This Week in Positive Change Management : 5 Steps to Brand Consistency

02092016 Brand Consistency

 

There is a lot of poor branding out there. Every day some talking head is mentioning personal branding.  No one talks about brand consistency; however, brand consistency is the way to stay memorable and relevant. Here are my 5 steps to achieving brand consistency:

  1. Do your research

Doing your research is important because what you think your brand communicates isn’t necessarily want the marketplace thinks. Ask people inside and outside of your company and profession what three words come to mind whenever someone mentions you. Remember, the definition of branding is what people think of you when you are not around. If you don’t conduct the appropriate market research, you will never know how consistent (or inconsistent) your brand is.

 

  1. Write down your mission statement

Your mission statement represents your current brand. To obtain a clear mission statement, ask yourself these two questions:

  • What do I want my brand to accomplish?
  • How do I want my brand to communicate these accomplishments?

Your mission statement must answer these questions by writing down 3 action verbs that best communicate them. This statement will serve as your brand consistency’s bedrock.

 

  1. Define your vision statement. This will be your tagline.

Your vision statement is your optimal future version of your brand. It can also double as your tagline. Vision statements are usually less than 20 words and they communicate your brand consistency. You will be use your mission statement as the foundation to write your vision statement.

 

  1. Develop a brand communication plan.

Use your mission and vision statements to create a solid brand communication plan. It is essential to control how your brand is transmitted. Although you work in a company, your brand must consistently communicate wherever you go. This is why I have broken down 4 audiences that will receive your brand message.

 

Below is a graph showing 4 quadrants. The columns represent organizational structure. They are departments (internal) and professional network (external). The rows represent people. They are coworkers and industry professionals (internal) and company employees and regular workers (external).

 

  Department (Internal) Network (External)
People (Internal) Coworkers Workers in your profession but outside the company
People (External) Employees outside your dept. Workers outside both your profession and company

 

The first quadrant represents your coworkers are both inside your immediate department and whom you interact with on a daily basis. They are the ones whom you communicate the most. The second quadrant represents the company employees work in the same building but not the same department. Although they have the same company structure, their departmental culture may differ from yours. The third quadrant represents the workers in your professional network whom share your occupation but not your company. Your commonality is your industry but they work in different company cultures. The fourth quadrant represents the people whom are both outside your company and profession. When writing your brand communication plan, write for the people in this fourth quadrant. These people are unfamiliar with your industry jargon and company culture. If they understand your brand and what it represents, then you have achieved brand consistency.

 

  1. Execute your plan and collect feedback.

Once you have created your plan, start implementing it. Roll it out to all four quadrants and await feedback. Collecting feedback is critical towards evaluating your brand’s consistency level. If your industry or company has changed, these changes would be recorded in your feedback. Incorporate it back into your brand to achieve brand consistency for the long-term.

 

Using these 5 tips would help you achieve brand consistency. For more on this topic and other business strategies, visit http://positivitychange.com/

This Week in Change Management : Change Management Resources

02052016 change_management

The editorial board at PositivityChange wants the reader with the most up-to-date change management resources to ensure that he transitions as smooth as possible. Below are the new resources:

Association of Change Management Professionals

Founded in 2011, this is a professional organization for the change management profession. It also includes a certification program.

http://www.acmpglobal.org/

Prosci Change Management Learning Center

http://www.change-management.com/

Project Management Institute’s Change Management Page

The Project Management Institute has compiled all of its change management resources on this page. It is grouped by category (project, program, portfolio)

http://www.pmi.org/Learning/change-management/resource-library.aspx

Change Management Institute Global

Founded in 2005 in New Zealand, the Change Management Institute Global is a nonprofit organization for change management professionals.

https://www.change-management-institute.com/

These resources will provide our readers will high-quality information to guide them in their positive change management transitions. For more resources like this visit, PositivityChange

Positive Change with Carla Radio Reset to Refresh

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Click here to read the original article via http://carlarjenkins.com/ : http://bit.ly/1Pi2DV1

How do you know when it’s time to hit the reset button? What do you do when you are literally sick and tired of being sick and tired? This episode provides you with three steps towards refreshing yourself to avoid burnout. Thursday at 6pm EST/ 3pm PST, listen to an all-new episode Positive Change with Carla. Click on the link to listen live:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena/2016/02/04/reset-to-refresh

You can listen all Positive Change with Carla archival episodes here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena

CEOBlogNation Adds PositivityChange to Its Directory

Today CEOBlogNation, http://www.ceoblognation.com/, a business blogging directory, has added http://positivitychange.com/ to the company’s directory. Below is the tweet:

We are happy with this addition! Check out http://positivitychange.com/ for more positive change management tips and resources.

How to Reposition Your Brand when You Switch Careers

01272016 Reposition

In today’s workforce, it is rare that you will stay in your same position your entire career. You will move into other positions and even other companies. When you do, your brand will shift along with the move. For example, you start as a customer service representative in the call center. After 3 years, your department’s manager sees that you are really good at your job so you get promoted to customer relationship management (CRM) assistant in the market research division. Although you are in the same department (customer service), you are no longer talking with customers every day. You are now processing customer data to generate effective marketing campaigns. There are a lot of changes here. Not only have you been promoted but your new job is vastly different from your old job. Your professional brand has shifted and you need to reposition yourself for your new job. Below are my tips:

Pivot on your competitive advantage. In branding, competitive advantage is called your brand promise.

You must now discover what you do well on the new job. Using the CRM assistant as an example, your competitive advantage is that you can spot outliers in the data because you’ve spoken with the actual customers. This background knowledge helps you know that certain transactions are not in the correct group.

Over the course of my career, I have repositioned my brand five times (thus far). I have had to reposition my brand when I relocated from Cleveland to DC; promoted from economist to Program Analyst; became CAPM certified; transitioned from the public sector to private sector and, moving from employee to employer. Each time, I have to rely on a new competitive advantage to reposition my brand for greater success.

Identify what to keep, what to let go

Some things in your past career don’t work in your current career. For instance, in the call center, your key metric is reducing churn (telephone attrition). Now that you are the CRM assistant, you are responsible for data integrity. Although keeping people on the phone and making the sales were important as a sales representative, these skills are no longer important now.

Grow your new network without alienating your current network

The important thing here is to look at the overlap. Remember, your network is your net worth. For instance, both the customer service representative and the CRM assistant work in customer service and track customers. Therefore, if the CRM data is showing irregularities then you could still leverage your call center connections to discover why. Whenever I transition jobs or sectors, I always keep in touch with my former bosses and coworkers. You never know when you might need a favor or an unbiased professional opinion.

Hopefully these tips will help you reposition your personal brand because you deserve the best career! Check out more personal branding tips and positive change management strategies at my website is http://positivitychange.com/

 

This Week in Positive Change Management : Personal Brand Strategy Tips

01242016 You are the brand!

Developing a personal brand strategy is essential towards career advancement. Even before you walk into the office for an interview, your personal brand proceeds you. Here are several tips towards creating a dynamic personal brand strategy.

Your Competitive Advantage is Your Foundation

Your competitive advantage is the one thing that you do better than anyone else. It is also the foundation towards building your personal brand strategy. You must discover then market it to employers to guarantee landing that job offer that you cover. The main question you must ask yourself is what sets you apart from everyone else? (I discuss competitive advantage steps in my article here: http://bit.ly/1ZXCRzH)

Know your target market (companies that would benefit from your talents)

This is a critical step. One of the biggest mistakes that people often make is being everything to everyone. Well, you cannot do this which is why I stress knowing your target market. Once you’ve discovered your competitive advantage, research which industries are best suited for your talent. For instance, if you are a fashion designer, you wouldn’t apply for a construction job. You must know which industries complement your competitive advantage in order to successful craft your strategy.

Know how you want to position your brand

Brand positioning is another critical component. How are you marketing yourself? Are you entry-level, mid-level or senior-level? These are just the basics. We can drill deeper down into a category. For example, at the senior level, are you vying for a director, vice president or chairman position? These three different jobs require three different brand positioning strategies. That’s why you cannot be general here because you will get too many jobs that are not great fits. These generalities also waste a lot of your time sifting through these numerous positions.

Develop your pitch

Whether you like it or not, you are always in the business of selling yourself. Developing your pitch is your way to communicate your personal brand strategy. Your pitch should be in between 15-30 seconds long and include these four factors:

  • who you are,
  • what you do,
  • what you are looking for and
  • how you can solve a problem

Own yourself and your content

In the 21st century, owning your name domain is essential towards controlling your personal brand strategy; but, there are so many people who don’t own it. You must have your own platform to control what kind of message you want to transmit. Although social media is free, you don’t want to be at the mercy of Twitter, LinkedIn or any other sites to communicate your message. Go to Name.com, Domain.com or GoDaddy.com to search your name. If it is available, then buy it. Next, buy a self-hosted WordPress site not anything with name.wordpress.com! That’s unprofessional but more importantly, WordPress controls your platform. Go to WordPress.org, BlueHost or HostGator for self-hosting sites. There are many others.

I would also recommend that you start blogging on your site. Part of crafting your personal brand strategy is positioning yourself as an expert. Blogging about your professional expertise is a way to get noticed. Create content that supports your brand positioning. Write articles around your competitive advantage. The majority of my articles center around economics, brand management, change management and project management. For example, I publish my articles on my blog first before posting it on LinkedIn and Medium. There are so many people naively posting on LinkedIn who don’t have their own platforms. You cannot control your message when you don’t own yourself. LinkedIn owns all of your copyrights when you publish there first.

Develop a comprehensive brand marketing strategy

In marketing there are 4 Ps : product, price, place and promotion. Here you will create a comprehensive brand marketing strategy in order to capitalize upon all available opportunities. Once you have completed all of the previous tasks, doing this is fairly easy. Here is my 4Ps:

  • Product: you
  • Price: current or future salary
  • Place: Anywhere or your preferred region
  • Promotion:
    • In-person
    • Online: LinkedIn, social media, blog, website, podcasting

You are the product. The price is your current or future salary. If you are going for a promotion, research salaries through sites like Glassdoor.com, so that you aren’t lowballing yourself. You can also look at professional organizations because they keep salary profiles. For place, you can market yourself in a specific region or be open to relocation. Your strategy will change based on this. With promotion, you can sell yourself online as well as in-person. Always have an in-person component because you need to meet real people because it will be they not the computer algorithm that hires you.

New Positive Change with Carla Airing This Friday

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As previously announced on www.carlarjenkins.com, this week’s Positive Change with Carla will air on a special day. It will air Friday instead of Thursday. The new episode ‘Evaluating Your Annual Personal Career Brand Performance’ will delve into how to use your most recent performance rating to map out this year’s work performance strategy.

Check out the Blogtalkradio Positive Change with Carla episode link here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena/2016/01/22/evaluating-your-annual-personal-career-brand-performance

This Week in Positive Change Management : Getting out of the Middle

01182016 No More Middle

This is the time of your when people start looking at how they can have a better New year than last year. Oftentimes, receiving a promotion is at the top of the list. Well, there are certain things that are holding you back. I have four tips that you will get out of the middle and ascend up the corporate ladder.

Focus on your brand and not just a job

Unbeknownst to me, I focused on my brand early and I professionally benefitted from this. When you define your personal career brand, I looked at how my transferrable skills fit in with other positions. It is an egregious error to only identify yourself as your job. This is dangerous because you become confided to that box. Had I been so narrow to only economic jobs, I would still be a GS-11 economist. Once a layoff hits, then you are through. Identifying your transferable skills repositions yourself as a brand because you can work in other areas.  Your career brand transcends your job.

Obtain certification

Certification distinguishes you from the rest. Take my field, project management for example. Earning your PMP certification separates you from everyone else. PMP requires a certain amount of work experience. You don’t see many young or middle-tier professionals with PMP certifications. Furthermore, obtaining certification means that you are a self-starter. This gets you noticed internally and externally.

Expand your network vertically

The one reason why you’re stuck is because all of your networking friends are at the same level. You know everyone you’ve started with me but nobody one or two levels above you. That’s horizontal networking and that’s problematic when you truly want to advance. Find a professional organization and attend the formal functions (Christmas party, annual charity ball, etc.). These events have the board members and senior officials. Once they know your name, they can become your mentors and sponsors guiding your career upward.

Get out of career inertia

I broke out of career inertia by leaving my first fed agency. I saw career inertia upfront. I left my economist position to grow. Although disgruntled, many coworkers stayed because they were comfortable. Now this year, my formal agency is moving out of state. Those same coworkers are going right along with the agency even though they hate leaving DC. Career inertia sneaks up on you. You start getting comfortable then make excuses for your fear. Getting out of the middle means putting yourself in motion.

These four tips will help you lay the groundwork towards realizing this year’s career ambitions.

5 Ways to Convert Your Dream into Reality

01182016 Dreams to reality

 

What is your dream?

Whatever it is, everyone has one. It seems intangible like it will never happen but you hold close to you because your dream makes you feel like you are alive. When life gets mundane, it is the one thing that keep you going. Having a dream is commendable but it would great when you convert this dream into reality. Here are 5 ways to do just that:

Believe that you can accomplish it.

Believing that you can bring this into fruition is the first step. Don’t keep your dream inside. That’s irresponsible especially since you have the tools to actually bring it to reality. Currently, you are doing something different than your dreams. Now you can take baby steps towards shifting towards your dream.

Break down your big dream into smaller dreams

Oftentimes your dream is so big, it paralyzes you. Instead break down your very big dream into smaller dreams. I recommend creating a milestone list for your dream’s journey. For example, your big dream is home ownership and it takes 2 years. Break it down into smaller steps. Use the mortgage loan qualification process as a milestone list. It will guide you through the home buying process. More importantly, commit to writing it down keeping a dream journal if necessary to stay on track. Having a journal lets you not only keep track of your progress. It also chronicles your transformation.

Drop the deadweight in your personal and professional lives

Friends hold you back. The mistake that people make is that friends are temporary. There are 7 billion people on this earth. Certainly you can find some new people to support you.

Start shifting your behavior to support your new dream.

Bad habits are very hard to change. You can’t own a home if you’re buying the latest virtual reality gear over putting that money away in the bank. Write down your daily routine for one week. Look at your time wasters. If any of them are counterproductive, write down ways to eliminate them.

Detach yourself from the end result.

Be flexible. You may arrive at your goal quicker than expected. The result may even be different than your original dream. I have an example of this:

In late 2005, I decided I was sick of working temporary jobs and wanted to realize and be an economist. I majored in it during undergraduate and I needed to work in my major. It was dream. It was one thing to major in economics but working as an economist validated my dream. I applied for Cleveland State University’s Masters of Arts in Economics program. Initially I thought I would earn my MA degree in 2007 then start working as an economist. However, the Commerce department hired me as an economist in May 2006 and I only spent one semester at Cleveland State University. That experience taught me to be flexible.  Although I hadn’t completed my MA in Economics (yet), I had realized my dream of being an economist.

Bonus: Don’t fear being first.

As a dreamer, you will be the first to do something. Don’t fear, do it anyway. The fear of the unknown can’t zap your dream. On my journey, I have been the first person: 1) with an economics degree, 2) intern with the Washington Center on Internship at my college, 3) earn my MBA, 4) travel to a foreign country and not be in the Army, 5) earn my PMP certification, 6) live in Washington, DC and 7) make over $100,000. At some point, you will be first when pursuing your dream. Do it anyway!

New Positive Change with Carla airing this Tuesday on Blogtalkradio

Blogtalkradio

 

Per www.carlarjenkins.com, Project Management Mondays will air Tuesday, January 19, 2016 due to the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. The two topics this broadcast will discuss are new 2016 PMP exam changes and PMBOK 4.2 developing project management plan. Check out the Project Management Institute’s link here: http://www.pmi.org/certification/exam-changes/pmp.aspx. Check out the Blogtalkradio show link here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena/2016/01/19/new-2016-pmp-exam-changes-and-pmbok-42-developing-project-management-plan