Rules for Communicating Your Personal Brand

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Image by daveelf via Flickr

I was at a spectacular Personal Branding panel recently at NYU‘s Kauffman Center, hosted by Step Up Women’s Network — which I’m a member of. The panel was moderated by Beth Schoenfeldt of Collective-E. The panelists were: Hope Hughes of Deloitte, Carla Harris of Morgan Stanley, Christine Beauchamp of Ann Taylor and Juliette Powell, Media Entrepreneur.

In case you missed it, I was tweeting real-time through the whole event. You can see the tweets if you search “personal branding” on Twitter, or go to my profile It was incredibly inspirational, and right on point. Here’s a summary of the most important nuggets:

Personal Branding:

  • According to Christine Beauchamp, your personal brand must have an “emotional differentiator” in addition to having the technical and functional expertise. All 3 of these elements must resonate with who you are and who you want to be.
  • It’s a must to align what you believe in with what you do. In other words, your values, and brand, should match your personal and company’s goals. Your personal brand needs not only to be consistent with your work, but also your life.
  • You need to continuously network to in order to develop your personal brand.
  • Carla Harris emphasized that perception equals your reality — which I’m a strong believer in as well.
  • In terms of how your position yourself, you should think of 3 adjectives of how you’d like to be described — and then make that the center of your brand. Carla also talks about how most of the decisions made about your career, are made when you’re not in the room such as: Compensation, Promotions, Hiring and Firing.
  • Being authentic in your persona, according to Juliette Powell, is really key. I agree — employers and/or clients can smell when you’re not. It’s important to be yourself — and you enhance your personal brand with every tweet.


  • Carla Harris, a real powerhouse from Morgan Stanley, and gospel singer, says that Women, specifically, don’t exercise their network enough — and to make sure you network with those who are not only senior to you, but also with those that are junior to you as well. You also should not be afraid to “ask” for what you need, or for what you want to learn. People are usually more than happy to provide you with information.
  • It’s really important to find a common interest when networking with someone. Networking equals learning to grow your personal brand.
  • Or, if the word “networking” makes you uncomfortable, you can think of it as Connecting. For those of you who are on the shy side, set a small goal to connect with one or two people each day — a few days a week. Make sure to also ask for introductions appropriately from those you meet. Before you know it, you’ll have an extensive network.
  • Christine Beauchamp, from Ann Tayor, made it a point to say that you should always add value to your networking opportunities — and have the insight to know where and when you can do so. And, if you can’t, then don’t force it.

Today’s Career Landscape:

  • Several questions were asked regarding being laid off, and becoming an entrepreneur during this time. Carla said that even if you fail at what you’re attempting to accomplish during these trying times, that you will get a “buy”. She emphasized that the courage, motivation and the willingness to take risks are what employers are looking for.
  • If you’re choosing to be an entrepreneur, like Savvy, then it’s about your marketing pitch and your product — and to make sure that both are aligned. Hope Hughes says that as a talent consultant she looks for people who “took a left when they could have gone straight.”
  • If you’re currently employed, it’s actually important to keep your head UP, not down! Don’t be afraid to share those innovative ideas at work — it actually could be hugely beneficial.
  • Hope also points out that as you grow in your career, and your values and position change, don’t be afraid to tweak your brand. It’s actually critical to your success.

And lastly, and I think one of the most important points — you must believe in and be passionate about your brand, and your work. It’s a vital part of your life and your livelihood. Life is too short to come up short in your career.

At Savvy, we offer online personal branding and professional social media coaching where we provide guidance on:

  • Positioning (The Who & the Why = your professional message)
  • A “How To” Manual teaching you how to set up a blog, use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Goal Setting — helping you focus on what you want to achieve
  • Personal online social networking implementation strategy (What you will say, When you will say it and Where).

We advocate that your career should be an enjoyable process, and not just a paycheck — but a mission in your life. Savvy provides the insight, tools and the process to build and sustain your brand online — successfully. For more information, go to our Professional Social Media Coaching page, email Sheryl at or call 917.747.5920.

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