Episode 23: Positioning Your Brand For Prosperity
"It's time to ask ourselves why we aren't raising our hands for opportunities."
Deidre Wright is the award winning CEO of Strategic Stories and Personal Brand Advisor helping professionals elevate their visibility, career and income as seen and sought after leaders. She's been featured on Essence.com, Savoy Magazine and 4 viral LinkedIn posts receiving up to 96,000 views. Today, she and Maureen are discussing how to position your brand for prosperity.
Do You Have A Brand?
Your brand is your personal reputation. Everyone has it. If you feel like you don’t have time for establishing a brand, you need to reframe it. You have time to cultivate a positive reputation, and you need to actively do so in order to be seen and sought after.
Even in corporate, Maureen sought to establish a brand. The “Black excellence” culture required her to work twice as hard, and her work was scrutinized. She did not want to make a mistake that denied a promotion. She used to make sure she was best dressed, had the best presentations, and valued her work. She built her personal brand through her strengths of being a hard worker and asking all the right questions.
Framework For Cultivating Your Brand
Deidre has developed a framework for cultivating a personal brand for career gains and building your business.
Clarity - Identify success on your own terms, and be as granular as you can. What kind of income? What kind of title and work? What industries do you want to service? What kind of clients do you want to serve? If you don’t know what you want you won’t get there
Credibility - Communicate your value confidently. Then, use data to show successes and what you bring to the table. You’re not bragging. Instead, you’re showing people your record of how you can help them.
Network - Who is your network to speak your name in rooms for opportunities? Narrow this to the top three audiences you want to target. Then, look for your network. This could be senior leaders, clients, those outside your organization, or strategic partners. Regardless of their title, look for connections who will refer you business.
Brand - You need to have this foundation, then build a VIP reputation through your work. Whether it’s public speaking, content though white papers, podcasts, etc, content can do this. You need a strategy to cultivate a seen and sought after reputation.
Implement Branding In Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs should still follow Deirdre's framework. Then, they should include identifying prospects and social selling in their networking efforts.
You have to understand that a lot of people will buy your why. People will be attracted by your product, but they will decide to buy based on social proof. Social proof can be testimonials, reviews, etc.
Remember, branding is why people buy you, but marketing is how they find you.
However, there’s a reason why many people cannot have a high level of self image. Most people express lack of confidence or imposter syndrome. How can you shift this way of thinking?
Step Into Your Confidence
First, take time to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Also identify your credibility. You're in this business for a reason. Make a list of your achievements in the last year. Then, consider if your weaknesses are worth improving, or if you should outsource those areas.
Once you've decided what your focus is, and where you have weak areas, surround yourself with people who elevate you. Socialize with people who are going places.
How To Start Networking
Deidre has developed the SCORE acronym for networking strategies.
Social media: Deidre likes to network on Linkedin, Facebook, and Clubhouse. Find where your audience lives, and hang out there.
Conferences: If you can’t attend conferences, find the hashtag of it and talk with people on social media.
Organizations: These can include social groups or business groups. Whether it's a bowling league or a women's business group, organizations are a great place to network.
Recognition: There are awards in every industry. You can go to those events, apply for awards, and even nominate yourself.
Events: Meetup groups and casual events are more informal, organic ways to network.
How Can Introverts Network?
Introverts have super skills! Listening is the best way to network, so introverts have the superpower to ask good questions and ask those to talk about themselves. Good questions can be favorite current project, a good last recipe you made or tried, etc.
The key thing here is to listen and remember what others tell you. Remember the details such as birthdays, anniversaries, and kids’ names. You want deeper connections, not mass connections.
Always leave a conversation asking how can I be of service to you? How can I be a blessing? This is how to source opportunities.
If you could tell any minority one thing what would you tell them?
“I see you.”
We’ve been invisible or seen in the worst light for so long. It's important for us to hear, "I see your strength." Think about this: What is the narrative we want to tell the world?
We’re not just struggle, we’re also joy. We’re not just entertainment, we’re also intellect.
The best way to show excellence is to show your expertise. Don’t just be the diversity token, be the expert in your space.
Find out more!
- Subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes here.
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- Join our incredible community - Product Entrepreneurs Who Scale
- Learn how Maureen can help you grow your brand in any stage.
- Connect with Maureen on Instagram.
- Visit Deidre Wright's website or connect with her on Instagram.