“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” (Warren Buffet) Related: Protect Your Digital Reputation: 10 Useful Tips Great quote from a very wise and successful man, who has seen this play out in many different ways over many years! The questions I get asked most frequently when working with people on their brand marketing and social marketing strategy are, “How do I build a following and build my reputation?" and, “How do I get people to comment and re-tweet?" I have been a student of the social space and platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for about awhile now. I observe and pay attention to the people that have large followings and influence for the right reasons. There are people who have huge fans and followers, but they are not authentic to me and I have no interest in their "shtick." I wish 'em well, just don’t want them cluttering up my stream. The social media mentors I respect come from different arenas and all kind of say the same thing: Be authentic and real, create useful content, be consistent, engage in the conversation, and give more than you ask. This was easy for me to embrace, as my personality and personal philosophy aligned very well with this. So, spring of 2009, I dove off the board into the social media playground pool! I have always loved the park, pool and playground, so this was fun for me. Here I am, years later and I am still a student, but I’ve gone from junior high to high school! I loved high school, too. Did you?
What's the secret to being a successful networker? Well, we all know how important it is to balance the online and offline networking and connecting what we are doing now. RELATED: The Jimmy Fallon Effect: 10 Qualities Of Great Networkers We can’t only live online, or offline anymore. Each one is mutually interdependent and inter-related. They work so well in tandem. Both have their importance, purpose and value. We know being “online” is simply smart and essential because that is where people converge, gather and interact. But, “offline” is where the true personal connections are made to explore the mutuality and develop the relationship. If you are not in physical proximity with someone, what are some of the ways and things you can do to accelerate relationship building? Are you meeting, picking up the phone or Skyping regularly when you make new social friends?
So, you are invited to a business party or event. You walk in and pretty much everyone is dressed in some form of black, blue, gray, brown, or beige. Related: How To Create A Personal Brand Without Being A Jerk Then, your eyes catch someone wearing a royal blue, cherry red, banana yellow, lavender something. Your eyes naturally go to that vivid color and person. They attract your attention - They are intriguing! The same can be said for how we see people communicating with each other. Most people are standing a few feet from each other, speaking with their mouths moving and eyes wandering with little energy or emotion. Then, there’s one person you notice that has a crowd around them and is using their hands, smiling, animated, having fun and engaging others to have fun and participate. Their energy is stimulating others and pulling them in. People have their own “unique essence” about them. Your persona is simply an extension of your DNA. Yep, you were born with it. For business, I like to call it your UBS - Unique Brand Style. We are naturally drawn to things and people that evoke emotion in us. When it comes to interpersonal connections attracting people because of your external style and internal authenticity is something worth developing and refining. So, the question is: How can you stand out, be memorable, and make an impact? The great news is we all have the potential to do this. Your Unique Brand Style is really the description for who you already are: thegenetic DNA personality you were born with. Our “persona” is both internal and external. For some it comes easier than others. Like any personality trait, it has to be defined, refined, and used to engage and interact.
“Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do.” (Max De Pree) Related: 7 Tips For Becoming A Leader At Work A little while back, I was very inspired by the people and presenters at our “Empowering Women in Leadership” event. We covered and discussed growing into your potential, influence vs. authority, leadership defined through personal, business and family, and the future of how women can grow into their leadership. The data and trends strongly point to women continuing to be a majority and a force. They are starting businesses 2-to-1 over any other ethnic group, 60% of college students and control 66% of global consumer spending! Women are still unfortunately struggling with equity issues, especially in the workplace, so any discussion of leadership must be far more holistic. Leadership is defined in many areas of our lives and in many ways.
The hot buzz now is creating your personal brand and standing out in the social world. Because our challenge is through the web, computer, and the written word, it requires a different approach than meeting in person. Related: 3 Steps To Branding Yourself For Career Success So, you are invited to a business party or event. You walk in and pretty much everyone is dressed in some form of black, blue, gray, brown, or beige. Then, your eyes catch someone wearing a royal blue, cherry red, banana yellow, and lavender something. Your eyes naturally go to that vivid color. This concept is similar to how people communicate. Most people are standing a few feet from each other speaking to each other with the mouth moving but little else energy or emotion. One person you notice has a crowd around them and is using their hands, smiling, animated, having fun and engaging others to have fun and participate, too. Their energy is stimulating others energy. We all have the potential to be this and do this. Your Personal Brand, Personal Branding, Unique Selling Principle, and Brand Essence are really all the same name and description for who you already are. Our given genetic DNA personalities give us everything we need to tap into this. Our “persona” is both internal and external. For some it comes easier than others. Some of the things we can do to develop this internal and external persona is:
Should you be a part of a network? There is, and has always been, great power in building networks. And, more importantly, using and leveraging them in today’s business and career world. Related: Top 10 People You Must Have In Your Network To Find A Job In a relatively short time, building tribes and communities has taken on a lead role in our branding and marketing priorities. The immediate, viral, and real time nature of information and communication is nothing short of stunning. In 9/11, Michael Jackson’s death, the liberation of countries, politics, sports, natural disasters, business, and careers, there are major benefits of being a part of and engaging in networks. Here are five benefits I have enjoyed from being a part of my networks: resources, support, help, belonging, empowerment:
- time management
- interpersonal communication
1. A defined and focused expertise.Please make sure you know what you do best and can articulate it when you are asked “what do you do” in one succinct sentence. What are your top skills, assets and intangibles? Are you a sales genie, marketing maven, research guru, administrative organizer or project manager? Know thyself.
2. A career track.Are you moving your career in the direction you want it to go, or letting it get blown around? It’s better to be on a career track or path that demonstrates your experience and skill commonalities. Applying your core skills to various work situations is the way to practice, test and evolve them.
3. A trail of accomplishments.Success leaves clues. There are accomplishments big, small, individual and team, that we all have. Go back into your career story and history and look for the projects, initiatives, goals and activities that show your trail of accomplishments. They all matter and count and can be valuable markers that you tap for guidance and insight.
4. Realistic expectations.This asset during keeps us focused on the now, what’s in front of us and our current priorities. We have to look at where we currently are, the environment that we are working in and determine what our realistic expectations are with regard to sales, growth and progress. Better to be more reserved and set goals that are achievable and not too lofty or unrealistic for where you are in our process.
5. A passion to go solo with a strong support team.In the Infusionsoft Small Business Market Survey, four modern attitudinal profiles emerged: Freedom Seekers, Passion Creators, Legacy Builders, and Struggling Survivors. The Passion Creators were the most optimistic, entrepreneurial, best marketers and most successful overall in growing their businesses. They see their passion as the most important driver. Without the passion we risk losing interest.
6. A flexible success blueprint.Make the plan and work the plan. Still a very effective model and method, but we must be flexible, nimble, and willing to adapt to self imposed changed and unexpected change. The world around us continues to change much faster than we do. Staying up to date and on top of the wave is crucial. Falling behind can be fatal. Flexibility to me is one of the top assets we must have in our toolbox.
7. A comprehensive marketing yourself plan.Your brand is about you, your branding is everything you do to get you out there. Create a comprehensive marketing yourself plan that includes blending in person and online activities that help you stand out, get noticed and hopefully be remembered. Think about what you want your key affiliations, content creation, social media and industry and community activities to be. Make sure you have an active, up to date LinkedIn profile that is your main platform hub that links to all of your marketing assets.
8. Robust networking activities.The five networking musts are: join, get involved, contribute, participate, be visible. If you are going to be successful today, you must network consistently and robustly (sturdy, vigorous, solid). Fall in love with networking so that you want to do it, can’t wait to do it, and it will accelerate your professionalism. Making smart connections, growing right relationships and building active networks is the keystone of career longevity.
9. A diverse content marketing strategy.We have been creating and using content marketing activities now for about 10 years, without realizing it. But we now officially have a definition and many hubs built around it. If you have been blogging, posting on social media, podcasting, creating videos, whitepapers, ebooks, or books, then you are content marketing. Content marketing is providing valuable information or content to current and potential customers for the purpose of building trust, branding, awareness, and positive sentiment. The primary focus is on building the relationship, not the hard sell. This is a very strategic process. What do you want to be known for? That’s what you build your content around. #careerbranding
10. Perseverance under stress.The level of stress we all feel today is off the charts. Our lives are so much more complicated, accelerated, and filled with more choices and changes. This is challenging but manageable, if we use the right tools, systems and attitude. Perseverance is one of those assets that must be in the forefront of any commitment. There are going to be challenges, difficulties, obstacles, and discouragement that can only be tempered by persistence, tenacity, and determination. Are you ready, armed, and all in?
11. A cool head under duress.Staying cool under duress is an acquired taste for sure. How can we be the calm amidst the storm? How can we stay grounded, sane and focused when things around us are whirling? Being able to have a cool head under duress is when we need to go deep and tap our assets with willingness. There are going to be moments on the journey that you just cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Step back, take a breath, tap your support system, get perspective and set your next action. Remember: The only way out is through.
Want to take control of your career?If you want to take control of your career, check out our fall series, the Professional Independence Project. Throughout the month of October, we will be sharing expert advice and insight on how you can build a successful career you love. Sign up now to get five FREE video tutorials that show you how to market yourself to anyone, anywhere. Start your path the professional independence. Sign up today! Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Want to get hired? Of course you do! Employers are and will be looking for a more holistic group of skill sets in hiring people. The workplace and the world is shifting demographically, socially, and generationally. We're already seeing this in corporate America with the emergence of women and multi-ethnicity. Related: 5 Great Tools That Showcase Your Skills To Recruiters It’s not enough to just deliver your core skills. What will make you most valuable and have the most impact are a combination of your core, personal, and intangible, or soft skills.