In the consulting world, personality is a big factor in the business – the way you present yourself can really transform your relationship with your clients. And if you’re a freelancing consultant starting your own business, then personal branding is even more important to get your name out there as the one person companies need to hire for their projects. First impressions are really important so make sure your personal brand is saying what you actually want it to say…!
Watch this 4 minute keynote speech by the personal branding guru William Arruda on ‘Personal Branding for Project Managers’
He also has an excellent Youtube channel with plenty more videos with specific advice https://www.youtube.com/user/williamarrudaReach/videos
Central to initial first impressions of your personal branding is the ‘elevator pitch’. This is around a 60 second round up of yourself and your achievements that can be crafted to get all the essential information about yourself across in a short and succinct way, such as at an initial introduction at a networking event – or indeed on an elevator ride! Take a look at the following 5 websites for some tips…
1) http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/05/mastering-business-elevator-pitch.html A good article here on what is important to say with a list of books to read at the end to get more inspiration
2) http://www.boardroommetrics.com/blog/four-personal-branding-tips-to-help-shorten-your-elevator-pitch-20131129.htm#.U0gmX_ldXD8 Not sure what you should say? Some good questions put here to help you realise what’s important
3) Finding it difficult to squeeze all you want to say in 60 seconds without speaking too fast? Take a look at these 4 tips to help shorten the pitch.
4) http://rfmoran.hubpages.com/hub/Your-Elevator-Talk-Does-it-Bore-People-or-Make-Them-Interested Worried your pitch won’t interest anyone? Read the examples of ‘bad’ and ‘good’ responses and see how small changes in the way you say things can dramatically alter whether the listener wants to hear more.
5) http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/01/why-you-need-a-better-elevator/ A good explanation from the Harvard Business Review about what an elevator pitch is and how to make it better.
6) http://www.smartsavvy.com/smavvy-blog/2013/aug/what%E2%80%99s-your-story An excellent scenario setting of how people react when asked to ‘tell me about yourself’. The 5 step breakdown of what the pitch should include is really helpful.
There’s even an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review that your smartphone might be the key to making your elevator pitch stand out in the future… http://blogs.hbr.org/2010/08/smartphone-transform-elevator-pitch/ and another that a ‘dumbwaiter’ pitch is perhaps more important than the ‘elevator’ one http://blogs.hbr.org/2010/04/forget-your-elevator-pitch-wha/
Elevator pitches aside, personal branding extends to online presence and general demeanor. How do you build upon your personal brand? The following websites give some of the best tips…
1) http://blog.brandyourself.com/how-tos/personal-brand-building-10-steps-to-define-your-unique-personal-brand/ 10 steps on how to brand yourself. Includes two worked through examples. This website also offers a service of managing what comes up when you are searched on Google.
2) http://www.transformleaders.tv/market-your-personal-brand-in-five-easy-steps/ A website aimed at leadership for women, to encourage them to not be reserved in corporate environments. Includes an article on ‘To be or not to be humble’ with a very appropriate quote from C.S. Lewis that “Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less”
3) https://blog.kissmetrics.com/personal-branding-seo/ 14 tips to ensure your personal brand rates high on Google listings!
4) http://www.careerdirectors.com/members/articles/r26.pdf A worksheet to help you work out your personal brand
5) http://philanthropy.com/blogs/good-advice/10-traits-of-a-great-consultant/488 What makes a great consultant? Better find out to ensure you’re branding the right traits in yourself!
6) http://www.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/11/01/ten_timeless_tips_to_becoming_a_management_consultant Light-hearted but with some useful ideas.
7) http://www.cio.com/article/733782/9_Steps_to_Build_Your_Personal_Brand_and_Your_Career More aimed at a business and how to fulfil a great atmosphere with the best people – but consulting is about that too as a project manager and their team!
8) http://socialmediatoday.com/feldmancreative/2230121/i-am-what-i-am-personal-branding-tips-michael-hyatt-and-me An extensive article going through plenty of personal branding techniques – again relevant to people starting businesses but most of these apply to consultants too.
9) http://despreneur.com/personal-branding-tips/ Another Top 10 countdown for personal branding including an interestying Tedx video with Simon Sinek explaining how great leaders inspire action.
10) http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/how-build-your-personal-brand-linkedin-21-useful-tips/ Still unsure how to use LinkedIn’s full potential? These 21 tips will show you how to boost your personal brand on this up and coming site.