Brand Experience, branding, content creation, new business, presentation

Your Presentation Needs This One Thing (And You Know It)

It’s trite; when you are in the boardroom, presenting to a group of decision makers who will sign off your next purchase order, your personal brand needs to shine through consistently. It has to be aligned with the blindspots that these decision makers are looking to fill with your plan of action.

While they do zoom in to your presentation statistics and visuals, but they already know what’s coming and so are looking for newer ways of coming up with solutions that best match their problem (which by the way is constantly altering while you are presenting).

So how do you pace up when your competitors possess the same charm in their presentation?

Now the answer I am going to give is a no-brainer, but here it goes: your presentation’s content.

Not all of us have a creative eye for making our presentation look more visually appealing, but we can always add the spark and offset this area of improvement with the value boost we give to our presentation.

When you kick-off your presentation with a context that is not just numbers and product/ service specific, your prospective customer can sniff that from a huge distance and will check off their criteria of evaluating you in the first 2-3 minutes.

Talking about what I mean by context: it is your perspective; your unbiased take; your bench-marking of the concept with unrelated trends and ideas that provide the potential client with a bold view of their business.

As mentioned in the book Big Think Strategy by Bernd H. Schmitt, coming up with bold ideas takes some insight and a mind to see things from a long-term horizon point of view – which again depends on how you define your presentation’s context that serves as a primer on what’s coming next.

This context is your own version of presentation’s content; make it conversational and interactive (with the apt mix of curiosity and satiation) – and you are on your way to win the business and impress your prospective client.

How about your secret sauce of crafting an excellent presentation?

Brand Experience, branding

Build Your Personable Social Brand In Your Organization

So here it goes: what is a social brand? A social brand is when you connect your talent or your potential or your competencies, which is a result of who you really are, and share it with people on social networks, eventually building an engaging community of your interest results in a convergence of ‘personable’ social brand in the making. Earlier organizations were a little skeptical about letting their employees promote their own personal brand and ultimately getting attracted to their respective competitors. But now, it has become vital for an organization to help their employees unearth their personal attributes that could be beneficial for the company in elevating their skills and encouraging a culture of meritocracy. This, in turn, helps the company in generating better people and business results – and giving its people a chance to unlock their true potential. Let’s take an example of Google, it gives its employees an extended period of time to pursue their passions. As with the case with honing your personal brand – the trend is almost setting among companies to help their employees exercise their personal freedom to chase their passion projects and make a name not just for themselves but also with the company they are associated with. It is true that lines are blurring between your personal brand and professional equity.

People may follow you on twitter for multiple reasons: maybe because you are a photographer turn real-estate agent; or: a writer turn co-founder of a travel tech startup. The reasons could be berserk – people might just like you for your idiosyncrasies, or maybe how you manage to manage your day job with your personal calling and create social ripples. In social psychology, the word is called Halo Effect: in my words, I have quoted Dorie Clark’s concept of halo effect in reinventing yourself i.e. liking one thing that leads to like the other, as mentioned in my blog post, “one key differentiator in winning new business”. When you are active on the social network, companies, customers, and people are happier to link in with you, which in turn elevates the image of the company you work for – or for yourself, for that matter. Your goal should be to just stay relevant and useful to others.

Borrowing the phrase from Hoot suite’s e-book on the Three Social Brand Personas, (you can download it here) it all depends on your employer’s company’s policy to either have you post as a company brand while keeping your personal accounts private; or: create a separate brand identity; or: be ‘Profersonal’ – i.e. use your already existing social media presence with a company public phase. I personally feel the third option is quite prevalent today.

Are you’re a ‘profersional’ brand in the making?

What steps are you taking to be one?

 

branding, Passion, Personal Brand, Personal Branding: You and more

It’s All About Purpose

Ever wondered when we are at crossroads – be it in our career, business or life – what we resort to? After all, nothing is permanent in life except one thing – or at least till the time we are alive – our purpose.

After listening to Mark Zuckerberg’s commencement speech at the Harvard University 2017, you know you have to believe what the legends say when they talk about the importance of purpose.

Since I largely write about developing and nurturing your personal brand, I am going to take a pause and talk about why having a purpose in life will not only make you have the best version of your personal brand, but also a voice that breathes resonance with your audience – and also make you healthier by the day! That’s right – having a purpose pumps you up with optimism amidst even the most trying times in your life. Research suggests you live happier and healthier in your life span than ever; given the benefits like lesser chances of heart attack and dementia, better sex, sound sleep, and much more.

Your purpose is your higher calling – from the sages to the mountains to the higher power that controls you in a way that is freeing and liberating.

Here are 11 things you can instantly do to fire up yourself with a sense of purpose.

  1. Find out what drives you, when everything else fails.
  2. Look for why in matters that need you to know the undercurrents.
  3. Be hopelessly positive – especially in situations that only beckon you to be demotivated, or worse, uninspired.
  4. Love yourself – because you know you are totally worth it!
  5. You have that inner space right the core of your heart that still says: ‘hold on’. Listen to it when everything drowns you in a sulking pit that never seems to be filled with contentment.
  6. Read. And read a lot. Trust the voices that need your attention from a book that nobody opened. Because they have already faced what you are facing right now: and that it is ‘figureatable’.
  7. Write daily. Even if it’s 2 lines, but set yourself up to your documentation; be accountable to yourself of what you are capable of. Sometimes our purpose emerges by just doing it. So take action – now.
  8. Keep marching on and be resilient. It’s not always about failing and succeeding; it is about your purpose. So be agile with yourself and grapple up with challenges by trusting your inner voice.
  9. Look for inspiration in the smallest and inconsequential of things; yes there is a sense of being even in those matters.
  10. Practice mindfulness. Check our Ziva meditation – it’s the best thing that can happen to you.
  11. Be self-aware of your strengths – and amplify them.

Are you living your purpose?

branding, life-long learning, Personal Brand, Personal Branding: You and more

The Only Competitive Advantage That Lasts (In Your Career and Life)

Do you have a bumpy career? Not sure how to progress with a bit lofty career aspirations of yours? Feeling inadequate because all you had was a great job with a handsome paycheck that could give you some transient respite?

 

I can give you one common answer to all – and more – of these questions: it’s time to build and sustain your competitive edge. And by an edge, it’s not short-lived; it’s immersing yourself into lifelong learning and self-education that will bring your fruits for your labor when you pick up more competitive roles in your workplace.

 

So what does life-long learning include?

 

Reading paperback books written by professors, authors, artists, creative professionals, and more disruptive writers, who think different and also sometimes a bit similar when it comes to building a pattern of doable, practical content.

 

But like I said, building a competitive advantage takes time, intellectual investment into books, listening to podcasts, attending workshops and seminars. And then, creating something out of it: be it launching your blog, co-hosting a podcast to further delve into healthy rationalizations or writing your first e-book, or a manifesto.

 

So how do you tighten this process and create something out of it that makes you stand out in the highly competitive workplace?

 

Answer: Learn to synthesize your knowledge that you consume from your education. We have arrived into a world of convergence, where information is not siloed; it’s integrated and coherent. As with your career, you will although find people expert in their respective niches, you will also see them as great synthesizers of learning from different niches towards converging ideas and perspectives so that the company thinks more holistically.

 

Your biggest edge is your knowledge: that compounds with every book you read, or every podcast you listen to. So keep multiplying your efforts into life-long learning – and you will only become a better version of yourself in your career, and life.

What’s your edge?

 

 

blog, branding, Business, Personal Brand, Personal Branding: You and more, writing

3 Ways You Can Be A Brand Evangelist For Your Company

Evangelizing a company brand is no more a responsibility of just the marketing department/ division in your company. It cascades down to each and every individual working for the company – be it operations, marketing, customer support, sales and more.

A company, after all, is a summation of its people that work towards one purpose – and not just confined to the bottom line but also people who cohesively create better business, social and financial impact for its customers and overall business ecosystem in which it functions.

So how do you create such an integrated impact on your company’s brand?

1) Align your personal brand with the overarching company’s brand. Quite a times, employees don’t sync in their personal brand’s meaning with the company’s vision. This seems a bit of a sidelined approach when you collectively work towards a common purpose. Pair up your personal voice and echo it in the chambers of the company’s board rooms – or if you feel your can voice your thoughts by writing for the company’s blog – do it! Sometimes people like airing out their perspective via quieter yet stirringly inspiring mediums, like writing. And it works.

2) Actively participate in PR opportunities. Big, small, nearly big and growing – pitch to any publication and start talking about how your company is helping its customers. Your ecosystem needs you; don’t just latch on to your marketing/ PR folks to contribute in the drizzling of content on these publications. You need to constantly be attentive of new developments happening in the market and how your brand is pivoting. Even if you don’t think there is any big announcement, don’t undermine the power of useful articles, real-time press releases and contributing your quote that can reach out your target masses.

3) Network, network, network. Shortlist events that are aligned with your company’s business and come up with your practical, no-nonsense elevator pitch (yes, we all need one no matter how much we run away from the word ‘pitch’). Converse with people who are not limited to just your ‘hot’ prospects; be more expansive and liberal and give your cent percent in communicating your brand’s message. And it doesn’t stop there; e-mail them when you reach office and open up conversations that help their business by leveraging your services. That way, the don’t just ‘know’ but also understand you and start to see as a selfless brand evangelist.

How are your evangelizing your company’s brand?

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