What’s Your Brand and Why Does it Matter?

Joe Cool

Are you Joe Cool?


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


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.









Billionaire Bandying: Broadcasting Brand


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.


A Hidden Job Market???


Linda Lupatkin, Career Counselor, Coach and Consultant

Is there gold? Are there diamonds? In a tight market, jobs can seem as arduous to mine as precious metals and gems. But they’re definitely available and until you uncover them, they certainly are hidden.

What is the hidden job market? Let’s start by stating what it’s not. It’s not a list of unpublished jobs. In fact, no one has a list of hidden or unpublished jobs. Think about it, if there were such a list, it would then be published and available to everyone.

Hidden jobs, like gold and diamonds, take effort to unearth. Finding them requires out of box thinking and effort. Most job seekers focus on published jobs, the low hanging fruit. But very few people actually get hired by applying to posted openings. Why? Because that’s where most of your competition is. It’s very easy to fire off resumes to those job postings, but on the other end, the recipients are being inundated with applications and even if you’re a perfect fit, they may never even see your resume.

That’s why a successful job search requires you to seek out the hidden job market, using different strategies and techniques. Some of those strategies have been around for ages, things like networking and talking to people to find out about an industry or company in which you have an interest. The good news is networking tools have advanced with our social media society, enabling you to expand your networks exponentially by using resources like LinkedIn.

Not only can you use LinkedIn to expand your network, you can use it to gather intel about who is employed at a company, thus identifying a potential contact and entrance into the organization. In addition to networking, you can also follow the company on LinkedIn and Twitter and use events that are happening at the company as a hook, or reason, to contact them.

You can use this same technique by reacting to articles you read online, in your local newspaper or business journal. By reaching out to a company in this manner you can be ahead of the pack, contacting the organization before they’ve posted a position or even have a position created for you.

Targeting companies regardless of whether they have a posted opening is key in an effective job search. This is also essential if you prefer not to relocate.  If you want to stay in one area and you haven’t reached out to every company that is a potential fit for your background, then you are doing yourself a disservice.

There is definitely a hidden job market and with the proper coaching on effective tools and strategies, the prize position is far less elusive than unearthing gold and diamonds.