Building Your Brand: Who Are You!

Friday morning I had the awesome opportunity of listening to Carol Isozaki, the founder of Strategic Brand Intelligence, talk about how to build your leadership brand during a workshop hosted by Leading Women in Technology. Carol is an all around life baller: a keynote speaker, executive coach, strategic brand advisor and workshop facilitator who immediately commands a room’s attention with her bright and personable fierceness. Carol is an amazing speaker and all around leader- it’s no wonder why she’s made a living teaching people and companies how to be the best version of themselves and how to capitalize on what they can truly bring to the table.

Me and Carol Isozaki
Me and Carol Isozaki

Sitting in the conference room at Kenyon & Kenyon, a law firm specializing in IP, among so many successful and bright women really got me excited about life. I was the youngest in the room- and definitely the only one unsure of my career path- but regardless I got pumped about the possibilities of the type of value I will one day bring to a company- maybe my own company? Who knows. That being said, job or no job, there is nothing stopping you from being “at your amazing best” at all times. If there’s only one thing to take away from the talk, it’s this: show up with the full intention of being amazing to each and every thing that requires your presence. PTBA= Plan To Be Amazing. Carol jam packed the two hour presentation with so much invaluable insight, advice, teachings and principles to live by and build your career on, but here are the top 10 things I learned while in attendance:

  1. Your personal brand is essential to your identity in life. What’s your personal brand? Your brand will be defined by what you tell people and how others remember and perceive you. Pay attention to what you’re broadcasting. People’s personal experiences with you will matter the most: what stories they’ve heard, indirect exposure to you, beliefs they hold of you… Your brand is created over time by the experiences you create and the value that you deliver, over and over again.
  2. Intentionality and accountability are the two most important things to building your brand. What is your intention when you enter a room or meet someone for the first time? Always be prepared to bring something to the table. Don’t be just an observer- there always needs to be a value exchange at hand. Be accountable to yourself to live life with purpose and intention in your actions each day.
  3. Deliver experience- not just the product. Consistently serve up fantastic Costco samples! In other words, consistently deliver people the best representations of yourself in all encounters. You never know who’s watching or how an interaction can impact your career.
  4. A personal brand needs relevance and differentiation. Find a need and relevancy for what you’re bringing to the table- and then differentiate yourself. How are you unique?
  5. Each meeting should strengthen a relationship. When you talk to someone, are you speaking with purpose, conviction and confidence? Remember that your persona- your energy, attitude, style and communication- will make or break someone’s opinion of you!
  6. You don’t need permission to join the conversation. Own your seat at the table! Push past your comfort zone and make introductions, connect with people and seek out the opportunities you want. Grant yourself legitimacy and hold yourself accountable when you know you need to make moves.
  7. Know your value and promote yourself. Deliver your value through information sharing. Articulate what you do, follow up, promise and deliver value and believe in yourself and what you can offer!
  8. Cut out undermining qualifiers. Never begin speaking with a comment that lessens the value of what you will say next. “I’m new so no one will probably identify with how I feel but…” or “I doubt others are experiencing this but…” Say what you want to say with conviction or else no one will pay attention.
  9. Feedback is key. Listen when people have constructive criticism to tell you. Take the good and work on it and try to find the value in other’s critiques- regardless of the tone. Ask your friends about how you can improve x, y and z. Ask yourself questions like, “Am I an effective communicator?” or “Am I approachable?” or “How does my energy affect others?” Always be evaluating yourself and consider ways to improve.
  10. You hold the key to change. Be self aware, practice what you preach, commit to what you want improved and work to change your habits with intention and purpose. Be consistent and persistent.

IMG_9087_2Also here are some insane facts that really blew me away:

  • It only takes 7 seconds to make 11 judgements about someone
  • It takes 18 more encounters to change a 1st impression
  • Only 7% of impact delivered actually comes from the words you use; 38% comes from your tone and 55% comes from your body language

So remember, plan to be freaking awesome everyday and hold yourself to a high standard in your day to day pursuits. Live with intention in all things!

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