Brand yourself; no longer a phrase from Stuart Baggs (that bloke from the Apprentice) but instead a very real and relevant concept in today’s world.
Jodi Goldman talked about how to get success offline whilst Mr. LinkedIn Mark Williams dealt with the importance of a strong Linked In presence. Both had valuable lessons to offer that often made you stop, pause then shake your head in wonderment that something so simple mattered so much!
Instead of going through every agonising detail I’ll pull out 5 key things I learnt from the entire event.
1. The first thirty seconds will make or break a relationship
From what you wear, the way your voice sounds to your posture. All of these aspects matter when a person is making a judgement about whether or not they want to keep in contact with you in the future.
2. Keep e-mails and messages with people simple and straightforward
For those of us that are just starting in the world this is particularly important. Jodi picked up on how those we will be networking with are likely seasoned professionals who don’t have a lot of time. Keep things brief, to the point and positive.
3. Put your full name and an email address in your LinkedIn headline
One of those DUHH moments, but it makes sense. Even when everything else is obscured (most importantly name and profile picture) the headline will remain. Having your name and way to be contacted therefore just makes perfect sense!
4. Network with everyone and add them to LinkedIn
Something that really struck me; both Mark and Jodi noted that it is those people with which you have weak ties with often end up having the biggest impact on your life. Thus as you never know who will be the person to have that big impact, network with everyone and add them all to LinkedIn. Plus it means more exposure for you and your brand!
5. Time spent networking on-line has greater reach, time spend networking at events has greater impact
This was question I have often wondered, is going to networking events as useful as investing time in LinkedIn groups, blogging and generally improving your online presence? Mark believed that offline did work but that online had the clear advantage of being more time efficient. Further online activities had a wider reach and allowed us, as students, to appeal to a broader range of people. This was important particularly as the vast majority of the audience were final year students and would be looking for a job come June. Jodi was on the other side of the fence, suggesting that with one on one networking you can have a bigger impact especially as you can choose who you want to talk to; and it gives you a chance to build stronger rapport/relationships.
As we evolve from graduates to managers to directors it will be quality not quantity that matter in the long run. That being said we will still need to appeal to and influence a wide range of people in a variety of different roles. I’m still split on which one is the most effective but I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts about the issue!
James Barrass-Banks is a Marketing Student at Oxford Brookes University. He has worked as a free-lance social media advisor as well as getting work experience in a number of large PR and SEO organisations. He has worked as the International Marketing Assistant at Vision Engineering on a placement year and has now returned to Oxford Brookes to finish his degree. His favourite colour is purple and favourite marketing campaign is the Wickes advert with Wickesy the dog!
More information can be found at the All About Me Page.