People do business with people they know, like and trust.
Nothing holds truer, especially in the services industry.
As the business world is no longer one dimensional, it is as important for individuals to align themselves with reputable, ethical and strong companies as it is for employers to bring on employees that are expert in their field and have a strong personal brand & following – to continue to support their industry positioning and success.
Where to even begin? Don’t get too overwhelmed, as you will see that there are many things that you are already doing, however – it’s time to step it up and get strategic about it.
- Your personal brand: it is comprised of four elements — personal appearance; personality (likeability); competence/skills; differentiations. These are the areas for which you need to be aware on how you are perceived and work towards, in order to maximize your brand. At all levels — in your personal life, internally at your company and externally — dealing with clients and growing your professional network. Needless to say — dress for the job that you want; have charismatic interpersonal skills; treat everyone with respect; be known for your subject matter expertise & success; and say what you mean and mean what you say! Lastly, leadership is not a title, it’s an attitude.
- Networking events & continuing education: now, I’ve had the good fortune of working with some of the best companies in the meetings industry, whom all valued the development of their people and supported attendance at industry conferences and networking. Their view was win/win — get exposure of their company by sending a presence of their people out there. As for the individual, great benefit to meet new people, learn new things and opportunity to become a subject matter expert & a leader in their specific industry. Become a speaker, to be recognized by your peers of your knowledge. Our industry is very small, and constantly evolving — there are so many opportunities!
- Social media: and by that, I mean Twitter & LinkedIn. Facebook IS NOT a professional platform for individuals and very hard to keep private and professional separated — so be savvy on how you use it and whom you invite. Let’s focus on LinkedIn — love that tool! And love how easy and quick it is. It has groups, blog function, I use it as my professional Rolodex, a brilliant platform to repost articles and provide updates/opinions. I have heard countless of times from my network on how eclectic the information I post is — and how much they enjoy reading it… not knowing what comes next. Also, a great way to get recognized & recommended for what you do — providing readers an instant benchmark as to whom they are dealing with. When used frequently, strategically and well — a very potent tool to set the tone about your personal brand.
- Get involved: many groups are seeking expert insight! To site some of examples on how I’ve been able to get involved: Hotel advisory boards — bringing a diverse group of experts across Life Sciences (associations, CRO, corporate, agency, medcomm) to understand the market better in order to market themselves in a more strategic & relevant way. Also, I’ve sat on hotel advisory boards to discuss industry trends and temperature check as to where industry as a whole is going. Associations – being a meeting planner in the Life Sciences, I was honored to serve on the CIC CMP-HC task force: from blueprint to review to writing questions. That has now extended to serving on the CMP Governance Board for a 3-year term and influence the future of the program. Media — served as a subject matter expert in international & life science SME; be a presenter on a webinar to their readership or serve as a media source on an article.
With a well-thought out and managed personal brand plan, you will reap the countless benefits that it brings: increased visibility; enhanced income potential; career promotions; client & assignment choice; easier goal attainment; increased confidence & stature; ability to thrive in all economies; opportunity attraction/retention; stay “on purpose”.
I will be co-facilitating a hands-on workshop at the Global Pharmaceutical & Medical Meetings Summit at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 1 PM on “The Brand of You”, covering essential communication skills (including a global setting as our business world has less borders when working for multi-nationals); helping to identify perceived notions to create a roadmap to elevating individual brands and maximize results: whether it is being a better manager, leading to a new opportunity, getting more involved within the organization or industry and providing Speaker Training tips on having an actionable plan to evolve in that space. Hope to see many of you there!
Agnès Canonica, CMP, CMM, HMCC Global Director, Strategic Meeting Management, AHM
Born and raised in the south of France, Agnès has also lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Grand Case, St. Martin prior to moving to the United States in 1981. Working in the Life Sciences sector since 1999 on both clinical and commercial meetings, Agnès is responsible for the Strategic Meeting Management division at AHM – implementing, growing, and leading International teams and accounts across the globe for programs outside of Speaker Bureau.