What skills do you need to be a personal branding expert?
First, a coaching certification is vital for training in helping clients self-discover – to become aware of their talents, strengths and
passions. That is the information needed to create their brand. A coaching certification (CPC) includes over 320 hours of formal coaching education, live training and time with clients. The Energy Leadership Index - Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) is a specific accreditation for certified coaches who specialize in the understanding and use of energy to shift and amplify awareness and performance. These expanded tools offer a more significant client experience from which they can build their personal branding. Second, a keen sense of connection to the world is critical to help client see options and opportunities to find their fit in today’s world.
How are you a nationally-ranked thought leader?
I am acknowledged for my positive, influential perspectives and writing about how to discover and connect to our true and most authentic selves in the publication Personal Excellence. They celebrate the top 100 thinkers who usher in a new, more comprehensive thinking that encourages personal development and ways to improve the world.
In what specific professional pursuits can branding help -- i.e., get a job or enter graduate school?
By preparing a branded or talent-based resumé, workplaces, schools, and others can see a more significant view of the “whole”
person. This helps separate good from great job applicants. This assists students in articulating what their brand and “special sauce” is so they stand out as they apply to college, join activities or start internships. Identifying and clearly stating how you are different and unique is the goal of a branding statement
You exclaim that there is no longer a “work” or a “home” you – only a “whole” you.
In today’s intellectual workplace – we have moved out of an industrial workplace – we work in front of customers, not behind
machines. So we become the company brand as we more directly influence customer loyalty. To impress customers and work to earn their loyalty, we must be good at our job and like doing it. For this, we need to be more self-aware. This is important because it gives us the information to better choose roles that align with who we are. In the past, we had a work persona, and another at home. But because we must now use our unique and best abilities everywhere, we no longer have two personas – we live who we are everywhere.
Are people generally self aware?
I find most people are not self-aware. They are searching for their identity in a world that encourages us to blend, not stand out - to act like others instead of to know ourselves. So though we have innate unique abilities and greatness, we, as a rule, don’t know how to access, define and use them. With some education, we can learn.
Do you have a self awarenesschecklist?
It is based on how we dress, act, speak, our values, passions, and priorities. These are the areas we review to create a 360-degree walkaround the person.
Why do you insist personal brand must be “authentic” Do you mean no resumé fibs?
We train organizations in how to hire and interview effectively. One point is that unless both parties are honest, neither has enough right information for a good decision. It is the same with a branding statement. Branding is sharing the true ‘you’ with the world. If any part of this “you” is inaccurate, it challenges every relationship that will use the information. Authenticity and integrity is critical in all branding.
An effective personal brand is... bold -- how so?
It is built on the best within a person. Many of us wonder if others approve of us. When I coach clients, I help them see that
they should listen to their own voice and be proud of themselves and their brand. Therefore, they should boldly share who they
uniquely are in their brand with 7 billion people. Never be timid. Be bold and proud and unapologetic in your brand.
It is simple -- meaning? What is the test?
Your image must be easy to understand, clear and complete. If people don’t know what you mean, stand for or who you are,
your branding is likely too complex, meaning too many elements or ones that do not mesh.
How to publicize your brand? Is there a media plan?
It depends on the brand’s purpose. In finding a job, the creation of a talent-based or brand-based resumé introduces a person’s
best abilities. It is shared with hiring organizations and is posted on career-centered social media. If the brand is to introduce you
and your thinking as an author and speaker, the brand then may include a logo, slogan and persona. My brand is ‘The Greatness
Coach’; my slogan is “I transform lives and organizations”.
How about a networking plan?
Your brand identifies you as part of your “tribe” – by describing you so as to connect with people who compliment you and share
your passions, interests, abilities and beliefs. Branding is a magnet in a diverse world to find our “kin.
But managers face a flood of data. How to get them to see your brand?
Simple and bold. Develop a catch phrase, logo or talent statement as the lead statement in all social media, on your business cards or in any bio or self-statement. This is important even for teens applying to camps, schools, sports teams, organizations, etc. Having a clear branding or personal elevator speech/bio quickly and consistently shares what makes the person unique in a positive way -- without overdoing the data.
You mean you give speeches in elevators, Jay, like a schizophrenic!?
An elevator speech refers to a 30-second summary of who you are. The term derives from the short time that you have to introduce yourself in an elevator. Summarize your brand clearly and succinctly to ensure that the brand is heard and understood, not lost in too much other information.
You warn against overkill – why?
Usually, we provide too much information. A good branding statement can be easily and quickly delivered because it focuses on
the most important attributes and abilities.
Imagine ‘John Smith.’ Show us how to ‘brand him.’
I interviewed John, a 25-year old college graduate who majored in accounting and has worked in temporary jobs; he seeks full-time financial work. I probed his talents, passions, and priorities. He is logical, methodical, analytical, fun-loving, passionate about numbers, solving problems/puzzles, competing and winning in games and sports. He likes urban living among parks for athletic training, independent living without parental help and meeting other similar active singles. Keys: solutions-focused, driven, social, athletic and competitive. Identity slogan: ‘Analytical problem-solver extraordinaire!’ Brand Statement: ‘There is always a solution. I am a dynamic, analytical, logical and numbersfocused person who loves to solve problems and challenges to improve results. As an avid team player and athlete, I work as I train - to win, to succeed and be the best.’ This is critical
for his job search. Now hiring managers can assess how his abilities fit in their workplace culture.
Can your personal brand shape a job interview, i.e., a manager focuses on your brand -- so you are forewarned?
The brand is critical for his job search. Hiring managers know how his abilities fit in their workplace culture.
The ‘killer’ interview question is often, “Why should I hire you?” Does your brand help here?
The brand answers that with important information about one’s personality, abilities and sustainable behaviors.
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