My 100th article really snuck up on me, but then again I have been an avid user of LinkedIn since 2010! I wanted to mark the occasion with a snapshot of some of the insights I’ve had into business and personal branding, digital marketing, networking and LinkedIn strategy, public speaking, setting up and running two businesses and working with a multitude of clients in these areas over the last almost-decade.
Hope you enjoy the flashback and find a useful tidbit or two, and thank you for reading, sharing and commenting along the way!
Don’t be shy.
In the early days of my first business, I was very shy about peeking out from behind the business brand and showing people the ‘real me’. Yet, this was an important aspect for the success of my brand. I started making some changes and encouraged my readers to do the same, such as making their blogs personal.
Personal branding is now a common strategic tool for individuals and organisations alike, yet a lot of people I meet struggle with showing who they are in business. In How to show your personality online and still look professional I suggest some little ways you can express yourself without losing credibility. In Are you scared of LinkedIn? I share some confidence boosters for using this platform. In Launching the new you online we consider when is the right time to launch a refreshed or pivoted personal brand, and in The low-power and self-promotion double-binds, I reflect on Adam Galinsky’s fabulous TED Talk, ‘How to speak up for yourself’ and what this means for your personal brand.
I even dared to share some photos of me scrambling up Toolbrunup Peak in Western Australia’s Stirling Ranges (once you’ve done that climb, you’ll know we actually do have mountains in W.A.!) in an effort to show you the importance of highlighting your achievements!
And for those who aren’t shy at all: in an article that became the catalyst for a string of radio and newspaper interviews, I ask, Are you too sexy for LinkedIn?
Whatever your industry, people do business with people.
I love exploring how different industries can use personal branding and people-focused brand strategy to really stand out in an authentic, human way. I’ve found this works across a wide variety of industries, regardless of whether they are service or product focused. I’ve discussed lawyer misconceptions, marketing mistakes accountants make, current personal brand considerations for financial advisers and online opportunities for technology, mining and resources, among others.
I’ve long been a fan of speaking and communication to build a brand – in fact, this is how I built my businesses from scratch. Networking is a big part of this and I now do a lot of speaking and training on this topic, because I’ve had so many networking experiences in the last ten years! In There’s no networking gene I share some of the tips I found essential for networking success, and in Empowering your people to attract new clients I compare two characters we all know, Tom and Harry. In Top 3 tips to take your presentation from OK to powerful, I discuss the steps that changed the game for me as a speaker.
The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
I love being able to work one-to-one with some of my clients, to really get to know them and help make a difference on a detailed level. This is where I discover the golden nuggets of value a person brings to their work – my biggest passion is to find out and amplify what makes someone amazing. In Find your golden nugget of differentiation and value, I challenge you to look for points of difference in your work.
Everyone says their work is great because they have ‘attention to detail’ or ‘value client relationships’. But I said ‘So what?’ and I flat-out asked you, What makes you amazing?
I love the saying, ‘The way you do anything is the way you do everything.’ In Find your meaningful point of difference I asked some questions to think about the day-to-day details and how that can make you stand out as a brand.
It all comes down to purpose.
Well it’s been almost 10 years as a business owner, 20 years working as some kind of teacher and communicator, and already 8 years on LinkedIn – and the more I see of the world of business and work, the more I’m convinced that everyone, deep down, wants to feel a sense of purpose. And customers connect with that too! In Keeping the WHY alive in your organisation, I explore the implications of this for leadership development and company-people brand alignment.
At an individual level, I discussed in what proved a popular post Why the big picture of your professional journey matters. And in Your personal brand starts with your purpose I shared some of my favourite exercises for getting to the heart of your professional positioning.
This article proved one of the hardest to write, as I alternately looked fondly or cringed at the 99 articles that came before and tried to pick out some pieces I thought my 2018 readers might like. Having realised I’ve amassed a lot of information that can be helpful to people, I’ve taken on the adventure of collating my learnings, tips and tools into a book, which I hope to publish early in the new year. Suggestions, warnings and encouragement most welcome!!
Thanks again for reading.