Thursday, June 10, 2010

Presenting yourself: new looks and a discount

While most of my work is with companies, government agencies and nonprofit or educational organizations, I still spend a lot of my time working with executives on how they present themselves--and I hope I know how to take my own advice.  Whether I like it or not, trainees in particular look to see how I present myself when I'm teaching them speaking and presentation skills. That's why the best kind of feedback sounds like what this workshop attendee said: "Denise is a great role model for how to implement these techniques effectively."

I've been remaking how I present myself this summer, and it's an issue we all face.  How are you seen online, or in person at a networking event?  Do people remember you from what's on your business card?  Do they keep the card?  Did you make an impression?  Online, what's revealed about you that's "sticky" and memorable?  Does your page/profile/avatar look just like everyone else's?  Or are yours memorable and different?

For me, the task gets a bit more complicated, as I have two brands--don't get caught for my primary consulting in communications and social media strategy, training and content development, and The Eloquent Woman for the blog and workshops of the same name, focused on public speaking and presentation training.  In some cases--as in the BlogHer conference later this summer--I want the primary contact information to reflect the Eloquent Woman brand.  In other cases, don't get caught covers most circumstances.  And while I've been adjusting my online presence for some time now, this time, I have social media firmly in mind while making these choices. Not surprisingly, social networks are helping me make it happen, too.

There are three steps to the transformation, and making the brands complement one another:
  • Retooling the websites, so that the blogs are the primary focus of the content, with additional pages for background information.  I've selected similar templates for the design in colors that complement one another--not that anyone but me looks at them side-by-side, mind you.  The designs, which are standard templates that allow for easy customization, translate well to mobile formats, which is important to me (and should be to you) going forward.  Blogger in Draft is my blog and site engine, and I'm very satisfied with it.  This aspect of the transformation's nearly done.
  • New photography portraits.  Here, I'm following the advice of photographer Leslie Duss, who'll be taking my photos in sessions that start this weekend.  I didn't want staid, static, standard portraits, so she suggested gathering a few friends for a party.  They get to eat, drink and distract me; I get to look normal and expressive. We'll see how it goes. Leslie knows that, among the uses we need to plan for are my icons and avatars on various online profiles--that is, very small portraits--as well as more standard uses.  I'm calling it "cameras & cocktails" and look forward to sharing the results with you.  (We'll be doing another session sans distractors, too.) Check out Leslie's very good blog at the link above; it's what helped me decide to hire her.  And yes, I found her on Twitter. 
  • Business cards.  My business card needs seem to change faster these days.  I create a Facebook page here, grab a custom URL for it a few weeks later, and whoops! I need a change on the cards.  So I'm following the lead of social media stars like Chris Garrett, who led me to and Chris Brogan, who advocates a version of "make your own business cards."  Using MOO, I've come up with two different cards, one for my primary consulting as don't get caught, and another that emphasizes products and services under The Eloquent Woman brand.  In each case, I chose designs that offer several styles of similar-looking cards in one pack.  (The don't get caught cards are above right, the Eloquent Woman cards are above left.)  What's great about these varied packs: People getting the cards can see right away that they're all different--and they like that.  I'm getting more reaction to that aspect of the card than any other design I've used over the past 20 years.  Chalk it up to customizing -- or appearing to customize -- for your audience.  And as Chris Garrett notes, you can have a card just for your blog, or just for one event, or for one aspect of your work...a wonderful concept for those who are job-hunting, changing their careers, or just bored with a 2,000-card pack that all looks the same.
MOO has a special 10 percent discount going on now, if you use my code, which is 8DUAQ9. It expires June 30, 2010. 

No comments: