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Ellevate Event Recap: Building and Redefining Your Personal Brand

Ellevate Event Recap: Building and Redefining Your Personal Brand

This article first appeared on Jill's career website here.

Last week, I got to meet a really amazing group of women at the Ellevate Network’s Building Your Personal Brand workshop. Seriously, I couldn't believe the diversity and cool background and cultures in the room. We had a PhD student who studies proteins associated with pancreatic cancer, the 5th generation owner of her family’s NYC storied meat business, marathoners, fashion designers, asset manager, and the list goes on and on.

Hilary Pearl, founder of Pearl Associates led the interactive session, which focused on:

How your personal brand is disseminated/portrayed,

What three adjectives you want people to think of when they think of you,

What the gaps are between how you want to be perceived and how you are perceived and

Resources to use change your personal brand

While a blog post won’t do justice to the rockin’ takeaways, Hilary gave the group clear direction on what an effective branding statement should entail:

Tailored for situational self promotion (in other words, how you talk about what you do and who you are to peers may be different than to the head of the company)

Defines your unique brand

Brief and compelling

Why you and your work are important

Builds rapport

Shows your commitment.

Regarding the building rapport bullet above, we talked about how researches have found that in any given message, 55% of the impression comes from our body language, 38% from the volume and tone of our voice and only 7% (SEVEN!!) is the message itself. Whoa. So, basically even if you have compelling content, like, say you’ve invented a teleportation machine that will bring you to your vacation destination without time on an airplane or jetlag (just sayin’), the way you’re perceived- as passionate, capable to actually invent a safe machine, professional, etc will be lost on people if your body language is slumping and your tone is downtrodden or even neutral. So, basically no teleportation machine on the market- all because you didn't build rapport or build an effective personal branding statement. How does that feel?

So, how can you work on your personal branding statement to avoid the demise of the launch of the teleportation machine?

1. Research who you’re meeting with ahead of time if it’s a meeting. Learn what they do, their professional experience and who they are outside of work. This can be done by looking at their LinkedIn profile or asking someone who knows them.

2. Practice your statement and get feedback. Ask people what perceptions exist and very importantly, be open to the feedback. Growth can only come by being open to all feedback, good and constructive.

3. Keep practicing

[Related: Personal Branding 101]

4. Flex your style to various types of people. Like I said earlier, you might tailor your statement differently to your boss’s boss’s boss than you would a direct report, peer, friend or business contact. You can practice ideas for each of these types of people.

5. If you find your personal brand lacking from your research and feedback with people in your network, it can take 3-6 months to change your personal brand and it takes a lot of conscious work and mindfulness constantly. Pick up Carla Harris’s “Expect to Win” to learn more about how to do this more systematically.

What situations have you been in where you have found your personal brand shining through and working for you? When has it not? Leave your comments in the space below to share your experiences!

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

Community Discussion
Lorraine Herr
Lorraine Herr

Jill, Great recap of the Building Your Personal Brand Workshop. What additional tools to you recommend for building a personal brand?

Friday, Sep 16 5:34 PM EDT