Business is Changing – NSS* (Part II)

Managing your personal brand in businessThanks for all the great feedback on Part 1 of this blog.  The comments on LinkedIn and Twitter show a lot of you are thinking the same as me: that you shouldn’t just accept business is changing – you should use your personal brand to keep up (or better still get ahead of the game).

So here’s Part II of my *No Shit Sherlock guide to changes in business to complete the picture.

Change #4
The viral nature of today’s communications is huge. Sharing details on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is part of our daily lives. Before, what went on in a company, stayed in a company.  That mistake you made at the Christmas party when you got drunk and made a pass at the boss is no longer just talked about on Monday morning.  There’s photographic evidence and commentary all over the internet. 

The impact
Your reputation, good or bad, can be spread worldwide at the press of a button. After all, how many Americans (or us Brits for that matter) had heard of Tony Hayward before the BP oil spill?

So use your personal brand to…
Proactively build a positive reputation so, should something go wrong, you have some credit in the bank to stand you in good stead.  Because if your personal brand rating is in plus figures, a knock to it with some bad press will hopefully just take you back to zero (which is a set back but not a catastrophe).  But if you’ve done nothing to establish your brand and you’re at zero on the scale, the same circumstances will see you in minus figures – which is a much harder place to get back from.

Change #5
This change links to #4, as well as #1 and #2 in the previous blog.  Advances in technology now allow us to work ‘Martini Hours’ – any time, any place, any where – and that’s increased competition.

The impact
If people don’t need to be in the office to work, you’re not just competing for jobs and contracts with others in the same town or region, you could be competing with people on another continent (just look at the trend for moving call centres to India).

So use your personal brand to…
Be overt about the value of your face-to-face, personal interaction and demonstrate the extra mile you go for people because your regular contact has created a rapport and relationship that they just won’t get from someone in a different time zone.

Change #6
All of the changes I’ve been talking about lead to one thing: increased choice.  This has lots of upsides but a big downside is we’ve reached saturation point, leaving decision-making a lot harder.  In the old days, logic would take care of it; if two people went for a job and one had a qualification the other didn’t, the qualified one would be odds on to get it.  Now, everyone going for the job is qualified, there’s no difference between them, so logic won’t work.

The impact
Instead, people are using more emotional reasoning to make a decision.  They look for a connection to the person, measuring their values, behaviours, attitudes, etc against their own.

So use your personal brand to…
Set out your stall with more than just your skills – be clear about the emotional value you offer too.  Reveal something of you as a person, to differentiate yourself from the next candidate and take advantage of creating a bond others might not.  For instance, I often drop into conversations that I keep bees and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the response, “Really, I’m a beekeeper too!”   The result?  Our conversation moves to a personal level where the chances of me standing out from the crowd increase immeasurably.

So now you know what to do – what are you waiting for?!

If you agree or disagree with this blog, don’t be shy…leave a comment!  And please help me to spread the word using the buttons below.  Or if you’d like to learn more, check out my other blogs and follow me on Twitter.  Or drop me an email at jennifer.holloway@sparkexec.co.uk.  Thank you! 

Spark specialises in branding, but not for companies – for PEOPLE, helping clients to market themselves so they stand out from the crowd, building a reputation that enables them to be even more successful just by being themselves.   Spark delivers personal branding to executives and senior managers in Leeds, Harrogate, Skipton, York, Bradford, Wakefield and the Yorkshire area, as well as in London and other UK cities. The company was founded by Jennifer Holloway and her 15 years’ experience in PR coupled with several years as an executive coach means she delivers a personal brand service unlike any other. 
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