“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In one of my previous posts I mentioned that on August 14 AWE hosted a Personal Branding workshop for Women’s Network. As I habitually do, I actively participated by letting Brandon Maslan pick on me and the Branding Statement that I came up with prior to the meeting. Turns out my beautiful and oh so carefully crafted elevator pitch was all wrong!
The exercise that we went through included the following steps:
- Identify your professional goal.
- Identify your top three skills that will help you achieve your professional goal.
- Identify concrete professional successes based on your skills.
- Synthesize your skills and successes to form your Branding Statement.
Theoretically, your Personal Branding statement is your Elevator Pitch. Thus, your Elevator Pitch should be skills- and successes- based speech, which mine is not. So it was rejected. In my defense, I find it very difficult to converge all my skills and experiences and identify with one narrow occupational noun as I consider myself more of a Generalist than a Specialist. Unfortunately, I do not have quantifiable feats on my record.
In addition to addressing in-person and virtual branding, Brandon left us with seven concrete action steps:
- Complete your professional Brand Statement.
- Practice your Brand Statement – take all the opportunities to present your Elevator Pitch until you are comfortable with this type of self-promotion.
- Update your LinkedIn profile – that box should be forever “under construction”.
- (Performance) Reviews – use then to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
- Volunteer for projects – to acquire new skills, improve on your weaknesses, meet new people, etc.
- Network – as Mr. Maslan put it, “it is no longer about who you know, it is about who knows you”.
- Schedule a Branding Accountability Meeting – one of the AWE services, but I think your efforts could be picked apart by your boss or mentor.
Personally, I am a huge proponent of lists and concrete action steps. Information in itself is useless, if you do not know what to do with it. Change is rooted in action. I definitely left with an action item – to reflect on my Elevator Pitch and come up with a more impressive one.
Although this was not the most pleasant experience, it was very much a learning one. Not only did I get more than a couple of pointers for where to take my Elevator Pitch, we also had a lot of fun during the session. As a reward for my courage, I received a book by Linda Backbock and Sara Lascherver “ask for it: how women can use the power of negotiation to get what they really want”. No secret taking initiative always pays off.