaluations – What’s the buzz about you? • Determine whether a change is necessary • Focus on developing relationships – Sources of feedback – Support network
    31. 31. Key Takeaways
    32. 32. Branding is Power • Take charge of your brand • Evaluate yourself realistically • Build a brand that is congruent with your company and industry (internal/external) • Position yourself against the competition • Manage your “online” persona carefully • Shore up your brand with strategic relationships (e.g., alliances vs. friends)
    33. 33. Thank You Twitter: @jescarter © 2010 Jessica Faye Carter