Jenny Garrett gave a workshop on Personal Branding at the Lady Val’s Network Lunch in June. (next event is 26th September)
Have you ever been asked a question .. one that turns out to be really memorable and life-altering?
That is what happened to Jenny Garrett when a friend turned to her and asked “Where next Jenny?” At the time she was working for a leading business school and feeling comfortable and accomplished in her work. Then her friend pointed out that she could do so much more with her life and career. How would you react to such an insight?
Well, Jenny considered her various options, but her fear of public speaking ruled out so many of them. She had let that fear hold back her ambitions. And she would not be alone feeling that one! Jenny’s friend persisted and pointed out that she was a really good listener so why not consider coaching. Jenny edged out of her comfort zone and that became an opening for her to move forward in a coaching career. It also caused her to transform and expand her sense of self. That led to her starting her own business. She specialised in leadership then developed her own leadership programmes authoring a success guide for women called “Rocking your Role”. Speaking on stage naturally followed and this was now no problem for her because of her growth and confidence she had developed in her work.
At this major turning point in her life she recognised the particular challenges women can face in being the primary income earner in a relationship, or family. However well women do out in the world, they can still be expected to maintain a supportive primary carer role. This can often lead to women experiencing a lack of recognition for their contributions, both at work and at home. Jenny realised she needed to communicate better all the ways she was making an impact.
Personal Branding makes the difference in business referrals
Jenny began to understood that her personal brand was really important in expressing who she was and had become. She could see that how people talk about you when you are not in the room is really key to your success. You really want your name to mentioned when opportunities come up, and for the right reasons. People will recommend you if they understand your brand and what you are about… whether you are a business owner or an employee inside an organisation.
Technology fuels female ambition
In today’s world technology is key .. like it or not, every business is going to become a technology business. A big question for all of us .. “How do I get digital? How do I engage?”
Five years ago Jenny did some research for the Nivea Brand looking at technology and how it impacts people. What they found was Technology is fuelling female ambition. 87% of women use social media to get their ideas out into the world. Three out of four people believe that technology’s social media will speed their career success and business advancement. Instead of moving step by step like before, now we have the means to take the escalator to the top floors advancing so much more quickly using these new technologies. The internet is creating a generation of female digital role models.
We need to think differently about the way we do business. Face to face meetings and physical connection remains important but digital connection needs to be brought into the mix. And good branding is crucial here to help you stand out.
Confidence is key for expanding your profile
Jenny also did some research on confidence and found that women are more confident than they have ever been before. But confidence remains an issue when we feel we have to get ourselves out into the world. Expressing our personal brand is essential but it does require confidence.
The Nivea research findings did show a gap between men and women in terms of confidence but still, men experience confidence issues too. Is the narrowing of the gap to do with honesty or that women are indeed getting more confident and closing that gap?
An age curve was noted. Under 24s were the least confident but women get more confident as we get older until later age … After age 55 that can reduce perhaps when we have had a knock in life… loss of a partner or ill health.
Personal Branding can give a much-needed confidence boost
Confidence at work is affected by colleagues and peers .. a lot of people show up as bullies trying to make you feel bad. The biggest way to increase confidence is to step out of your comfort zone and do something different. Putting yourself out there into the world and working on your personal brand go hand in hand at building your confidence.
Keys to Branding
- Your personal brand is about YOU but it is very interlinked with your Professional Brand.
- Impact: You can’t just rely on people to simply buy your products. You need your brand to make you memorable as that is the key to being recommended by other people to their contacts.
- Portability: Brands are completely portable .. if you leave an organisation, your brand goes with you. Developing your personal brand inside an organisation is not being disloyal. Your good profile or activity will benefit your organisation with an afterglow. It is a win-win.
- Word of mouth marketing is personal branding is, letting people know what you are good at and encouraging them to tell other people. Make sure what they pass on is what you want them to say about you, and that is represents you well. You are responsible for that. Any business that comes to you by personal recommendation that is your Personal Brand in action.
- Authenticity is key. You can’t make it up. Competence always comes first. You need to be good at what you do.
- Self awareness: Highlight your strengths then you build your brand around that. You can talk to others about what you need from this place of strength and self understanding.
- Being seen: Good branding brings visibility
Create Your Brand using your “GPS” – these are the 3 areas to work on
1 Your Gifts = G
What comes naturally to you. What do you do really well?
What good feedback do you get?
What do you bring?
What do people mostly say is good about you?
How you choose to engage
What difference do your strengths make ?
What is the tangible impact you make?
2 What are you Passions = P
What is important to you?
What do you really care about?
3 What do you want to be in Service of? = S
With whom do you want to work?
The difference I want to make?
What do you want to be doing?
What legacy do I want to leave?
This is your GPS guiding you. The Sweet spot is in middle of this GPS is the heart of your brand.
- Bring all this together for a brand statement.
- Instead of introducing yourself to new people as a role, say what you are passionate about. The more you practise this it becomes more succinct.
- Ask people for feedback for what you are saying about yourself. Check that you are a actually projecting the things that you are saying about yourself.
- You must ensure that others really understand you. Then you will get the right clients
- Be memorable.
EXERCISE on finding our GIFTS (some can find this difficult):
Working in pairs. Share something good that happened in the last few weeks.
Your listener takes notes .. what you said, how you shared it, what did you demonstrate in that sharing? What came across?
Next: Your partner compliments you, giving feedback on what they heard of what you said. It’s important to simply accept these compliments, not to flick them back.
This is your Brand .. what they observed about you and experienced in the conversation.
Yes it is good to receive a pat on the back but we take on it board more when we are given specifics. This detailed feedback is so helpful. We can be tempted to dismiss all the good feedback and remember the one bad negative piece. Don’t fall into the trap of amplifying any negative feedback. That being said, it is important for each of us to find ways to give others positive feedback. It is particularly helpful for those of us work alone a lot on our own in business.
How does it feel to receive compliments? Good. We feel seen, recognised.
Mark Twain said: “I can live a good few months on a good compliment”.
TIPS: It’s important to brag!
share your amazing achievements. Everyone needs to know.
What are your Bragables? have you saved people money?
Recognise your own power? Where are you powerful?
Where do you make a difference with your power?
Share your CV on Linkedin .. do something different…. some people have used a song at piano to sing their CV.
Use explainer scripted videos.
Words on paper no longer stand out. Don’t be bland or the same as everyone else. Be different,
And finally ….
It’s NOT about how many people you know
It’s about how many people know YOU … and let them know who you really are with your personal branding.
Lady Val Luncheon. London
Notes from Gina Lazenby
June 27th, 2019