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Tag Archives: Improve Personal Branding

life as a web

When I talk to clients about building up their personal brands, I remind them that a personal brand should be consistent and reliable. This is your reputation, the overall traits that people see in you. If you behave one way with a certain group of people and then modify your behavior drastically with another group, people will pick up on that. They will begin to question your integrity and authenticity, and your personal brand will mostly likely take a hit.

Of course, it’s a good idea to modify your actions slightly (you might have a more casual approach with co-workers than clients, for instance), but your true self should remain consistent. I talk about this concept quite a bit in my chapter on authenticity in the Ten-Minute Leadership Challenge and in various blog posts about authenticity and authentic leadership.

One thing to keep in mind when you’re focusing on your personal brand is that we live in a web. You aren’t just spinning in your own orbit, having one-off conversations with a manager here, a prospective client there. Your actions and your words can have a far-reaching effect.

I’ve personally experienced this effect during my time at 3M. People would know my reputation as a go-getter and an”idea person” before I even introduced myself. Word has a way of spreading and, because of that, the people at 3M entrusted me to take on new, experimental projects, knowing I had built up a reputation of innovation and ambition.

In your own world, your reputation might either be built or shattered by the things you say on social media, your replies (or lack of replies) to emails, your courteousness or curtness, your ability to meet deadlines (or ignore them). And you know what? The web is getting smaller. We are all linked through digital channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, email records) and our actions can be easily monitored (browser history, time stamps on email messages). Why not be transparent?

Putting your best, genuine self forward is the surest way to develop a personal brand that is consistent, trustworthy, and YOU.

FURTHER READING:

The 5 Minute Personal Branding Pep Talk

Better Personal Branding


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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Selling your wow factor

The other day I ran into a former colleague of mine who recently made a pretty big career transition. When I asked her what the main contributing factor to her success was, she told me it was her ability to put herself out there and sell her strengths to potential employers. Here was someone who had no experience in her newly chosen field, but was able to easily snag a job.

I know, selling yourself sounds intimidating, right? But in today’s workplace, you have to be able to peddle what you preach. As Liz Ryan, CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, says, “You’re going to sell yourself over and over during your career, and you’re going to sell your ideas, too. You sell yourself every day on the job — not just when you’re job-hunting. Your boss and the rest of the people you work with don’t form an initial opinion of you and leave it at that. You sell yourself in every interaction.”

This may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to help you successfully sell your “wow” factor:

Be a Storyteller:

Think up 3 stories that showcase your key strengths and make them authentic to you. Who knows the topic of you better than YOU? For example, let’s say your strengths are in collaboration, communication and creativity. These can be pretty broad statements alone, so weave some intimate stories that prove you have these skills. And don’t shy away from personal as well as professional accomplishments. Training for and completing a marathon can be just as important as implementing a new process at the office in showcasing your talents.

Practice Your Stories:

Get out there and meet people! This is a great way to practice telling your personal story. The more you do this the more confident you will be and the easier it will be to stand out from the competition.

Be a Good Listener Too:

When you are selling your brand, make sure you keep the audience in mind. Remember that you are trying to fill a need. “Good selling requires listening and aligning yourself with another person’s needs,” says Ryan.

You don’t have to be afraid to market yourself with poise. Being genuine will go a long way with any interaction. With a little self-reflection and practice, you can have your “wow” factor and sell it too.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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By Margaret Smith, UXL:
SPEAKER | CAREER COACH | CERTIFIED INSIGHTS DISCOVERY PRACTITIONER

 

Recently, I led a couple of workshops at the St. Kate’s Leadership Conference, where I had the great opportunity to speak to large groups of dynamic women of all ages and professions about the importance of personal branding.

The workshops went really well, and I think that everyone had an “ah-ha moment” that day, little or large, that helped them to improve their brand and the way they promote their skills and goals.

At the end of the workshop, most of the women were generous enough to jot down some of their key takeaways. As I read through the attendee responses, I realized that they would make a really great abbreviated personal branding pep talk.

So, without wasting any more time, here are some of the most important pointers:

>> Be consistent in your actions in order to be seen in a way that aligns to your brand.

>> You are remembered more for the  questions you ask than the answers you give.

>> Personal brands evolve, but a deeper understanding of your goals keeps you grounded.

>> Your personal brand supports your leadership brand and in turn supports your company brand.

>> Realize your own personal branding potential and use this energy to build your brand the way you envision it.

>> Nothing is more important than reviewing your daily activities and questioning whether they support your personal brand.

>> Tasks that seem cumbersome or tedious can be transformed into opportunities to showcase my skills and brand.

Remember, no empire is built overnight, just as no brand is transformed in a day—baby steps, baby steps!

Perhaps today will be the day that you take five minutes to write down those daily tasks and question their place in your brand or finally create a plan of attack.

I find that many of us already know most of the things we need to do. Sometimes all that is missing is a specific plan to finally do it. The great news? I can help you with that.  Contact me today to learn how I can help you develop a strategy to start showcasing your skills and receiving the projects you do best.

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