A lot is being made of building a personal brand lately. And no matter the circle, it really is a good idea to have a clearly defined personal brand. This is especially true if you are in the midst of growing your career, or finding a new position. What isn’t so great is that developing a brand sounds like a very lofty idea that is not easily executed. It sounds hard, but I am here to tell you: It really isn’t all that hard. Related: 5 Ways To Boost Your Professional Profile With Social Media We can get a really solid start in easy six steps. Ready? Let’s go!
An elevator pitch is an abbreviated introduction that tells someone about you in the amount of time it takes to ride up a few floors in an elevator with them. Related: 4 Steps For Developing A Winning Elevator Pitch What you say varies a bit depending upon the context, but in general, it should cover who you are and enough about your career or career goal so the person you are talking to knows how to help you, if they feel inclined, or engage with you in some way that might forward your career. So, let’s say you are a Production Assistant dropping someone off at Creative Artists Agency for your boss. You get in the elevator and a guy in an expensive suit is in there already. He says, “Hi, I’m Bob.” You say, “Hi, Bob. I’m Chris.” “So, what’s your story, Chris?” In his expensive suit and riding the elevator at CAA, Bob is probably an agent, studio executive, or lawyer. You say, “I just graduated from BU. I won a couple of directing awards and I’m working as a PA while I try to break into TV directing.” You’ve just given Bob everything he needs to know to progress the relationship forward. He knows you are a recent grad, a PA, a budding director with enough talent to win an award. As the elevator doors open, Bob hands you his card and says, “Call my assistant Jeff and tell him I said to get in touch.” This could be for another PA job or it could be that Jeff is about to become a Junior Agent in the lit department and needs director clients. It doesn’t matter. The point is, you made contact and now you have Bob’s card. What would you have said in that elevator? Would you have gotten Bob’s card? This post was originally published at an earlier date.
The Dalai Lama said the root of all suffering is thinking about yourself. In Tibetan, the word for pride is literally translated as, “Me, the King” (nga gyal). In contrast, your happiness is proportional to the thoughts you have for other people. This concept also applies to your personal brand. Related: How To Create A Personal Brand Without Being A Jerk It seems the Internet would agree with the Dalai Lama. In a recent study done by Dan Zarella, the more someone uses words like, “I,” “me” or “my” the less Twitter followers they have. Another study also suggested “you” is the most retweeted word.
Branding yourself was a great idea! You are well aware of your unique value offer; have leveraged it to position yourself as an expert in your field and "knockout" other heavy-weight champions. Great job! What’s next? To stay current, you must always revisit your personal brand’s core values and ensure the value offer you’ve focused on is still in alignment with your target employer’s fluctuating needs. If it isn’t, you may need clean up your personal brand. Related: Is Your Personal Brand Wrong? A re-tooling of your personal brand is sometimes necessary in reaction to fluid industry demands—very strategic and smart defense! HOWEVER, a proactive re-brand based on forecasted industry needs and a deep-dive self reassessment –is even smarter! (That’s offense, baby!) So, is it time to re-evaluate, refocus, polish and clean up your personal brand. Get your gloves, dust mops, and brooms… (pen and paper will work, too). Canvassing. Initiate contact with your target employer. Learn. What is important to them as they plan for the future. Evaluate. How does your personal brand meet their needs? Adjust. Discard the old, remove barriers to the new you. New. Package yourself anew this spring with a fresh and in-demand brand. This post was originally published on an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock