Last week, Wireside attended a luncheon hosted by the American Marketing Association at the University of Richmond, where guest speaker Sima Dahl, International speaker/trainer/coach for Sway Factory gave a presentation on personal branding. The interactive presentation was full of advice relevant to each and every audience member – because after all, we are all the directors behind our own personal brand.
“Who do you know who…?”
In the professional world, networking is key. Often, we hear people ask, “Who do you know who specializes in xyz?” Sima says we should strive to become that resource. If you aren’t the person someone is looking to connect with, then make it a point to know someone who is. Building up your professional network will enable you to become the go-to for your colleagues, peers, etc.
This one may take time. While it’s easy to utilize platforms where you can share what you’re eating and who you’re with (think: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), it may be a little more difficult to appreciate LinkedIn, a platform used for growing one’s professional network. Take a minute at least once a week to update your status on LinkedIn – whether it be sharing an article or writing about a cool networking event you attended, these statuses will get you on the radar of other professionals in your network.
You… According to You
Speaking of LinkedIn, your headline and work experience should make what you do and what your skills are completely apparent. For example, if your headline says “Program Manager,” that’s too vague. What field are you in? What exactly do you do? Additionally, your work experience needs to be flushed out (but keep it relatively brief). Don’t just copy and paste bullet points directly from your resume.
Sima stressed the importance of having a headshot. A headshot, she says, must be a close-up picture, professionally done and current. She also gives tips on Facebook profile pictures: Don’t wear sunglasses, leave the kids out, and don’t make your profile picture a logo or object – you are a person, after all.
Hopefully you can utilize some of the tips I’ve highlighted to grow as a professional. Do you have any tips for personal branding? If so, we’d love to hear them!