What’s Your Brand and Why Does it Matter?

Joe Cool

Are you Joe Cool?

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Or perhaps you’re the queen of the call center?

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Or just the girl on the go… regardless of snow?

In today’s competitive market, it’s more important than ever to have a personal brand to separate yourself from the pack. But for executives who have experienced a great deal of success, what should go into your brand?

When I have an initial conversation with executives, they communicate a litany of skills and accomplishments, often far ranging and far reaching. Very few are able to succinctly sum up what truly differentiates them and makes them unique. In other words, very few have thought about or developed their personal brand. That’s because to a person, they’ve been wrapped up and committed to developing their company’s brand, focusing on driving performance and profitability.

Having a personal brand not only helps you as an individual, it also reflects well on your company. One of the best examples of this is Steve Jobs, a genuine visionary whose personal brand helped shape Apple as a company that drives innovation.

But when you’re ready to leave your company, what does the marketplace know about you? Have you been diligent and deliberate about developing your brand, calling out what makes you a unique and desirable leader? In today’s digital age, when a quick search and a couple of clicks can reveal so much, are you showing up?

Most executives are not and that’s why it’s crucial to avoid being a digital dinosaur, step into the 21st century and embrace today’s technologies to develop a consistent, cross platform personal brand. It should include a web portfolio, a polished LinkedIn Profile and, if you have time, a Twitter account and perhaps a blog to show off your skills as a subject matter expert. In this way you take control of the content and message and create a unique, memorable personal brand.

Developing your personal brand is what it takes if, instead of running with the pack you want to lead it.

~Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Bad: Mobile Networking Mistakes

There was a powerful scene in the fifth season of AMC’s award winning show, “Breaking Bad”. In it, Walter White (a.k.a. Heisenberg, a high school chemistry teacher turned master meth cook and drug lord) offers a potential drug distributor a percent of his risky business. What unfolds is a highly unconventional business dialogue, with far more tension than your typical distribution agreement or salary negotiation.

The episode is entitled “Say My Name.” It’s worth taking the two minutes to watch the scene included above but for our purposes, I’ll summarize. After offering to cut the drug distributor in for a mere 35% of Walter’s growing enterprise, the scene unfolds as follows:

Drug distributor: “Who the hell are you?”
Walter White: “You know… you all know exactly who I am.”
Drug distributor: “Do what… I, I don’t have a damn clue who the hell you are.”
Walter gives the distributor some background of his nefarious activities and the distributor realizes who he’s dealing with.
Walter White: “That’s right… now, say my name. “

I thought of this episode when I was speaking with a client who had texted a former colleague and received a curt text reply along the lines of, “Who the hell are you?” The former colleague went on to say “I’m not in the habit of memorizing phone numbers.”

We’ve all done this before. I know I have, texted someone forgetting that you might not be in their contact list and the recipient had no clue who you were. In fact, this just happened to me this past week with a dear friend, my name wasn’t listed among his contacts and he didn’t recognize my phone number. Once he knew who I was, our communication improved dramatically.

This is important to remember as you’re reaching out to people and networking in your efforts to make a career transition or build relationships. Remember to identify yourself in the text, in other words, “Say your name!”

~Linda

Two Reasons Hiring May Be Up This Season

HiredThere are several factors to take into account when entering into the job market. These include internal considerations that require introspection, things like whether you are being challenged at work; whether there is room for growth in the future; and how your organization is performing.

There are also external elements that come into play. One significant factor, especially in recent years, is the economy. So far, the economic news has been improving: the stock market has been surging, the housing market is also on the rise, and unemployment figures are on the decline, so too are gas prices. An improved economy generally means more movement on the hiring front.

But another significant trend to take into consideration is the season. Traditionally hiring increases in the spring of each year. Companies flush with their new budgets and ready to grow, particularly after stagnating during our recent tumultuous times, are looking to bring on new talent to make a fresh start or to jump start their performance.

Now that you’ve had time to relax, refresh and revitalize over the holiday season, this could be the perfect time for you to resolve to take on that new challenge and pursue a more prosperous 2014.

~Linda