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Repositioning Your Personal Brand in This Economy

Repositioning Your Personal Brand in This Economy

Safe Piggy Bank

      The economy isn’t getting better anytime soon and tons of people are losing their jobs every second.  The number of unemployed persons increased by 851,000 to 12.5 million in February, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent.

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      When you get laid off, you have far more choices than you could possibly imagine.  The problem that most people have is that they freak out and quickly apply to as many jobs as possible, while spamming their network, praying to (insert person you worship here) and becoming extremely stressed out in the process.  I know things are tough right now, but it also means that there are enormous opportunities for you to either start over, rethink your career jobs and create the future you want! 

      That is why today I’m going to take you through a process you can use to reposition your brand in this economy, so that you can surface as a champion when we get out of it.  The first thing you want to do is to take a deep breath and stay as optimistic and open minded as you possibly can.  If you can’t do that, then it’s hard for any advice to work for you.

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      What are your options

        If you are one of the millions of people that are laid off, then you really need to understand what options you have before you start applying for jobs or launch a new company.  A good way to do this is to start conversations with the people that surround your life and those who have already lost their job and are in the same position as you.  If you’re an introvert, then doing this online is a wise idea.  You should join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Ning to locate people that are just like you and find out what they are doing right now.  This way, you won’t make job searching mistakes and you’ll have other people to support you during this tough time.

        Here are some options:

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        • Start a company: If you have a bright idea or a friend with a business plan, then just go for it because you have nothing to lose right now.  You can always have a few side jobs to have some cash flow to support you, while you build your company.  It will be hard to get venture capital money, unless you already have a personal brand with a history of success, but you can start something small right now and grow it when the economy turns around.  There is always money out there for great ideas!
        • Search for a new job: You can reposition yourself in a completely new field.  It helps to have transferrable skills though and a lot of passion.  Finding a new job is tricky if you haven’t built up a strong network of professionals.  Use all the social networks out there in your industry to either connect or reconnet with people that can help you.  Put less emphasis on applying for jobs through job boards and corporate websites and more on meeting hiring managers directly through social media websites.
        • Consult companies/individuals: Depending on your skill set and background, you’ll be able to get some clients during this recession or none at all.  Those who have get track records of results in a specific niche will have no problem finding clients.  Of course, if you don’t have much experience, this path won’t work well for you.
        • Go back to college: A lot of students right now are staying in college because they fear the current job market.  Also, people who are getting laid off are pursuing advanced degrees to stall out the recession.  Unless you have goals behind going to graduate school, don’t waste the money.  Spend 15 hours a day searching for a job instead.

        The bottom line is that you need to do something because employers frown upon slackers and every new person you meet will ask you “what do you do” and you better have a good answer.  If you do nothing, you’ll appear to be uninteresting and you’ll be ostracized as a result.

        A repositioning process

        1. Conduct an assessment of your current situation, including how much money you need to make each money to get by, what your family needs are and where you want to take your career in the future.
        2. Decide if you want to continue to pursue your current career or if you want to reposition your brand into a new market segment.
        3. Construct a new personal brand statement that tells the world what you do and who you do it for, while updating all of your marketing collateral to reflect this change, such as having a new “objective” in your resume.
        4. Research all the websites on the planet that have potential customers or hiring managers at companies you want to work for.
        5. Start creating content (blog/podcast, etc) on what you know and are passionate about.
        6. Research out to potential customers and hiring managers about your services/wanting to work there and direct them to your blog and other content that you’ve created.

        Some guidance from career experts

          “If you’re job hunting, or just trying to hold onto a job in this economy, your personal brand must demonstrate that you are hard-working, self-sufficient, loyal, positive, and most importantly, that you get results.  Everything from your website to the way you answer questions must communicate these characteristics.  Managers who have hundreds of resumes for every opening at their fingertips won’t waste time employing (or even interviewing) people who need too much hand-holding or think they are entitled to meaningful work.”

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          “To job hunt in a bad economy you need to be a specialist. In a good economy, people hire generalists. In a bad economy, hiring managers can be very picky and they look for a perfect fit. Specialists fit perfectly, not generalists. So talk about yourself as if you are specialized, and then people will think of you when a job that fits comes up. Also, retool your resume to look specialized. You don’t need to have everything you’ve ever done on your resume: It’s a marketing document, not your life story.”

          Right now a lot of people are scared and they are hoarding what (and who) they know. I recommend the opposite: When you give generously of your knowledge – career ideas, recommendations of resources, networking tips, etc. – you strengthen your image as a “go-to” person, someone others can rely on even in tough times. Share your knowledge by speaking on pro bono panels, commenting on blogs, sharing article links on Facebook or Twitter, answering questions on LinkedIn Answers, etc. The more you share your knowledge, the more knowledge (including networking contacts and job leads!) you’ll receive from others in return.

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          Last Updated on December 2, 2018

          7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

          7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

          When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

          You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

          1. Connecting them with each other

          Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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          It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

          2. Connect with their emotions

          Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

          For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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          3. Keep going back to the beginning

          Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

          On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

          4. Link to your audience’s motivation

          After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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          Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

          5. Entertain them

          While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

          Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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          6. Appeal to loyalty

          Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

          In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

          7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

          Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

          Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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