Are you aware of what is said about you when you are not in the room?
If you don't know what you bring to the table, you don't get a seat there. The corporate world is cut throat and it makes no apologies for it. To cut a niche for yourself in this world you need to get noticed, you need to brand yourself.
Personal branding has been discussed over and over and it is unavoidable whether you are employed or run your own business. It determines your career path as well as the success of your business.
"All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You."
- Tom Peters in Fast Company
Your personal brand is all about who you are and what you want to be known for. It is a conscious or unconscious process in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about themselves; they do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction.
If you type an email, you're branding yourself. If you have a conversation with a friend or family member, you're branding yourself. How you dress, what you eat, and how you talk all contribute to your brand. Think of your brand as the summation of all the associations about you that are stored in people's minds.
"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are." - Malcolm Forbes, Publisher
You can decide what to say or write in order to convey a certain image. Your projected image will influence what others think of you and how they might choose to interact with you. You may stumble upon this image accidentally, or you can deliberately target a specific type of image. With the surge of social media, you have not only the ability, but you now have the need to manage your own reputation, both online and in real life.
I think the best external image to project is the one you believe best reflects who you really are. Being yourself simply means being honest. "Be the real you because everyone else is taken and replicas don't sell for as much.”
Becoming aware of how others see you helps you identify blind spots within yourself. Then you can work on those negative aspects to help you become more internally congruent.
You need to know what you want to do and claim a niche for yourself. Among the questions you need to ask yourself are these;
- How do I make people feel?
- How do people benefit by working with me?
- What words do others use to describe me?
The major aspects you need to work on, improve or completely overhaul are;
- Your business card, verbal business card, elevator pitch
- Resume/cover letter/references document
- Email address
- Twitter profile
- LinkedIn profile
- Facebook profile
- Blog or website
- Video resume
- Wardrobe and image
- Your business & dining etiquette, soft skills and networking skills
To experience the magic that happens when you're finally able to synchronize your public image with your true core values,to stay relevant in the organization you work in and to show your true value to those who can promote you take a personal branding class.
Akad Africa in Conjunction with Public Image Africa & Vision 21 brings you
CAREER EXCELLENCE: December 2012 Holiday Students Seminar
Dates: 10, 11, 13 & 14 December, 2012
Venue: TBA, NAIROBI
Target Group: Ages 13 - 21 years
Speakers: Prof K. Tirima (Inoorero University), Derek Bbanga (Public Image), Dr. J.C. Mwangi (Sasini Ltd.), Dr. J. Weche (Akad Africa) & Steven Othoro (Vision 21),
Cost: Ksh 5,500/- per student per day, for four days.
Contact: Dr. J. Weche, Akad Africa. Tel: 0720743674,
Sheba Akinyi of Public Image, Tel: 0715881105
In this month's newsletter we focus on two aspects of the personal brand, both of which can make or break the brand. Please also see information below on a Students Career Excellence Seminar in December. As always I hope you find these tips useful and continue to let us know your thoughts.
With best regards,
ABOUT PUBLIC IMAGE
Public Image has a unique approach to building individual and corporate achievement. Business etiquette, creating a positive image though posture and dress, soft skills, communication proficiency, personal branding and networking expertise are key elements in the Public Image approach to developing professional skills.
Projecting a positive image for business will give you an edge in today's competitive market.
What story are your Shoes telling?
Are you aware that the shoes you wear tell a story. Nothing says, "I don't care” more clearly than a pair of damaged, worn out or scuffed shoes.
The most professional shoe colors are black and dark brown. Coordinate your shoe color with your suit color. Black shoes go nicely with charcoal and black or navy suits. Brown shoes match with brown and tan suits.
Laced leather shoes are more professional, however for office casual you can choose oxfords, loafers, rubber soled leather shoes or boots. Wear dress shoes that coordinate with your attire.
Be sure the color of your shoes also matches your belt.
Avoid worn-out shoes, sandals or sport shoes. Make sure your shoes are polished and shined and that your heels are in tack.
To step it up in dressing for success, there are 6 types of dress shoes;
Courtesy of Ask Men.
Are good all-around dress shoes that are appropriate for numerous occasions. For the office, semiformal events and for formal affairs.
2. Cap toes:
Should be reserved for special occasions and be paired only with clothes of equal quality.
3. Dress boots:
These boots will look fantastic with dressy and casual clothes e.g dress trousers or a casual suit.
4. Monk strap:
While very refined, the buckle and wider heel give them a slightly more casual look, a good choice for wearing with dressy jeans, casual dress pants or to the office.
5. Derby shoes and Loafers:
They are a little less formal than oxfords, and are often worn in brown. This is suitable for semiformal occasions.