Me, Inc. By Pomerantz Career Center Become the CEO of Your Career using Personal Branding
Presentation Overview • What is branding? • Branding yourself • Why branding today? • Getting started: 7 steps for building a brand • The importance of branding
What Do These Things Have In Common? • The golden arches, the Nike swoosh, and an apple icon? • These are all examples of brands of McDonalds, Nike and Apple computers
Branding • Because of branding, you likely have certain images that comes to mind when you think of these products • A brand is a tool that is used in the business world to describe all the information or perceptions that are connected with a product or service.
Branding • When you see these brands somewhere, you associate them with a set of expectations or perceptions • Nike = tough athletes at the height of their performance. • The Golden Arches = fast service and good food • Apple logo = cutting-edge technology. • You associate these concepts, thoughts, and images with the particular companies because of the brand each company has established.
What Do We Mean By Branding? • Branding is… • An image created in someone’s mind • It’s both tangible and intangible characteristics of a product or service that make it unique • Products that are branded are often chosen over similar products because they somehow have a perceived value of being ‘better’
Example: Think of the teenager deciding between a name brand pair of blue jeans and an off-brand pair. Which do you think they will choose? Why do they perceive one as better than the other than the other? Branding
Branding is not just for products anymore… • Use branding concepts for yourself. • In this program you will learn how to establish a career brand for yourself, starting your own business “Me, Inc.”
People Can Brand Themselves Too • Think about the way the following people have branded themselves: • Michael Jordan • Jessica Simpson • Paris Hilton and • Various political leaders
Branding Yourself • Helps to define who you are/what you are about (or why an employer should hire you) • Branding yourself is a way of associating great value with a product (the product being you) • Branding yourself is not about getting an employer to choose you over your competition. • It is about getting the employer to see you as the only solution to their problem
Why Branding Today? • Trust is essential in the corporate world • People want to do business with and hire or promote people they know and feel good about 2. There has been change in what a traditional career path looks like • People today change careers an average of 8 times during their lives • Branding can be consistent throughout the changes (ex. Hard work and creativity can flow through to different occupations)
3. There is also a change in the way people communicate • Electronic communication doesn’t allow personality to show (compared to face-to-face communication) • Your first interview might be over the phone or your first communication with a potential employer could be over e-mail. • This type of communication could make it difficult to express yourself.
4. Branding makes you more memorable (think about how the swoosh or golden arches stand out in your memory) in the midst of the different type of communication. • If you can get an employer to associate positive traits with your application or communication, you will likely rise to the top of the applicant pool.
Getting Started: 7 Steps to Building your Personal Brand • Self-reflection • Continuous Learning • Prepare marketing strategy • Build relationships • Prepare marketing pieces • Develop your pitch • Follow up
Step 1: Self-reflection • Before you start, you need to know what you’re beginning with. • Self-reflection will help you identify the tools you have and the areas you need to improve.
Identify and list past accomplishments and achievements – create a master list of all the good things you’ve done. • This may include employment, internships, volunteer opportunities, leadership positions, civic involvement, or courses taken. • Don’t sell yourself short, spend some time reflecting on all the activities, and achievements you’ve taken part in • Continue adding to the list each time you have a new experience
Identify areas in need of further development • Once you’ve created your list of accomplishments, you can look for areas in which you’re lacking experience • Plan and focus on gaining new experiences • This can come from many different sources: internships, volunteering, workshops, etc.
Next, identify what makes your product unique or different • What’s your best asset? What are you noteworthy for? What do you contribute that you are most proud of? • Ask your parents, friends, etc. to find an answer to that question • Once you uncover your ‘edge’ make sure you write it out and play it up as often as possible
Step 2: Continuous Learning • It is imperative that you regularly benchmark your skills against others and develop a plan to keep your skills on the cutting edge • Continuous learning is essential to build your brand. • Add a Degree (majors/minors) or certificate • Attend conferences and workshops • Spend time spent with a mentor
Step 3: Prepare Marketing Strategy • Mission statements are the backbone of a company • By creating a mission statement for Me, Inc., you will have direction for where you want your brand to go. • Mission statements are short, descriptive statements of the common objective and focus of the organization. • Keep your mission statement to no more than two or three sentences, or about 30 words.
Mission Statements • End your statement with qualifying words and phrases to describe your mission. • Example: “My personal career mission is to inspire and equip students to reach their maximum potential." • Notice the other examples in the PowerPoint
"My personal career mission is . . . " Following are some examples: "My personal career mission is to become a world-class aeronautical engineer in the commercial aviation industry." "My personal career mission is to gain experience in the public accounting field toward earning my CPA designation." "My personal career mission is to master the leading software development tools and gain greater understanding of e-business application development."
Mission Statements • Your personal mission statement should be tightly focused toward the first three to five years of your career. • You can give specifics about the job type and/or industry, as appropriate. • This personal career mission statement will form the foundation of your career focus. • A mental concept of your personal career mission statement is not enough. You should write it down and put it where you can see it every day.
Create a vision statement for Me, Inc. • Your vision statement takes your mission statement a bit further by mentioning HOW you will complete what you intend to (as stated in your mission) • Make sure you mention specific tactics you will practice or methods you will use.
Create a marketing plan for Me, Inc. • Be visible to enhance your profile • Volunteer • Be involved • Talk about your mission and your edge/talents/etc. • Everything you do and choose not to do, can communicate the value of your brand • E-mails you send • How you conduct yourself in meetings • Words you say • How you dress • Conversations you have • Etc.
Step 4: Build Relationships • network is defined as: group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes. (The Oxford Dictionary) • Networking tips: • Word of mouth is powerful; what are people saying about you? • Keep in good contact with your network • Always make sure your network knows of any recent successes
Networking • Don’t forget about potential networking circles: friends, faculty, programs you are a part of, family, organizations • Search out new professional associations or online communities to add to your network • Find opportunities to weave your personal mission/vision statements into conversation with your network
Step 5: Prepare Marketing Pieces • Your promotional pieces should include: • Cover Letter • Resume • Personal References • Consider how you will incorporate your mission/vision into your promotional pieces • Consider how you will distribute these pieces • Job search engines • Distribute to family and friends • Directly apply to an organization
Step 6: Develop your pitch • A formal interview is your opportunity to pitch your brand: Me, Inc. • Tips: • Practice makes perfect (take advantage of the Mock Interview program) • Dress appropriately and professionally • Prepare (research the company and reflect on your skills and abilities) • Don’t be too modest (you’re selling your product and you don’t want to sell yourself short) • Consider how you will incorporate your personal mission/vision statements into the conversation
Your ‘pitch’ can also occur in informal settings • Conversations, e-mails, presentations, etc.
Step 7: Follow up • Good follow-up communication will assist in creating a positive association with your brand • Return employers’ calls immediately (establishes trust) • Respond to all requests (shows responsibility) • Write a thank you note after interview (associates courtesy with your work) • Write acceptance/decline letter upon accepting a job • Keep in touch with your network
Let’s Review: 7 Steps to Building your Personal Brand • Self-reflection • Continuous Learning • Prepare marketing strategy • Build relationships • Prepare marketing pieces • Develop your pitch • Follow up
The Importance of Branding • Creating a brand allows you to associate value with your product (you!) • There are many competing brands…you must position yourself so employers choose you • By branding yourself – you’ll stand out from other candidates • If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will do it for you
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