From the Putty mail bag:
I have a question, maybe this is something other readers are wondering as well.
How in the world can a multipotentialite create a personal brand that makes sense to more conventional employers, clients and professional contacts?
I often find that the amount of thinking, ideas and energy that I generate tends to overwhelm yet fascinate my professional contacts.
I can’t tone my intensity, however but I have a hard time creating a LinkedIn profile, elevator speech, resume, or personal brand that doesn’t come across as overwhelming and seemingly scattered.
I am having a hard time packaging and marketing myself to land a job or even become self employed. I can’t seem to explain my goals, vision, skills and knowledge in a way that is simple, focused and succinct.
Do you have any tips?
How do we brand ourselves as multipotentialites in a non-multi world? How do we package our round holes in square pegs? It’s enough to make even a seasoned multipotentialite scratch their head. There are (wait for it) multiple ways to approach this.
My first reaction was to think the rest of the world needs to accept who we are and screw other people (the status-quo), but that’s a bit reactionary and avoids answering the question altogether.
You wouldn’t want to change who you are to make other people like you but you want to make sense so other people know what you do, right?
Home in on your ideal client
Lets skip the question for a moment and ask something completely different, but completely related.
The first thing you should ask is whether the conventional employers, clients, and professional contacts are even people you’d like to work with. Who is your ideal client? Or what’s your dream job?
We’ve got to skirt around the original question to tackle this important first step. Think about it. Why would you want to attract everyone under the sun? You’ve got to be selective and know your target market. It’s like setting a goal, or writing down a checklist for the perfect date. You’ve got to know what you want to work towards. All the others? They don’t matter. Why? Because the only people you want to really listen up are your people.
Once you know your ideal target client, audience, or dream job (should you want to go back to employment) you’ll have a better idea on your goals and vision and how to explain it in a simple, succinct way.
Tailor your content
You’ll want to tailor your content to your ideal client or dream job. Let them know that you’re exactly what they’re looking for. This is why the ideal client/dream vision is so important. You’ve got to know exactly who you’re talking to, or you’ll end up looking and feeling like static; not talking to anyone (except maybe crickets)!
The fact that you fascinate is already a good thing, and a sign that you’ll naturally stand out. You’ve just got to direct your energy and focus towards something your ideal client or dream job will value. What problems can you solve?
Make sure to highlight your skills in the most advantageous way. Group them in ways that make sense. In ways that show you can solve the right problems.
It’s ok to leave out content that may not apply to the right goal or outcome and take it out of your resume. You can also try creating multiple resumes that fit particular industries over the other. You wouldn’t want to dilute your ultimate goal and outcome by adding job history that isn’t relevant. Tailor each resume to your particular need and target employer. This doesn’t mean that you need to stick to experience with only one industry per resume. If other jobs in different industries use relevant skills to the particular job you’re applying for, by all means, include it!
Being multi-talented is a great advantage on its own, not a problem!
Ready to do some real work?
- Get a piece of paper and list down all of your jobs and the skills that you’ve utilized for each job. Do you notice any patterns and themes? Write them down. Draw a mind map if it helps.
- Imagine what your ultimate perfect day would look like. Write it down from morning to night.
- Imagine what your ultimate perfect life would look like. What are you doing? How are you serving the world, your community or your family? What excites you?
- Living the dream isn’t about the American Dream anymore, it’s about living your dream.
- You want your perfect life to merge with your skills. How do you accomplish this?
Your overarching theme
Emilie talks a lot about this and some past articles might be helpful and relevant. Check out:
- Can’t Settle on a Niche for Your Business? Not a Problem
- How to Use Your Multiple Skills to Give You an Edge, Make Money and Be Happier
- Help! I want to Combine my Interests in One Business, Where Should I Start?
Your overarching theme is the umbrella of skills that you focus and combine together to form a unique business model. These can be analogous skills (like yoga, martial arts and dance have the overarching theme of movement), or complimentary skills (seemingly opposite skills that complement one another like cooking chefs and marketing ala the Word Chef).
Packaging is everything
Hire a branding coach to help you through the process and walk you through your goals or discover your overarching theme. As a designer and brand expert (analogous skills), I can help create the visuals behind your personal brand and design a resume that stands out.
But before you go jumping through the hoops, you’ve got to realize the world is changing and the way we work is changing at a rapid pace. Creating the standard resume might not even make enough waves to have much of an impact. Check out Dave Crandall’s Anti-Resume Manifesto for a dose of inspiration. His bold execution and design was enough to get media buzz and the right (ideal) clients through the door. Once he said yes to himself and his “superpowers”, people were lining up to say “yes” to him, too!
Packaging is everything and smooshing your skills into an overarching theme to package your greatest strengths and then creating a creative execution (aka marketing campaign) might be the boost you need.
What would your “personal brand manifesto” say? What do you believe in? What are some ways you can make people say “Hell Yes!” to you?