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6 Steps to Building Your Professional Brand


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In today's job market building a brand is a requirement, not an option. In this presentation I offer a 6 step approach to building your brand and also review some truths about branding and I layout some of the components of your brand, including how to build an online presence.

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6 Steps to Building Your Professional Brand

  1. 1. 6 Steps to Building YourPersonal BrandFrom Suzette Conway at Spirit SpotCopyright 2013 SpiritSpot™
  2. 2. Agenda Some Truths About Branding A Process for Building Your Brand The Components of Your Brand
  3. 3. Some Truths About Branding
  4. 4. Some Truths About Branding Branding is about reputation and awareness Branding should be done consciously, don’t be a victim ofaccidental branding Branding isn’t something you do quickly, it happens overtime Branding isn’t something you do once, it is continuousand should evolve, just like you do
  5. 5. Some Truths About Branding Brands must have a target audience and be relevant tothat audience Brands should stand out and be memorable Branding is easier when it is authentic
  6. 6. Why Should You Care? Social media requires branding. People will Googleyou. Whether you interact online or off people build an imageof who you are over timeYou get to be in control of all of those impressions.
  7. 7. A Process for Building YourBrand
  8. 8. A Process for Building YourBrand1. Define your professional goals2. Clarify your values, interests, and passions3. List the strengths, talents, skills that support your brandSTOP:Get feedback and then proceed4. Analyze your potential customers (employers, clients)5. Analyze your competition6. Create the components of your brand
  9. 9. A Process for Building YourBrandDefine your professional goals Near Term, 1, 2, and 5 years Skills enhancement and Education Target role/job Lifestyle – telecommute, location independent life,flexible schedule, semi-retirement Hunker down in one spot for 15 years or a newadventure/job every 3 years? Innovative, exciting culture with many unknowns(startup) or lots of structure and predictability?
  10. 10. A Process for Building YourBrandClarify your values, interests, and passions What do you want to spend your time on at work or inlearning mode? What are your Intrinsic Values? What are your Extrinsic Values? What are your Lifestyle Values?
  11. 11. A Process for Building YourBrandIntrinsic ValuesIntangible rewards that motivate and satisfy you at work on a dailybasis. It’s what makes you WANT to go to work each day. Variety and change at work Being an expert Help others, Help society Experienceadventure/excitement Take risks/have physicalchallenges Feel respected for your work Compete with others Have lots of public contact Influence others Engage in precision work Gain a sense ofachievement Opportunities to expressyour creativity Work for a good cause
  12. 12. A Process for Building YourBrandExtrinsic ValuesThe tangible rewards or conditions at work, including the physicalsetting, job titles, benefits and earnings/earning potential. Have control/power/authority Travel often Be rewarded monetarily Be an entrepreneur Work as a team Work in a fast-pacedenvironment Have regular or flexible workhours Be wealthy Have prestige or socialstatus Have intellectual status Have recognition throughawards/honors/bonuses Wear a uniform Work in an aestheticallypleasing environment
  13. 13. A Process for Building YourBrandLifestyle ValuesPersonal values associated with how and where you want to live,spend your leisure time, and how you feel about money. Save money Vacation many times a year Access toeducational/culturalopportunities Live close tosports/recreational facilities Be active in your community Entertain at home Be involved in politics
 Live simply Spend time with family Live in a big city, smalltown, or overseas Have time forspirituality/personal growth Be a homeowner Have fun in your life and atwork
  14. 14. A Process for Building YourBrandList strengths, talents, skills that support your brand Adjectives to describe you & your professional behavior Talents you’re always recognized for, things you dobetter than others Specific professional skills – project management,documentation, budgeting… Choose the top five, the ones you do best and enjoydoing the mostSTOP and Get feedback from those that know you best… family,friends, and close peers. Objectively compare your lists with theirs.Do they match? Are there significant differences?
  15. 15. A Process for Building YourBrandAnalyze your potential customers (employers, clients) What do you know about their industry, products, andcustomers? What do you know about their needs and wants? What do your customers look for, what’s relevant tothem? How does it map to what you offer? Who are their top people and what are their brandslike? How do they position themselves?
  16. 16. A Process for Building YourBrandAnalyze Your Competition How are others in your field with your skills positioningthemselves? How are they different from you? How do you offer more value? How do you stand out? What do I need to do to become better than mycompetition?

  17. 17. Creating the Components ofYour Brand
  18. 18. Creating the Components of YourBrandIdentify the primary "product” you have to offer others(service, resource, special ability, etc.) Weave the items on all your lists into a statement ofyour specialty. What are you particularly gifted at delivering Write a paragraph emphasizing your specialty and yourfive key talents, weaving in your most important values,passions and skills.
  19. 19. Creating the Components of YourBrandDefine your unique value proposition What is it YOU offer that is valuable to your targetaudience? How do your talents and skills align with youraudience’s needs?
  20. 20. Creating the Components of YourBrandDecide how you will you position yourself and whatpositions do you want to avoid Are you a local baker or a global baking service? Do you specialize in recovering troubled projects withlaser focus or excel at managing lots of projectssimultaneously?
  21. 21. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a tag line to your brand This summarizes your value proposition. It’s your verbal business card. This is not a mission statement, it’s a short simple,memorable statement describing who you are and whatyou offer.My Tag lineEnergetic content and education director skilled at creatingprograms from scratch.
  22. 22. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a tag line to your brand Create 3 lists of words Emotional Words Descriptive Modifiers Your function
  23. 23. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a tag line to your brand Emotional words that describe your personality andimpact. It can be as simple as “fun” Questions to Consider How do I make people feel? How do people benefit by working with me? What words do others use to describe me?Mine: Energetic
  24. 24. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a tag line to your brand Add a descriptive modifier to clarify the emotionalword and identify who or what the product is for Disney’s is “family” As an individual, yours might be an industry(“healthcare” or “education”), or it might be a skill(“creative” or “strategic”)
  25. 25. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a tag line to your brand Questions to Consider What field or industry am I in (or do I want to be in)? What are the words I would use to describe my work? Who is my target audience?Nike’s is “authentic athletic performance,” “authentic”is the emotional appeal, while “athletic” tells youwhat the brand is for.
  26. 26. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a tag line to your brand What is your Function? It might be something that directly relates to your career:writing, website design, or CAD operation It might be something broad, like Disney’s“entertainment” Questions to Consider: What service do I have to offer people? What do I do that makes me stand out from everyoneelse?
  27. 27. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a tag line to your brand Mold the words into a short sentence or phrase, 10words or less Should communicate clearly who you are Should be simple and memorable Should feel inspiring to you Examples: “dependable, strategic planner” “a creative professional connector.” “motivating others to do their best.”
  28. 28. Creating the Components of YourBrandTest again Test your value proposition, positioning statement, andtag line. Run it by friends, colleagues, members of yourprofessional association, members at LPJC, recruiters,HR reps… note their reaction. Look for gaps in your perception of your brand and theway other’s perceive your brand. Adjust as needed
  29. 29. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a professional presence online When someone finds information about you online, ittells them to who you are and what you can do. Employers considering you for a job WILL Google you.What will they find? You must have an online presenceSo how do you create an online presence?
  30. 30. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a professional presence online Create a website or blog as a primary landing spot Build profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, IndustryAssociation Websites Write Articles & blogs, post on all your social networksand your website Speak and teach Add instructions for how to hire you to speak or teach Show your schedule (recent and upcoming events) Create Videos and post online (vimeo, YouTube, yourwebsite or blog, social networks)
  31. 31. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a professional presence online Create presentations and post on SlideShare Blog and guest blog Write or contribute to newsletters for professionalassociations, Be visible in professional associations and otherorganizations – Volunteer, Present, Tweet their news &events
  32. 32. Creating the Components of YourBrandCreate a professional presence online Remember, this takes a while. No one expects you tohave a full blown brand in 30 days. Start small and build on it by looking for opportunities toreuse things. Write an article then summarize it as a blog post and link to thefull article at the end. Put the blog link in your twitter feed or start a discussion aroundit on a LinkedIn group… or answer a LI question and include thelink to your blog for more details. Share it with a similar blog and suggest you each guest post forone another.
  33. 33. Creating the Components of YourBrandSAMPLE BRANDGoogle “Suzette Conway”. You won’t find pictures of my summervacation. What you will find, other than a few personal items (meetup profile and pinterest profiles): My profile on Google, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn,SheWrites, Mediabistro… My own website ( Twitter account aggregators (wefollow, twtrland, …) References to my involvement in ASTD References to my work presenting and speaking
  34. 34. Creating the Components of YourBrandSAMPLE BRAND Comments I’ve made on public blogs Blog posts and articles I’ve written My SlideShare presentations Mentions of me by people I’ve interviewed Listings in professional directories and in public recordaggregators The press release announcing my current roleEven if you don’t get into the top 10 rankings for your name, try for thetop results to include all “good” content and none of the things youdon’t want grandma to see
  35. 35. SummaryConsciously Develop your brand.Make sure that when employers/clients look for you theyfind you and that what they find is what you want themto find.Remain visible and passionate about your work and yourbrand.