Tag Archives: branding

WHY EVERYONE THAT CALLS THEMSELVES AN EXPERT ISN’T ONE…BUILD A BRAND THAT LEADS TO OPPORTUNITIES TO BECOME AN EXPERT

Here’s what I tell my clients: you become the expert when someone else acknowledges your intellectual property or your level of accomplishment is so profound that you’re called to the table to assess and bring perspective to a situation. Put plainly; you earn the title of an expert!

It seems everyone is buzzing about being an “expert.” Or how you can become one. I’ve even been in workshops where attendees are told by “marketing gurus” to be confident enough to add expert to their title—and people will never question them. In my opinion, this approach is dangerous for the person, consumers, and the marketplace.

From experience, I have interviewed and even hired people who proclaimed to be experts only to discover they were fumbling their way through, learning as they go. It is likely you know how frustrating it is to learn that someone is “faking it until they make it” on your dime.

Let me be clear about my perspective. Everyone has a start point as they build their credentials and credibility, but to blatantly mislead, manipulate and tamper with people’s hopes and dreams with emotional marketing tactics such as declaring yourself as an expert before achieving said status, is baffling.

You may be asking, “S. Renee, what do you believe? How does a person can become an expert? When is it appropriate to add ‘expert’ to your title?”

Here’s what I tell my clients: you become the expert when someone else acknowledges your intellectual property, or your level of accomplishment is so profound that you’re called to the table to assess and bring perspective to a situation. Put plainly; you earn the title of an expert!

There are many paths to expert status. I’ve been the expert at work—serving as director of public relations at a university. This led to serving in the cabinet and as an advisor to the president. And now an industry expert—both required building a brand through an intentional process that steadily increased credibility and visibility.

Here are the five steps I took to get started:

Step 1: Recognize Your Internal Conflict: Most people have desires, dreams, and hopes. On the other hand, they have uncertainty, fear, and doubt. The first step to building a brand is to successfully manage your thoughts.

I’ll share the steps I took to begin my journey. I’ll go into detail during my webinar series Pivot Toward Success…Your Brand Development Webinar Series. The first webinar is How I Built a Brand to Become an Industry Expert–And You Can Too!.

Step 2: Resolve the Need to Be Successful Today: You are already a success. Stop looking to emulate others and find your unique value proposition.

Step 3: Own Your Dream: Many people get excited about fulfilling their dreams and sharing them with others. Then give up when they find themselves doing the work by themselves.  Most people will not help push your wagon until you reach a certain level of success. It’s your dream. Don’t be afraid to travel alone.

Step 4: Track Your Life: Assess your personal and professional experiences. This is necessary to identify your brand story that aligns with your brand’s value. For example, in the ’90s, a university official reached out to me about a job. After working as a recruiter for three months, I realized I was overqualified for the position. I assessed the university’s needs against my work experiences and skills. Within months, I negotiated a $15,700 pay raise and a new leadership role. 

Step 5: Get Clear on Your Brand’s Substance: You may not be the expert today, but there’s something you have that others want. This can become the foundation of your brand’s success. Identify what it is and start building.

© 2020 S. Renee Smith helps employees and small business owners become more likable, marketable, and credible to increase their income and influence. She’s a branding and communications expert, author of six books and media resource. Sign up for her webinar series: Pivot Toward Success…Your Brand Development Webinar Series.  

REMAINING CALM DURING CHAOS: How to Position Your Brand During Transformational Change

The handwriting is on the wall–you have to pivot or reinvent yourself to remain relevant.

Photo by Hans Peter-Gauster

Author S. Renee Smith

As I talk with my inner circle of national leaders who are scrambling to identify solutions for America’s challenges, I’m clear that the time is now to be intentional about who you are, how you show up, and the work in which you decide to engage.

Even before coronavirus, America has had a pandemic and experienced an economic depression. And we have marched for equal rights. However, to my knowledge, NEVER have we faced all three at the same time. This is a peculiar time but many opportunities await those who intentionally package, position, and promote themselves.

Takeovers, mergers, market movement, and new leadership can come in a wave, storm, or tsunami. We are in the midst of a tsunami.

Therefore, you have to decide whether the direction of the company you work for is still a good fit for you. Most companies in transition will want to minimize the loss of valued employees, but they know everyone isn’t built for unstable, turbulent environments that transition often creates. If you decide to stay, position yourself so that leadership can see your commitment, stability, and faith in them and the organization.

This is how to navigate change, position yourself, practice executive presence, and increase your brand’s value:

Keep your eyes on your target. During drastic change, transition, and transformation, it’s typical to feel as though you don’t know what your next step should be. It’s traumatizing to feel disconnected, vulnerable, and at risk of losing your job and all that you’ve invested. Decide on your target and keep your eyes on it.

Know the focus of the organization. We are creatures of habit, but change is upon us. The people, the rules, and the system are in the midst of transformation. Clearly, what you’ve done over the last 20 years isn’t necessarily needed for the next 20 years. It doesn’t align with the new paradigm. Remember, when you were hired you were a part of the team who implemented a new way of doing business. Organizational change isn’t personal; it’s a deliberate attempt to keep the company relevant and competitive in the marketplace.

Staying in the past will only frustrate leadership and cause you to sabotage your career. Ask questions to understand why the leadership team believes the decisions they’re making are necessary. As best you can, stay out of the emotional pit, and put what you hear into context so that you see where you are, where they want to go, and how you can help them get there.

Realign your brand. Based on what you learn by being attentive, asking questions, and realigning your brand, here are some foundational basics:

During a transition, company leaders work to strengthen the infrastructure by streamlining processes, increasing efficiencies, and managing the negative impact of change. Leadership will tell you what they can when they can so remain alert and agile by keeping the following in mind:

Minimize distractions. Rumors will fly, and the volume of the noise will rise. Dial into your frequency, and find your guiding light. You may be on a need-to-know basis until leadership has a clear understanding of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Don’t spend time on anything that doesn’t work for your benefit.

Control what you can control. Focus on what you’re accountable for each day and deliver. You’ll have strategic goals to meet. Push hard, meet the objectives, and the rest will take care of itself.

Brand positioning allows you to control your narrative. According to an article in USA Today, among the most common and up-to-date phrases in business, politics, and savvy American life is “‘controlling the narrative.’ That is, telling it your way before someone else gets to tell it—and possibly tell it better— their way.” The way you show up and what you say when you do, determines what people hear and respond to—even if you don’t whisper one word.

© S. Renee Smith helps employees and small business owners become more likable, marketable, and credible so that they can increase their income and influence. A branding and communications expert and author of six books, this blog is an excerpt from Harness the POWER of Personal Branding and Executive Presence. Check her latest free webinar: REINVENT YOURSELF: Build a Brand That Gets Results

It’s Not Complicated! Questions to Assess If You Have the Right Mindset for Success

There’s a saying; It’s complicated. Yet, nothing is as complicated as we make it. In fact, for the most part, life is predictable.

We know that how we see ourselves and the world determine our mindset. Our mindset determines our choices. And our choices determine where we end up in life. We are sure to die one day; we just don’t know when. And we know that there are a few moments that we can’t predict that requires our faith. That’s life in a nutshell.
With that being said, if you pay attention to what life is teaching you and make choices based on where you want to go, it highly likely, absent from an uncontrollable interruption, you’ll get there. It’s important to note that most moments aren’t interruptions; they are stepping stones. However, when you see a perceived barrier, you panic, go in a different direction, and lose momentum. 

I want to encourage you to get off that train. Today, decide to own your power to make choices that will put you on the path to the life and career you want. Throughout my new book, Harness the POWER of Personal Branding and Executive Presence, I have about 40 exercises that I call, Mind Elevation. They are questions, fill in the blank, mediations, and steps that help you map out your plan. 

Here are 11 questions from page 11 that will help you determine if you have a mindset that will help you get from where you are to where you want to be. 

THE STATE OF YOUR MIND

Ask yourself the following questions to disclose your mindset. Write your answers in your journal.

  1. What do I believe about my ability to achieve what I want?
  2. Does my behavior align with the opinions I say I have of myself?
  3. Do my daily choices reflect my beliefs?
  4. What do my daily choices reveal about my ideas of myself and my abilities?
  5. What evidence do I have to support the beliefs I claim I have of myself?
  6. What do I believe about people?
  7. How does my behavior reflect those beliefs?
  8. Overall, are my beliefs and reality in alignment?
  9. Am I moving in the right direction?
  10. If not, what do I believe is hindering me from achieving my dreams?
  11. On a scale of 1 to 10, one being least likely to get you there and ten being most likely, how would you rate your mindset?

Join over 400 other people who have purchased their pre-launch copy Harness the POWER of Branding and Executive Presence for half price ($9.99). July 1, the price increases to $19.95.

2019 © All rights reserved S. Renee Smith. S. Renee is a nationally recognized self-esteem, branding and communication speaker, author, and coach. You can learn more at www.srenee.com.