via: Tracy Byrnes
No, not your singing voice, but your ability to pitch yourself to the next level.
In business and in life, there are many times that we will have to make a pitch to reach goals ranging from a job promotion to earning the business of a potential client. Often, we may find that we are in situations where we’re pitching ourselves without even knowing it. Platforms like social media, projects we take on at work, and volunteer committees we work on are all ways of pitching our capabilities with those around us. For this reason, it is important to properly do your “pre-pitch prework.”
Think about your personal brand as how you would want people to describe you if you were not around to hear what they are saying. The four elements of your personal brand are appearance, personality, competencies, and differentiation. Your appearance is obvious because it is the first impression that people will judge you on. Your personality is the next element that people pay close attention to when they are in your presence. Next, take inventory of your competencies; are you knowledgeable about the subject matter that you are professing to know, are your skills where they need to be to exceed the expectations of the new job or business you would like to gain? Finally, take a look at what makes you not only different, but better than those you may be competing against – in any aspect of pitching, it is vital that you know and understand your competition.
Once you are clear on defining your personal brand, the next step is to spend a little time on your “pre-pitch prework.” Below are five tips that you can use to help your “pre-pitch prework.”
Pitch Prework Tips
- Create your own personal website or landing page. This is not as hard as it may sound and in some cases it can be done for free or very little cost. Using a tool like SquareSpace, you can create a site for as little as 10.00 per month without knowing any coding language. This will allow you to have a space that is all your own to put up a virtual resume and any project samples that you would like to share.
- Create slide share presentations. SlideShare is a great way to put up content about your area of expertise. If you are not familiar with Slide Share, take a look at what other people have put up. You will notice that the best ones have very little copy and more imagery to convey the message in an interesting manner.
- Create a YouTube video channel. Now that many have smartphones, this is not as hard as it once was to complete. The YouTube editing section is also easy to use if you spend some time looking at the various tools within the platform. Video is a quick way to show your knowledge, personality, and creativity all in one place.
- Complete your entire LinkedIn profile. HR reps around the world are now viewing LinkedIn profiles more than they have in recent years. It is almost a prescreening process for jobs and promotions. Business owners are also looking at LinkedIn profiles as a way to determine if they should do business with you. LinkedIn allows you to showcase your body of work and the journey that you have taken to get to where you are at in your career.
- Start a blog. You can use sites like Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress to create a free blog page. Your topic can be on anything that you enjoy and you can choose to write commentary or just show images. It is completely up to you
Take advantage of the free tools that are out there and do not feel that you have to dive in to all of them. When it is time to make that pitch, you will already have a strong body of work to share with the person that is looking to work with you. These tools will allow you to send your links to people all over the world to showcase your skills and accomplishments.
Nicole Henderson is CEO and Founder of Selsi Enterprises and brings more than 14 years of experience to the public relations and marketing field. Her PR boutique is based in Atlanta, Georgia and focuses on brands that are geared towards moms and parenting, technology, and employee communications. She has worked on brands such as Wachovia, Michelin North America, and Georgia Pacific. She is also passionate about nonprofit PR and has worked with the United Way, American Heart Association, and March of Dimes just to name a few. Nicole is the recent recipient of the PRSA Georgia Chapter Champion Award. She also sits on the national board for the PRSA Corporate Communications Section. Find her on Twitter @Selsi_Ent.
Thanks for the great post, I had a pleasure reading. I am a senior at the University of Oregon studying public relations and I’ve been learning how to create a personal brand and how important it is to maintain one. Your tips are really useful and I think it’s unique that you added how it’s important to start a Youtube channel. Creating a web page or blog is a no-brainer, but to see Youtube becoming a new popular and important social media platform is exciting. I hope that the professors at my school start implementing that into their syllabus.