Archive for ‘Positive’

12/05/2011

Are you the real deal?

Your personal brand has to be authenticI once had a discussion with an HR Director about leadership development where we found ourselves listing the attributes we felt all good leaders should have.  High on our list, if not in top spot, was authenticity – one of the 3 Golden Rules of Personal Branding.  But then my companion made an interesting point: it depends on your definition of the word.  She’d worked with executives who felt being authentic was as simple as not telling a lie – what I’d classify as ‘truthfulness’, which doesn’t in itself constitute being authentic.  

So instead, here’s my definition:

  • Authenticity is knowing and understanding who the real you is – from the tangible, rational aspects of your image, skills and experience, to the more intangible, emotional aspects of you behaviours, beliefs and values
  • Authenticity is accepting the real you comprises not only the great attributes but also the not so great – and being willing to let others see both
  • Authenticity is being the real deal at all times with all people – regardless of occasion or status

Do you agree? And if not, what constitutes authenticity for you?  Leave a comment!

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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.  Personal branding delivers many benefits including: career development, reputation management, online presence, leadership development, talent management, social media marketing, presentation skills, networking skills and personal marketing. Spark delivers personal branding to executives and senior managers in Leeds, Harrogate, Skipton, York, Bradford 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 in Yorkshire.
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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?

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. 
14/03/2011

What Is Your Business Card Saying About You?

Personal brand business cards reputation management marketingYou’ve gone to the networking event and avoided all the pitfalls of making a bad impression – Congratulations!

Now it’s time to turn your attention to your business card – that little rectangle that says more about your personal brand than you might imagine – and which carries on saying it long after you’ve left the room.  So get one of your cards out now – go on, I’ll wait for you…

Now you’re back, take a good long look at your card, read the wording, look at the logo, turn it over, feel the card, give it a bit of a flick with your thumb.  And while you’re doing that, ask yourself these questions about your personal brand:

  • What are some of your key values and beliefs you want your personal brand to convey? 
  • What is the reputation you want your personal brand to build? 
  • What skills is your personal brand pitching to your audiences?
  • What image is your personal brand projecting?
  • And most importantly…does my card say all of that?

If not, here’s a few of the ways to get it communicating all you need it to:

Size and shape
There’s a standard size for UK business cards and it’s good to stick to that so your card will fit into people’s filing systems, wallets, etc.  If your brand is more stand out though, you can play around with the sizing, but don’t go too far off the mark.  Too small and it will get lost, too big and it will end up in a different place from all the others (possibly what my friend calls the B1N file!)  Changes to the shape are an option too: rounded corners (all four or just one or two), cut outs and folding all help make it a little bit different.

Card weight
A flimsy card conveys a cheap brand and unless you’re selling a product or service specifically on low price, steer clear of anything less than 300gsm (that’s printer’s jargon for the thickness of paper and card).   Cheap deals such as those on offer by Vistaprint are rarely worth it when you consider the business you might be losing, because if you can’t be bothered to invest in your company, why should I?

Quality of print
As with the card weight, it’s worth paying for decent printing to get the crispness of text and depth of colour to bring your card to life.  If your ink’s smudged and your details a little blurred around the edges, I’m going to think that of your brand too!

Colours
There’s a whole psychology about what different colours mean and it’s something my friend Peter Bryant at Gold Design has been blogging about so check if yours is on the button.

Content
When you think of the purpose of a business card, this is the important bit.  Your card has to contain everything the recipient needs to know once you’ve parted ways: a) your name, b) what you do and c) how to get in touch (by all means, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook if appropriate).  That may seem simple but I’ve had some cards where the person’s just put their initial and not their full name, or there’s only their company name and nothing to tell you what they do, or the phone number has been missing.  I’ve ended up with the impression their attention to detail and understanding of my needs is somewhat lacking – not things I’m going to buy into!

And for anyone who’s thinking, “But I have a corporate business card and no say in how it looks,” it’s still possible to stand out from the crowd and be memorable.  Here are some tips:

  • You could underline your mobile number with the words, “And here’s the best number to get me on so I can speak to you personally,” (conveying your value of taking responsibility).
  • You could write a personal note on it before you hand it over, something that has relevance to your conversation – perhaps the name of a restaurant you’ve recommended or a useful website (conveying a mutual interest and emotional connection).
  • Or you can say something witty when presenting your card.  I  was once given a particularly thick card with the words, “And it doubles up as an ice scraper.” I’m never going to forget him!


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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. 

09/02/2011

Addressing your Dressing

Personal brand for business in Yorkshire and LeedsOut of all the things that make up your personal brand your image is the first thing you need to get right, so it’s time we addressed your dressing.   

Think about it…if you are in a room of people and someone walks in, within seven seconds of spotting them you’ve  formed an opinon about them.  They haven’t opened their mouth or shaken your hand, but you already have a pretty good idea whether you’re buying into their personal brand.

What’s influencing that opinion?  How they look: their physique, their hairstyle, their clothing, their accessories, their personal hygeine – it’s all adding the picture. 

And every piece of the picture needs to add up.  We all know of someone whose attempt to convey a smart brand was let down by the fact their shirt collar was threadbare and their shoes were so scuffed and uncared for that the toes curled upwards.  Or someone whose pinstripe suit and snazzy tie conveyed an attention to appearance, only for that to be contradicted when they opened their mouth and their yellowing teeth and coffee and nicotine breath  told you otherwise.

So you have to ask yourself: “What do I want my image to tell people about me?”

The answer to that should reflect your personal brand.  For example, I define my image as ‘City with a twist’.  I’ll start by wearing something smart and having a hairstyle and make-up that wouldn’t look out of place in a boardroom (reflecting my brand attributes of confidence and making things happen).  But then I’ll always add something extra, like a big flower corsage or a multitude of pearl necklaces, to show I’m not your typical boardroom exec (reflecting my brand attributes of being ‘me’ and doing things my way).

So when you’re deciding what to wear in the morning, take time to think about what your key brand attributes are and whether your image (in all its forms) is saying that.  And if it’s not, perhaps it’s time to rethink your wardrobe, which is why my next blog will be a guest post from Natalia Colman, founder of Style Specialists.

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If you liked 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. 

12/01/2011

BACK TO BASICS #7: Think it, be it

Welcome to the last in my Back to Basics series (don’t worry, the blogs will keep coming, but with this last bit under our belts we can move on to the really juicy stuff!)

In my last two posts I wrote about using positive language to create a positive brand and the need for not just the words but the tone and delivery to match if you’re to be believed.

But what if you’re just not feeling all that positive?  If you’re hacked off with the world and can’t even muster the enthusiasm to feed the cat, let alone promote your personal brand.

Well…SNAP OUT OF IT!

I know – easier said than done and believe me, I’m not averse to the odd occasion of negativity wallowing.  But I never do it without a deadline – a time by which I give myself a kick in the pants back to positivity. So here’s what you need to know to do exactly the same:

  • What’s in your mind is what you feel – Telling yourself you feel negative perpetuates the fact you feel negative – and all the while you wallow, mulling over the injustices of life, that’s exactly what you’re doing.  So start by recognising you’re doing it and consciously replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Looking on the bright side may be an irritating trait in others when you want to sulk, but it’s the key to getting you back on track.
  • What you feel is what you look like – Your brain and body are great mates, so whatever one is doing, the other likes to follow.  When you feel negative your physiology changes to make sure you look negative too – with a face as long as a gas man’s mac and shoulders hunched like a stroppy teenager.  But you can use this synergy in your favour because…
  • You can change the way you look to change what you feel – So if you stand straight, hold your head high, slap a grin on your face and look confident your brain believes your body and the negativity starts to lift.  The more positive your brain feels, the more signals it sends to your body to match it, so you stand even straighter and the grin turns into a full-blown smile. 

And your wallowing hath ended!

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. 

05/01/2011

BACK TO BASICS #6: It’s more than words

Welcome to 2011 – the year I predict personal branding is really going to raise its profile in the UK as more people than ever are going to discover the power of being more successful just by being themselves.

So whether you’ve been following my Back to Basics series to get to grips with the fundamentals of personal branding, or have just been reminding yourself of what’s important, here’s the latest installment for your reading delight.

In my last blog I highlighted how using positive language will go a long way to creating a positive personal brand – it’s a lot easier for people to buy into a ‘can do’ brand than a ‘can’t do’ one.  But not only do your words need to be positive, your delivery of them does too.  Here’s why…

The psychologist Albert Mehrabian discovered that, when people give us messages, we take only 7% of our information from the words they speak.  Instead, it’s their tone of voice (38%) and body language (55%) that give us the lion’s share of what we need to know. 

So when a ‘can do’ person says, “I’m great at working with a team,” the energy in their voice and the smile on their face will make sure you absolutely believe them.  But if a ‘can’t do’ person says the same thing, with a voice like a wet weekend in Wigan and their back to the rest of the room, they’ll never be believed.

Or another example (one for the ladies): you walk into the living room all dressed up for a night out and ask your other half, “How do I look?”  He replies, “You look great,” but as he’s saying it with a distant voice and his eyes on the telly, you know what he actually means is, “Uh…did you say something?  Go on Rooney, get it in the back of the net!”

So the vocabulary, tone and physiology have to match at all times for your brand to be authentic.  I’ll explain one last thing about projecting a positive brand in my next blog, so stay tuned folks!

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.