Mel Carson is the Founder and Principal Strategist at Delightful Communications which is a Modern Marketing, Branding, and PR Consulting Firm. He is also the author of Introduction to Personal Branding and he joined us for DMC 2017 to drop some personal branding knowledge!
To start off, what is personal branding? It is best described by a quote from Jeff Bezos, the Founder of Amazon.com, “Personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” When taken a step further personal branding can be defined as the practice of defining your professional purpose and being able to articulate your experience and value to your target audience through digital media and in-person.
This was evident with Mel’s own experience when he was laid off from Microsoft in 2012 after working for them for seven years. In his meeting with Human Resources he requested permission to share that he was being laid off on his social media, where he also wrote a blog article, and then left for lunch, when he came had gone viral. 60 to 70 percent of the comments were from people he didn’t even know. Many of them were “lurkers” (people that followed but never contributed). From this experience, he developed a process of improving personal branding with three simple exercises.
Exercise 1 - What’s Your Story?
It is important to address the question of what’s your story. Taking a step back, think about how did you get to where you are today. Contemplate the work experience, training, and education. Also consider your strengths and unique qualities as well as identify what you love about what you do. Finally decide what is your driving ambition for what you do.
Exercise 2 - What’s Your Professional Purpose?
The second exercise is to establish your professional purpose, to educate others why you are needed. This is an opportunity to clarify what is your mission. With the knowledge of what you mission is, consider your audience as well as what value you’ll be able to bring to them.
There was an example presented on knowing who your audience is with a tweet from Ian Poulter, a rich, professional golfer. He had complained that after purchasing tickets for his family in business class on an airliner that his nanny was downgraded and his wife had to tend to their children all by herself. He had not considered his audience, and continually made the situation harder for himself.
Exercise 3 - Search For Yourself
For the final exercise, it was something as simple as search for yourself. What do you see? In a day and age when everyone is active on the internet, a lot can be revealed about a person.
To improve your personal branding, create a basic plan. Take into consideration your current online state, what channels your audience uses, what events they attend or participate in, and any other opportunities to reach your audience. To build your brand, execute at least one new action per day and document it by writing it down.
Also work on owning your name. One helpful suggestion is to purchase your domain name and build a website which you can control. Along those lines, invest in a professional photo. There are helpful tools out there that give great tips and advaice. Another recommendation is to make your business cards stand out.
There were several helpful suggestions and ideas that were presented on improving your own personal brand and with those three exercises, additional success are a likely possibility.
Are you looking to build up your personal brand? Head over to the SLC | SEM SlideShare account and view or download Mel's slides!