A couple of weeks ago I headed to Shoreditch House for ‘Spring clean your brand’ – a talk from the ladies at SheSays. This is quite a long post, but if you’re feeling a bit ‘Meh’ about yourself/ your career/ your life then it’s 110% worth reading all of it, I promise.
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wild
To set the scene, SheSays host Amy talked about how she makes a first impression with an unusual CV: Sushi made from Rice Crispies. As she explains it; ‘The people that don’t contact you, you don’t want to work with them anyway!’
What makes you, you = your personal values + what you can’t stop doing.
First to the stage was Rachel Brushfield, who describes herself as a ‘Talent Liberator’ – what a title! Rachel began with a question: What is your personal brand and why do you need one?
With the online world, everything is inter-connected nowadays: ‘It hurts my head’ Rachel explained. ‘When the whole world is your competitor how are you going to stand out? Future resourcing will happen online, building a team via photos of people. Having a Distinctive brand makes you memorable.’
Rachel asked us to think about the following: What is your territory? What do you stand for? What do you want to do specifically? Explaining that ‘It’s impossible to be everything for everyone!’ What experience and training do you have? What are the benefits of having you as an employee?
Armed with props, Rachel told us to: Think of your personal brand as bait; which fish do you want to catch? How are you going to stand out in a field of green apples? Be a red apple! Make a name/reputation for yourself: Mr. Loophole is famous for being the Lawyer that gets all of the celebrities off the hook and that’s why people go to him.
Next to the stage was Janet Onagah – Barrister turned Social media consultant. She explained her decision to change career path: ‘Both are similar jobs in the sense that I’m helping people to solve problems’.
To begin, Janet asks us to think about:
– What do you want to bring to the table?
– Who do you want to work with?
– Who is your tribe?
– What is your credibility score?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck, Janet advises to ‘think about where you want to be and work backwards’ – fill in the gaps! At this point I wrote a note to Nadia that read; ‘She is SO fierce!’ This lady has her shit together, and I already knew that I was going to love the rest of what she had to say…
Use social media to your advantage – Janet has A LOT of tips on this, so I stopped taking notes & just snapped her screens:
A point about Twitter that really stood out for me was Janet’s advice on lists. Make lists to help you organise who you follow and who’s tweets you don’t want to miss! Make lists for:
– Competitors (private list)
– Academics/ experts in your field
I have since created a Twitter list for creative bloggers aka #cbloggers – follow everyone on that list 🙂
Janet also said to check #Journorequest for opportunities
Something that I had never thought about: Ask for LinkedIn recommendations – Janet even has a request template (above)!
And a few other ways that Janet saves time via emails, social media & tidying life.
The third speaker of the night was Kate Nightingale, talking about Style psychology:
Interesting facts that I learnt from Kate include:
– All human beings are brands
– We process 40 pieces of info consciously but 11 million subconsciously
– We are judged on everything with the first seconds of meeting a person: personality, reliability and attractiveness
– If you understand the process of thought you can design impressions – first impressions are rarely changed because we don’t like to change our minds.
– Hot drinks make people more generous compared to cold drinks
– Harder seats = a more serious meeting (for getting a promotion or having a chat with your boss)
The final speaker of the evening was Ian Harris, with the power of stories. We didn’t realise it at the time, but he had us hooked right from the off, beginning his talk with a story about gender: Female writer friend decided to write under a pseudonym and she discovered her work was taken more seriously, complimented, less edits, offered more work. Who knows if this is a story about a real friend of Ian’s, but I didn’t realise why he had told this story until after he’d finished.
And the stories kept coming:
– NASA trying to make a pen work in space, a guy spent 2 years and a lot of money, whilst the Russians just used a pencil.
– The Rolling Stones playing pop eye because it didn’t matter what they played – nobody could hear over the screams of their fans.
– Lobster was considered to taste like a rat would – it was so bad, that it was see as cruel to serve to prisoners more than twice a week!
Ian’s advice: Find stories, keep them & then go back to them when you need them.
Valentino Rossi – Ian had no idea who he was(I DID THOUGH) but his friend idolised him. From his book Ian was able to find out why: Rossi, the best motorbike rider in the world, moved from Honda (the best bikes) to Yamaha(the cheaper bikes)to prove that the bike didn’t affect his performance – he was winning through skill!
And you don’t even have to read loads of books – people have picked out the best bits for you to discover via Kindle highlights on Amazon.
And since it seems to be working just brilliantly for Ian, steal his stories – you can download his E-Book, Hooked On You, about storytelling on his website for free. I really enjoyed reading it on my commute & highly recommend it!
WHAT. A. TALK. I felt so inspired and energised after hearing all of that advice. Nadia & I stood on the roof of Shoreditch House looking out over London for about half an hour, just talking about our dreams, hopes and plans for the future. I wasn’t quite on top of the world, but I felt like it.
This was the perfect talk to give me some of my confidence back. Thanks so much to all of the speakers and of course to SheSays for hosting.