Monthly Archives: May 2012

The TO-DO List after writing that BRILLIANT POST

So you’ve just written a Brilliant Article and conferred a small contribution of your Legacy upon the World! Now you publish it and cross your fingers for the deluge of visits and laudatory appreciation for your Pièce de Résistance! But does it happen?

Well, Honestly, People aren’t just sitting ducks looking up their Social Media Accounts for a piece of news from your stable! Admit it. In today’s world, none of us have the luxury of time to round up on our contact list daily-even if we indeed want to. So the ball is back in your court-How do you now ENTICE, ENGAGE AND ENRICH Your Network with your legacy? 

Worry Not! I am sharing a comprehensive TO-DO List of Steps that You must religiously follow to be the Cynosure of Activity in your Network; and reach out to your peers, colleagues, clients, customers, superiors, juniors, associates and every other worthy soul around you,and make your humble attempt in enriching them with your Thought Leadership.

Follow this TO-DO list of Activities after penning down your latest masterpiece and get on the bandwagon of ICONIC People Brands who are cherished and revered for their Career Karma in the world!

Come on, do your bit of Career Karma, starting here! Have any more enriching tips and tricks that can be added to this list? Enlighten us NOW.

How To BRAND YOURSELF on LinkedIn

Do you often ponder: Am I a Brand or Am I a Brand? Well, Folks, as of today, EACH one of You regardless of the Industry you are into, YOU are a BRAND. You might not be aware of it, or might not want to acknowledge it, or yet haven’t realized the importance of your Personal Brand in this cluttered Industry. But, Believe You, Me; fast approaches a time, when every professional in every industry will be evaluated on the basis of his Personal Brand Worth.

Often the next question is  “To Brand ME or Not To Brand ME?” And if your answer is YES; the next endless list of questions follow suit:

a)      How to brand myself?

b)      What am I suppose to brand?

c)      Where am I suppose to brand?

d)      How to express my brand? And

e)      The most common question: WHY am I suppose to brand myself?

For now, we are going to focus on HOW TO brand yourself, starting with the most visible and credible place on the social media-LinkedIn.

I personally believe that Linkedin has been a much worthy of an innovation vis-a-vis Facebook. Not that I love Facebook any less than LinkedIn; but for the ruling corporate citizens of today, LinkedIn has been the biggest boon since maybe the Wheel! (alright, I might have exaggerated a bit, for the dramatic effect!)

So let’s enumerate the answers to these questions:

1. HOW to Brand Yourself: Discover your Unique Brand Value Proposition, that differentiates you from the herd, and Voice it: meaning Express it. The more dedicated protocol is to Discover & Conceive your Personal Brand, under the aegis of aPersonal Brand Strategist; who will empower you to Discover Your Personal Brand and Communicate it effectively to your target audience. But nonetheless, if you are confident of your distinguishing personal brand proposition and can express it without professional guidance, explore your personal brand, yourself. You can also discover the Values of your Personal Brand in 5 Simple Steps to start your journey of Personal Branding.

2. WHAT To Brand About Yourself: We just answered it- Your Brand Value Proposition; but not in its raw, in your face kind of positioning, but a more strategically crafted positioning that expresses your unique promise of value. For example, if you are an honest to the core, independent stock broker who uses this factor to differentiate himself from the galaxy of opportunists; instead of saying that you are ‘the honest, sincere and true to your client broker’ you may want to position yourself like this: “The noble broker who cares more than he craves!”  Or for example, if you are an adventurous IT professional who explores every challenge like an adventure, and emerges as a more wise & enriched being; instead of simply saying, ‘I am an adventure loving IT Professional’ you can position yourself more impressively as follows: “An Adventurous IT PRO who loves challenging challenges.”

And yes, if you are now thinking that ‘This is absolutely absurd or unconventional or radically different’, DON’T be afraid to be different; As William Arruda sums it brilliantly: “What makes you different, makes you successful!”

3. WHERE to Focus: At least in your linked in profile, every possible window of opportunity. Your headline, your summary and your work experience. Weave an impressive and a credible story line that expresses how you have enriched your employers/clients etc and most importantly yourself, and come to become what you are today.

4. HOW to Communicate Your Brand: DO NOT reiterate your brand message; meaning, do not repeat it blatantly. Use the power of the aforementioned 3 windows of opportunity-Headline, Summary and Experience-to present a different dimension of your brand to your audience. You can

a) Brand Your URL: By default, LinkedIn gives your profile a non-descript URL with a bunch of numbers and letters. But, You can BRAND Your URL by choosing a custom URL for your public profile. HOW: To change your URL, go to your edit profile page and scroll to the “Public Profile” section. Click “Edit” next to the URL to choose a new one. For eg: You can use your name(if available) to get a Self Branded URL like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanvibhatt

b) Use the headline to declare your BRAND STAND- your unique positioning (as exemplified above)

c) Express your BRAND VALUE- your unique value of professional promise or your brand proposition with a hint of personal touch in your brand summary

d) Engage your audience with an impressive account of your BRAND STORY- your brand’s achievements through your chronological work experience exhibit

e) Request for Recommendations from the Key Influencers of your Industry; as this is the best way of showing the world, what people really think about your Brand

f) Enrich your community with regular updates from your Blog (GET one if you don’t have one yet!); as this builds a favorable image as a thought leader and boosts your career karma as well!

And coming to the last question; WHY do I need to Brand myself-well, that’s a whole new post coming up for you, soon. In the meanwhile, BRAND YOURSELF on LinkedIn Today, before someone else Brands You: Insignificant!

Leaders are passé; 7 Steps to become the Thought Leader of your industry!

Leaders are very many; but Thought Leaders, they are a rare and a distinguished breed of individuals who are the visionary harbingers of tomorrow. When Leaders are striving to lead and live, thought leaders are creating a whole new world for us to live in! The classic example our world has witnessed is that of Nokia & Apple, the former Market Leader is still striving and thriving to sustain in this new world order, whereas the harbinger of tomorrow-the industry thought leader has banked on its spirit of thought leadership in innovation to bring our world closer to tomorrow. Simply put, Thought Leaders, do NOT wait for the tide to turn, they turn the tide and welcome the glorious tomorrow, today itself.

So what are THE distinguishing traits that separate the thought leader from the pack? Leaders may be born or made; but thought leadership is a different league altogether. There are 7 idiosyncratic traits of legendary thought leaders; we now show you how to embody these traits, in these 7 key steps to become the thought leader of your industry.

1. Follow your Passion

Passion prevails Profession. Period. If you are at crossroads between your passion and profession; don’t worry, as such a crossroad does not exist. The choice is simple: Your Passion has unrivalled power to fuel your Professional growth, and is the key contributing factor of thought leadership. Your Passion will open horizons, hitherto unknown or unexplored. Follow your passions to these new horizons, even if it is the road less travelled; the world will eventually follow you!

Where leaders demand following, thought leaders inspire it.

2. Find your BIG Idea: Carve your Niche

As Personal Branding Guru William Arruda says ‘What makes you Unique, Makes you Successful!’; regardless of your industry type, I am sure you all can find that one niche, that you can Create, Claim and Dominate. The message here is: Conceive that one BIG Idea or Create that one INVINCIBLE niche that you can proudly and more importantly happily pursue, lifelong. Remember what makes you happy, makes you successful too.

Leaders may be full of ideas, but the thought leader, is the Arjuna of Mahabharata: He fixates his mind onto the ONLY Idea which he truly believes in.

3. Be the Benevolent Visionary

Benevolence is the SOUL of Thought Leadership; unless your BIG Idea is able to touch hearts and Inspire lives, you haven’t reached your goal yet. Each Thought Leader has eventually created a legacy of inspiration for the world, in his own distinct way. Your BIG Idea should evolve into a BIGGER Picture that benefits the mankind, in either physical, emotional, mental, material or spiritual way. Find that one change that you aspire to be responsible for; transform the lives of people in the smallest way possible, rest will be history.

Aspire to Inspire; Inspiration empowers you to be THE Thought Leader, the credence of your industry.

4. Consistent Self Conviction

Every BIG Idea is first ridiculed, then opposed, then rejected before the world runs out of options to decry the nouveau idea. As the thought leader, belief in yourself, is of paramount importance. Quoting Richards Gere (from Runaway Bride) with a twist “I guarantee there’ll be tough times, I guarantee at some point, you will crave for a way out, BUT I also guarantee that if you do not uphold this insane self conviction paradigm, then you will regret it for the rest of your life, thereafter; because you do know in your heart, this is what you are meant to do!”

Self conviction is the first challenge of thought leadership; Belief in your personal brand and its vision is the secret of making the world believe in you.

5. Walk the Talk, with a creative twist

So you want to Inspire a change in the world? Brilliant; now BE the Change. Thought leaders are revered because they have the potential to practise what they preach. They are not a group of preachers who are eons apart from manifesting their dogma; they are the people who THINK, DO and INSPIRE ACTION because their own actions speak louder than their thoughts. Inspirations are contagious, as a thought leader it is your moral responsibility to create a thought platform that is capable of touching a million lives, in a billion ways.

Walk the Talk, but ensure that every TALK is as unique as the life you are about to touch. Explore, Express & Excite the world with a new thought manifestation, every single day.

6. Eternal Commitment to the Cause

The cause was close to your heart, to your life, to your raison d’être. And that is what it should remain, even when you are hailed as the Iconic thought leader, as the messiah of the change, as the most idolized individual of your industry. It is very easy to be consumed by success and power, but equally difficult to command the power of success with deferential dignity. Staying true to the passionate purpose of your life, to continue the perseverance even when it is not driven by the hunger for success, is the true characteristic of the thought leader.

Thought Leadership is not a conscious adoption for professional excellence; but a subconscious commitment for personal excellence.

7.  Live your Brand; Inspire the World

The saga of your thought leadership is voiced by Your Personal Brand; it touches a million hearts today and inspires the world to come. A thought leader is always celebrated for having a strong Personal Brand, which is clear, constant and consistent time after time. It becomes his prerogative to create and communicate an Iconic, Inspiring and a truly Invincible Personal Brand Experience for his brand community which complements his Professional Excellence.

Live your Personal Brand, with unrivalled Elegance & Eloquence, such that it not only inspires others but immortalizes you, in their hearts.

Embody these 7 traits and become an Iconic Thought Leader, who Inspires Actionable Thought Leadership. Stop aspiring to lead the world; start inspiring the world towards a beautiful life. And remember Thought Leadership is not a moment of glory, but a glorious journey towards being ‘An ICONIC Brand‘ of your industry.

Leaders come and go; but thought leaders are immortalized in history as the true ICONS of the generation.

“Leaders make News; Thought Leaders, History!”