Dear Friends and Fans,
So many of you inquire regularly about my thoughts on personal branding, I have expanded here on a note I sent you originally when this newsletter was launched.
If I had to name two obsessions, I’d have to say impact and impression.
My goal is always to do something meaningful, and do it with an indelible professional style that cannot be forgotten.
It’s been my privilege to work with world-class arts, cultural and humanitarian institutions, and I have come to realize that my approach is, actually, more than an approach. It’s me, or what I offer as the Christopher Clinton Conway brand.
Heard of the seven-word mission statement?
I’m even more minimalist. My brand comes down to six Ps.
Personal. Purposeful. Portable. Positive. Pragmatic. Polished.
I gotta be me. In the non-profit, philanthropic arena, it’s assumed that the cause trumps all, and assertion of individuality may upstage the greater good. I’m pretty much Exhibit A for controverting that theory. I believe the relationships I enjoy, cultivate and steward in my professional capacity are always more authentic and productive when I am exactly who I am. The flip side of that is to care enough to be fully attuned to who you are working with, and honor that they are exactly who they are.
Getting the work done is a human interaction. Keep it totally human.
Choose your platforms, your profile and even your clients to align with your goals. If you like Twitter, be there with unique intelligence, when it matters, for you and your clients. Likewise, approach every speaking and travel opportunity with precision. Only open your mouth or your calendar when you can add something to the conversation, or learn. Time is precious. Words, ideas and appearances convey the essence of your practice and your offering. Curate continuously.
You can take it with you. Even at the senior-most level, jobs change while your career endures. Remember that what you offer is a unique set of experiences and skills that no one else can match, precisely. (See above) Do things distinctly, and true to your own personal style, because your brand telegraphs a very specific approach to the work, and that is yours to bring with you wherever you go.
Articulate the good stuff – in your work, in yourself, and in others. Praise, repeat, and look for more. Happy but human, needless to say, I’ve faced my share of challenges and disappointments. But I don’t get stuck there, I don’t spill too much ink there in my communications with others, and I look for and experiment with solutions always. Problems will find us, even vex us. Face the challenges with a positive outlook and offer those around you insights and advice and encouragement.
Do what works. Sounds simple, but can be deceptively tricky. If data is showing you that some time-tested strategies are not producing high yields this year, drop the traditional approach. Be totally honest with yourself about how things look, today. Yes, look back, look ahead, consider both, and do what works right now. If you are risk averse, make this your test: Is more of the same really okay?
Do it perfectly, or not at all. In your correspondence and events, be consistently impeccable. The details speak volumes about your style. Aesthetics and colors communicate for you, too. Have a stylebook, even if it is in your head. Digital decorum: Use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest only when you have something keenly relevant to share.
Do you have a personal brand?
My theory: Whether you know it or not, you do.
A personal inventory can be a good place to start to identify your brand for yourself. This exercise is critical, because understanding your brand allows you to best deploy your most valuable asset, personal brand.
The good news is, it really is all about you!