How Effective is Your Personal Brand?
Mind Share, Customer Awareness, Top of Mind
Whatever You Call It – Who Knows You?
Like a lot of folks, I work in a cubicle office space. One of my cubicle neighbors has an irritating habit of humming, whistling or singing jingles and quoting commercials about athletic shoes, junk food restaurants and car dealerships. This guy is completely brainwashed with these messages, and consciously or unconsciously, spreads his junk knowledge to others around him. I usually tune this audible garbage out by focusing on my work or putting my USB headset on.
By the way, sometimes I have music on, sometimes I am on a conference call or net meeting, but often I just have the headset on without listening to anything, so people won’t bother me. If you are in a similar noisy situation, you may want to try this “do not disturb” technique. The “commercial guy” is a little less irritating than “the nose whistler,” but that is another story . . . .
In any case, as I tried to ignore this audio pollution and tried to focus on editing a CAD model, I thought about this from a job search point of view. Companies and advertising agencies love people like my office space neighbor: Their messages are always at the top their minds, and their brand images and marketing messages are getting through – and are broadcast to potential customers.
If you are new to the idea of personal branding, consider how long and how much money it took Nike, McDonald’s, Burger King, Toyota, BMW and other companies to establish and achieve their brand recognition. Corporations have money, agencies and time to create, maintain and protect their branding. For the rest of us, our resource is time. And we can leverage the power of beBee, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media to broadcast our personal brand.
Putting this in the form of a question from a hiring manager, recruiter or company headhunter, their thoughts could go like this:
“Who is the best person in my network that can become our new (fill in the blank with a job function or title)?”
The interesting part about this question is that the person selected may or may not be the best-qualified or best-experienced person in their network. It is more likely to be the very first person they can think of.
And this is where we want to be: All of us should do everything possible to earn that same place in everyone’s head. We want to be the first person people think of when they are seeking advice or trying to fill an opportunity.
While you don’t necessarily need to make up a jingle about yourself, your personal brand must communicate who you are, what you do and why you do what you do in simple, easily-understandable language. As you craft this message, always think about this from the viewer’s point of view – your “elevator speech” is not for you, it is for someone looking for your skills and expertise.
The next step is to edit your personal branding message into language your grandma can understand. You must be able to answer the famous questions, “Why should I hire you?” and “What is it you do here?"
Creating and maintaining your personal brand takes time, and the messages must be consistent and positive. Why not start today and optimize your LinkedIn profile summary with a simple, powerful and memorable personal branding message?
About Wayne Yoshida
Wayne Yoshida is a technical writer and education advocate with sales management experience. Wayne currently works in the alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) industry and has worked for a wide variety of high technology companies, including aerospace and defense, photonics, lasers and opto-mechanics, two-way radio, telecommunications and a non-profit, educational organization. His personal passion for electronics and Amateur Radio opened many doors to some very interesting personal and professional experiences. Working as a ham radio consultant for the NASA Johnson Space Center during Space Shuttle mission STS-9 is his most memorable experience. Connect with him on LinkedIn and beBee, and for a look into his personal passions, follow his blog and the beBee Hives Barbacoa Barbecue BBQ and Alternative Fuel Vehicles.
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