Archive for ‘Blow your own trumpet’

05/05/2011

Put some personality in the pitch

personal brand elevator pitchWhen I wrote my blog 5 Words We All Dread: “And what do you do?” and chatted about it with people I met, it seemed that no matter what our age or status, this simplest of questions was leaving us stumped.  (Although help is on hand in my follow-up blogs).

Which is why I was interested in Personal Brand Week, an event run in the USA by PwC to help students learn more about the importance of a personal brand and teach them early on how to stand-out in a crowded job market.

Included in the week was a competition to find the best elevator pitch and here’s the winning entry for you to watch: http://www.facebook.com/PwCUSCareers?sk=app_7146470109

So what do you think?

For me, whilst I appreciate Susan’s skill in fitting so much into 30 seconds it didn’t float my boat.  Why? A lot has to do with the cultural differences (defining and sharing your personal brand is in its infancy in the UK and self-promotion of this strength jars).  But just as much has to do with the lack of clues as to who Susan actually is; from all she said, the only bit that stuck in my mind was that she’d spent time in China and could say, “Goodbye” in Mandarin.  

And here’s the point…

People buy people before they buy what they’re selling so there’s a balance to be had between selling them what you can do and selling them who you are (as my personal brand experiment aimed to show). 

 The trouble is, we’ve been brought up to converse only in business speak, just as Susan did: “driven leader”, “committment to excellence”, “passionate advocate”, “thrive on immersion”, etc.  Instead, we should be balancing that out by offering people clues as to what we’re like outside the business environment so they have something more interesting and tangible to connect to.  

Think of the times you’ve been at an event and got chatting to someone about business and, whilst the conversation was OK, it certainly wasn’t riveting.  Then think of the times when a bit of personal information popped into the conversation – maybe the person mentioned they’d spent the weekend rock climbing or were going to see their favourite band.  All of a sudden, the conversation came to life and you started to enjoy the other person’s company – and ultimately bought into their personal brand.

Isn’t that what we should all be aiming for, every time?

13/04/2011

Your image: when distracting isn’t detracting

Personal brand stand out from the crowd with your imageYears ago I read a book about how to dress for success, written by an image consultant in America.  In it she laid out her rules for getting it right – and gave numerous examples of how, if you didn’t follow them, you’d get it wrong.  And while I agreed with much of what she wrote (let’s be honest, bad hygiene is never going to be a winner) there was one rule that I fervently disagreed with: if it distracts, it detracts.

I was reminded of this when an executive approached me after a recent presentation. He said he’d once been at a workshop run by an image consultant who had pointed to the red handkerchief displayed in his top pocket and told him to get rid of it.  She said it was distracting for the eye and therefore was detracting from what he was saying.  He, however, was having none of it, basically telling her to get stuffed as he’d been wearing a red handkerchief that way for years and it was now a ‘signature piece’ that people knew him for.

When he told me that do you know what I said?  Bloody good for him!

And here’s why…she was right that something distracting a person’s attention means it will be detracting from the message you’re trying to get across.  Like when someone has spinach on their teeth and the more they talk the more fascinated you become wondering how long it’s going to stick there, so you stop listening to what they’re saying.

But what if the thing that’s distracting is actually adding to the message?

What if it’s giving fantastic clues to your personal brand that will say more about who you are and what you’re all about that your words ever could?

I’ve said before that my personal brand style is ‘City with a twist’ – I’ll wear a smart dress but then add something like a cocktail ring or an oversized corsage to let people know my big motivator: I’m different and I like being ‘me’ (although let’s be honest, there’s not much competition from anyone else wanting to!)   People then pick up on those clues and that forms the basis for listening to what I have to say.

Jonathan Straight - a memorable personal brandAnd if you’ve not come across him before, let me introduce you to Jonathan Straight, founder of Straight Plc which specialises in recycling products.  As you can see, Jonathan is a fan of the strong image because, as he told me when I spoke to him about personal brand, the whole idea is to be memorable; it’s easier to run a successful business if people remember who you are when they’re ready to buy.

Statement shoes can give strong clues to your personal brandOr to give another example: who can forget the media furore that happened when Theresa May MP wore leopard print shoes to the Conservative Conference?  Everyone said her shoes gained so much attention no-one could remember what she’d said.  But what did that matter?  She was speaking volumes about the kind of woman she is, making herself memorable and associated with a strong brand.  And look where she is now, compared to everyone else who took to the podium that day!

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Do you agree?  And do you have a ‘signature piece’ you wear to promote your brand… if so, 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. 
05/04/2011

“And What Do You Do?” The Answer: Pt 2

Personal branding reputation management marketing yourself business introductions So you’ve read my introduction to the dreaded question, And what do you do?” and you’ve read how you could answer the question if you’re just starting out in personal branding.  But if you’re someone who really wants to tap into the power of your personal brand, perhaps you’re ready to be a bit more radical, to deliver a reply that really gets people thinking – then this blog is for you!

As anyone who’s read the excellent book The Jelly Effect will know, to be really effective at selling yourself, your communication need to focus on the benefits you deliver – the after-effect you will leave people with when they work with you.  There’s a whole process the book takes you through to determine what those benefits are, but for those with less time to spare, here’s my take on Andy Bounds‘ words of wisdom.

Get yourself a pen and paper and write down the answers to these questions:

Q1. Who do you help?
Q2. What do you help them do? (think hard not about the specifics of what you do, but the benefits that brings to your clients)
Q3. Why is that important in today’s world of business?
Q4. How do you deliver those benefits? (now you can put a few specifics about what you do)
Q5. What are some great examples of when you’ve done that?

And here’s how those answers fit together to form your reply to the question, “And what do you do”:

“I help

to
.”
  Using me as an example, I might say, “I help business leaders to get the right people saying the right things about them.”

Then stop…say no more…not a word….and wait for them to ask you more.

“So what is it you do?”  Now you reply with your answer to Q3.  This is about adding a bit of context to make the listener understand it’s relevant to them, so in my case it might be: “Well, you know how ‘people buy people’ and they can only do that if they know what they’re buying into? I teach people how to define and promote what I call their ‘personal brand’.”

If they’re like most people, the listener will then ask, “How do you do that?” which is when you go into a bit more detail with your answers to Q4 and Q5.  A good way to lead into that is to ask the person about their experiences in the area you work in. So I might say, “In essence your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room…so what do you think they say about you?”

When they answer I use that as the basis of talking about how I can help them find out specifically what’s being said (I offer a personal brand 360), define what it is they want people saying (another service) and teach them how to promote that (another service) all the while giving examples of how I’ve done that with clients.

This is very different from how we’ve been taught to give our answer ie state your job title and the company you work for, so it may feel a little odd at first replying in this manner.  But keep trying it out, adapting what you say based on what gets a good (or not so good) reaction.  I promise you’ll be more memorable than the other people your listener meets that day!

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If you’ve enjoyed these musings, or have followed this advice and want to share how you got on, 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. 
28/03/2011

“And What Do You Do?” The Answer: Pt 1

Personal branding reputation management marketing yourself business introductionsI set the scene in my last blog: you’re at a networking event or you’ve been introduced to someone.  You shake their hand, give them your business card and then they ask those five dreaded words: “And what do you do?”

If you’re anything like my clients before our work together, you’ll be hesitantly replying with something that you hope doesn’t make you sound like a big head or an idiot. But wouldn’t you rather reply confidently with something that promoted your personal brand and made you stand out from the crowd?

Well, as my clients can vouch, with my guidance and a bit of thinking time, plus some practice, you can.  So here’s Part 1 of my ‘how to’ guide.  Why only Part 1?  Because I’ve worked with enough people to know that some are comfortable blowing their trumpet loudly and others less so and depending on which you are, how you answer the question, “And what do you do?” will differ.

So Part 1 is for those who are just starting out promoting their personal brand, who know they need to turn up  the volume on their trumpet blowing but aren’t yet ready to give it the full toot; who aren’t comfortable answering the question without including their job title.  If that’s you, get yourself a pen and paper and write down your answer to these four questions:

Q1. What job do you do?
Q2. Who do you help?
Q3. What do you help them do? (think hard not about the specifics of what you do, but the benefits you bring your clients by doing that)
Q4. How do you help them do that?

Now use what you’ve written to fill in the gaps below and you’ll have your answer:

“I help

to
because I’m a
.”

So an example of my answer would be, “I help business leaders to be more successful just by being themselves, because I’m a personal brand coach.”

Or if you’re happy to leave out your job title, an alternative would be:

“I help

to
by
.”

At a recent seminar I gave, someone who’s original reply had consisted of a job title that was so convoluted no-one in the audience understood what it meant, ended up with the much better reply: “I help shareholders to buy and sell businesses by giving them the advice they need.”

The reason you’re stating how and who you help first and your job title second is because as soon as you tell someone your occupation their mind puts you in a box with everyone else they’ve ever met with who does that job.  So you need to get them interested with the benefits you bring before revealing what you do.

Now you have your answer, go out and try it.  I guarantee you’ll feel like a numpty the first time you do (I certainly did the first time I told people I was ‘The Antidote to Yes Men’) but watch and listen to their response.  Because I also guarantee they won’t sneer and walk off in the other direction.  On the contrary, they’re likely to ask you more questions about what you do, which is exactly what you want, because now you can elaborate and promote your personal brand even more.

But if you’ve read all that and think you’re up for something a little more radical, stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog when I’ll be helping the more experienced personal branders among you to come up with your answer!

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So what do you say when you’re asked, “And what do you do?”  Or what’s the best/worst answer you’ve ever heard? 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. 
22/03/2011

5 Words We All Dread: “And What Do You Do?”

personal branding handshake business card introduction reputation managementIf you’ve followed the advice of my last blog, you’ve got your business card up to scratch and it’s giving all the clues about your personal brand your audience needs to ‘get’ who you are.  Congratulations!

And if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have read my previous post about reinforcing those messages with the handshake you give as you hand your card over. Now you’re on a roll!

But that was the easy bit…

No matter who I’ve worked with – from CEOs, MDs and FDs of large companies, to entrepreneur business people who run their own show – I’ve yet to come across anyone who relishes the next step: being asked, “And what do you do?”

Some tell me it’s because they do so many different things they can’t quite put it in words so just end up saying, “Oh, you know, this and that.”  Hmm, this and that eh? Hardly scintillating conversation, is it? 

Some say they feel embarrassed that they don’t do something glamorous or interesting (not something Lady Gaga struggles with I’d hazard a guess).  “Me, oh I’m just a boring accountant.”  Well, as I’ve posted before, tell me you’re boring and I’ll think you’re boring – which begs the question why I’d want to speak to you. 

And some tell me the reason they hate being asked, “And what do you do?” is that they think saying their job title – “I’m a Chief Executive” – makes them sound big-headed, as if they’re bragging that they’re the big cheese.  

Any of those describe how you feel? 

Instead of seeing the question as something to be dreaded, why not see it as an opportunity to promote your personal brand; to do something to blow your own trumpet and stand out from the crowd so the person you’re talking to wants to know more?

All it takes is a little time to think about what you’re going to say, and I’ll be showing you how to do that in my next blog. So stay tuned folks!

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If you’ve enjoyed these musings, 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. 
06/03/2011

‘Go Large’ – Presentations & Your Personal Brand

Personal brand business presenting reputation managementAfter a week doing seminars and presentations in both Yorkshire and London (no, that’s not me in the picture!) I’ve seen first hand how important it is to deliver a large dollop of your personal brand along with your subject matter. Doing so gives your audience the knowledge they need to decide whether they’re buying into you as a speaker – and the sooner they do, the better vibe you’ll create.  That vibe will be felt by both you and them and like a ball of energy gathering momentum, your presentation will go from strength to strength and the audience’s enjoyment will go with it.

But promoting your personal brand to a large number of people at once, compared to a few individuals at a time, requires a bit of extra work – so here’s five tips and techniques to show you how:

1. Your Image
Both my last blog and the guest posting from image consultant Natalia Colman looked at the way you can use your image to give your audience clues to your personal brand.  When you’re presenting, you need to be sure those clues are coming across loud and clear and can be picked up quickly from the minute you take centre stage.  So whatever your image, go for a stronger version of it – wear your sharpest suit, your brightest tie, your boldest jewellery, your highest heels and a little bit more make up. (Not all at once of course!)

2. Your Sound
When you present don’t think of it as anything less than you’re putting on a performance and just as actors use their vocal range to convey not just what’s being said but the message behind it, so must you.  This is all about over-dramatising what you’re saying – longer pauses, wider tonal range, greater variance between loud and soft.  It may sound OTT but let me assure you, by the time your voice hits your audience’s ears, it will have diminished to just the right level and represent your brand as it would be if you were speaking to each person one-to-one.

3. Your Body Language
Now you’ve increased your vocal range you need to make sure your body language matches, so don’t forget to increase the drama in your gestures.  One example is to act like the fisherman describing the one that got away: if you’re opening your arms to illustrate something you’re talking about, open them twice as wide a you would normally.  The distance between you and your audience will temper the gesture back to its normal level. (I once worked with the MD of a company who didn’t believe this until he saw a video of himself on stage at the company conference.  He’d resisted the big gestures because he thought he’d look like an eejit, but told me he wished he’d done them because he’d ended up looking bland instead of getting across the bold persona he has.)

And don’t forget to connect with your audience through eye contact – looking directly at someone will strengthen the trust they have in your personal brand.  Add a beaming smile to go with it to show you’re genuinely enjoying your audience’s company and you’re onto a winner.

 4. Spoken Language
I’ve written before about using positive language to communicate a positive personal brand and it’s just as imperative when you’re presenting. But in addition to that, don’t forget to pepper your presentation with some of the key words from your personal brand – hints as to your values, beliefs, reputation, etc. These are the thing that make you you, so make sure people know that.

5. Offering a Connection
Just because your presentation is about what you do, that doesn’t mean you can’t tell your audience a little bit about who you are.  Stories and metaphors are a great way to bring a presentation to life so why not make them anecdotes about you? Use that funny story about the time you locked yourself out of the hotel room on your honeymoon in just your underpants to illustrate risk management (whilst also letting them know your marital status plus somewhere you’ve been on holiday).  Or relate the story of how you trained to run a marathon to illustrate long-term goals (and the fact you’re a keen runner).  I guarantee it will be these things that people come up and talk to you about at the end, because you’ve offered them a personal connection to your brand, rather than just a business one. 

So it boils down to this: when you’re promoting your personal brand messages to a large audience, do all the things you’d normally do…just do them bigger, stronger and louder!

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If you’ve got your own suggestions for promoting your personal brand in presentations, or just want to tell me what you think, don’t be shyleave 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. 

24/01/2011

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. 
19/01/2011

Business is changing – NSS*

Using personal brand to keep up with changes

In a somewhat *No Shit Sherlock way, my blog today is all about how business is changing.  Well, duh, who doesn’t know that.  But what astonishes me is how many people, whilst recognising the changes, and maybe even taking note of their impact, are doing nothing to keep up with them.

So I’d like to offer a bit of help and flag up how we all need to use our personal brand to keep ahead of the game.

Change #1
As we know the ‘job for life’ does not exist any more.  Now, transience is the order of the day, moving around to progress your career – in fact, one survey revealed that corporate leaders are changing jobs every 3.6 years. 

The impact
Career planning is no longer just something you do when you’re ready to move on, it’s something you need to be doing every day.

So use your personal brand to…
Nurture your contacts and sow the seeds of opportunity in people’s minds. If you’re clear about what you have to offer, and promote that, you make it easier for people to identify your benefits.  And once they’re clear about what those benefits are they can sell them to others who may just be looking for what you’ve got – which is how some of the best career moves are made.


Change #2

Something else that doesn’t exist any more is working in the office, 9 – 5.  Now, you can be working on the train, in the coffee shop, at your kitchen table, before the kids go to school, after the kids have gone to bed – after you’ve gone to bed. 

The impact
Great as that is, it means you become less visible, and if people don’t see you around, they don’t miss you when you’re gone. 

So use your personal brand to…
Find ways to maintain a presence even when you’re not in the office – to make sure people know the part you play.  Connect with people via the phone and email, but make sure your personality shines through when you do so you strengthen that personal connection.  And don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet at the same time (or at least give it a little toot).  Being modest isn’t going to raise your visibility.


Change #3

Companies are no longer looking to grow simply by making profits, they’re looking to grow by making cuts – and that includes job cuts

The impact
Ask yourself this:  When your boss is sat with their list deciding who should stay and who should go what have you done to prove your worth? How will they know you are an asset to the business and not just a commodity?

So use your personal brand to…
Sell not only what you do but what that delivers – not just for the client, but for the company and, more importantly, for your boss.  The key is to highlight the skills you have that your boss doesn’t so that the prospect of losing those means your name stays on that list.

There’s plenty more changes to mention so stay tuned for my next blog – coming soon!

If you’ve enjoyed these musings, 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. 
30/12/2010

BACK TO BASICS #5: Accentuate the positive

Howdy!  And welcome to my latest musings in my Back to Basics series, aimed at answering all those personal branding questions you wanted to ask, but were too embarrassed to.

Today’s blog explains how, by projecting a positive personal brand, you’ll be seen as a positive brand because even though you can’t entirely control how others see you, you can certainly influence it.  Let me explain…

Can not can’t

In this life there are two types of people – the ‘can do’ and the ‘can’t do’.  Time spent with a ‘can do’ is like drinking half a dozen espressos on the trot – you come away fired up and full of enthusiasm.  But being with a ‘can’t do’ is like spending a bank holiday weekend in a caravan with the rain lashing at the windows and only a 100 piece jigsaw of a kitten to keep you company.

Attitude is obviously a big factor, but playing a part in that is the language they use. 

CAN DO: You can use the projector when we’ve finished our meeting
Can’t do: You can’t use the projector right now

CAN DO: I can do any day from Monday to Thursday
Can’t do: I can’t do Friday

CAN DO: I can start that once I’ve finished this
Can’t do: I can’t do that right now

The meanings are the same but the ‘can do’ people are projecting a positive personal brand.  So when you’re next typing an email or talking on the phone, think about what you’re saying – it’s a great opportunity for you to accentuate the positive and, along with it, your personal brand.

If you’ve enjoyed these musings, 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 service unlike any other. 

12/12/2010

BACK TO BASICS #2: How your personal brand works

For those of you who are new to the concept of personal branding (and those of use whose brains can always do with a bit of a reminder) I’m writing a series of Back to Basics blogs – the first of which explained what a personal brand is.  And as I’m a gal who likes to get on with things, let’s move straight on to looking at how it works…

When you look at the Personal Brand Pyramid, you can see how all the different facets of your personal brand come together in a series of layers.  But it’s important to understand that, whilst you are you at all times, you will naturally turn up the volume on different aspects of your brand depending on what you need to get across.  Let me explain…

If you go to a networking event and walk into a room full of people, many of whom you’ll not get a chance to speak to, you need to emphasise your Image.  So pay attention to what you’re wearing and what that says about your brand.

If you take over as the boss of a team, they need know if they can trust and buy into you, so mention your Values early on.  And explain and give examples of your Behaviours to help them understand your way of working.

And if you have a new boss, share your Beliefs with them to help them understand how best to motivate and manage you.

An interview for a job is the time when you obviously turn up the volume on your Reputation and your Skills.

The overriding thing to remember is to have the volume switched on in the first place: be up-front with your personal brand so that the perception people form of you is the right one.  Which is exactly what I’ll be covering in my next blog – so stay tuned!

If you’ve enjoyed these musings, 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 service unlike any other.