In my last post, 3 Simple and Effective Ways to Start Your Personal Brand, I went over the importance of a personal brand and how it can help save you time and effort in your professional life. You created your three keywords, mood board, and mission statement. In this post, I will show you how to share your personal brand by honing your elevator pitch and conducting a social media audit.
4) State what you want by creating a pitch
An elevator pitch is a more targeted and detailed version of your mission statement. It’s how you express who you are, what you want, where you want to be. It’s less about your higher ideas (mission statement) and more specific about your professional acumen. A great elevator pitch makes the reader think, “Wow, I’d like to have this person on our team,” or “I can’t use your services, but I know someone who is looking for someone just like you.”
Here’s an example of an elevator pitch, “Corporations worldwide send millions of emails each day and only 23% of them get opened. I’m Jane Doe and I’m an email marketing specialist. The emails I write usually have an open rate of over 50%. If your company is having trouble getting the attention it deserves, I can help. Would you like to set up a meeting to discuss your company’s next email campaign?
An outstanding elevator pitch addresses:
1) What you do
2) How you are unique (your “hook”)
3) The problem you solve
4) What you want (an interview, meeting, business connection, etc.)
You’ll need to play around with this to get it just right. As you start honing in on the three components above, you’ll find yourself getting clearer about who you are and what value you can offer. Keep refining it until you’ve got a short, compelling pitch that works for you.
If you are feeling like you want more of a challenge, The Hard Refresh has a very thorough explanation of how to take your elevator pitch to the next level.
Many people who have a hard time with this exercise argue that they don’t want to specify what they do because they do so many things. For example, a social media coordinator can be a great project manager and brand strategist all in the same job. It can be hard to omit of some of your talents and skills, but it won’t hinder you from reaching your goals. Being specific doesn’t mean you won’t get looked at for other opportunities; it’s simply a starting point.
If you’re stuck, I recommend trying out this elevator pitch generator to start.
Once your elevator pitch is complete, you’ve got the basic elements of a personal brand. The last thing to do is make sure your brand represents you fully across each media platform.
5) Audit Your Brand and Messages
Consistency is key for a personal brand. All of your media platforms must say consistently similar things about you as a professional. Do a brand and message audit to keep your personal brand strong. Here’s how:
LinkedIn: Your picture must clear, current and professional. Update your Headline (the line right below your picture) to list three to four areas of expertise. Fill in your past experience, note the associations you are a member of, and your education.
Insider’s LinkedIn tip: Ask for testimonials from your trusted colleagues and clients to add credibility. Forbes.com has some tips for those of you that want to go beyond the standard elements on LinkedIn. If you are searching for a job, I suggest trying at least one of their recommendations.
Facebook: Not a professional resource, however you never know where your next big connection will come from so it’s wise to have your Facebook professional page capture who you are. Post your headshot and fill in all your professional details in your profile (most people skip this step). Use the profile to say a little more about your corporate self to make a great impression. Be sure to link your Facebook page to your website, blog, Twitter feed, LinkedIn profile, and any other social media you use.
Insiders Facebook tip: Don’t forget to turn off the tagging option. This will eschew any unwanted surprises on your feed. If you are willing to go the extra mile, consider setting up a Facebook group in your area of professional expertise. It’s a smart way to connect with others that have the same interest or potential connection you can help.
Instagram: Update your bio to incorporate your three keywords and elevator pitch. Again, your picture must be updated, professional and clear. Run through your content to test if your bio matches your feed. For example, if you say you are an eager-to-help customer service rep, but your feed is full of posts complaining about the weather, you need to fix that. Make sure you respond to comments and keep your comment area active.
Website: You might think a personal website won’t help you much. Your personal website is a chance to shine and show people what you can do. It can also make you easy to find for recruiters or companies that do a search as part of their screening process. There are many easy, low cost choices for making a simple website/landing page on your own. Make sure your three keywords are prominent on the home page and use them frequently, without being redundant. Include things like what makes you unique, what makes you distinctive in the professional world?
Website elements that stand out: Is your mission statement on your website? Any other information you can add to your site to support your words or your mission statement, like a video, portfolio, network, and relevant links? Also, testimonials, a clear headshot, and consistent updates will make your website extraordinary. Make sure you have your name in the URL and include it on your resume.
Your brand is a valuable tool in your professional life. It can work very hard for you if you put enough time and effort into it to make it effective. Keep working on it, adding words, introducing new phrases, and updating your social media so it can stay useful to you. Your brand will be a great asset to your job hunt, business growth, or professional development if you maintain it properly.
Julia is a Career Strategist, Leadership Coach, and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach based in the Bay Area. She helps career-focused professionals showcase their unique abilities and talents in order to amplify their presence in their chosen fields and when re-entering the job market. Julia uses her extensive leadership experience in executive management, business development, team building and recruiting to help her clients have the career they always wanted. Learn more about Julia at www.JuliaHolian.com, www.LinkedIn.com/in/JuliaHolian, https://Twitter.com/JuliaHolian(@JuliaHolian) and www.Facebook.com/JuliaHolian