Jan 7, 2019
Are you planning out your 2019 year? If you are in the throes of planning goals and the path to achieve those goals think about this…You can 10x your success if you do this one thing. Make a personal intention of creating your personal brand. Don’t worry-if you are thinking “I have no idea how to do that-you are not alone!” Today we are going on a personal journey together, using Roz Usheroff book “The Future of You: Creating Your Enduring Brand” as the blueprint.
Before we embark on this project-remember we are striving for progress-so that when we look back we can think-yes! I did that! Don’t worry you got this.
Conduct Your Own Personal Market Research.
For marketers familiar with focus groups-understanding habits, experiences and perceptions directly impacts the way brands plan strategies. It is no different for our personal branding-we need to first know where we are to go forward. This is the hardest part of the process-don’t let it stop you. Survey what you think is your perceived personal brand and then compare it against what the truth is. Roz says something so true “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it!” Remember – knowledge is power. Harness what others think and if you don’t feel the feedback is aligned with your own perception the good news is that we all have the chance to course correct any time we choose to do so.
Create Your Personal Mission Statement
Just like a company who has a mission statement-yours will help remind yourself and express to colleagues, leaders, and your boss-this is what I aspire to be. Roz identifies that “The mission statement helps you identify and articulate your beliefs and core values”. Here are her tips to develop your mission statement:
“Who? Describe yourself…talents, gifts, and attributes”
“What? Outline your goals for the use of those talents”
“How? Describe the outcome, including the impact that you want to make and the impression you want to leave behind”.
Find Ways to be Memorable
For introverts-and I feel you-as an extroverted introvert-the thought of putting yourself “out there” can feel overwhelming. But remember whether you intentionally or unintentionally want to express your personal brand-you are and will be expressing it…so why not create your personal brand the way You Want to Be Remembered? Roz shares a quote from Seth Godin “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable”. If you don’t know that book, I will have a link in the show notes-everyone needs to stand out like a purple cow!
Roz reminds us that “your personal brand is ‘the sum of every experience others have of you’”. Think about how others experience you-if you are a marketer-do you pitch your idea for product promotion? How was that experience for you-and more importantly how was it for your team, the target audience, your boss? Did you make an impression and rock the meeting? If people came up to you afterwards asking you for advice-you know that you made an impact.
Ready to take your memorability to the next level? It is so important to be visible. Recently, I had someone suggest it is important to network across divisions. If you work in a large corporation and the headquarters are not in your location or if the company you work in is very large-what steps do you do daily weekly to gain visibility.
Roz shares many examples of people getting passed over for promotions even though they surpassed financial goals and expectations. This is at the core of why having a strong personal brand is so important. Don’t shy away from raising your hand to be seen-volunteer for opportunities that stretch your comfort zone and may not directly relate to your job. Ask yourself throughout the process-do people seek out my advice? If yes then your visibility is memorable-double bonus points!
One of my favorite questions Roz suggests you ask others to help establish your personal brand is “If you were going to open up your own company, what position would you offer me and why?” and then follow up with “What qualities do I possess that make you see me in that position?”
You may be wondering, even after you receive their feedback-whether it is the right stuff to make you stand out, be both visible and memorable. Here Roz offers an important lesson about finding your unique ability. Often, we overlook our unique ability because it comes “easy to us”. Do you think if something is too easy-it cannot be enough to make you stand out and be memorable? Quite the opposite is true.
Consider finding what makes you unique by examining talents you have right now that which people ask you about the most. Think about colleagues and co-workers who seek you out for help on projects. Do you have a pattern of something that comes up over and over again? Create that as your enduring differentiator and expand on it. For example-personally I am passionate about helping empower women. When I attend a conference or an event and see familiar faces, I am often approached and asked to grab coffee and help provide career insights. In fact, this is the reason I started Rock Your Trade show and yet—I often overlook this unique ability because it is something in my DNA-I enjoy serving others and helping comes naturally. I could overlook this or leverage it to create something that stands out. Now think about a similar scenario for yourself…anything come to mind? Use the first thing that pops up as the starting point to truly create something that will help you stand out.
And if you really want to take being memorable-and increase your visibility even more-try adding in servant leadership. Why? Because when we offer others our help with no expectation in return it will draw people unexpectedly towards your unique ability. Roz highlights the key qualities of a servant leader “listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, growth, and building community”. We don’t have to use every single one of these to be a servant leader, but you should try to use at least 3 of these qualities on a regular basis and discover the rewards of helping others.
We have up to now focused on learning about ourselves, what
makes us unique and how we can be memorable and visible. Now
what? It is time to become our own PR agency. This
doesn’t mean to brag about our accomplishments-which is often why
many of us do the opposite and hide behind them. In fact-many
of us grew up with the notion that it is somehow
“bad" to talk about a goal we achieved and so we should not acknowledge it. How many of us have said when asked about reaching a milestone as “it was nothing”? This doesn’t serve you in your career.
So how do we achieve recognition without seeming to brag about it? Roz points to changing our definition of PR to be “the means by which you can share how your unique ability can assist those you seek to serve in terms of getting them to where they want to go.”
This is where servant leadership can really help you to highlight your success. How have you helped a colleague, leader, volunteer, client, mentor or even sponsor shine? When you take an interest in helping someone else, there is gratitude expressed by the recipient and they are happy to share appreciate for your help.
Several years ago, I took a course called Courageous Confidence by Chalene Johnson. One of the key things I learned was to keep a confidence file-whereby others who had shared their positive thoughts about something I did could be used to help me whenever I had doubts about an ability. Your unique ability is something others really value-and sharing how it has helped others will help you to have the courage to keep using it.
Still unsure where to go for inspiration-think about LinkedIn. It is the perfect platform to recommend a colleague-not just click on the recommend a skill but really write a recommendation. In turn, by helping others you will find that there is a reciprocal effect whereby colleagues and professional acquaintances are happy to take the light you shined on them and shine it back. As Roz calls this “…true PR and personal branding is one of drawing attention to what others can achieve with your help and expertise.” By helping others achieve success you will “become indispensable” and your personal brand will reflect who you truly are.
Now that we have taken these 4 keys steps-it is time to take action. After all, a plan without execution remains only a dream. The last step-for you to truly make your brand known is to network. For some of us, networking comes easier than to others. Remember-it wasn’t always easy, like any skill it takes practice!
You have your mission statement, and all the tools in your personal branding kit, it is time to create your elevator pitch. I highly encourage you to listen to two episodes focused on elevator pitches-Episode 08 with Robyn Sayles-how to share your personal brand in 9 seconds and Episode 13 with Tara Lynn Foster-How Marketers Can Discover What Makes You Great. Both will help you create your elevator pitch.
Identify where you can share your story-at networking events, industry events, as a speaker and even guest commentator on a blog or industry publication. Visibility to who you are will help perpetuate your brand.
As a final note about this book and Roz Usheroff, she is truly someone who exemplifies her personal brand. I have had the honor of knowing her, speaking with her on a panel and she was a guest on this show. One of the things she says in the closing of her emails is “Always Be Amazing”. Her uplifting spirit and incredible dedication to serving others is an inspiration for all of us!
At the beginning of this episode I said there would be a challenge at the end. So here it is-create your personal brand-your mission statement and elevator pitch and share it with me. I will be honored to feature them here and in the Rock Your Trade Show LinkedIn group. And for your courage- you will be entered to win in our Exhibitus drawing for a full registration pass to ExhibitorLive 2019. So don’t delay, include your personal brand as part of your goals for 2019.
As always, if I can help you in anyway as you start this journey, reach out to me at rockyourtradeshow.com/let’stalk I love hearing from you!
Special thanks to Christy Haussler and Team Podcast for editing this episode