Did you know what a personal brand is before the age of the internet? Ever had someone ask about what you do and you found yourself stuttering? It’s one of people’s favorite questions at networking events. I used to begin answering like, “I do a lot of things. By day, I do this. The rest of the time, A B C and D” As you can imagine, my answer rarely fit people’s attention span. Most of them would nod in confusion and move on – which was embarrassing.
This experience made me realize the importance of having a coherent story. It’s harder for multipotentialites to have an elevator pitch because of the different moving parts of their life. However, being able to tie them all together helps people get a better understanding of us. So instead of saying, “I do a lot of things. First is X, second Y and third Z” I would have likely received a better reaction from, “I am a multi-passionate creative with different pursuits in X, Y and Z.”
The way you structure your elevator pitch matters. It directly reflects on your personal brand. Also keep in mind your listener’s short attention span.
Why should you even care about having a personal brand? The term is used a lot in the professional world so it’s a relevant concept. Your personal brand refers to the way people perceive you based on how you present yourself. It shapes your reputation and influences how people interact with you. Your personal brand lays the ground for people to identify and connect with you.
So, how do you brand yourself as a multipotentialite?
Identify Your Passions
Your passions aren’t necessarily the things you’re good at. A few telltale signs are whether or not you actually enjoy doing something, naturally gravitate towards it and can picture yourself doing it without getting paid. Your strengths, on the other hand, are things that you excel at and you can use them to your advantage.
Know Your Why
What is your long-term goal? What motivates you to do everything you’re doing now? Is it your dream of building your own company and contributing to the world? Once you know the driving force behind all your actions, it will be easier to tie the moving parts together so help people can better understand.
Take Context Into Account
Networking is highly contextual. The way you approach someone may vary from event to event so there is no right or wrong guide to starting a conversation. As with networking events, always keep context into account. If you joined a Facebook group that focuses entirely on bloggers, this is your opportunity to ask all your blogging related questions. Talking about your other interests may not be relevant to the niche. Just like if you’re at an event for people who are looking to transition to another career, asking questions about salary negotiation may not be appropriate. You should always keep your audience in mind so that you can get from then the reactions or results you expect.
Your personal brand is your legacy. Take care of it. Craft a story that will resonate with other people and allow them to connect with you. Being a multipotentialite doesn’t have to be a burden if you learn how to leverage your different abilities. Identifying and knowing when to use them to your strengths will take you far down the road of career development.
Do you have a personal brand? Tell me about it in the comments!
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