It’s that time of year when ‘new year, new you’ messages have been flooding our channels. We’re all for bringing new energy into our everyday lives, but what about in the business environment?
Keeping the focus on you, we asked some of our best and brightest minds for their tips on how to refresh your personal brand in 2017. Here’s what they said.
What is your personal brand?
The question is not, “Do I have a personal brand?” (for certainly everyone does), but rather, “Is my personal brand saying about me what I want it to say?”. Many leaders realise that because they have not been intentional about their own brand development, there is misalignment between the personal brand they want and the personal brand they have ended up with.
Just like an athlete relies on their coach to work with them on their areas for development, a personal coach can help you position yourself as best you can to achieve the goals you have set in your work life. Outsiders often have an insight that an insider doesn’t have. As coaches, we have permission to share our insights frankly and fearlessly, in a way that those closest to you often can’t and won’t.
Step out of your own shoes for a moment, and consider how you might be perceived by those around you. Think about your behaviour, work habits, presentation style, approach to conflict, and idiosyncrasies — what does all this say about you? Is there a role for a personal coach to help you develop to your full potential?
Sarah Dixon, Group Manager
Get digital, digital – it’s time to get digital, let’s get into digital (yes, this is an Olivia Newton-John reference)
Where social channels such as Facebook reinvent functionality and layout frequently to remain fresh, LinkedIn has maintained a consistent user experience since launch. That’s no reason to let your profile go stale though. Consider the skills that clients, future employers or partners will be looking for. Share or create content relevant to your profession and industries you work in. Don’t forget though, your profile is a reflection of your employer too. Make sure you incorporate the tone of voice and direction that will help your business grow and prosper.
Rob Lovegrove, Head of Digital
What does your email persona say about you?
I think many of us are oblivious to how we come across in business emails. Most of us don’t greet colleagues or contacts coldly or with monosyllabic responses if talking in person. Yet many business people find it acceptable to be terse, and even rude, in their emails. Perhaps it’s a reflection of how busy we are, or maybe some of us believe it makes us look more important, when it actually indicates to me a lack of manners and professional polish.
It’s great to be concise and to the point but it never hurts to add a little warmth or civility to help make a more meaningful connection.
Susan Hawkins, Group Manager IMC
Expand your network
Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called “Chains”. When you start to actively expand your personal network, you will be amazed at how quickly this theory kicks in and how valuable it can be in all aspects of your life. Just by doing something simple and enjoyable like joining a new club, taking that course you’ve always wanted to, signing up to coach your kids’ team or extending a kind hand for a charity, you will almost always meet someone who knows someone you know… and BOOM! just like that you are better networked.
Try looking up old contacts from school and university too. You’ll be amazed at what paths your friends may have taken or what their family members might be doing and how they can be, in some way, connected to you.
On the work front there are ample opportunities to make new contacts. A good start is to sign up to organisations that host informative breakfasts and lunches. Take a handful of business cards with you and set a goal for how many cards you will swap each time. In time you will start recognising the same people at other functions and can slowly grow your business relationships.
Six degrees of separation might be a theory but when you start on a deliberate journey of networking it quickly becomes very plausible.
Diane Barton, Group Manager