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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billionaire Bandying: Broadcasting Brand

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Love him or hate him (there seems to be no in between), Donald Trump’s rise to the Presidency can be attributed in large part to his use of social media. In sending out tweets, the President-Elect was able to control his message, going around traditional media, avoiding biases and inaccuracies to communicate directly with the people. In this way, he was able to market himself and his personal brand. When questioned about his twitter use on 60 Minutes, Trump said, “I find it tremendous. It’s a modern form of communication. There should be nothing you should be ashamed of. It’s — it’s where it’s at.”

They don’t agree on much, but billionaire businessman, Dallas Maverick’s Owner and “Shark Tank” star, Mark Cuban also thinks it’s where it’s at. He too, is a prolific tweeter. During an interview with Business Insider, Cuban remarked that it’s the ease in which he can get his message out that’s so appealing about Twitter.

So you have two billionaires who have cultivated mega personal brands squaring off on social media. What does that mean to you? As a modern day executive looking to advance in your career, it’s a lesson in self-promotion and marketing. To establish yourself as a subject matter expert, savvy in today’s communication and marketing techniques, you need to be putting yourself out there, controlling your message and broadcasting your brand.

~Linda

Job Search: Don’t Get Hung Up On The Phone Screen

Phone InterviewCountless times, I’ve heard clients say to me “It’s just a phone interview.” Just a phone interview! Like it’s no big deal. Well it is a big deal, because if you don’t make it through what’s also known as the phone screen, you don’t get the face to face interview, which means  you also don’t get the job.

The phone screen has become a rite of passage for someone making a career transition. Before a recruiter decides to advance your resume to his or her client, before an HR professional sends you to the hiring manager, before a hiring manager takes the time to meet with you in person, there has to be a phone interview.

In today’s competitive market, the phone screen is necessary to whittle down the pool of candidates. Without some sort of screening mechanism, no work would be done, there would just be interviewing. That means the phone screen is not to be taken lightly.

A common mistake made by job seekers is not taking the phone interview seriously enough. How do you prep for a phone interview? The same way you would get ready for a face to face encounter. Research the company, prepare to answer questions about your background complete with anecdotes, and have questions ready for the interviewer.

The disadvantage of a phone interview is you don’t have the visual cues like body language to see how your answers are going over. But there are some benefits. You can have notes in front of you that highlight your successes and why you’re a perfect fit for the position. In addition you can have your own questions written out so you don’t forget to cover everything.

Another thing you can do on a phone interview that you can’t do in person, without looking mildly insane, is to smile and stand up while you’re speaking. Smiling and standing dramatically improve your delivery. Smiling adds a positive energy to your voice while standing adds more power. They’re two simple tricks, but if you’re doing them and your competition isn’t you’ll be the stand out candidate.

~Linda