You are NOT Your Title!
Picture this. You are at a networking event. Business cards in hand. Ready to make new contacts. How do you introduce yourself? What is your conversation starter? Like most people it’s probably this: “My name is… I’m a… (fill in the blank with your job title!)
We often fall into the trap of identifying ourselves by our job title. While this is a valid representation of what we do, it actually groups us into the same category as everyone else doing the same type of job. Bottom line: YOU ARE NOT YOUR JOB TITLE. Your title actually ‘commodifies’ you and people don’t excited about commodities!
How can you avoid being a commodity and get people excited about you? Follow these 3 tips.
- Sell an ‘experience’ not a title: Remove your job title in your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, About.me profiles. Sell an experience that will give people a reason to follow, connect, friend, or add you to their circles. Instead of saying you are a “psychiatrist” tell others you are “The Shrink for Entrepreneurs who want freedom, wealth, and sanity” (@PeterShallard).
- Make it unique:
- Differentiate from others:
Find something that you are passionate about and connect it to your job. For example, I combine personal branding strategy with cycling imagery. I always thought of cycling as separate from my work, but my own 360Reach results showed that everyone identifies me by my energy and passion for cycling. Therefore, I decided to demonstrate this uniqueness by using a cycling image on my business card as well as the tag line: “Personal branding with a spin.” This unique card attracts people to what I do. They are intrigued by how I connect cycling with branding and want to know more.
I love William Arruda’s “Same/Different” exercise. On a piece of paper, write down all the things in the “same” column that are similar between you and others doing the same type of work. In the “different” column right down what differentiates you. Finally, look at everything in the “different” column and mark all the items that are “emotional attributes.” These are the characteristics that provide the need and desire for people to connect with you rather than with others who have the same job or similar skill set.
Peter Sterlacci, founder of BeYB – Believe. Become. Be Your Brand, , combines personal branding strategy with cycling imagery to empower on-the-move careerists in global companies in Japan to shift gears, get out of the saddle, and sprint to career success.