Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Personal Brand …again

Personal brand … just when I think it’s not about the PR, then PR raises its head as a necessity.

The problem with PR is that, these days, many see it as hype, exaggeration or down-right lies.

The solution is to base your self-pitch on fact…which can be tough to do if you haven’t examined your facts lately. Work through these issues with your mentor/mentee and see if you both don’t come up with some new thoughts!

What are your key messages and themes?

• These can range from your personal philosophy (on the topic at hand) to your interests and passions. But if you haven’t examined what those are - taking it from the back burner to the front - then you may not be prepared to present them.
• My key message, regardless of context, is always about relationships: establishing; deepening; tapping. Relationship are the centrepoint of my world view.

What tools or reference points are relevant to your audience?

• I don’t jump in with a theatre story when I’m talking to an IT guy if we haven’t established that he’ll understand my analogy. The onus is on you to do the preparation and reach out to your partner(s) in language they’ll understand.
• Finding a point of common ground - from the personal like being a parent - to a work story - can be a great way to assure your audience and have them feel you have something in common. People tend to relax at that point.

If you had to use 3 adjectives to describe yourself in a professional capacity, what would they be? In a personal? Examine the difference in the lists and decide if you would like them to be more similar.

• Most folks get the first two points above and this one always makes them tilt their head and look puzzled.
• You are your own best advocate. If you can’t comfortably tell folks what you do well, then you’re losing opportunities to make connections.
• I call myself an artist, facilitator, strategic thinker. I amend that list depending on my audience but it’s not that far off from what my friends think either. (I’ve edited out the bad words they added)

If you could make only 3 new contacts this season, on what would they be based? (profession; skill; reputation; personality; etc.?)

• I’m still working through this one. I want one person who can challenge my first thought to get to a stronger one - probably in my circle of friends/peers at work. I want someone to work with me on understanding a deeper level of organizational design - probably a professional connection. I would like one person who will drag me out of the house more often - a new friend or reconnecting with a dear one.

What are the tools you use most often to let people get to know you?

• Phone calls? emails? Web posting? Word of mouth? etc.
• Get your friends to critique your tools.

How do you measure success?

• When people have the same 3 adjectives as the ones on your list?
• When they pass your key messages on to others without coaching?
• With a paycheque?
• An audience?
• A request for a repeat performance?

• We often are looking ahead but rarely take the time in our own lives to just appreciate how far we’ve come. (See September - Winter Prep blog post)

• It’s also much easier on us to quantify success. When we have a measurement (vs. we ‘think’ it worked), we don’t seem so reluctant to tell others! And your community definitely wants to celebrate the ups along with supporting the downs.

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