How Well Are You Branded In Your Network?
How well are you branded in your network of connections - friends, family members, individuals with whom you share outside interests, vendors, clients, colleagues, former colleagues? Related: #1 Thing You Must Do For More Meaningful Networking What comes to mind when people think of YOU? Do your contacts fully understand what you do for a living and exactly HOW you add value to other people's lives? Whose "radar screen" are YOU on when someone asks a contact if they know someone who specializes in your areas of expertise? Try the following idea every once in a while to "research" and confirm your brand awareness:
- Choose a network connection and give them a call, asking for a quick few minutes of their time.
- Tell them you've been working on improving your personal branding campaign and you're doing some research with some of your friends and clients to see how effectively you've been in communicating your brand to your network.
- Then, ask this question: "What is your understanding of exactly what I do for a living - the product, service, or skill-set I deliver?"
- Listen carefully to their response and probe their response using the "blinking word" technique - (a) Identify a couple of words that "blink" or really stand in in their response, (b) ask about one of those words, (c) notice the blinking words in his or her answer, (d) ask about one of those words, (e) repeat this process until you've reached a point where you can summarize a quick brand statement.
- You've reached out and communicated in person with someone in your network.
- You've strengthened your relationship by a notch or two.
- You've asked for and received their help, and you've THANKED them for their help.
- You've gotten "market" feedback on the brand you wish to be known for.
- You've educated a contact about what you do for a living.
- You've enhanced your brand awareness.
- You've empowered a network contact with the information necessary to possibly refer a client to you in the future.
- You've made a referral request.