You can also read other great branding content written by Meg Guiseppi, Job Hunt’s Personal Branding Expert.
In this final post, the focus is on stepping out of your comfort zone. Why is this important? Well, we do some of our best, most creative work when under a light bit of pressure. We also stretch ourselves in a healthy way. That’s good for your brand and, as a result, has a positive impact on your ongoing marketing plan.
We don’t want our skills or personality to get stale, right?
So here are five ways you can take a few calculated risks. Are you open to that?
- Do something uncomfortable.
What’s uncomfortable mean to you? For many, it is something you do with a conscious aversion. You know you need to do it. You do it. But you are constantly worried about how well you are doing it. Networking is like that for many people. Networking has become such a critical aspect of personal marketing. No amount of social media success can take the place of your stepping into a room. Presenting your brand in person and exposing your face to others must be a part of your plan. Social credibility requires a level of hand-to-hand time. We need to meet you and experience your smile from just a few feet away.
- Face a fear.
We all have a few fears that, once conquered, would help to market our brand in a much bigger way. For you it might be public speaking. You avoid it like the plague because it makes you physically ill to think about standing up in front of others. Whatever your big fear, look for a way to conquer it in small pieces. For public speaking, start at your local church or school with a small group - maybe just an audience of two. And the first time perhaps you don’t even stand up. Also look to join a group like Toastmasters. Where your fear is likely shared by other people. And where you will receive a ton of support and advice to step in front of a larger crowd.
- Network beyond your station.
If you are comfortable with networking, your challenge might be to spend some time away from those who are just like you. Or at your same station (level) in life. The best networkers are just as comfortable networking with a CEO as they are shooting the breeze with an administrative assistant. And whether you need to create a personal marketing plan for an upcoming job search or a new business venture, the leads can come from anywhere. So you need to network comfortably with a wide variety of people. Remember that we are all the same in more ways than you might think. Ask great questions to find those similarities. Once you have them, you’ll have the foundation for a great and productive conversation.
- Try a new medium.
Perhaps you’ve been using email as a way to communicate with your network, clients or friends. Consider writing a blog or kicking off a newsletter. Delivering your ideas or brand via a new communication method can be uplifting. Even the decision to do so can be newsworthy. And you’ll be amazed at the way people react to your content served in a new way. A new medium can also be a new event. Perhaps it’s one you create (a new LinkedIn group or local meet-up group) or a new industry group where you can expose your ideas to a few fresh faces.
- Introduce a new service.
What’s an example of a new service? If you are a consultant, lawyer, career coach or real estate agent, you can refresh your brand with something new. Perhaps it is a service that expands your scope. A lawyer could offer a business strategy service. A real estate agent could offer an interior design service. If you are working for someone else, your service could be offering informational interviews after landing your job to those still looking. It is anything that reinforces your value - targeted to those you want to impact with your everyday brand.
So use these suggestions to keep things fresh. To stay on a learning curve. And to challenge yourself at key points in your career.
If you’ve read each of the posts in this series, I hope they help you think more productively and proactively about creating a brand for yourself.
Whether you have a stellar, uninterrupted career or one that causes you to pause and re-think your brand, I hope this advice kept you thinking positively.
All the best to you and your living brand . . .
For More Information
All of Tim's articles in this series have been collected and published in this free ebook - Free eBook: How to Create a Personal Marketing Plan. Help yourself. Registration is not required.
© Copyright Tim Tyrell-Smith, 2012. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Tim Tyrell-Smith is an emerging thinker in careers, personal development and social networking. A veteran marketing executive and professional speaker, Tim is now helping people effectively market their brands and businesses. You can read his career and personal development blog, and follow him on Twitter (@TimsStrategy).
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