7 Tips for Cultivating Your Personal Brand


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Slides to accompany Barbara Nixon's presentation at the Concordia University Wisconsin's Step One to Getting It Done workshop. Notes accompany each slide.

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  • What do you think of when you hear the word Brand?
  • Now let’s hear from you again. I am going to show some more logos on the screen here. If you recognize any of these logos, just shout out the names.WalmartYoung & the RestlessRazorbacks (it pains me to include this one! I am a rabid Auburn fan, but please don’t hold that against me.)
  • Mercy Hospital (one of our primary sponsors for this event – thank you!)John Brown University (another sponsor . . . And where I teach as an adjunct professor)And finally, Shiloh Technologies (just up the street from here. We help you sell more at retail.)
  • I know you didn’t expect there to be math here today, but here’s a simple equation. How you describe yourself plus how others describe you equals your personal brand.
  • It’s NOT only for celebrities. We all have a personal brand, whether we know it or not. Image Credit: http://lbcinema.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/redcarpet-large.jpg
  • Remember the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie? Ron Popiel would always say “set it and forget it!” With your personal brand, you can’t just work on it for a weekend, then think your work is done for the next year or two. It takes constant cultivating.Image Credit: http://ds_product_photos.s3.amazonaws.com/large/32965.jpg
  • It’s NOT shameless self-promotion. It’s two way . . . With both speaking & listening.
  • It’s not becoming someone you aren’t. It’s making the most and best of who you are.Image Credit: http://www.christianindex.org/6040.survivorsmakeup.jpg.image
  • It’s not rocket science. I’ll share tips with you today that you can use right away – even before you leave this conference.
  • Though job seekers definitely need to be aware of their personal brand – maybe even moreso than others do – personal branding isn’t just for people looking for a job. It’s for all of us.
  • So here’s another question for you . . . Do you need to be aware of your personal brand? The answer is resoundingly YES.
  • According to Brandon Cox, pastor and church planter at Grace Hills Church here in Rogers, it’s not optional. You must be.Quotation Source: http://www.slideshare.net/brandonacox/how-to-use-social-media-for-ministryImage Credit: http://instagram.com/p/i4pfG/
  • Today, I’ll share with you seven steps for cultivating your personal brand. And I’d like to thank my talented friend Kandra Young for providing all the hand-lettered slides you’ll see here. There are fill in the blanks on the front of your handout, if you wish to use them for easy note taking. My slides with brief notes and additional links are also available online by going to the address you see on the bottom left side of the back of your handout.Image Credit: http://www.shindigz.com/images/itm_img/10SZPIANUM7.jpg
  • First and absolutely most important, Be YOU!Image Credit: Kandra Young, ©2013
  • Today you are you,that is truer than true.There is no one alivewho is Youer than You.— Dr. Seuss
  • Take a few quiet moments now to think about YOU. What are five words you’d use to describe yourself? Write them on the back of your handout.Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/18619970@N00/8359237
  • Now, write five words that you think others would use to describe you.If you feel comfortable doing so, share your lists with those around you.Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49968232@N00/109313840
  • How many of the words intersect?
  • I do some easy scrapbooking using a system called Project Life. And as part of a Project Life Facebook Group that I participate in, we were asked to come up with 15 words to describe ourselves. I asked my Facebook friends and family for help, and this is the list they came up with. And it’s pretty darn accurate. You might want to try something similar later this week.
  • Our second step is SHARE. To cultivate your personal brand in today’s world, you will need some sort of online presence.Image Credit: Kandra Young, ©2013
  • Eric Qualman says we have two images of ourselves online. The first is our footprints. Those are what we leave online about ourselves. Examples are Facebook status updates, blog posts, comments, tweets, Instagram pictures, LinkedIn updates, etc.Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/15923063@N00/3150765076
  • The second image we leave is of our shadows. Those are what others say about us.
  • So before you share information online, ask yourself these five questions. Is it . . .And if it’s not, you might want to think twice before sharing it.Image Credit: http://www.redbubble.com/people/scrabbler
  • Let’s talk about Goldilocks for a minute. She first found a chair that was too hard, then too soft, then JUST RIGHT. Image Credit: http://www.etsy.com/listing/58829545/childrens-wall-art-print-the-three-bears?ref=shop_home_active
  • That’s what you’re aiming for in sharing either online or face to face . . . That perfect amount: the Goldilocks principle.Image Credit: http://www.etsy.com/listing/58829545/childrens-wall-art-print-the-three-bears?ref=shop_home_active
  • I’ve got a caution sign here. As I begin to put an acronym up here, try to guess what it is. T --- M --- I. Yes, too much information. You don’t want to become “that person” . . . The one who overshares on any one topic or about things are far too personal.
  • Let’s move on to our third step to cultivating your personal brand: Be Consistent.Image Credit: Kandra Young, ©2013
  • I may be dating myself a bit here, but when I was a kid and I got Cracker Jack, I loved getting the surprise inside. It was fun! But when it comes to relationships with humans, I rarely want a surprise.Image Credit: http://yesteryearremembered.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/crackerjack-prize.jpg
  • I’m not a fan of discovering that there’s a “man behind the curtain” when I get to know you better.Image Credit: http://verdoux.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain.jpg?w=640
  • Keep your messaging consistent, so that people won’t be surprised when they hear either from or about you.Image Credit: http://hopi-airboom-indonesia.blogspot.com/2012_06_03_archive.html
  • On the back of your handout, there are two signature lines. Sign the first line with your dominant hand. Now sign the second with your non-dominant hand.
  • Which one looks better? The one you normally use. Things are easier to do and look better for you when you’re consistent with how you do them.
  • And by the same token, when people have seen you like THIS for a while . . .Image Credit: http://images5.fanpop.com/image/forum/145000/145564_1321989986662_full.jpg
  • It’s pretty jarring when you suddenly appear like THIS. We probably wouldn’t have been surprised at all if Lady Gaga stripped down and twerked like this at the VMAs, but our dear sweet Hanna Montana? Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ochre_jelly/9620427432/in/photostream/
  • Remember, a confused mind always says no. If people have a hard time reconciling who you are based on conflicting representations of you, they are probably going to Dislike it.Image Credit: http://www.amazon.com/Jailbreak-Collective-Like-Dislike-Stamps/dp/B004LUY9TS
  • And now for our fourth step, and my favorite topic, listening. The meaning of the word listening has broadened over the last decade or so.Image Credit: Kandra Young, ©2013
  • Let’s first talk about digital listening first, which is really monitoring. It’s important to know what’s being said about you online. You could do a Google search, but I have two easier ways for you. First is using Google Alerts, which will let you set up a search and have an email sent to you whenever the search terms are found. The second is Custom Scoop, which allows for much more robust media monitoring. It’s free for the first 30 days, and is great for businesses to keep tabs on what their customers are saying about them.
  • Now let’s talk about listening in a more traditional sense: human to human.Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/husseinabdallah/6293190960/in/photostream/
  • On the back of your handout, you’ll see the same kanji character as you see on the big screen. It’s the Japanese pictograph for Listening. Listening is made up of five parts:Eyes, undivided attention, the heart, the mind and finally your ears.Image Credit: http://www.s-group.co.uk/home/listening-japanese-pictogram/
  • Hey now, Kanye – that was RUDE.Image Credit: http://www.s-group.co.uk/home/listening-japanese-pictogram/
  • How do you feel when someone interrupts you? Maybe you get irritated like this little girl here . . . And besides interrupting, here are a few more ways to irritate your co-workers and clients:Not looking at your co-workers while you are talking or listening to them.Getting ahead of your co-workers who are speaking and finishing their thoughts for them.Saying, “Yes, but . . .,” when your co-workers ask you a challenging question, which can sound like you’re discounting their opinions or thoughts.Focusing on YOU and not your co-workers by topping your co-workers’ stories with “That reminds me. . .” or “That’s nothing, let me tell you about what happened to me. . .”Appearing more interested in what’s on your phone than in what they’re currently talking to you about.Image Credit: Barbara Nixon, 2006
  • A fifth step in cultivating your personal brand is to Use Your Brain.Image Credit: Kandra Young, ©2013
  • What are some ways of not using your brain? Unfortunately, there are a LOT of them. One is being careless with your grammar and spelling. People will judge your professionalism.Image Credit: http://www.geekytattoos.com/mispelled-tattoo/
  • Another is to DO something downright stupid, like Justin Bieber choosing to spit on his fans below. Ewww. Image Credit: http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/justin-bieber-denies-spitting-fans-2106082
  • And while we’re talking about not using your brain, let’s see a portion of a cute public service announcement from Australia called Dumb Ways to Die.Image Credit: http://dumbwaystodie.com/
  • Image Credit: Kandra Young, ©2013
  • Curly was the tough old cowboy character played by the late Jack Palance. Here’s the scene from the movie where Curly espouses his life philosophy to Mitch, Billy Crystal’s character:Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?Curly: This. [holds up one finger]Mitch: Your finger?Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.Mitch: But what is the “one thing?”Curly: [smiles] That’s what you have to find out.Image Credit: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue51/images/Pic3-City%20Slickers%20Secret%20of%20Life[1].jpg
  • What do you want people to remember about YOU?Image Credit: http://www.tesswittler.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/dont-forget.jpg
  • We’re going to work on something I like to call your 16-second sizzler . . . Imagine you have just 16 seconds to introduce who you are to someone. What would you say?Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsand/4431807637
  • There are a lot of ways to create your personal branding statement, but here’s one to try today. It’s a two-part formula where you answer two questions. What are you best at? And whom do you serve? Take a few moments now to write your statement in the blue rectangle on the back of your handouts.Image Credit: Barbara Nixon, 2013.
  • And the seventh step in cultivating your personal brand is to keep it fresh. You can’t set it and forget it. Which would you rather see . . .Image Credit: Kandra Young, ©2013
  • This?Image Credit: Barbara Nixon, 2013
  • Or this?Image Credit: Barbara Nixon, 2013
  • Don’t abandon your social media presence. If your last updates were months ago, people are likely to wonder how much attention you’re paying to the site.Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrellrhodesmiller/6875932369/
  • My best advice for keeping things fresh is to keep an editorial calendar, where you make notes for yourself what you will write about and when you’ll do it. Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/92435716@N00/61613238
  • So, let’s review the seven steps, then I have some homework for you.Image Credit: http://blog.sharpie.com/2011/03/threadless-loves-sharpie-winner/
  • I’ve taught college far too long to leave you without at least a little homework.
  • First, Google yourself. Find out what’s being said about you online. And if it’s NOTHING, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
  • Second, get involved in a variety of social media and in organizations in the real world . . . Wherever you want to be known. Leave breadcrumbs, bit of you, in these places.Image Credit: http://zgadzaj.com/sites/zgadzaj.com/files/field/image/breadcrumbs.jpg
  • Third, if you find unflattering information, you have a few choices. You canRemove it yourself, if you’re the one who put it there Ask the poster to remove itKeep adding new content online so the older, unflattering content gets pushed lower in Google’s searchImage Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25817345@N03/8741181206
  • Fourth, phone a friend. Ask a trusted friend for honest & constructive criticism on how you come across to others.Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21202617@N00/32111893
  • Fifth, if you haven’t done so already, update your LinkedIn profile.
  • And sixth, keep business cards with you at all times. You never know when you will need to exchange information with another person. If you don’t have your own cards, go to a site like VistaPrint and get them made right away.
  • Image credits
  • Questions? Or just want to keep in touch? Here’s how to reach me.Thank you!
  • 7 Tips for Cultivating Your Personal Brand

    1. 1. be{YOU} cultivating your personal brand Barbara B. Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD) tiful
    2. 2. a brand?
    3. 3. A simple equation How YOU describe yourself How OTHERS describe you+ Your Personal Brand
    4. 4. personal branding is NOT. . .
    5. 5. Set it & forget it!
    6. 6. Do you need to be aware of your personal brand? yes
    7. 7. Building your brand online is no longer optional for anyone hoping to have an influence today and into the future.
    8. 8. be {you}
    9. 9. Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. — Dr. Seuss
    10. 10. Words you would use to describe yourself
    11. 11. Words others would use to describe you
    12. 12. You Others
    13. 13. {share}
    14. 14. rue elpful nteresting ecessary ind
    15. 15. much little x x
    16. 16. t im
    17. 17. be {consistent}
    18. 18. Sign your name
    19. 19. x x
    20. 20. {listen}
    21. 21. ears eyes undivide attentio heart mind
    22. 22. use your {brain}
    23. 23. the {one} thing
    24. 24. What are you best at? Whom do you serve?
    25. 25. keep it {fresh}
    26. 26. {in review}
    27. 27. be {you}
    28. 28. {share}
    29. 29. be {consistent}
    30. 30. {listen}
    31. 31. use your {brain}
    32. 32. the {one} thing
    33. 33. keep it {fresh}
    34. 34. homework
    35. 35. yoursel f
    36. 36. leave breadcrumb
    37. 37. sweep digital
    38. 38. phone a friend
    39. 39. update
    40. 40. exchange
    41. 41. image & video credits • lbcinema.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/redcarpet-large.jpg • ds_product_photos.s3.amazonaws.com/large/32965.jpg • christianindex.org/6040.survivorsmakeup.jpg.image • aaronbmiller.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/ILDGA- musket-onlyL-650x353.jpg • shindigz.com/images/itm_img/10SZPIANUM7.jpg • flickr.com/photos/18619970@N00/8359237 • flickr.com/photos/49968232@N00/109313840 • flickr.com/photos/15923063@N00/3150765076 • redbubble.com/people/scrabbler • etsy.com/listing/58829545/childrens-wall-art-print-the-three- bears?ref=shop_home_active • verdoux.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/pay-no-attention-to-the- man-behind-the-curtain.jpg?w=640 • yesteryearremembered.com/wp- content/uploads/2011/02/crackerjack-prize.jpg • verdoux.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/pay-no-attention-to-the- man-behind-the-curtain.jpg?w=640 • hopi-airboom-indonesia.blogspot.com/2012_06_03_archive.html • images5.fanpop.com/image/forum/145000/145564_1321989986 662_full.jpg • flickr.com/photos/ochre_jelly/9620427432/in/photostream/ • amazon.com/Jailbreak-Collective-Like-Dislike-Stamps/dp/B004LUY9TS • flickr.com/photos/husseinabdallah/6293190960/in/photostream/ • s-group.co.uk/home/listening-japanese-pictogram/ • youtube.com/watch?v=RUodek-V3jA • geekytattoos.com/mispelled-tattoo/ • mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/justin-bieber-denies-spitting-fans- 2106082 • dumbwaystodie.com/ • youtube.com/watch?v=IJNR2EpS0jw • youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4 • flickr.com/photos/tsand/4431807637/ • flickr.com/photos/36495803@N05/3746793294 • tesswittler.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/dont-forget.jpg • flickr.com/photos/darrellrhodesmiller/6875932369/ • flickr.com/photos/92435716@N00/61613238 • blog.sharpie.com/2011/03/threadless-loves-sharpie-winner/ • verdoux.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/pay-no-attention-to-the-man- behind-the-curtain.jpg?w=640 • zgadzaj.com/sites/zgadzaj.com/files/field/image/breadcrumbs.jpg • flickr.com/photos/25817345@N03/8741181206 • flickr.com/photos/21202617@N00/32111893 And custom artwork designed by Kandra Young
    42. 42. Barbara B. Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD) Training Manager, Shiloh Technologies Adjunct Professor, John Brown Univ. & Southeastern Univ. • E-mail: bnixon@auburnalum.org • Twitter: barbaranixon • Pinterest barbaranixon • Blog: publicrelationsmatters.com let’s keep in {touch}