Questions and Answers with Career Expert Kirsten Dixson
Please note: On a somewhat infrequent basis, Quintessential Careers asks noted career experts five questions related to their expertise and publishes the interview in the current issue of QuintZine, our career e-newsletter. Those interviews are archived here for your convenience.
Kirsten Dixson is a career management consultant who is an authority on building credible online identities for career success.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What relationship do you see between networking and branding?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||Networking is a powerful component of the branding process because when your network is clear about your unique promise of value, they extend your brand for you. When you are known for something and remain visible to your target audience, you will be top of mind when opportunities arise. Once you develop a strong brand and a strong network, you can spend less time directly promoting yourself — an activity with which many are uncomfortable.|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||Your book, Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand, kicks off with a chapter on the future of work. What would you say is the No. 1 driver of the need for individuals to brand themselves?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||The No. 1 driver of personal branding is the necessity to be in control of our own careers. Since no one is going to manage our career for us, and the only constant is change, we have to know where we are headed and create our own road map for success (however, we personally define that). To thrive in this new environment, you must identify your personal assets and clearly communicate your unique promise of value to those who need to know about you. Your credibility and visibility will drive demand for your services. You must use who you are to affect how you earn. That’s where Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand comes in.|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||You contend that “personal branding is not a fad.” Can you elaborate?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| In 1997, Tom Peters wrote his now iconic article The Brand Called You in Fast Company. Now 10 years later, the personal branding movement is firmly established as a revolutionary and evolutionary strategy for career management and professional and personal success.
Whether you are a professional in an organization, an entrepreneur leading your own business or an individual in career transition, personal branding has become synonymous with how we build our personal reputation and differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
In addition, HR managers and executives alike are challenged with the need to attract and retain great people in the well-publicized war for talent. Enabling people to develop and nurture their personal brand supports talent management strategies and ability to deliver business strategies.
To mark the 10th anniversary of personal branding, we recently held The Brand You World Global Telesummit, a free 12-hour virtual conference featuring the world’s leading authorities on personal branding. A podcast of the live event is available.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What are some emerging elements of one’s online identity? What are the hottest social networking sites?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Anything that is published about you online or that you write on a Web page that is not password-protected is a part of your public online identity. Often people will research you online before they meet you in person, so they will be making decisions about you based on how you show up in Google and other search engines. You can use this free tool to assess your current online ID.
It is easy to use social networking or online profile services to create or enhance your online identity. I recommend creating public profiles using LinkedIn.com and Ziggs.com. These sites are more business-oriented and have some neat features like endorsements (LinkedIn) and the ability to create a mini-portfolio (Ziggs).
Some of the social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook aren’t necessarily ideal for managing your professional online identity. When you use these tools, go beyond the default settings to control who sees your content, keep it professional, and be sure to connect only with people you really know and trust since their content can show up on your page.
You can learn more about building your brand in bits and bytes by downloading our free ChangeThis Manifesto.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What do you think of the concept of using a blog as a resume?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| I think a blog is the ideal tool for expressing your personal brand online for the following reasons:
A blog doesn’t replace a resume, although you can include your downloadable resume on your blog or link to your LinkedIn profile that should mirror your resume.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||Can you briefly explain the Reach Branding Club?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| The Reach Branding Club (RBC) was developed in response to many requests for a flexible, affordable program with everything needed to build a strong personal brand. We combine on-demand webinars with weekly self-directed activities, networking opportunities, and teleseminars so you can build your personal brand, stand out from your peers and reach your career goals. At RBC, you build your brand at your pace. Our members, located across the globe, are highly successful individuals who are motivated to expand their success.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, job seeker or a professional working inside an organization, you’ll gain access to the leading personal branding methodology — proven with thousands of executives and entrepreneurs — that will help you define and achieve your goals, take control of your success, increase your compensation and enjoy your work.
Kirsten Dixson is a career management consultant who is an authority on building credible online identities for career success. She’s the coauthor of Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (Wiley), the founder of Brandego, and a partner in Reach, the global leader in personal branding. Kirsten delivers keynote speeches and serves as a media resource on career technology topics. She’s been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Newsday and Advertising Age.
Check out all our interview with career experts in Quintessential Answers: Q&A’s with Career & College Experts.
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