Hi I’m Cindy Howes. I’m an executive coach and organizational change consultant who helps people discover their authentic brand. Can I introduce you to the concept of personal branding and how it can be put to work for you? I want this to be interactive so I will ask you a lot of questions and I welcome your questions and comments.
Before I talk about personal branding, let’s talk about branding in general. We are probably bombarded by more car branding messages than just about anything. Here is a list of 40 car brand logos. I don’t know what they all stand for but I know that they are all sold in the United States. Some brands have logos that are easy to identify and others are more difficult. If cars are your passion, you probably know them all. But for most people certain car logos stand out. Which ones do you know? The logos also carry other messages in addition to the name of the car brand. Which brands best meet the description below? The Best Car Wins Which brand has the best fuel mileage? Which brand has the best safety? Which brand has the best quality? Which brand has the best performance? Which brand has the best car overall? Thus far the most frequent answers have been Toyota, Volvo, Toyota, BMW, BMW respectively. Some manufacturers have clearly branded their products-their reputations are solid and authentic. Now let’s look at personal branding—these folks have established a solid brand…
Who are these people and what is their “personal brand”? Tim Ferris author of The 4 Hour Workweek and blogger. http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ Tim is hip, bold, effective and efficient in unique ways. He is a lifelong learner with a strong drive to win. Ryan Stiles, actor and improv artist from Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show. http://www.ryan-stiles.net/ Ryan is a wild and crazy guy (just look at his photos on his web page) who is creative and funny. Oprah Winfrey, TV & radio host, Magazine founder, Film production company founder, etc. http://www.oprah.com/index Oprah Winfrey has created an empire from her authentic brand of carrying about others and being willing to share herself to get others to open up.
To examine what makes you unique, you can explore your: Vision Purpose Goals Values Attributes Skills Passions You can do this in two ways, one is by looking inward and exploring yourself and the other is by looking outward and finding out how others see you.
If this were my self assessment on the left and this were how other’s saw me on the right, where is there overlap? is there any disconnect? What is the person on the left like? What is the person on the right like? What decisions would I need to make if I got these results? I sent the online tool by email to 53 friends, relatives and former co-workers.29 responded. I also filled out my own self-assessment before reading what others said about me. Here is a summary of the results: Attributes, some were reaffirming, some were a surprise because isn’t everybody like this and some validated my fondest wishes. Skills: Coaching was the number one skill listed and it has really influenced the direction I want to move forward towards Cars: We got a choice of 2 projected questions from 4 possibilities So people were asked What kind of car would Cindy be if she were a car and why? Then the second projective questions I chose was what cereal represented me? The colleague’s opinion is actually another person’s results. I got the chance to compare my results with Cynthia and it is interesting to see the similarities and the differences? Do you remember the cars logos I showed on the first slide? Here is what two different personal brands can look like. [There was lots of other information from the assessment including several key comments.]
This was an attempt to put everything from my personal brand together in one branding statement. But it is too long, has too much jargon, and is too complicated to remember. Can you take a stab at rewriting it? Your personal branding statement is not your tagline nor is it even on your resume. Your 15 second elevator speech will contain elements of it but won’t be identical. Still your PBS is useful in a number of ways. It is a: Reminder of your life’s purpose. Compass for making important decisions. Filter for setting priorities. Communication tool. Chance to maximize your talents. Opportunity magnet. Once you have your Personal Branding Statement, you can create the brand instruments that can represent you. First most people have a business card. How many of you have had your business card professionally designed?
Take a look at these three business cards. What do you see that is both good and bad about them? Wendy Torello—strategic use of color, space and font to present a clean, professional, solid, and traditional message. Adam Schaefer—does something with Matson Electric, we don’t know what he does, what they do nor can we find that information on the web, however it does make electricity look dangerous and complicated. Gabrielle Meyer—Is trying to tell us that she is beautiful and smart. But is that smart to put your GPA on your business card? What will we remember about her? 1) We want to be remembered and be able to be found later. Business cards are not your resume—I have seen some that have a summary on the back in tiny print. Should you have a picture on your card? What do you think as HR professionals? I can tell you that a picture is essential on social networking sites and a no-no on your resume. The card is in-between. 2) Which colors work on these cards? The logo, font, color, design and layout all have impact and say something about you. What does your say? A professional designer can give you a logo, font, color, and design that represents your brand the way you want to be seen. 3) Wendy has more complete and only necessary information; the other cards have too little or too much. What content have you included? 4) You have real estate on the front and back including white space. Some white space gives room to write a personal note on the card.
You will receive much advice on your resume—in fact asking for feedback on your resume is a great way to see how others see your precious descriptions of your accomplisments. I want to put it straight out there—I think you should have your resume professionally written. Here’s two versions which Melody Evans has graciously allowed me to show you. The first on the left represented a lot of time and effort (look at the job title Melody used here and the list of skills) while the second one got Melody to examine her experience in slightly different ways and look at the result (again the job title has changed and the placement and selection of skills has changed). Here’s what Melody says about the professionally written resume on the right: It’s who I am and what I have to offer, not just what I’ve done.” First and foremost you need to find a way to translate your accomplishments into numbers. Second a resume is not a complete record of your employment history—that’s what an application is for. You can make certain aspects of your past experience stand out to demonstrate to other employers your ability to make a difference for them. Third professional writers have verbs up their sleeves that will make you come alive—spearhead rather than lead, molded rather than developed e.g. Fourth the layout and use of font makes it easier to read while including more relevant information. It can reinforce your brand.
A profile or bio is a great place for your personal brand to stand out. However, you can muddy your brand or make it clearer in your bio. What differences do you see in these two bios? This too can be professionally written and one of the nice things is that it is not written in first person “I”. Also consider testimonials or nice compliments in place of a bio in less formal settings.
Why have a website? Let’s take a look at these two websites? What can you tell me about their individual brands? I have Kirsten’s personal brand statement and it is: I use my energy, forward thinking, and passion for web technology to help high-achievers take control of their own career success. How does her website match up? What would Hajj’s Personal Brand Statement be from his first page? Having a website is Better than NYC. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but it isn’t in your face. People choose when they look at your website and how much of it they explore. Who has better credibility? For what? KirstenDixson.com HajjFlemings.com
How many of you have Linked In accounts? How many of you do something every week so that your name is in all of your connection’s weekly status reports? Do any of you use the applications portion? How many Linked In groups are you a member of? Linked in is absolutely essential in today’s market. You should not skip it because you don’t know how to use it. Find a tutor or a course and check for new information quarterly as they announce upgrades about that often. Generically how does being connected through social networking sites help you?
We mentioned photographs earlier but we didn’t talk about how a photo can be a part of your brand. How many of you have had your photos professionally taken? Why? What did you gain from doing that? At this time putting your picture on a social networking site is a way to make you human and non-threatening. And it also represents your brand (what a surprise?!?). On this slide you can see dozens of people and you get a sense of who they are from the image you see. (I don’t know what it means when you are represented by grass!) Any thoughts? Famous portraitists are known for taking pictures that are windows to the inner person. Make sure that you are providing an image of your best you.
Professional associations are a great place to begin your networking. You meet someone and then follow-up with them to get to know them better. Some groups are pure networking like Whine & Dine or Live LI Philly and others have programs associated with their meetings. Some groups have smaller Special Interest Groups or SIGs and others have Local Area Networks or LANs. Some welcome everyone and others like PHRPS or GPSEG are more exclusive. Pick a couple that are going to bring you in contact with the people most likely to hire you or to become your clients. Become a member, attend meetings, join a committee, volunteer to help, run for office. And always remember to be a giver not a taker. Find ways to support others and they will remember you positively. Just be out for yourself and well you can probably name a couple of people that fit in that category. And you do not want to be one of them! Finally you can learn and give back by presenting. It has been a great way for me to be clear on what I have learned and also how I want to market that knowledge as a consultant. In fact, next Thursday I am speaking at the PHRPS MainLine LAN and I am condensing a 10 week course on Ethical Effectiveness into 45 minutes of interactive presentation and discussion. This will support the authentic and high integrity parts of my brand while hopefully enhancing my credibility as a thought leader in this area.
Your name, slow, clear, perhaps first name then repeat first name and add last name. “I’m Cindy, Cindy Howes or Hello, I’m Bill, Bill Clinton.” Your occupation should not be jargony or cute. You want it to be remembered at least long enough to connect it with the next part. “I’m an Strategic HR Business Partner.” or “I’m a Vice President of Human Resources.” or “I’m the head of a Human Resources Department.” Again slow and direct. What makes you unique is also the benefits you bring to your employer rather than the features you possess. “I lead top HR teams to propel extraordinary business results.” This final question is your call to action. Afterwards you stop and listen to your listener’s answer to your question. “What role does HR play in your organization?” or “Tell me about your organization’s top HR team?” You can record and listen to your 15 second elevator speech or pitch at the 15secondpitch.com website. Write three and try them out. Record one day and listen the next.
Here you can see all of the elements of a personal brand. Like the cars in the beginning, you can be to your prospective employer like a Volvo, a BMW or a Honda. The difference between a Beemer and a Honda is $30,000 and not much else. Whether or not you find one person to put this together, the investment in personal branding can pay off. If you made $150,000 in salary and bonus and a highly integrated personal brand can bring you $200,000, over three years you’ve made an additional year’s salary or $150,000. Is that worth an investment of $5000 in you? Or if you land the $120,000 job three months sooner with a strong personal brand, your three month $30,000 salary is six times greater than the investment of $5000 to say nothing of the additional money that would deplete from your savings during that time. I encourage you to take the time to make your personal branding investment in yourself and the brand instruments that represent you. If you are interested in exploring personal branding further, I have put together a team of providers who specialize in highlighting your brand. My contact information is listed on the slide. Thanks for the opportunity to connect with you.
Elements Of A Personal Brand V3
Elements of a Personal Brand GVFHRA In Transition Group Sept. 14, 2009 Cindy Howes Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563
Best Brand of Car Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563
What is a Personal Brand? <ul><li>A way to communicate value specific to an individual’s unique traits and experiences </li></ul>Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 For more info check out: MillennialConsultants.com and this article on FastCompany.com http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html
Unique Message <ul><li>The unique proposition that you bring to the table is sometimes hard to see. </li></ul>Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 It’s not just what you do – it’s who you are.
360 ° Reach ™ Branding Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 Created with assessment from Career Distinction by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson <ul><li>Self Image </li></ul><ul><li>Attributes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intelligent, trustworthy, collaborative, supportive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coaching, establishing thought leadership, visioning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Honda, Volvo, concept car, hybrid </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cereal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Granola </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Colleague’s Opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Attributes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intelligent, confident, energetic, dependable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coaching, organizing, building relationships/relating to others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BMW, Jaguar, Maserati, Porsche, Saab </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cereal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rice Krispies </li></ul></ul>
Cindy’s Personal Branding Statement <ul><li>Inspiring individuals and organizations to co-create their emerging futures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Through cutting-edge thinking and insightful coaching in a global, inclusive, collaborative community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With authenticity and high integrity </li></ul></ul>Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 These are recurring themes that should be in an elevator speech, but not the speech itself.
Brand Instruments: Business Cards Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 <ul><li>Used to create a memory trace and provide contact info </li></ul><ul><li>Logo, font & design—need to be distinctive and represent brand well </li></ul><ul><li>Information is the right info? Is it clear and easily read? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you using the space well? </li></ul>
Brand Instruments: Resume Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 <ul><li>Quantifiable accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>Tailored toward your desired positions </li></ul><ul><li>Action-oriented verbs aligned to your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Look and feel of your brand </li></ul>“ It’s who I am and what I have to offer, not just what I’ve done.” Melody Evans
Brand Instruments: Bio/Profile Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 <ul><li>Well crafted story--as told by your best friend </li></ul><ul><li>Humanizes the barebones work history </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights your brand strategy </li></ul><ul><li>More personable than a resume/great on a website </li></ul>
Brand Instruments: Website Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 <ul><li>Showcases you and your accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>Fleshes out your brand with logo, font, style, picture, bio </li></ul><ul><li>User driven, low-pressure information and it’s available 24/7!! </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used to generate credibility and “expert” status </li></ul>
Brand Instruments: Social Networking Sites Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 <ul><li>Builds online reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthens your brand by growing an organic following </li></ul><ul><li>Generate and co-opt trends </li></ul><ul><li>Manage Google search results </li></ul><ul><li>Builds and grows online and in person networks </li></ul><ul><li>Global & Interactive </li></ul>
Brand Instruments: Photographs Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 <ul><li>Image sized for each use (linked in, facebook, website, twitter) </li></ul><ul><li>Background enhances rather than detracts from the image/brand </li></ul><ul><li>Lighting brings out facial features </li></ul><ul><li>Respects your brand </li></ul>
Brand Instruments: Networking Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 <ul><li>Build relationships and communicate brand messages </li></ul><ul><li>Give back or pay-it-forward </li></ul><ul><li>Where will you find your hiring managers or clients? </li></ul><ul><li>Grow thyself! </li></ul><ul><li>Speaking is a special opportunity to project your brand </li></ul>
Brand Instruments: 15 Second “Elevator” Speech <ul><li>Four Parts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Occupation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes you unique? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question to bring the conversation back to the other person </li></ul></ul>Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 Adapted from www.15secondpitch.com
Integrated Personal Branding Cindy.Howes@MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563 Cindy.Howes@ MillennialConsultants.com 610-316-3563