Tag Archives: personal branding

You don’t need to be the best to be the best known!

In marketing they talk about the legendary fallacy of the statement –


“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. (Ralph Waldo Emerson).


The reality is the world is filled with exceptional mouse traps but in marketing it’s well known that it’s not usually the best product that is the most successful but rather the best marketed product.



Take a look around – are designer labels really that much superior to other clothing items or are they just better marketed? The same can be said for personal marketing. How many people do you know that are highly talented in what they do but struggle to gain the necessary recognition and reward, whilst others with seemingly less talent effortlessly climb the corporate ladder.


As a Personal Branding Career Coach I am regularly contacted by frustrated professionals who know they do the job better and get better results than others in their workplace and yet they are continually overlooked by management. The reality is these quiet achievers are simply penalised because they lack the skills and confidence not to do the job but to brand and market themsleves effectively.


So what do you need to do to join the corporate success ranks? It’s simple! Just apply the same principles to yourself as marketing teams do to commercial products.


ü Have a clear understanding of your unique strengths. There are many tools available for this including the Reach 360 Personal Branding Assessment. Through these you can see how others see your strengths and talents and get a better feel for your authentic talents and skills.

ü Get to know your target audience.  Knowing your target audience will enable you to tap into their unmet needs. If you are in a workplace, identify who the decision makers are in that next promotion decision, what they need and what they are looking for in the future for the company and its staff.

ü Use this knowledge to deliver a consistent and strategic branding and promotion message.   Know your talents and sing them loudly and proudly. If you are not confident carving a strong personal brand yourself you can enlist the help of Personal Branding Consultants who can help you identify and mould an authentic personal brand. Deliver this consistently and you’ll notice your awareness and respect grow.

ü Keep in mind – how you are packaged is how you are perceived. Make sure your resume, online identity and communications with others all reinforce the image you want to promote. (Check out my article on Premium Products in Home Brand Packaging for more on this.)


Remember  You don’t need to be the best to be the best known!


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Profiting from Small Talk – What’s Your Party Elevator Pitch?

So what do you do?

 We hear it all the time. Everytime you are left with someone you don’t know at a party, networking function    or get together this is the guaranteed small talk opener.     Yet how many of us give our occupation as our stock standard response and overlook the powerful personal branding opportunity this presents us?

Just think how many times in your life you have already missed the chance to build your personal brand? To let people in on what makes you tick, what you offer and how well you do it. To set the scene for others to become your personal marketing agents through social word of mouth and referrals.

Now before you go off with pen in hand to write your party spiel remember the ‘party’ elevator pitch shouldn’t be a hard-sell. Nothing clears a room at a party faster than an full blown sales spiel. Instead tone down your personal brand statement into something softer. Develop a simple but engaging 30 second response that will entice them to ask more but still showcases what it is you offer. In short, it should be no more than a few sentences and it should be able to be understood by a 12 year old.

For example my elevator pitch goes something like this.

Party Goer: So what do you do Gill?

Gill: I’m a personal branding consultant. Basically I help ‘great’ professionals get recognised and rewarded for it in the workplace. Everyone does something really well but most people have trouble selling themselves to others. So that’s what I help with. I assist people to find and promote their talents in the workplace. 

Now no matter whether you run your own business or are employed by a major organisation you should own a spiel that you can rattle off casually but that is designed to sell you. If you are in I.T., maybe your spiel would talk about how you design technology solutions for small business owners that make operating their business easier.      If you are a florist perhaps your passion for flowers has led you to design floral arrangements that creatively reflect the personality of the recipients.

Whatever you brand, sell it consistently and passionately and you may find that your Saturday evening socialising becomes a pathway to opportunity and prosperity. 

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Branding and Your Resume – What Is Your Resume Saying About You?

No marketer would ever use home-brand packaging to sell a premium product. The cost of the potential losses in sales revenue alone would be obvious, and yet on a daily basis, highly qualified professionals sacrifice potential income through poor resume packaging.

It’s not the design or resume template that is at fault, but peoples’ tendency when using templates to lose sight of the fact that the resume is actually a marketing document. To sell a product, marketers realise they must know their customer. They invest time and effort in developing branding and copy content that will appeal and inspire action by the customer to buy. This is just as true for applicants. Just as every product has its unique selling points, so do individuals, and time must be invested in designing a resume that will truly reflect your relevant selling points and will operate as a catalyst to mobilize employers to make contact.

Fancy templates on their own won’t do this. Pretty may catch the employer’s eye but what then? A good resume will do that and a lot more. It will capture their interest, immediately showcasing the amazing skills and benefits you can offer their company. It will funnel them down through your resume on a journey packed with achievement and genuine contributions to your past employers. It will paint the picture of a consummate professional, who has faced commercial challenges and soared… and yes they will be caught, hook, line and sinker… motivated and intrigued to talk with you to see if you would be able to offer the same contributions to their company.

So before you pick a template and just start to type. Stop. Pause. Take time to really consider:

  • Who will be reading your resume. Put yourself in their shoes. What do they want? What skills and experience do you offer? Why would they want to ring you? 

    • Evaluate the template design. Does it reflect the image you want to put forward? Will you stand out from the pile of resumes, professional and distinctive or just blend in?
    • Assess your writing and personal marketing skills.Do you have the skills to really showcase your achievements? Would you be better investing in your future through the skills of a professional resume writer?

    When you know this, then you can start the resume process because I guarantee if your resume is plonked into a template with no thought given to the content – it will more likely than not be just you reading it! On the other hand, take the time to consider the employer in your resume, your branding and resume image and you are one step closer to that ringing phone and job offer!

     Need help with your resume design. Contact Gill at Career Edge today.

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    Mistaken Identity – Do You Know What They Are Saying About You?

    When I was growing up I dreamt of seeing my name in lights. My imagination was filled of scenes where I would casually mention my name at restaurants and people would stop and say  “I know you – you’re famous!” 

    You know what they say ‘careful what you wish for’. 

    A couple of years ago I was visiting a hotel with my husband when I casually scanned the inhouse movie menu to find to my astonishment my name on one of their feature films. I can tell you I was even more surprised when on a closer look I saw that it was actually an adult movie (in every sense of the word).

    After a giggle I realised that I shared my name with a porn star. My interest piqued I later googled my name to find that not only did I share my name with a porn star but a very famous porn star at that! Complete with a suite of films and associated merchandise including the ‘Jill Kelly’ blow up doll.  My husband of course thought it was hilarious and so did I until the realisation slowly dawned about its potential impact to my online reputation.

    Armed with a new level of awareness, the impact of this started to be noticable. As an invited writer for the CDI Careerwiki, I noticed the google ads under my articles featuring my namesake’s films. When I gave my name at a local event, the gentleman on the desk said “Where do I know that name from?” and then a moment later promptly and rather obviously changed the subject.

    Now I had a dilemma – do I change my name and give up my hard earned global reputation or do I simply try and compete in the spotlight and hope people don’t get us confused.

    After much strategising I developed a rebranding strategy. Armed with a strong knowledge of exactly what my online identity was, I developed a plan to address and mitigate any potential damage to my profile.

    So today I start the execution of this rebranding campaign.

    Jill Kelly just became ‘Gillian Kelly’. My mother will be pleased as she actually spelt my name with a ‘G’ so that I wouldn’t shorten it to Jill.

    So take a few lessons from my experience. Remain abreast of your online identity and Google yourself regularly. Not only is it fun but it may save you from the costs of mistaken professional identity. As for me, from now on I’ll be known by Gillian Kelly. Except maybe for in the bedroom.     


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