At a recent SATW Canadian Chapter meeting in Sarasota, I attended a number of professional development seminars that were excellent and helpful for any self-employed person. Following are points gleaned from a presentation by Marjorie A. Floyd of Strategic Marketing Resources, Sarasota:
You need to be clear about yourself as a brand. Think about how others describe you. Write it down. Is this who you are? When creating your brand use your personality as a guide – values, goals, identity and behaviour. Share it!
Here are some action steps to follow…
• Make a list of your top three strengths
• Develop a system for follow through and follow up
• Define your short-term and long-term goals
• List your values
• Look in the mirror for your best attribute – smile!
• Answer routine “How are you?” questions with enthusiasm
• Enlist the feedback of a close friend to compare your brand to your appearance
• Embrace your brand
• Focus on what makes you unique and showcase that quality in your interactions
• List the things for which you’d like to be known and remembered
• Review your Code of Ethics from time to time (organizational, association, personal)
• Revisit your commitments and seek to add a new affiliation, expand your network
• Consider a position of leadership: advisory or board role for an organization or nonprofit
• Next event you attend, think strategic partnership and come away with a plan to follow-up
• Go through your contact list (stacks of business cards, old emails) and connect two people
• Endorse or recommend someone on LinkedIn
• Forward an article that would be interesting to someone you’ve recently met
• If you don’t volunteer already, invite a buddy to volunteer with you
• Read your tweets, posts and comments twice before hitting Enter
• Monitor photos of yourself on the Internet and remove any that world compromise your brand
• When you exchange cards, follow up with promised information and a thank you
• When clearing out old emails, pick a few to send a quick hello
• Review your personal brand in the social media you use to be sure your brand is consistent
• Send a handwritten note each week to thank someone, recognize good work or to say hello
• Get to coffee and spread your charm equitably!
Majorie gave us some exercises and other pointers…
1) When looking at strengths, assess why you’ve had success in your field – it could include persistence, thick skin, trustworthy, flexibility.
2) Outline what your personal brand is (career journey, successes, profile) and use it often in speeches, personal notes, quotes, elevator speeches, website, blog, email signature, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
3) Become an influencer – increase your visibility at industry functions, by volunteering, participating in events. Look for opportunities to collaborate.
4) Offer your help by retweeting recommending people on LinkedIn, sharing tips, say thank you, focus on others…this will brand you favourably.
5) Go for an elevator engagement vs. giving an elevator pitch. Think of one great question to ask someone to get them engaged…then respond with a 10-second story based on the answer to that question that involved your brand.
6) Sum up who you are in six words.
7) A successful appearance is friendly, approachable yet businesslike.
8) Keep a positive, joyful attitude, express your brand boldly and you’ll be attractive to others.
Marjorie’s contact information: Strategic Marketing Resources office phone (941) 927-1449, e-mail email@example.com