Wikipedia describes personal branding as “self-packaging” and as establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others,” which is nice. However, I prefer the idea of building a value proposition which Wikipedia defines as the “promise of value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged.” The focus is on what’s in it for the customer.
Executives Can Put Their Value Proposition to Work
I was reading Bernadette Jiwa’s Power of Scarcity, and it rang a bell. In today’s selfie, personal branded culture, a careerist who genuinely insinuates themselves into the head and heart of a hiring manager through genuine value stories is scarce.
As such, every interaction on LinkedIn, every position for which you pitch your resume, and every credential-selling conversation in which you engage should include an intrinsic promise to deliver value. These promises include increased sales revenue; expanded market share; decreased expenses; innovative ideas that sell widgets; a better/quicker/cheaper process to deliver goods; a more meaty process that promises lower output but increased quality and higher profit margins; a leadership style that transforms cultures into high-performing, cohesive teams; and the list goes on and on.
Perhaps as important as measurable results, however, are promises to deliver loyalty, enthusiasm, strength, optimism and commitment. As well, promising abilities in self-control, discernment, patience and tact will set you apart.
Know Your Customer
Rather than casting a wide net for connections on LinkedIn, you strategically weave a personal network. Rather than repeatedly selling to your network, you demonstrate your value, over and over and over again.
Your conversations demonstrate active knowledge of your audience’s needs, which not only include their pain, but also their aspirations. You should be aware they are in the the process of expanding into a new market, rolling out a new technology, narrowing their product focus, upgrading their global systems, or whatever. You ably sink your words into their particular needs, weaving in aspects of your experience story that mirror those needs.
The conversation storyline continually redirects back to them, as you listen, ingest their facts and emotions and organically respond.
Provide, and Receive, Value-In-Action Recommendations
You offer genuine recommendations to those in your network who have proven their value to you. Likewise, you encourage recommendations be given from those in your network who have witnessed your value in action. Encourage recommendations that can live on your LinkedIn profile and on your personal marketing website as testaments to your unwavering value.
For example, if you worked with someone on a big project and were instrumental in its success, request a recommendation that speaks to your specific contributions as a problem solver, process organizer, or whatever role you played to drive the project home.
Set Yourself Apart and Reap the Career Rewards
In today’s selfie-rich world, where so many are linking up in order to be looked at, an executive with a value-laden M.O. will set himself apart. The transition from a me-focused social networking demeanor requires deliberate action steps, but over time becomes intuitive and enriching. The rewards to you, your goals and overall career movement will reveal themselves more colorfully and meaningfully than ever before — over time, and with patience.
I am a master resume writer with 20 years’ experience in the resume writing trenches. No insta-resume service here. I built my story from ground up, living and breathing resumes, full time, self-supporting, and not as a side gig. My clients hire me for the highly consultative, thoughtful approach to resume writing. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how I can help shape the story that will accompany you through your next career evolvement.
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