I recently attended a business lecture with Pamela Toussaint as the speaker. It was very facinating and extremely motivating. As Pamela is an image consultant, the main topic was branding, or creating your brand. I used to think of a brand as a company name or logo or something. As an artist however, my brand would be ME. This goes for anyone who is looking for a job. When you are applying to a company, you are essentially selling YOURSELF aka your BRAND. So what differentiates you from the crowd? What unique things can you bring to the table? Essentially, what is your unique value? I thought that I would take a moment to share some of the key points that were made.I found them to be inspiring and hope that they will inspire you as well.
1. You should be able to describe your brand in three words. What three words describe you? What sets you apart from everyone else with your degree or credentials?
2. The three things that a company will hire on are professionalism, high energy and self confidence. If you don't feel that you have some of these, then fake it till you make it. ;)
To create a compelling brand you must:
1. Discover what your passion is.
2. Differentiate yourself from others.
3. Engage others with similar interests.
4. Network! Most jobs aren't advertised. You often will find jobs through people that you either know or have met via networking. LinkedIn is a great networking tool!
5. Leverage. Make sure that people know about you. Speak at an event, write and article, keep a blog going, etc.
6. Evolve and stay current with new technology.
7. Create an action plan by taking steps to enhance your brand such as learning new skills. We should never be afraid or hestitant to learn, unlearn and relearn at all times.
8. Create a networking strategy:
- Figure out a 30 second 'elevator pitch' for your brand that includes who you are, what your brand is and what you do for others.
- Attend conferences, volunteer, networking meets, speak, host, etc
Here are some networking tips that she gave us:
- plan ahead! research attendees if you can and figure out who you want to meet.
- dress the part
- arrive early. Most of the best networking happens before the doors even open.
- do a visual self-check in a mirror beforehand and then enter the room with confidence
- have a nice ice breaker comment
- establish connection.( If you've researched people ahead of time then you can make this
connection easier as you'll know whether you have a same city, college or hobby in common.)
Part of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions is being more pro-active in my business. Pamela's advice has inspired me to reach these goals and to define my 'brand'. Have you already used some of these tips? What three words would you use to describe yourself or your brand?
Hope that this blog post has inspired you to take action as well! Have a wonderful week!!