In Part 1 of this topic, I discussed an example of how a client changed their elevator pitch to ensure they were being seen as valuable advisors in their specialist field. I used the example of boards to illustrate how your language around your positioning must be adapted to suit your audience’s concerns.
Some other examples of the power of planned positioning come to mind from recent experiences working with personal brands.
From ‘Admin’ to Manager & Consultant
At the moment I’m working with a business consulting firm where one of the key players is a young woman with a broad range of experience. Still in her twenties, she has worked with a range of organisations from small business to listed companies, private to government, acting as a central cog to the machine of business growth! In the boutique firm where she currently works, not only does she manage the day-to-day functions and client communications, but she handles all the marketing for the business and is integral to decision-making about their growth strategy. On top of that, she has recently completed a qualification to allow her to consult in the due diligence aspect of client projects.
Before we worked on her personal brand, her LinkedIn profile was limited to a brief mention of her administration role. Now her title includes ‘manager’ and ‘consultant’, because that demonstrates the full extent of her skills and experience.
It may seem obvious to include in your LinkedIn profile all the key roles you’re experienced in. But this is not just about listing positions you’ve held in the ‘Experience’ section; it’s about crafting a role description and bio that clearly demonstrates all that you can do.
A Director; but what do you do?
Like the majority of my clients, this guy is the Managing Director at his firm, which specialises in marketing technology. At the level of MD, people understand that you have a depth of knowledge and expertise. But are you demonstrating what this expertise is – specifically – to shape the types of opportunities that come your way?
Most board members, directors, CEOs, founders and owners of established businesses are looking for specific opportunities to meet their current professional interests at any point in time. For this client, it was to showcase his considerable ability as a keynote speaker around the world – a platform where he can demonstrate his knowledge and then pick and choose from the best clients! But his title of ‘Director’ didn’t speak to these abilities, so we added the particular cutting-edge fields of marketing he knows about, and included ‘international speaker’.
We then demonstrated what makes him amazing in these fields through a powerful positioning statement in the Summary section of his LinkedIn profile. It really talked to his ‘why’ for doing what he does, which centres on the change he creates for businesses by harnessing the latest marketing technology.
Not just a sales person but a people-centred strategist
I had the pleasure recently of building up a new personal brand from scratch, for a finance broker with several years’ experience in the corporate banking world. Since moving out on her own, she had developed her own unique method that centres on her values of caring for her clients and crafting tailored, goal-orientated solutions for them. It was important to her that we built a brand that demonstrated her exceptional level of expertise and personal approach to her work.
To do this, we ignored what most people are doing in her field, and went for a polished, ‘advisor-style’ brand for her website and social media marketing that instilled confidence and trust, rather than appearing ‘salesy’ and ‘quick-fix’. For example, instead of talking about interest rates, she talks about setting and achieving financial goals. Her website demonstrates how she partners with other financial experts to assist her clients meet their goals, and she details how she approaches her work with personal interest for every client.
This means she attracts only the types of clients she really wants to work with – those who are prepared to think long-term and take a holistic approach when it comes to their financial decisions – allowing her to thoroughly enjoy her work and take on clients for life.
Crafting a powerfully positioned bio can be challenging, but hopefully these examples demonstrate the importance of doing so. Remember, people don’t know everything there is to know about you, so you have to ensure you are getting your most important messages across, clearly and consistently.