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How to Craft a Personal Branding Statement

When we deliver our personal branding workshops and training, one of the exercises is to have people work on a Personal Branding Statement.

How to craft a personal branding statement

The 3 step process starts with what we call “5 in 5” where we all sit down with a partner and talk for five minutes about:

  • Their educational experience
  • Their work experience
  • What they love about what they do
  • What they find hard
  • Where they want to be in 3 years time

We use that information and our internal compass to define and establish a Professional Purpose – the reason why we do what we do and (beyond money) why we get out of bed in the morning.

How to do a Competitive Analysis as You Build Your Personal Brand

When it comes to digital marketing per se, one of the biggest gaps I see companies unable to fill is the real-time understanding of what their competition is up to. During my sixteen years in digital, I’ll be the first to admit being so down in the weeds executing on the tactical plan that I’ve not had the wherewithal to run a competitive analysis and notice what my competition has been up to.

How to do a competitive analysis for your personal brand

Having learned that lesson, one of the first things we do at Delightful with our clients is conduct a competitive analysis to see who’s out there, what they are doing well and where the opportunities are to differentiate and stand out.

Competitive analysis is as important for you and your personal brand as it is for the company you work for. Understanding what other people in your niche are doing, saying and how successful they are is crucial to personal branding success and here are a few things you can do to figure out who they are, their impact and what you can do to wrestle attention away from them and onto you.

How to Optimize Your Personal Brand Online

Those of you who have been enjoying this series on creating the Perfect Personal Branding Strategy will know we’ve been talking a lot about being conscious of what content we share, finding our professional purpose, and ultimately improving your personal brand online.

While not super-practical, the more theoretical steps are designed to get you thinking about being more thoughtful and disciplined about how you present yourself both on/offline and improve digital presence.

How to optimize your personal brand online

Today I’m sharing a checklist of more actionable tips you can use to optimize your personal brand so you’re more discoverable, shareable and memorable:

Get a Professional Headshot

I’ve talked about this in a previous post, but no harm in giving you another nudge on this!

Take 5 and Practice Writing

One stumbling block for people looking to improve their personal brand often come across is the fear of not having anything to say online. For whatever reason, they feel they are not interesting enough or they are afraid to put themselves and their thoughts “out there”.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who have no problem updating their social channels with a stream of consciousness devoid of actual thought or empathy for those people they are broadcasting to.

Take 5 and Practice Writing

In short, in our opinion, the perfect personal brand is a balance between the two.

I’ve written articles about writing in the past like How to Write a Blog Post in 30 Minutes, 5 Twitter Tips That Will Enhance Your Personal Brand and 2014 LinkedIn Buzzword List Revealed – Please Stop Using Them!

The main premise behind them is to encourage people to think before they share their thoughts online and to hone their writing skills over time.

Personal Brand Lab Workshop in Seattle – A Personal Story

In January 2017, I officially joined the Delightful Communications team.

For the previous 11 years, I worked at Microsoft in Learning and Development. During that time, I had a variety of roles; from team coordinator to learning and development specialist to finally a program manager for our flagship sales training program – Pitch Perfect.

I was successful in navigating through the learning team at Microsoft by having established a reputation for being consistent, driven and, ultimately, for getting things done.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was my personal brand and it opened doors and new opportunities for me within my team.  But, while that was great, it didn’t really extend beyond my immediate network and I was ready for a change.

Over the past three months with Delightful – I have been primarily focused on our Personal Branding program.  We offer a variety of services to help individuals and teams apply marketing principles and strategies to successfully brand themselves.

The benefits are both to the company and the individual.

How to Learn to Listen and Practice Empathy

One of the top requests we get from prospective personal branding clients here at Delightful is from executives wanting to be seen as thought leaders in their field.

They understandably want to build their personal brand around their expertise, but during the analysis phase of the framework we’ve designed, there’s often a huge gap between how often they broadcast and how often they’re intent on listening and showing empathy.

Learn to listen and practice empathy

The biggest misnomer when it comes to personal branding is that the focus should be all about you.

Yes, it’s your personal brand we’re trying to uncover and grow, but in order to make the best, most well-rounded impression on the people in your sphere, you need to practice the art of listening and being empathetic.

Whether online or in-person, growing your network is important if you’re going to amplify the message that you’re a go-to person in your field for information or advice. Too often, though, you run the risk of showing up on social networks or at events with an agenda that smacks of self-service, and after a while, that attitude wears thin and does not reflect well on you.

What professionals looking to position themselves well in their industry need to do well is strike a balance between talking about themselves, and asking questions of others. It’s human nature to talk about ourselves (especially in professional situations) because it makes us feel good. Whether we’re happy about ourselves at that particular moment in time or not, it feels good to vocalize whatever is on our mind.

If it feels good for you, then it will feel good for other people, right? So make sure you take an interest and ask questions.

Social Media in 2017: Data Insights + Being Human = Wins Your Customers in Their Moments

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the first ever Sysomos Summit in Raleigh, NC. The summit was full of beneficial sessions, and I was thrilled to have the chance to learn from industry leaders at Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, etc. on the current state, and the future of social media marketing.

Sysomos Social Media 2017

Peter Heffring, CEO of Sysomos, kicked off the summit by addressing the challenge all marketers are facing in nowadays. With 2 million news articles published and 5 billion posts shared on Facebook per day, not only are customers are overwhelmed, but also marketers. Peter used an excellent analogy to describe the situation – a lot of us are stuck in the hunter/gatherer mode, in which we, as marketers, are collecting a huge amount of data, but are not turning them into insight that will help us take further action.

A recent study from Microsoft shows that human attention span is now 8 seconds, shorter than goldfish! So how can marketers get themselves out of the hunter/gatherer mode and take action to win customers’ attention?

By reviewing the huge pile of notes I took during the summit, my conclusion is that:

Data Insights + Being Human = Wins Your Customers in Their Moments

How to Make Your Personal Brand Discoverable

When we embark on an analysis of a client’s personal brand’s digital footprint, one of the first things we look at is how discoverable they are across the web via search engines and social media. The ultimate goal of any successful personal brand exercise is to make you more discoverable, shareable and memorable, so discoverability is where we start.

How discoverable is your personal brand?

Why?

Well you might be the most knowledgeable person in your field, the go-to expert in your niche or have so much to say on a subject you’re simply bursting to let the world know, but if no one can find you, either by name or when looking for relevant information pertaining to your expertise, you may as well not exist.

A couple years ago, a New York research consulting firm asked me to have a chat with a “digital marketing expert” who had a great idea for a startup and wanted to run it past me. We spent most of the 45-minute conversation talking about personal brand and the fact that I could find no information online about him – his LinkedIn profile was a barren wasteland and I could find nothing to corroborate the claim he was an expert in digital marketing. He understood this was a bad experience, especially if I had been a VC or journalist checking him and his claims out.

Sometimes you only get one chance with people. If your brand doesn’t reflect authenticity, that’s bad. Not being discoverable is even worse.

Here are some ideas to help get your brand in order — so you’re more discoverable:

How to Establish Your Professional Purpose or Mission

In previous posts in this series, we’ve talked about getting a new profile picture and trying to make ourselves more discoverable through search and social media. Now it’s time to focus on our professional purpose and why we do what we do.

Establish your professional purpose

Simon Sinek and his Ted Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, has been seen over 22 million times in large part because his simple mantra of starting with “why”, is a powerful but often overlooked first step towards success in any area of life.

Nearly all of us have to work right? We have to work to pay the bills, pay off university loans, save into our pension funds, afford to go out, go on vacation and have a bit of fun while we’re not working.

If we know we have to work and that might be a 40, 60, 80 hour week, there has to be more to what we’re doing than just earning money. What helps us get out of bed in the morning? What helps us be better at what we do? What is it that separates us having just a job and having a career? What helps us live, strive and survive?

It has to be more than a paycheck. We need to have a professional purpose. Without a purpose there can be no planning and we limit the possibility of channeling our future in the direction we desire.

My story started way back when at school when I realized I had a talent for acting, singing, and writing. School plays, music festivals, talent shows etc. all saw me pouring my heart and soul into something I knew I was good at. Doing drama at university was an obvious next step and the bright lights of London and theater/TV/film land beckoned after 3 years honing my craft at college.

Interview: Ann Handley on Making Marketing Bigger, Braver, and Bolder

At the Internet Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina, late last year, I had the chance to interview Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, following her delightful keynote speech.

Ann Handley on Content Marketing

In her keynote, she talked about creating marketing that is bigger, braver, and bolder. During our Delightful Conversation, Ann broke down for us what being bigger, braver, and bolder truly means in terms of next steps for your marketing.

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