As a career success coach, I urge my clients to build strong relationships with the people in their life – to make friends. Cindy Yantis has become a friend of mine. She is a career architect, helping people build careers they love. Our friendship started when I responded to a query she posted asking for advice on personal branding for her blog.
Her query resulted in a dynamite blog post called 50 Seriously Greats Tips to Elevate Your Personal Brand in 2010. It had some really great common sense career success advice. I liked her lengthy post so much that I asked Cindy if she would allow me to excerpt it on this blog. She graciously agreed. So each day this week, I will be sharing 10 of Cindy’s 50 tips on personal branding.
Personal branding is an important key to creating positive personal impact. As a career success coach, I help my clients create and nurture their unique personal brands. Cindy’s tips will help you do just that. Build your brand — and career success will follow.
Here are the first 10 of Cindy’s tips on personal branding for career success…
1. Be an expert
“Position yourself as an expert and be willing to take up public speaking opportunities in your business community. Many associations, organizations and companies are consistently looking for slots to fill at monthly meetings and annual conferences. Target speaking opportunities that will position you in front of your target audience. This exposure leads to increased visibility and when delivered right, increases your credibility. It’s estimated the less than 2% of the American population enjoys public speaking, so it’s usually a great way to get a leg up on your competition.” Amy Jantzer, www.weedott.com
2. Make the most of a great business card
“Break the Business Card Malaise. I’m working on new business cards, but as opposed to the same old same old with a new design I’m doing a whole different format – doing them as trading cards. I have an artist friend do comic-style artwork, build the card myself in a simple graphics program, and print it via Zazzle. You instantly have a business card that stands out from the crowd in design, shape, and creativity. There are trading cards for comic characters, games, sports figures, and so on – pick the style that fits your brand!” Steven Savage, www.stevensavage.com
3. Have instantly recognizable brand elements
“Make sure everything you do is consistent with the personality you’ve established for your brand and appropriate for your product. If you’re an authority, your tone should always be expert. If you’re an entertainer, well, your tone should be entertaining. Everything should be consistent, from your appearance, your language, your logo, even your fonts and colors for your website, blog and print materials. They should be instantly recognizable as Your Brand. In a noisy marketplace, those who stand out as consistently delivering the same experience or product, from the initial encounter to the very end, will win! Celia Milton, www.Celiamilton.com
4. Be a networking group leader
“Join an appropriate networking group and become a leader and thought changer. If there are opportunities to become a leader and show the community how much you know about your field of expertise, that can bring more awareness to your company and propel your brand forward.” Sarah Shaw, www.entreprenette.com
5. Gain insight by surveying your peeps
“Go out there and see what messages people are sharing about you. Google, Yahoo and Bing yourself. Where do you show up…what messages are out there…what’s the gap between what you want and where you are now? You can also survey customers, colleagues, family and friends…what do they think about your brand, how do they feel when they see, hear, read info from the brand, etc. Use the insight from each area of research to build the brand you really want.” Jennifer Davidson, www.strategicdeviation.com
6. Keep your name in the press
“Use sites like HARO to find creative ways to keep your name in the press. The other is blogs, by using your blog correctly, articles you write come out looking like news items.” Judy Misbin May www.wearemarketing.com
7. Set yourself apart with your knowledge
“Often, too many people try to build their brand without enough substance. Your associates, clients, audience, and/or customers should see you as an expert in your field. Their expectations should be that you are up to date with the latest industry news, current trends, and useful information. So, what do you do now? Set aside a small portion of each day to build your expertise. Subscribe to trade magazines, newsletters and other publications that can help to make you an informed expert. Of course, Internet sites and consumer publications that effect your industry can be very helpful with stories on latest styles and current trends. Set yourself apart from others in your industry with your knowledge, and willingness to share it with clients. Not gossip, but useful and helpful information. The more that you become an important resource to others, the easier it will be to promote your own personal brand. Jhan Dolphin, www.jrobertconsulting.com
8. Reconcile your public perception
“Take a moment to get feedback on your brand and how you currently show up in the world. Many times the brand we believe we have and the perception of us in the outside world need to be reconciled. It’s hard to take a look at ourselves, and well worth it to improve.” Monic Cost, www.evidentlyassured.com
9. Increase your “human factor” online
Increasing your personal brand is about consistency, transparency, and the “human” factor when you are trying to elevate online. Encourage your “offline” contacts and fans to interact with you online to elevate your brand to larger markets. They know you personally and know your brand very well. By coming to your site and engaging you online they bring that “human” factor to the page, they peel back the internet veil and provide credibility because readers who do not know you get a sense for what you are “really like”. When they allude or directly talk about the offline interactions they had with you in a very natural and normal way in the online setting they display how your offline life is consistent with your online brand and how you are a real person, with real interactions.” Coach Reed, www.reedabout.me
10. Consistency is key
“Maintain consistency online and offline. Consistency helps to reinforce the mature brand that one is trying to display. One should always display his or her personal brand statement on social networks, and reinforce this statement with professional profile photos, content, and in-person.” LaTron Brown, www.linkedin.com/in/latron
The common sense point here is simple. If you want to achieve career success, you need to create and nurture your unique personal brand. In this post I have presented 10 common sense personal branding tips from Cindy Yantis, a career architect. I present them here because in my work as a career success coach I have learned firsthand of the power of personal branding. Here are 10 of Cindy’s 50 Seriously Great Tips to Elevate Your Personal Brand in 2010. 1) Be an expert. 2) Make the most of a great business card. 3) Have instantly recognizable brand elements. 4) Become a networking group leader. 5) Gain insight by surveying your peeps. 6) Keep your name in the press. 7) Set yourself apart with your knowledge. 8) Reconcile your public perception. 9) Increase your human factor on line. 10) Consistency is key.
That’s Cindy Yantis – and others – take on personal branding. What’s yours? Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.