April 2010

April 22, 2010: Issue 27

Rachel Gogos Editor’s Note
By Rachel Gogos

A YOUnique reader asked me via Twitter to expand on the topic of understanding, defining and shaping your personal brand. This is the first article in a series answering @MarkWing’s questions.

There are two ways to understand your personal brand – through introspection and through external perception. You need both to understand your complete brand.

Understanding yourself – This can take some time so be patient with yourself. There are many different tactics a person can use to achieve self-awareness. Some of them are listed below:

Reading self-help books – This needs to be an ACTIVity (not a passive, relaxing reading experience) and you really must engage in the exercises listed in the book. Take the time to think about what you read and apply it as much as possible.

Journaling – Day or night – take the time to write your thoughts, feelings and impressions of everything around you and inside of you. Eventually you’ll notice some common themes. You’ll be able to identify your values and hopefully other important personal data points.

Working with a life coach – This can really accelerate your self-awareness process. Besides talking, a good coach will have you take various tests and assessments to help you identify and discover various things about yourself.

Meditation – By going to a quiet place inside of yourself you’ll find lots of answers.

Take the time to be introspective – Any activity that helps you connect with your soul will give you some answers about your brand.

The external perception piece of the puzzle is a little more challenging because it involves others. Here are some tactics to understand how others perceive you. For starters you can…

Ask people directly – This is a pretty intense request unless you have a VERY close relationship with the person you are asking.

Take the Reach 360 assessment – Reach offers an excellent way to assess how others perceive brand YOU. Reach 360 is an efficient, web-based tool, which for a nominal fee can collect results from several other people, crunch the data, and churn out a unique customized report. There is also a version that is 100% free – you won’t get the customized report but you’ll get the raw data.

When you work with a personal brand strategist the two paths for understanding your personal brand take place simultaneously. We’re there to guide you, hold your hand and put the pieces together – like a personal trainer helps you get into shape, or a nutritionist can help you change your eating habits and eat healthier.

If you’re interested in working with a Reach Certified Strategist but don’t know where to start you can contact Client Programs Manager, Tara Kachaturoff .

Readers, keep your questions coming @RachelGogos. Thanks for reading!

The Strat
By Deb Dib

A Reach-certified Personal Brand Strategist offers tips and advice on our favorite topic – personal branding!

Your Brand and Twitter: Right on the Nose

(An excerpt from The Twitter Job Search Guide [JIST, 2010] by Deb Dib, Chandlee Bryan, and Susan Whitcomb.)

Yada, yada, yada. The iconic phrase is what you don’t want associated with your Twitter account—mundane tweets that are of no importance to your followers and have no relevance to your brand.

Consider this four-point model for ensuring your tweets are “right on the N.O.S.E.”: Noteworthy, On-Brand, Strategic, Engaging.

Noteworthy

Tweets that are noteworthy are informative, important, and repeatable. Ask yourself, “What do I want my reader to know and remember? Does it pass the ‘so what’ test? Is it worthy of a retweet?” (Note: Our fictional @HappyPizzaGuy lives in The Twitter Job Search Guide and helps illustrate Twitter concepts.)

NO: @HappyPizzaGuy: Overslept this morning after late-night speed-dating. Gotta figure out how to explain that one to my boss.

YES: @SusanWhitcomb: Reading Monster’s “Great Recession from Employer Perspective” – 29% report increase in free agent/freelancers http://bit.ly/g1oEL

On-Brand
To attract and retain followers, it’s important to tweet about topics that substantiate your brand. If you’re off-brand too often, followers won’t keep following you. Ask yourself, “Does this tweet support my brand and give readers positive insights into my personality as a professional?”

NO: @HappyPizzaGuy: Having a crappy day at work. Wish these customers would go away. Craving a burger.

YES: @ExpatCoachMegan: Ask The Expat Career Coach: How Do I Make Sure I get a Fair Relocation Package? http://bit.ly/13bkRe

Strategic

Your tweets should strategically position you to move your career or job search forward. Ask yourself, “Is this specific? Is it salient? Does it showcase my strengths?”

NO: @HappyPizzaGuy: Help! Desperate. Just got laid off. Anyone know of a job?

YES: @ITPro: Just earned my Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) designation! Long haul, but worth it.

Engaging

One of Twitter’s biggest benefits is its ability to create community. Ask yourself “Does my material make readers want to respond to me or share my message with others? Is my audience engaging through @responses? Are my tweets respectful?”

NO: @HappyPizzaGuy: Why are human resource managers so non-responsive? I’ve sent out 100s of resumes but no one calls!

YES: @HappyPizzaGuy: Flying from CA to NYC/Manhattan Wed for franchise trade show. Anyone interested in pizza for lunch?

Twitter content can be simple conversational dialogue, a thank you, shout-outs, or acknowledgment of others. But the key to writing powerful “yada-free” on-brand tweets that can attract attention and lead to opportunities is delivering “On the N.O.S.E.” content that makes people—whether industry contacts, potential employers, or hiring managers—want to know you better.

For more Twitter tips, see The Twitter Job Search Guide, visit http://www.twitterjobsearchguide.com, and follow @CEOcoach, @SusanWhitcomb and @Chandlee on Twitter.

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Commercial Break

By William Arruda

What can personal branders learn from TV advertisements? Take a break and take a peak.

Lotus: I am Superman

I love this commercial because: I worked for Lotus (the best company I ever worked for – thanks to Kevin Powers – the head of Advertising for hiring me) when we created this ad. We learned from focus groups that one of the most valuable aspects of our software was that it made end-users feel powerful and successful – yet we rarely talked about it. We developed an ad to highlight this and simultaneously tout how globally pervasive our software was. It was aimed at the end-user – not the IT executive who normally makes the purchasing decision. The ad was developed as a part of a multi-element campaign. All of us (Lotus employees with offices facing the Charles River) had ‘I Am’ posters in our windows. Before the term social media existed, we involved the customer community in the advertisement. We invited customers to take photos of themselves holding ‘I Am’ posters and we posted them on our web site. It was truly a marketing program and not just an advertisement.

This ad and YOUR personal brand: Two important things: 1. Know your influencers. Who needs to know about you so they can convince purchasers that they should buy from you/hire you? 2. Don’t just market or advertise your brand, build entire programs that get your brand community involved. For every communications activity you build, think of five other ways to engage your brand community.

Dr. Nick Morgan

Reach Branding Club Speaker Series
Featuring: Nick Morgan

Date: Thursday, May 13, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM Los Angeles, 12:00 PM New York, 5:00 PM London, and 6:00 PM Paris

CONFERENCE LINE: 1 (218) 486-1616
ACCESS CODE: 726017#

How to Communicate Authentically and Charismatically

What does the latest brain research tell us about how we communicate? It turns out that much of the common-sense beliefs we hold about communication are wrong. In this May 2010 Reach Personal Branding Interview with William Arruda and guest expert Dr. Nick Morgan, you will learn how to “show up” in your business meetings and presentations with authenticity and charisma, and become a more effective communicator. Dr. Morgan will discuss:

  • The single most important communication issue for people in all walks of life today.
  • Recent brain research that has changed the way we understand communications.
  • The 4 steps to authenticity and charisma.
  • Why people need charisma more than ever today to stand out.
  • The top 3 secrets to becoming more charismatic.
  • Why non-verbal communications is far more important than most people realize.

Bio:

Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches and an internationally known public speaker. A passionate teacher, he is committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas, and then delivering them with panache. Nick has been commissioned by Fortune 50 companies to write for many CEOs and presidents, and has worked widely with political and educational leaders. He has coached individuals to give Congressional testimony, to appear on the Today Show, and to take on the investment community.

Nick’s methods, which are well-known for challenging conventional thinking, have been published worldwide. His acclaimed book on public speaking, Working the Room, was published by Harvard in 2003 and reprinted in paperback in 2005 as Give Your Speech, Change the World. His new book on authentic communications, Trust Me, was published by Jossey-Bass in January 2009.

Nick served as editor of the Harvard Management Communication Letter from 1998 – 2003, and he is a former Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Nick’s communications consulting company, Public Words Inc., was founded in 1997.

LINKS:

  • This site has all the information you need about the book Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma, including a FREE chapter to download.
  • This site is crammed with useful information on public speaking, communications as well as reviews and video of famous speakers.

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