“I have many roles, hats if you will. Does that mean I should have an online profile for each?” asked an attendee at the fifth annual Massachusetts Conference for Women.
This is a great question. In fact, there were 11 great questions that were asked during the Q & A portion of my presentation on “Powerful Personal Brand Management”.
If you have many hats, then I highly recommend that you determine what your five prominent and consistent brand attributes are that you have inside you – under that hat, if you will.
You are still you. You are the consistent and the constant person that plays in each of these roles. What is it you deliver? What makes you unique?
I met a woman. She’s a sales representative whose business card did not bear the title of her company or her work title, nor did it have bullet points about her home based purse business or that she assisted her husband with his business of providing logoed promotional items. Instead, her business cards said “problem solver”. It went on to list her top three traits (brand attributes) and how you could reach her (email, phone and her social media sites). When I got her card, my first thought was “brilliant”. Even better, was when she and I were talking we discussed her purse business and her husband’s business, so when she handed her card to me she wrote on the back the name of each business. What a great reminder to “take me back” to the conversation whenever I looked at her card!
Golden nuggets from this lesson
You are you. You are at the center of your personal brand
Find out the five attributes that describe your personal brand. If you don’t know, feel free to use this link to an assessment that will help you determine those. Ask three people who are close to you, what they feel you deliver? What do you bring to the table? When they introduce you, what words do they use to describe you?
Your online profile and social networks are about you
In our society, we are deeply programmed that our title defines us. And, that’s such a disservice to the many gifts that each of us have to share. So, it doesn’t surprise me that when people “belong” to a company or organization that they would rather put that “company or organizational name” upfront and center in an online profile, then they’re very own. You have more worth than that. I recommend that you have one online profile that highlights your five prominent brand attributes. Then, in your profile description name those companies that benefit from your personal brand. Even better, you can link to those company websites (even if it’s your own personal website associated with that company) if anyone wants “the rest of the story”.
Understand people do business with people. Even in large corporations, the receptionist, the sales representative, the teller, the checkout clerk, all represent that company. That’s why clients ask for certain people, by name, and that’s who they think of when that organization comes to mind. Each person’s personal brand is tied into that company’s brand.
Think of one business card representing “Your Brand”
Now, I do realize some do work for companies where you have no choice – you must cart their business card especially when they are paying for you to attend that conference, networking event or meeting. That just is and so you must do what you signed up to do.
All I ask is that you don’t become the person with the trench coat that can open it up with a multitude of wares hanging on the inside coupled with you asking “what do you want?” I have seen that as people whip out a heaping of business cards with each one representing a different business they’re involved in.
There’s nothing wrong with having your “real job” business card and your “dream job” business card. But, please – nothing more than that. I do understand that is so against the grain of what is done and what is preached. There are many home based opportunities that easily deal out business cards for their new representatives! So, it’s quite easy to have that “trench coat” filled with multiple business cards and soon you become the quite “unfocused” person that is virtually saying – pick a card, any card! Remember, that perceptions are reality and that first impressions are lasting. Are you willing to put forth a huge obstacle in front of you that you will have to climb? Be strong. You define who you are…not some company. Take control and take charge – no matter how good the deal is in the cost of getting several different types of business cards made – the real cost is the confusion that’s created when people grasp (and hold onto) the impression that you are “jack of all trades – master of none.”
So, here’s what to do:
Find out your top five brand attributes
Through an assessment Through listening Through conversation with three close friends
Write an online bio about yourself that incorporates those brand attributes
Post it on LinkedIn Shorten it for Twitter Create a Facebook Business Page with a shortened bio, too Create a profile on Amazon.com and use this bio there to show when you review books that are relevant to your interests
Create a Qalias profile, VirtualCV or some other online profile presence
Use this bio on your blog (if you’re not sure how to write a short concise bio, here’s a great book that can assist you)
On your bio, feel free to link to those companies that you associate with
Buy your moniker (your name as a domain name) and point it to the profile you create
This year’s conference them was “Rethink. Resolve. Renew.” I hope that you will consider rethinking how you brand yourself. Or maybe you’re really not doing anything to manage your personal brand (which means that you’ve happily delivered that power and control of your personal brand to others who define you) so resolve that you will do that. Take action on one thing in this list and you will begin to move all the forces towards you defining you! And, renew your energy and ability to put forth your authentic personal brand.
I just returned from Boston where I spoke at the Massachusetts Conference for Women’s fifth annual conference. A truly awesome event filled with inspiration, great connections, forward thinking information and good people!
The next question, I’ll cover on thebuzz101, is “what if you’re known for a brand attribute that you don’t want to be known for?”
Maria Elena Duron | chief buzz officer, speaker and coach asks you to share your greatest personal marketing challenge in the buzz bash contest to win a strategic 5-point personalized plan to create buzz for you!