Networking- The Lifestyle: Keys to Building a Powerful Brand

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“IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!” was the first lesson the session leader (Darnell James) of this conference I attended back in October wanted us to get through our heads. That went out to the shy folks, me included, who let their social parameters inhibit their progression. You have to realize that when the time comes to attend networking events you are there for a greater cause then yourself. You’re not looking to find a new bar buddy, or a date for Saturday night, or any of those social circumstances that would usually cause one to hide away in a corner. Unlike the dating scene, there is no rejection in networking. Everyone is interested in the same thing: making those connections that could potentially get us to that next dollar.

Lifestyle networking is about getting on the circuit. Getting your name out there and keeping it relevant. It is wise for the new 2013 young professional to consider themselves to be a brand and market themselves accordingly. Decide what you want to represent, what you want to be known for and what you want to accomplish. Then place yourself in the environment where this type of person would be. Dress how this type of person would dress, converse with the same like minded people this person would converse with. Participate in the activities that this type of person would be or should be interested in.

BUILD A POWERFUL BRAND. The key to this is managing your personal connections, internally and externally. “You should ALWAYS stay in job search mode, you never know who you are going to meet,” James advises.  “You can build your brand off the backs of your professional associations alone.”

This speaks to being active and building your brand in the workplace. If you are in a position where you attend conferences or briefings, what are you doing to establish yourself as a superior employee.  Are you writing press releases or blogs based off keynote speeches? Are you keeping the conversation going on social media? Again, it’s all about getting your name out there and creating a lane for yourself in the professional world. Create a “Strategic Alliance." Seek coaches, mentors, sponsors etc to help support you on this journey. Physically seek these people out, build a relationship with them, learn from them and watch the money grow.

Stunt Tip

Sending resumes in the mail or through the internet is becoming a dinosaur. Viral is the new wave. Do a short 1-2 minute video blurb about your passions, interests, accomplishments and objectives. Now when you go to fill out an online application for that dream job you can have a link to post and the employer can put the face and energy with what is on paper.

 

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