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.
A Nielson study found 83% of people trust the recommendations of people they know as compared to 50% of what the company brand has to say.
At Delightful, we believe employees who have a strong – discoverable, shareable and memorable – personal brand, and who are empowered to talk about their companies within their personal/professional networks, will have a greater impact for the company brand than a strictly managed brand campaign.
For individuals, a strategic approach to their own brand will help them in their current role and in the future. Prior to this work, I hadn’t realized my personal brand didn’t extend beyond my immediate circle at Microsoft. I hadn’t cultivated a strategy to make my brand discoverable, shareable or memorable in my professional field outside of Microsoft (or other areas in Microsoft for that matter).
To be truly successful I needed to invest in my brand and I realized, like most things, it would require a plan and work; it wasn’t something I could do overnight.
I started by re-reading “An Introduction to Personal Branding” by Mel Carson. (Given I am married to the guy I had read it a few times before, but not for my own purposes.) I then worked through the changes to my LinkedIn profile – it shouldn’t be a site visited only during a job hunt.
Now I am looking for ways to extend myself outside my comfort zone with things like writing (like this article for example), speaking opportunities (hopefully coming soon) and maybe a workshop or two. It is a work in progress, but I am looking forward to where the journey will take me.
Which brings me to what you should do if you are interested in starting out on your own personal brand journey…….
……sign up for Delightful Communications’ first public Personal Brand Lab Workshop – I will be there, and breakfast and the book are included!
Looking forward to meeting you!
Ashley Seffernick – Director of Customer Learning & Success