Personal Brands are Portable

“No matter where you go, there you are.” —The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (motion picture) (1984).

And everywhere you go, your online reputation follows.

If you haven’t searched your name online recently, do so. Put your name in quotes, like this “Wendy Terwelp,” to narrow the search parameters.

Next, use these questions to assess your online brand and visibility:

Your Social Media Profiles: Have you chosen the right social media networks for your target audience? Do your social media profiles contain a current professional photo, your one word that represents you, and a clear brand story about your background and experience? Does your profile pop with your personality?

Your Network: Who’s in your network? And who needs to know about you? Invite those who are a fit for your current goals. And those whom you’re confident in referring to others. Is it time to review and prune some of your current connections? Your network reflects your personal brand.

Your Thought Leadership: TED talks say “ideas worth sharing.” Are yours? Review the content you’re sharing. Is it relevant to your goals and helpful to your network and target audience?

Your Personal Brand Hub: If you haven’t done so already, grab your name as a domain. This way you can create and curate content about you in a personal brand hub. When people search on your name, this on-brand content will rise to the top of the search.

Time Savers: Maintaining a highly visible brand online doesn’t have to be time consuming. You can repurpose your content. If you’ve written an article or blog post, use quotes from it in other social media, like Twitter or LinkedIn, and include a link to your post. Take advantage of tools like Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance for consistency. And keep the conversation going by addressing responses in real time.

I invite you to share your results in the comments.

And if you’d like help in up-leveling your brand online, let’s talk!

©2018 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Five Moves to Rock Your Network® Online

How do you leverage social media to network effectively and stay top of mind? Check out these five rock star moves to get connected, get known, and make your network thrive:

1. Pick Three: There are MANY social networks online to choose from, I recommend picking three so you can manage them effectively. For career and business development, I recommend: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. As of 2018, LinkedIn has more than 525 million members. In Q1 of 2018, Twitter had more than 335 million active users and Facebook topped 1.5 billion.

2. Create a branded bio: Tell a story in your social networking bios. Let your personality pop. Don’t regurgitate your resume information or company bio. Know that chemistry helps you land and KEEP new clients and jobs. Likability counts, so be interesting.

3. Know what you want: When you start networking online, it’s important to know what you want from the activity. If you want new clients, be sure your profile is on brand, up to date, professional, personal, and communicates your value and scope of practice. Have a professional, current headshot. For #LinkedIn, add a custom background image or color as well.

4. Join a group: Know that in order to make the most of an online group, you’ve got to take an active role. If you’ve got a business, join groups where your ideal clients will be, including niche and specialty groups. For job seekers, where might your ideal employer hang out? People like to do business with those having similar backgrounds and experiences.

5. Be relevant and add value: Social networking gives you a chance to demonstrate your thought leadership and set yourself apart from your competition. As an executive and leader in your profession, it is even more critical to demonstrate your expertise online.

Take Action: Review your current social networks and identify at least three action items from the above list you can implement immediately. Make an action plan to effectively manage your online network and communicate with your contacts regularly. It only takes minutes a day to fuel your network and fire it up!™ That way, your network is there for you when you need it.

Grab your free social media action plan here!

© 2010 – 2018 | Wendy J. Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Martin Moore: Taking the Leap, from Side Hustle to Dream Gig

I met Martin Moore Martin Moore  at a networking event and when he shared his story of career transformation with me, I knew my readers would want to hear about how he did it. Moore transformed his career at age 37 from auto mechanic to content developer for Koss Headphones. In this role, he shoots and edits all commercials and photos for Koss and manages their social media, blog, email, marketing campaigns (print and digital), and website UI/UX. He also leads Koss’ new Ambassador Program. Moore and I talked about what inspired him to change careers, what got him interested in content development, how he made the transition from side hustle to full-time gig, and his best career advice for others wanting to transform their careers.

Wendy Terwelp: What inspired you to make your career transition, and what age were you?

Martin Moore: My favorite quote is by actress Mae West, who said: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Every day when I wake up, I try to approach the day with that mantra. To make every day count.

I’ve always been two things, a creator and an entertainer. Whether it was doing magic when I was a kid, playing music as a young adult or photography and filmmaking today; creating, making, entertaining people… that is what I love, that is what completes me.

Up until this past year, creating has never been a career for me. At best it’s been a side hustle, at worst an unattainable dream. Every time I looked at my life, where I was and where I wanted to be, there was this huge dichotomy between my reality and my dreams. Every time I thought about taking a chance on perusing my dream of doing photography and video full time, I would be so afraid at the thought of failing, that I would never take the chance.

Around 2014, when I was 34, my career as an auto mechanic was failing. Epiphany is the only word I can use to describe the feeling the rushed through me. I finally reached the point where I wasn’t afraid anymore. I asked myself, “Why are you constantly afraid of failing at trying to do something you love, when you can just as easily fail at doing something you don’t love?” Which, as it turns out, was my current situation at the time.

So, to answer the question “What inspired me to change my career?” The tangible possibility that I could leave my shitty job as an auto mechanic and do what I really loved for a living.

Martin Moore Milwaukee Vlogger Photographer Koss Headphones

Terwelp: How were you able to transition from mechanic to content developer and brand evangelist for Koss while you were working full time?

Moore: Work. Work. Work. And work.

Now this is a super cliché answer, but there is a reason why it’s the same answer anyone who’s ever accomplished anything gives, because it’s true. For me, going from an Auto Mechanic to Content Developer for Koss Headphones was a drastic career change. I cannot convey in words how drastically different every aspect of my career life is now.

In 1997 when I was 17, I started changing oil at Jiffy Lube. In 1999, after one year of college, I dropped out to start working for Honda as a technician. I spent the next 20 years working a job I was good at, I enjoyed, and most importantly made good money doing.

As the car industry started changing, so did my career as a technician. The culture became frustrating. I was making less and less money. But worst of all, I was watching my pride for what I did slowly evaporate. I hated working on cars, and it was around 2014 when I looked myself in the mirror and said, “You’ve got two choices, get out now while you still can or keep working a job you hate until you’re 64.”

Martin Moore Milwaukee Vlogger Photographer Koss Headphones

“I don’t have to tell anyone who has changed careers, started a business or followed their dream, that in doing so, it tests everything you ever thought you knew about yourself.”—Martin Moore

So, it was around 2014 when I decided I was done. I wanted to shoot photos and make videos for a living. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, I just knew that I would.

For the next three years, 365 days a year, my life went as followed:

  • Wake up at 5:30 a.m.
  • Get downtown by 6:30 a.m. to record beginning of vlog (vlog is a video blog)
  • Start day job at 8:00 a.m.
  • Change out of work clothes on lunch break record middle of vlog
  • Change back into work clothes, work until 5:00 p.m.
  • Go back downtown by 5:30 p.m. finish recording vlog
  • Get home by 7:00 p.m.
  • Edit vlog until 1:30 a.m. and upload
  • Wake up at 5:30 and repeat.

At the same time, I ran my photography/video business shooting weddings, events, and commercial work. I went to meetings, networking events, and was actively social networking — all while working my 50-hour a week auto mechanic gig. I didn’t have a day off. I didn’t have weekends. When I went on vacation I was vlogging and editing.

Martin Moore Milwaukee Photographer Blogger Koss Headphones

 “I needed to create a brand for myself.” Martin Moore

The point to all this work was simple, I needed to create a brand for myself. “Martin Moore” needed to not just be my name, it needed to be something that was always in the back of people’s minds; so, anytime someone needed photos, or a video “Martin Moore” was the first person that popped in their head. If I could create that, it would in turn create attention for me and my business.

The biggest contributing factor to building Martin Moore as a brand was when I finally learned the art of “Not Giving A *uck.” The one thing that held me back more than anything was me being afraid to be me. Taking myself too seriously. Letting comments and feedback from trolls and haters get to me. Pretending to be something I’m not. Everyone goes through these things when they are trying to build a personal brand, and everyone who has made it to the other side will tell you the same story. As soon as they stopped caring about what other people thought and concentrated on themselves, that’s when they discovered true creative and entrepreneurship euphoria.

The end game [for building my personal brand] was to either run my own photography/video business full time or get hired by a company I loved to do the same thing.

By the spring of 2017 all my hard work paid off. After years of tasting some success, and tasting a lot of failure, Koss approached me and brought me on to create all their content. The rest as they say, is history.

Social Media LinkedIn Pinterest Facebook Instagram YouTube Twitter

Terwelp: Did social media numbers play a big role in landing with Koss?

Moore: I’ve always concentrated on the people behind the numbers, and never the numbers themselves. By every single metric a brand measures, I am a nobody. There are golden retrievers on Instagram with more followers than me. The funny thing is, I can’t walk down the streets of Milwaukee without someone recognizing me. I am overwhelmed daily with DM’s and emails from people asking for advice, wanting to set up meeting with me or simply thanking me for inspiring them. When I go to networking events, there are lines of people waiting to talk to me; and the interesting thing is a lot of times there will be someone there with 10 times the followers standing next to me alone. So that’s what Koss saw in me, that’s what OnMilwaukee.com saw in me, and that’s what other brands and companies saw in me — my ability to produce real engagement, authentic relationships, and true influence. Koss found me from a YouTube video with 58 views. The numbers don’t matter.

Terwelp: What’s your advice for engagement?

Moore: My biggest tip for engagement: Look at social media and P2P [person-to-person] networking as a telephone not a radio. Don’t just dictate to people; create engaging content and hold conversations. Don’t just make relationships, maintain them.

Terwelp: What role did networking play in helping you make this transition happen? 

Moore: Networking was absolutely the most vital piece of the puzzle. Meeting people, getting my name out there, networking was the only way to reach people who otherwise had no clue who I was. There is nothing more valuable than word of mouth.

Wendy Terwelp Career Coach Career Transformation Martin Moore Koss Headphones

Terwelp: What was the most important thing you did to make this career transition happen?  

“Stick to my plan. Don’t pass on opportunities. Network. Work harder than everyone else.” —Martin Moore

Terwelp: What do you feel was the main benefit of transitioning from auto mechanic to content developer?  

Moore: To make sure the quote by Mae West was something I lived by, not passively consumed. To be happy.

You can listen to all the Gary Vee [Gary Vaynerchuk] podcasts you want, read books, and go to seminars, but until you find that place inside of you that motivates you to want to live your life the way you want to, the benefits of transitioning to a new career will always remain just a dream.

“Find that place inside of you that motivates you to want to live your life the way you want…” —Martin Moore

Terwelp: What advice would you recommend to others considering making a career transition?

Moore: Changing careers is scary. You’re trading comfort, competence, tenure, and stability for everything that’s the antithesis of those. We spend a third of our lives working, so if you’re one of those people who is excited for #TGIF every week because you hate your day job, you need to change that.

I’ll leave you with this: Look at that career, that job you hate as the Titanic sinking, and your dreams and goals as the shore; and in between those two points are a bunch of lifeboats. Every lifeboat is an opportunity, and every boat you get into gets you one step closer to the shore, your dream. Every opportunity you don’t take, every boat you don’t get into, there is someone right next to you, in the water, treading for their life who will gladly take your place.

Wendy Terwelp is a career transformation and networking expert who works with professionals ready to take charge of their careers and love Mondays again. Ready to rock? Let’s talk!

Photos of Martin Moore provided by Martin Moore.

How to RSVP to LinkedIn Invitations from People You Don’t Know

“Hi Wendy, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network.” Sound familiar?

This is the standard LinkedIn invitation sent when people hit “connect.” And there’s a good chance you’ve received many of these since you joined LinkedIn.

As a career expert who advocates LinkedIn as a tool for career management and personal branding, my clients frequently ask me what they should  do about LinkedIn invitations from people they don’t know.

When you receive the standard LinkedIn invitation from people you don’t know, typically one of two things happen, 1) it’s deleted or 2) you hang on to it because you don’t want to offend the invitee by not accepting. Translation: “invitation limbo.” And a full inbox. After a certain time, invitations are deleted automatically by LinkedIn.

Here are solutions you can use to take action on LinkedIn invitations from people you don’t know:

Step One: Review their profile.

  • Do they have a professional headshot?
  • Do they have a professional summary that communicates who they are and what they do? Is it interesting? Does this seem like a person who’d add value to your network?
  • Have they provided value added content? This could include media links, status updates that resonate with you, etc. Check out their activity.
  • Look at their groups. Do you share any in common?
  • Check out shared connections. How many do you have in common? Have any of the common connections written a recommendation for this person?
  • Is this person an alumni of your school? Or employer?

If all of these are a “go” and the person seems like they’d be a wonderful connection to your LinkedIn network, hit “accept” and write a personal message welcoming him or her to your network.

Step 2: But, I’m still not sure…

  • If their background seems intriguing, and you’d like to learn more prior to accepting, pick up the phone and make a personal connection or
  • Hit “message” and here’s what I say, “Hi! Thanks so much for your LinkedIn invitation. Refresh my memory, how do we know each other?” Or, “Hi, Thanks so much for your invitation, how might I be of service?” See if they reply and determine your next move based on their response. 
  • If they’ve written you a message, you can reply to the individual without immediately accepting the invitation.

Step 3: Notice Red Flags

If the profile is missing key ingredients, seems sketchy or that profile looks too familiar (hello, stock photo!), decline.

Step 4: You Get to Choose

It’s YOUR LinkedIn party and you get to decide who gets to join. You got this!

Let me know your favorite tips for LinkedIn invitations in the comments.

And if you or your company needs help with LinkedIn, let’s talk!

Wendy Terwelp is president of Opportunity Knocks™ of Wisconsin, LLC and author of the Rock Your Network® series. Dubbed a “LinkedIn Guru,” by the Washington Post, Terwelp works with organizations ready to take their employees to the next level with the right personal brand, networking strategies and online activities… to not only close more deals and attract more clients, but prepare emerging leaders for the roles you have to fill. Her consulting services, speaking engagements, and workshops serve audiences worldwide through conferences, associations, and corporate engagements.

Terwelp’s private coaching clients regularly win raises, promotions, and jobs. Are you a rock star at work who wants career success on your terms? Schedule a session to discuss your career, goals, and next steps.

 

 

What’s that thing you do? ONE thing.

You’re at a networking event… meeting… conference… cocktail party… and it happens.

“So, what do you do?” the networker asks you.

“Um, well I’m a consultant / L&D pro / social media expert…” you say.

Slash happens. And I get it. You have a lot to offer and a lot of interests. When you’re at an event, all those slash titles can be hard for one person to take in. A more effective approach, decide how you wish to be known and communicate that one thing – not everything. It’s confusing to the listener.

What’s the one thing you wish to be known for and and your best, most relevant story, that demonstrates your expertise to the audience who needs to know about you?

When I coach my clients on effective networking, we work hard on creating a dynamic brand-driven sound bite that gets attention, without overwhelming the listener.

Picking one thing can be tough, but it’s important. As one of my client’s said, working through the exercise, “It’s like my whole career – skills, experience, knowledge is summed up in this one project. It just doesn’t feel right.”

That may be true, however, in networking, and asking your friends, etc. “who do they know, who…” it is important to be clear and focused. Sharing ONE story helps people get an idea of what you can do for someone. It also helps them easily share your story with their connections. And your network becomes your personal sales force.

Challenge: Create your sound bite. Be focused. Share a benefit-driven story that demonstrates your expertise. Tell how your network can help you best.

Want step-by-step help to network like a rock star? Check out my book, Rock Your Network® and rebuild your network in 5 minutes a day online or off.

© 2018 Wendy Terwelp | Wendy Terwelp speaks about social networking, F2F networking, personal branding, and career development. Want raving fans, referrals, and even happier, more engaged employees? Book her here: https://www.knocks.com/speaking/

 

10 Secrets of a Results-Getting Resume

1. Clearly define your career focus. “Candidates have to be focused,” say Executive Recruiters. “The biggest complaint from employers over the years has been ‘We didn’t hire so-and-so because she or he didn’t know what they wanted.’”

2. Be specific when stating your achievements. Qualify, quantify or “dollarize” them to demonstrate that what you offer a prospective employer can easily recoup their investment in your salary. Use the CAR method to help you recall your achievements: Challenge, Action, Result.

3. Use action words and statements. “Responsible for”… is out, “Developed; Directed; Achieved; Coordinated, etc.” is in.

4. For people with 20 or more years of experience: “Do NOT write that into your resume,” said one staffing CEO. “Put a BENEFIT STATEMENT into your resume – something that speaks of how you 1) made the company money, 2) saved the company money or 3) streamlined procedures. Years of experience is immaterial and may indicate that you are just ‘old.’ Companies want to know what kind of a contribution you can make to their success – not how many years you’ve been working.

5. Differentiate yourself. When you review your current resume, can you simply put someone else’s name on it? Or does it clearly differentiate you from your competition and brand you as “the one” for the job?

6. Communicate your value and put key points “above the fold.” One recruiter on LinkedIn told me he reads 200 to 300 resumes a DAY, seven days a week. You have GOT to stand out! Address the unspoken question early on: “Why should I hire you?”

7. When responding to a job posting, be sure you clearly read the ad and assess your qualifications. Companies don’t have time to meet with unqualified applicants. According to one finance recruiter, “Candidates must be an exact match before a company looks at them.”

8. Create a Twitter-worthy value statement about yourself. That’s in 140 – 280 characters or less. This can become your brand statement used on social networking sites, when networking, and during interviews. Here’s mine: “I work with rock stars at work who want to win gigs, promotions, and salary bumps.” This gets people to say, “Tell me more!” That’s your goal.

9. If you know someone at a company, give them a call. Networking is the No. 1 method used by candidates to get jobs. In SilkRoad’s 2017 Source of Hire Study, employee referrals were the No. 1 source for external hires at companies.

10. Think creatively in how you distribute your resume. In a 2016 survey by Lou Adler, CEO of Performance-Based Hiring, 85% of job seekers land jobs through networking. Want more networking tips? Get “Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers.”

© 2003 – 2018 • Wendy J. Terwelp • Opportunity Knocks™ • All Rights Reserved.

Wendy Terwelp works with high potentials through the c-suite. Her clients regularly win promotions, salary bumps, and gigs that are a right fit for their brands and goals. Schedule your strategy call today and learn how Wendy can help YOU be a rock star at work!

Effective Networking: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Tina Turner’s asked a great question, one to think about when choosing a new networking group or eliminating one from your current dance card.

Prior to joining a group, think about the reasons you want to join. Is the purpose for business development? Professional development? Social?

And review the organizations you’re already involved in. Are you involved with a group because it’s fun or because its members generate business for you? Maybe a little of both.

If you’re focused on business development, have you looked at your personal referrals-versus-sales results from each of your networking memberships? You’ve only got so much time. Review your networking plan often. What’s working? What’s not? Who is sending you the most and/or best business? Show them some love and reward them.

Which business networking groups are producing revenue for you and which are not? How much time does membership in each group take? How often do they meet? How big is your personal commitment? If a group is not working for you, it’s OK to cancel your membership. However, it’s not OK to break ties with those members you enjoy most. Keep the love alive by regularly staying in touch. Personally, I find LinkedIn notifications a handy tool to keep up to date on what’s happening with those in my network. You can send a quick note, pick up the phone or schedule an in-person get together to hear the latest.

Does the group you’ve joined offer some great dance partners? People with whom you can create strategic alliances and refer business? Then it’s a keeper.

Having a hard time deciding which group to dump? Could be love. If you’re in a group just to have fun or brainstorm ideas, that’s OK. Know that “fun” is the purpose of this group. Don’t expect new business from it or get angry when members don’t send referrals your way.

Review all your networking organizations and your individual connections. Identify your key contacts and how you plan to reach out to them at least 10 to 14 times per 12-month period. Emails, phone calls, and cards count as reaching out. Lesser contacts can be communicated with three to five times per 12-month period, according to marketing expert, Dan Kennedy.

And finally, if you’re staring at a business card like a phone number on an old paper napkin and you can’t remember who the person is, that person is no longer a viable contact. Remove them from your networking dance card. No love lost there.

© 2006 – 2018 • Wendy J. Terwelp • All Rights Reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is a recognized expert on networking, both online and off. Her advice and ideas have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company, Inc., More, The Business Journal, Careerbuilders.com, Monster.com, NBC, ABC, FOX, and other media. Wendy works with organizations who want to rock their networks internally and externally to close more deals, improve employee engagement, and increase brand awareness. Book her for your next event: https://www.knocks.com/speaking/