Welcome!

Open Web Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Mark R. Hinkle, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, PR.com Newswire

Related Topics: Open Web, ColdFusion, Adobe Flex, Web 2.0

Open Web: Article

Personal Branding Checklist

Personal branding is a continual process just as knowing yourself is a continual process

This is a checklist of items you need for an all-encompassing personal branding strategy. Personal branding is the process of marketing and selling yourself as a brand in order to gain success in business. Personal branding is a continual process just as knowing yourself is a continual process. As you grow, so does your brand. The need for personal branding arises from the fact that globalization has increased competition in the workplace. As the wheat is separated from the chaff, if you are left standing, you are left standing with others of good caliber. The playing field is now that much more challenging since your competition is as good as, or better, than you.

To paraphrase David Samuel, the bloke who got me into personal branding after I saw him speak a few years ago; he spoke about of why you need personal branding. His audience was a group from a large telecom:

"If we were to classify people based on aptitude, they are As, Bs, Cs, and Ds. Because of globalization the Cs and Ds have been outsourced. They're gone. All that's left is you. You are now in competition with a bunch of As and Bs. You are now clamoring for attention amongst a talented group of people. How do you now get noticed? How can you shine and be recognized for additional opportunities? How can you be successful when everyone around you is just as talented, or more so, than you? If everyone around you is capable and of A or B caliber, how do you compete with that?"

You build a personal brand and sell it. You sell not just yourself, but your brand, to your superiors, or clients in the case of contractors and consultants.

The same reason people buy Coke instead of Pepsi, or American Eagle instead of Abercrombie & Fitch where the products are extremely similar, is because of the brand. The public perception of the company's product is created and marketed in such a way as to enhance the product, or even be the product. Soda is soda, pop is pop for those of us with less-sensitive taste buds. The similarities end, however, when you compare Coke versus Pepsi. Even taste tests are meaningless; it's the brand that sells it.

Checklist

  1. Know what you want
  2. Be able to articulate what you do
  3. Elevator pitch
  4. Be positive
  5. Have a blog / website / MySpace, or other online presence
  6. Business card
  7. Multiple e-mail addresses
  8. Phone
  9. Signature
  10. Logo
  11. Personal logo
  12. More than one resume
  13. Mentor
  14. Networking outlets / contacts
  15. Wardrobe style
  16. Multiple IM accounts
  17. Alias
  18. Mantra
  19. Speaking and PowerPoint template
  20. Passion

Let's start with some brief definitions.

Checklist Definitions

  1. Know what you want: Identify what you want, and start walking toward it.
  2. Be able to articulate what you do: When someone asks what you do, answer them immediately with a clear, concise, and confident response.
  3. Elevator pitch: Be able to describe who you are and what you do in the time it takes to ride an elevator.
  4. Be positive: Be positive.
  5. Business card: A 3x5 piece of paper or mini-CD that has your personal contact information clearly printed on it.
  6. Have a blog / Website / MySpace, or other online presence: Get your brand online.
  7. Multiple e-mail addresses: Get more than one e-mail address.
  8. Phone: Get a phone.
  9. Signature: Your signature is who you are, your title, and your contact information. You should put this on everything you touch.
  10. Logo: A visual image that positively identifies your brand.
  11. Personal goals: Set goals for yourself that help you reach what you want.
  12. More than one resume: Customize your resume to the potential employer or client.
  13. Mentor: Find a guru and have them teach you.
  14. Networking outlets / contacts: Continually develop your network by attending industry meetings and conferences.
  15. Wardrobe style: When you are going to be near people who you wish to sell your brand to, dress to impress.
  16. Multiple IM accounts: Get more than one IM account.
  17. Alias: Obtain a positive nickname.
  18. Mantra: Collect sayings that enforce your brand.
  19. Speaking and PowerPoint template: Speak about what you do and have a hot-looking PowerPoint template to show.
  20. Passion: Love what you do.

Thorough Definitions
Now, let's get more thorough in our definitions.

1  Know What You Want
The most important thing is to know what you want. If you have a clearly identified target of desire, you can walk that path with confidence.

One of the biggest problems with management is the delegation process; the process where someone in the position of authority asks someone else they are in charge of to accomplish a task. The delegation process is a series of steps that must be followed in order to ensure success. The first step is personal: "Know what you want." If you don't know what you want, you cannot articulate to others how to accomplish the task, because you don't know what it is. You are setting them up to fail because you cannot define success. If you don't know what you want, you'll be walking in aimlessly with no purpose.

Identify what you want, and start walking towards it.

2  Be Able to Articulate What You Do
When advertising a product, people need to be able to identify what the product is to garner context. Sometimes this works in reverse where by not advertising the purpose, you create a mystique that has been proven effective. This doesn't work, however, when you are meeting someone new for the first time, and they ask what you do. Simply saying, "Jesse Warden, man of mystery" doesn't accurately portray what I do. The business world revolves around work. While jobs may decrease, the amount of work will not; there is always work to be done. You are a cog in the machine, whether corporate or independent, and you want to sell yourself as an effective part of that whole.

By giving a clear, concise description of what you do, the other party immediately can identify an applicable value if any. If they are a potential employer or client, you want them to have this clear impression of you. If they don't have an immediate need for your skills, they may later. They will remember you and what you do later if you left a good and clear first impression. "I remember that networking engineer that I met at that conference; she'd be a good candidate for this opportunity."

The interest in what you do is at its apex when the other party asks; be ready to immediately answer, and thus take the most advantage of it. This also sometimes spawns additional conversation, which in turn leads to more rapport-building opportunities.

If you cannot articulate what you do, others will perceive it negatively. It doesn't matter if you're the hottest C++ programmer out there; if the other party doesn't get that from your description, they have no knowledge of that. They'll think things like: "He's some type of developer." If a C++ job comes up, they are more apt to immediately think of the person who accurately described that they coded C++ first.

"What do you do?"

"Yeah, I like do computer stuff..."

versus

"What do you do?"

"I live, eat, and sleep programming in C."

In addition, not being able to articulate what you do presents a host of other negative perceptions. It makes you sound inarticulate. Communication is key in globalization and in business in general. It's a flawed process to begin with; someone who is good at it immediately has perceived value and personified charisma. Finally, trust is conveyed if you quickly and confidently describe what you do.

When someone asks what you do, answer them immediately with a clear, concise, and confident response.

3  Elevator Pitch
Now that you know what to say, how do you say it? You use an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short description of who you are, what you do, and it's spoken in the time it takes to ride in an elevator with someone - usually three sentences. They are designed to be short so you can quickly and effectively describe who you are and what you do. If you meet an important person in passing and are in the elevator, this is one scenario. Another is when someone, who may have a potential opportunity for you, is at a conference or meeting. You could utilize the 20 seconds after the meeting to introduce yourself and create a good, informative first impression in a limited timeframe. It's called a pitch because you are trying to sell yourself to the other person. That also means this can change depending on who you are talking to. Just like sales pitches can change based on the audience and demographic, so to can elevator pitches. It helps if you can figure out a little about the other person before you give your pitch. You often can't, so don't plan on it. If you can, make the most of it.


More Stories By Jesse Randall Warden

Jesse R. Warden, a member of the Editorial Board of Web Developer's & Designer's Journal, is a Flex, Flash and Flash Lite consultant for Universal Mind. A professional multimedia developer, he maintains a Website at jessewarden.com where he writes about technical topics that relate to Flash and Flex.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
rampersad 08/23/09 11:40:00 AM EDT

Have You Created an Authentic Personal Brand?
In life, as in business, branding is more effective, powerful and sustainable than marketing and sales, and an effective way to best the competition. It’s about influencing others, by creating a brand identity that associates certain perceptions and feelings with that identity....READ MORE

Wendy 06/30/09 01:36:00 PM EDT

Mostly good points.

I disagree with your last statement, "Even taste tests are meaningless; it's the brand that sells it."

Taste does matter and buying decisions are not always based on how the product is being marketed. Taste tests have a place in product development as well as marketing and advertising.

Branding and marketing can be important, but they are not the ultimate basis for all buying decisions.

Yakov Fain 12/25/06 10:56:05 AM EST

Nice article, Jesse!

After reading it online, I noticed a short bio under it, which reads:

"Jesse R. Warden, a member of the Editorial Board of Web Developer's & Designer's Journal, is Flex, Flash and Flash Lite consultant for Universal Mind. A professional multimedia developer, he maintains a website at jessewarden.com where he writes about technical topics that relate to Flash and Flex."

If some hiring manager will read one of your other articles followed by this BIO, s/he may be wondering, "Is Jesse a Flex dude, Flash consultant or a journalist writing for WebDDJ?"

What do you think? Should you brand yourself just as "Jesse Warden Flex developer"? Should you have just one blog that presents you as such? What if you also like biking and would love to blog about it? Are you allowed to have another, personal blog where you will use different (street) language or it may hurt your main brand?

@ThingsExpo Stories
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Be Among the First 100 to Attend & Receive a Smart Beacon. The Physical Web is an open web project within the Chrome team at Google. Scott Jenson leads a team that is working to leverage the scalability and openness of the web to talk to smart devices. The Physical Web uses bluetooth low energy beacons to broadcast an URL wirelessly using an open protocol. Nearby devices can find all URLs in the room, rank them and let the user pick one from a list. Each device is, in effect, a gateway to a web page. This unlocks entirely new use cases so devices can offer tiny bits of information or simple i...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
TechCrunch reported that "Berlin-based relayr, maker of the WunderBar, an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware dev kit which resembles a chunky chocolate bar, has closed a $2.3 million seed round, from unnamed U.S. and Switzerland-based investors. The startup had previously raised a €250,000 friend and family round, and had been on track to close a €500,000 seed earlier this year — but received a higher funding offer from a different set of investors, which is the $2.3M round it’s reporting."
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital busines...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things needs an entirely new security model, or does it? Can we save some old and tested controls for the latest emerging and different technology environments? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, will review hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal privacy options and a new risk balance you might not expect.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold.