Posted by julial727 on April 21, 2009
I work in a large multi-tenant midtown Manhattan office building and have had the pleasure of listening in on many “elevator pitches.” Granted, most elevator pitches don’t actually happen in an elevator. Often you only have the length of time it takes a potential client to walk down the hall to their office or an investor to drink a glass of wine. There is a lot of pressure to get your message across in a clear, concise and unique manner in a short period of time.
Establishing your personal brand in your elevator pitch is as important as it is in an online profile or your resume. The point of the pitch is to pique the interest of your potential client or new acquaintance just enough so that they will want to continue the conversation. The desired result is the opportunity to go to the next step – a follow up phone call, meeting, interview or referral.
Here are 6 ways to make sure your pitch gets a noticed:
Know your objective: Are you looking for a new job? Do you have a new product or service to inform others about? Did your company win a new client or prestigious award? What story do you want to tell? If you know your objective it will help you craft the right message.
Know your audience: Tailor your pitch to your specific audience. That means you will need multiple versions of your pitch that you can mix and match depending on who you are talking to and what your objective is. If you are pitching to a potential investor, focus on how you plan to make money. If you are pitching to a potential employer, explain how you do your job better than anyone else. A potential customer, what problem can you solve for them.
Be passionate and creative: Make your pitch personal and show your excitement and passion for what you do. Grab the person’s attention with your creativity.
Speak in grade school english: Your audience may not know the technical aspects or acronyms of your industry. You may lose your audience if you speak in abstracts, consultant speak or techno babble.
Listen: Conversations are two way streets. People love to talk about themselves so ask questions that engage your audience and then be quiet and listen. You will gain valuable information and ideas and expand your contacts.
Finish the pitch: Your goal is to get a business card and permission to follow up with a phone call.
Posted in Branding, career, job search | 1 Comment »
Posted by julial727 on April 20, 2009
Staying on the topic of spring cleaning… I cleared off my desk and found a stack of business cards. As I was looking through the stack I realized a few of the people in the stack are now out of work. I wonder how many of those people have created personal business cards for their job search.
When you are in the process of looking for a new job and networking, utilizing a business card as a marketing tool is imperative and can help differentiate you from others. Be mindful of your personal brand as you create your card.
Besides the basic benefit of utilizing a personal business card so that potential employers and people in your network have your basic contact information a well thought out card can also provide information on the kind of job you are targeting and your unique skill set. Including things like your job focus, objective, skills or unique accomplishments.
If you can afford it, I recommend having your cards printed professionally. That way you can ensure the design and content are consistent with your personal brand. If you can’t afford professionally made cards, you can print your own using stock bought at any office supply store or order them online for free utilizing vista print. I met a man at a networking event recently that started a website called Your Business Card Sucks. It might give you a little insight into good and bad design aspects of business cards.
Keep your cards in a card holder so that when you had them out they look new. Your card is an extension of your personal brand and image. If they are worn, bent or dirty what kind of impression will someone have of you?
Bring your cards with you everywhere you go. I mean everywhere. There are going to be many times when you won’t have a resume handy or it won’t be an appropriate situation to hand a resume to someone. Your personal business card will do the trick, and don’t forget to ask for one in return. Once you do, don’t forget to add that person to your LinkedIn contacts.
Posted in Branding, career, job search | Tagged: Branding, business card, career, job search, networking, personal branding, resume | Leave a Comment »
Posted by julial727 on April 18, 2009
Today is one of the first beautiful days in New York and I realize it is time to put away my bulky sweaters and winter wardrobe and pull out my shorts and flip flops. Spring cleaning is not for closets alone, but can also be used as a time to reflect on your personal life and make changes for the future.
Take some time to think about areas in your life which could use some attention. One such area that many people ignore is their online personal brand. When was the last time you brushed off the cobwebs on your LinkedIn profile or updated your Facebook page? Chances are, it has been a while.
Think of how many opportunities you are missing out on because you have incomplete or stale information online. Having a complete and updated profile gives you an advantage in the marketplace. The more up-to-date and specific you are in your profile, the easier it will be to be found online by colleagues and recruiters. Think of it as your own personal version of search optimization.
Once you have updated your profile online, begin to update your network. It is one of the most valuable assets you have and will greatly help in expanding your job search or career advancement. Most social networking sites give you the ability to upload your address book and see who in your network is already utilizing that service. Connect with those people immediately. Then, invite other people and begin to expand your network further. It is amazing to see how vast your network truly is after you put a little effort into it. The job of your dreams might now only be only a degree or two away because you connected with someone you met recently at a work or charity event.
Don’t wait until spring cleaning or the loss of a job in order to update your online profile or cultivate your network. The key is to continually update your profiles and expand your network so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Posted in career, Facebook, General Thoughts, job search, LinkedIn | Tagged: Facebook, job search, LinkedIn, Network, networking, personal brand, Profile, Recruiter | 1 Comment »