What is Personal Branding?
Dan Schawbel, personal branding guru, defines it as:
The process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.”
The first thing a potential employer or investor will do when they get your resume is ‘Google you’ (that’s your Zero Moment of Truth) there is no doubt about that; they will check out all your social media profiles (LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Quora etc.) and anything else that comes up. According to a study released by Microsoft Research in 2010, 70% of recruiters said they’d rejected applicants based on info they found online. Now there might not be something ‘dodgy’ out there about you but at the end of the day if your Online Brand Presence is not cohesive the results could still be a rejection.
Everything you post on social media impacts your personal brand. How do you want to be know?”
– Lisa Horn, The Publicity Gal
Have you used SlideShare for Personal Branding?
SlideShare’s slogan is “Discover. Share. Present.” and it is definitely a great way to share and present yourself to the world in order to be discovered. SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. It is also amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world, with roughly 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million page-views.
According to Jesse Desjardins, Consultant and SlideShare superstar with over 22,000 followers, SlideShare has completely changed his professional career: “I find the more I share my ideas, the more I connect with amazing people, who then help me to get even better ideas and then my presentation get better, then I ultimately get better as a speaker.”
SlideShare makes it easy to spread your story in a visually engaging way.
Matt Riley, Head of Planning at BBDO South Africa, gave me this advice when I reached out to him about creating a killer resume and selling myself: “I think you need a simple narrative about yourself, explaining your journey and positioning yourself.”
Matt also said to me “You have such a great personality and you should dial that up somehow”. Thanks for the compliment Matt! What he said though is very true (apart from my great personality), let’s face it – getting your personality across on a one-page Resume written in Times New Roman size 12 font is JUST NOT POSSIBLE! However SlideShare as a tool makes it possible for you to really tell your story in an interesting and engaging way, and ultimately get your personality across.
As Seth Godin wisley noted in his book thought-provoking book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?: Your work is your resume.
Matthew Capala, my former NYU Professor and a top-ranked SlideShare user, recently wrote 7 Proven Tips for Using SlideShare for Personal Branding on Medium. His number one piece of advice is “It’s all about the storytelling”. It is your job to reach your viewers by telling a story that they connect with on an emotional level.
Following Matthew’s tips on Medium and inspired by his free personal branding e-book, Away with the Average: How Online Entrepreneurship Creates a Unique Advantage for Job Seekers, I created my own Personal Branding SlideShare.
Here are my Top 5 Tips to follow for creating Personal Branding SlideShare:
5 Tips for Creating Great Personal Branding SlideShares
Have an Awesome Title and Creative Cover Slide
It is no use designing an amazing presentation or doing your Resume on SlideShare if nobody sees it. Last year SlideShare reached a milestone with over 10 million presentations uploaded – so it’s important to stand out and create something that people want to click on, the title and cover slide are a great way of doing it (think of it as your first impression).
‘Start with Why’ – State your Objective Upfront
Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why has this to say about selling yourself: People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Only when the why is clear, and people believe what you believe, can a true loyal relationship develop and it’s at this level that you truly connect with your audience. Ask yourself – why did you create this presentation and why should your target audience care i.e. what is in it for them? State your objective upfront, if your objective is to get a job – tell them and be specific about it, so they keep it top of mind when viewing the rest of your presentation.
Position Yourself Effectively
Brand Positioning is occupying a distinctive space in the mind of the consumer. How do you want your target audience (the potential employer in this case) to perceive you? Design the SlideShare with your audience in mind. Part of positioning yourself could be developing a brand mantra/crafting a slogan for yourself, which is a simple statement describing who you are and what you have to offer. Matthew Capala gives the following additional tips for SlideShare Resumes: Explain what you do, List your services and credentials, and Show examples of your work. This will give potential employers a true sense of what you are about and what you are capable of doing.
Have a Strong Visual Identity
Pay close attention to substance and style of your presentation to build your personal brand. The ‘art’ is in setting yourself apart and crafting a unique identity for yourself – think of it in the same way most companies have a visual identity in the decks they use, their decks follow the same color schemes, fonts and imagery in a way that makes it unmistakably theirs. The style of your presentation needs to be consistent throughout, as this will build on your ‘Personal Brand’ – think of the font, colors and images used to display your story in unique and identifiable way. Jesse Desjardins has some great SlideShares on designing awesome presentations that you can use as guideline, these include ‘How to be Awesome Slide Share‘ and ‘You Suck At Power Point: 5 Shocking Design Mistakes You Need to Avoid‘.
Keep it Short and Have a Call-to-Action
You want the audience to finish the entire presentation, so keep it short. Jesse Desjardins recommends 2-4 minutes tops per presentation or roughly 20 slides. The last slide needs to tie it all together, leaving the audience with an impactful and resonating impression. It is also crucial to a have a Call-to-Action (CTA) directed at your target audience. CTA are the instructions you give your target audience; that get them to ‘do something.’ The last slide could be perfect way to tie it all together and get your target audience to act on the CTA. Matthew Capala also suggests posting your contact info on the SlideShare; this could form part of your CTA on the last slide.
Do you have personal branding deck or online resume on SlideShare?