- For Leaders
- For HR Professionals
- For event planners
As a brand and culture strategist who helps individuals and brands define their unique position in the market, I meet many business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who want to position themselves as Brand U experts.
Not only do they want to be known as key influencers in their field, they want to leverage and build a reputation so clients and business finds them, so media ask them for their opinion rather than them having to sell, sell.
I just read an article by Lolly Daskal from Lead From Within and it aligns so closely with the advice I give my clients that thought I would share a part of it here and add my personal commentary (my personal thoughts are included in italics). Thanks @LollyDaskal for the great resource!
Here are 10 simple strategies that can help you raise your profile and help you find the people who need your expertise (plus commentary from me):
1. Identify your skill.
When you know your skills and capabilities, it is easier to position yourself as an expert. What are your skills, experience, and knowledge?
(I recommend the Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder, you can also explore DISC, PCSI, Myers Briggs but my personal preference is the Strengths Finder - if you need help undertaking this contact us!)
2. Find your voice.
Create a website, define a target audience, and begin speaking from your experience. Let people find out what you know and what you stand for. Having a voice builds your authority and allows others to find you online.
(If you don’t have a website yet use a blog or LinkedIn articles like this to state your position).
3. Maintain your credibility.
Define what you know and draw a line. With your reputation at stake, this is not a time to practice "fake it till you make it." As you progress, remember that what is most important is to maintain your credibility and your reputation.
(Everything you say and do must be on brand to maintain this. Everything, especially online - post consciously. Expand your skills of course but don't bulls@#t about what you can and can't do).
4. Network generously.
The real currency of networking is not about getting; it is about giving. It is about being generous with those you meet and sharing what you have to offer. Networking is what will get you introduced; generosity is what will make a connection.
(My motto is always Give, Give, Give. Follow up – send a referral, an article a resource that will help them, and of course connect on LinkedIn).
5. Speak up everywhere you go.
A great way to be acknowledged as an expert is to apply to a conference and get booked to speak. Speaking engagements are a great way to reach your audience and build your credibility. Find professional associations or company boards or town hall meetings. Are there classes you can teach, either in a noncredit program or a traditional academic program? When people start calling you to speak about your what you know, you have become an expert.
(Speaking is one of the best positioning tools – speak and you are perceived as the expert. To expand my speaking in 2016 I gave away 20 speaking gigs for free in the month of May, it got me focused, got me seen and helped me hone my craft).
6. Develop a blog.
Blogging provides you with a potential worldwide audience, and showcases your subject-matter expertise as well as your abilities as a writer. The key to writing a successful blog post is to keep the information useful and highly relevant, and to put out value articles frequently. Remember, you want people to see you as a resource, so provide the best information possible.
(See #2 - also keep track of what people like to read and the information they comment on, like or share - my two most popular blog post to date show people are having trouble with their bosses and leaders. Check them out here: 1 - How poor leaders are killing us and 2 - How to tell your manager they suck)
7. Become the source.
Journalists and writers are always looking for experts that they can quote in their articles. You can connect with these professionals with websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) or The Expert Connection (ProfNet); these sites can connect an expert with their audience.
(We have SourceBottle here in Australia. Also you can write opinion pieces for the journals etc that are in your clients field).
8. Produce something.
Produce your own informational pieces such as books, e-books, or monthly newsletters. You can also create learning platforms with webinars, podcasts, or online videos to promote your services. You can then feature these products on your website or blog, or give them away when people enquire about your products.
(Yes yes yes this is why I recommend many of my clients write a book or a white paper. You can check out my quirky book - it's only a plane ride read - here!)
9. Make use of social networking.
Social platforms are important to getting your expertise out. Be active on all social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
(Use your expertise to add value, especially related to your keyword or key point of expertise whenever you can).
10. Help others along the way.
You can also develop your reputation as an expert by using your knowledge and expertise to help others. Signing on to skill share is a great way to become acknowledged as an expert in your field.
(Connect, engage, and assist as many people as you can - even here on LinkedIn - that is how your influence will grow. Before you know it people will be asking for your experience because they know, like and trust you. My measure of if you are beginning to become a brand U expert is are you being asked to have coffees often because people want to "pick your brain").
Sir Richard Branson - aka Dr Yes - has been at his antics again!
This time the tie loathing adventurer and thrill seeker challenged Barack Obama to a kitesurfing v foil boarding competition around Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.
Not only do the photos (full credit to @hijack Jack Brockway for the awesome pics) and video Sir Richard shared on social media depict a good dose of humour but they also show a relaxed and carefree former president lapping up the sun, surf and social life.
There are so many lessons we can take away from watching two world leaders at play.
As I talk about in my video Lessons From Necker Island I learnt so much about life and business from Sir Richard especially how much you can get done and the connections you can make when you are having fun and letting go. How wonderful to see Sir Richard invite Barack and Michelle down to his private island Moskito (across the channel from Necker Island) for a complete break after Barack finished as President and left the white house.
For eight years while in office Barack didn't get to surf, enjoy water sports or do any of the things he loved so it is wonderful to see him living in the moment, carefree and enjoying the water once again.
Sir Richard challenged Barack to learn to kitesurf before he could learn to foil board - on the final day they had a challenge - who could stay standing the longest - check out Branson's latest post to find out who dared and won in the end!
In this start of 2017 with my goal of it being the year of the JOYful Unicorn I look forward to continuing to incorporate fun, play and friendship into my world and business. What can you takeaway from watching two world leaders at play?
Have you ever said no to a big opportunity?
No I don’t want that new job and pay increase.
No I don’t want to go on that secondment to the other department.
No I don’t want to make a presentation to the Board.
I said no to a big opportunity last week, one that I’ve had on my vision board since January, and it was a tough call to make.
As a workplace futurist and someone who helps organisations plan and strategise their culture and brand for the future I am constantly scanning the environment, travelling throughout Australia and around the world, visiting companies that are on the forefront of modern work practices to bring those ideas back to leaders and organisations we work with.
I spend a lot of my waking hours thinking about the future. So you can imagine how excited I was to have been invited in March to speak at the World Futures Conference in Washington this past weekend. My topic – How to make work work in the future. Awesome and so right up my alley.
I had been planning the trip for some time, I’d already bought a conference ticket, accommodation was sorted and I’d been making connections on LinkedIn with peers that would be at the conference.
And then last week, life got a bit crazy, things weren’t lining up at work or at home and I came up against some pretty deep stuff – like feeling like a fraud and off course.
So I said no to speaking at the conference. I said no to a big break. To the crème de la crème of the futurists gathering. I said no to showing up regardless.
Instead I said yes. Yes to staying home. Yes to me.
For once I was totally and utterly honest with myself. I checked in and no it wasn’t fear making me back away, in speaking is one of my favourite things to do. It was just that the pull to say yes to being true to me was stronger.
I felt bad for letting the conference organisers down, but the truth was I was on day 2, not the headline, plenary speaker, a bit of reshuffling and the conference agenda would work fine. It was more a blow to my ego than an inconvenience to anyone else. Funny how the universe has a way of delivering harsh lessons at the most inopportune times.
I’d been having some hints and intuition that a change was necessary but a total transformation? Hadn’t seen that coming – some futurist I am ha ha!
I wrote a blog last week as this all unfolded and I was sick in bed with a stomach virus purging and transitioning. Some would warn against such a potentially career limiting article, however the feedback about the raw and real honesty has been a surprise to me.
How did I get here? When did I forget the things that I love doing the most?
I love my work, I love helping people and companies unleash their uniqueness so they can show up authentically and love their work every day. It’s bloody awesome work. But somewhere along the way I had lost my own way and forgotten to heed my own advice.
I started asking some big questions about life, my business and how I want to work and who with. Magically new clients turned up immediately, precisely the kind I like to work with as if to say – here, do more of this!
Awesome nudges. Perfect clues. Thank you universe.
Luckily the conference organisers were very understanding and agreed that I could donate my conference ticket I had already purchased to a scholarship student who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend – awesome #generosityeconomy in action.
I was so relieved once it was done and of course a little disappointed.
But as with any decision, once made, energy has began to flow in the new direction and clarity has returned. I’ve begun making changes in my business, a new website, a new podcast, a documentary, a charitable collaboration and a new theatre style event are all now in the pipeline. Some of these will be launched in the very near future, some a little further off, but already synchronicities are beginning to happen.
So it’s possible to say no to a big opportunity and still find a silver lining!
This week I’m focused on getting even clearer about how I want to live and work, where and with whom so I can put it into action.
Making the decision to say no was the hardest part, once it was done it was done and I could move on again and regain my flow.
Are you finding yourself at a crossroads unable to say yes or no and feeling stuck and frustrated? Don’t worry pushing through the resistance is just part of the process, it’s a sign that you’re on your way.
If you need help and you want to know how to get clear on the future path for your career, business or brand visit www.uqpower.com.au and check out our services and offerings.
Our videos, articles and resources are a great way to start the forward momentum yourself – whether it’s to grow your team, increase your income or profits or create the most memorable brand in your market.
Start saying no and releasing more energy and space to say yes to you and your dreams. You know you’re unique and you’re awesome and the world needs you!
What kind of life do you want to live in 2016?
Have you set a goal? An intention? Or chosen a keyword to guide you?
The concept of setting New Year's Resolutions is not that new. In fact it has been around since the Babylonians pledged to return borrowed objects and repay their debts at the start of each year, and the Romans started each new year by making a vow to the god Janus.
Each year for the past 12 years I have written a gratitude letter that maps out all the things I'd like to have happen each year. Each year I get better at sticking to those plans and manifesting many of the things I desire to have happen.
Most people however say that their resolutions only last about 7 days, so why is it that sticking to something that matters to you so hard to achieve?
What is it that separates the resolute minority who stick to them from the majority of fallen masses?
Is it that you've set yourself unrealistic goals - maybe you're a size 16 and you've set a goal to be a size six in 3 months, can you really make that happen? Your goals need to be achievable in the time given.
Is it just a matter of willpower or are other magical, mystical powers at work?
Or could just be that you're not working with your own psychology and are setting yourself up for failure from the beginning?
Perhaps it's a combination of all of the above. Here's three ways to work with your mindset and stick to your new year goals.
1 - Who you are being is more important than doing.
Achieving your goals begins with who you are being. Unfortunately most people start the process with want they want to have, then what they have to do to get it, when really they should begin with who they are being. And while strategy (what you will do) and results (what you will have) are of value, you'll get no where without the right Mindset (who you are being).
2 - What you think about you bring about
Of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day researchers have found that 80 percent of the thoughts were the same thoughts we had yesterday so if you want to achieve new goals and become someone new you have to become aware of the thoughts you are having. In particular you can become aware of the thoughts you have about yourself. What is your internal dialogue saying to you? How many times during the day do you beat yourself up? We tend to think this random chatter in our head is just that, random. We also pass it off as insignificant, however each time you bash yourself internally it creates an emotion within you. Thoughts have energy. Scientists can measure a thought. It has weight. It has vibration and it has an electrical current. As does emotion. So, when your mind feeds your spirit these negative thoughts it ignites emotions, whether it be sadness, despair, fear, or even joy, it creates an energy. This vibration also radiates outward and creates your experience with others.
The best way to combat the negative dialogue is with positive affirmations. Affirmations are one to the most effective tools in your self care arsenal. This is the daily affirmation I have on my mirror at home "I am loveable, valuable and unique." - you are welcome to borrow it or make your own!
3 - Whatever is familiar becomes your success thermostat's set point.
If you’ve read any of the work of Sonja Lyubomirsky, you already know about the “Happiness Set Point” but, if you haven’t, take note. About 40 per cent of anyone’s happiness is governed by the “happiness set point” which involves intentional activity—what we do for ourselves. The real problem is that most of us aren’t focusing on either the right things or approaches that might make us happier. So as you set your new year's goals this year consider where your success thermostat is for each goal. If you're not conscious, your thermostat will naturally return to it's former set point. So if you want to achieve more you have to raise the temperature on your thermostat and then make that feel familiar, it needs to become your new and permanent set point, doing so will help your new formed habits stick and help you achieve more.
What one thing will you do differently this year to make your new year's goals a success? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I'd love to know.