I’m a Brand, You’re a Brand

The talented comedian, actor, writer, producer and singer Steve Martin once said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”This theory expands much further than the entertainment industry. Rather, it is an excellent goal for any individual who wants to grow their professional life and build a successful career.You may think branding and marketing are for the public relations and communication departments; however, you will never be considered for a job opening or special project lead if no one knows your name. If people remember you, what they know about you and how they talk about you is all part of your personal brand.Certainly having a resume and an accomplished work history is important, but your personal brand – how people identify you – is the selling point in your career success.Personal brand expert Dan Schwabel gives one of my favorite definitions: “Personal branding is all about discovering what makes you special, and then communicating it to the right people, through the right channels.”Building an effective brand, sharing your brand, and then continually strengthening and protecting your brand are the three steps to lead you on the path toward increased salary and personal job satisfaction.1. Build Your BrandBefore you can build your personal brand, you must know what your existing brand is. You may ask yourself, “How can I know what it is if I have not built it yet?” While you may not know what it is, others have already been creating it for you. How you act, present yourself and treat others and how hard you work all reflect people’s opinions of you, which is in fact your brand. Ask a trusted superviser, mentor or colleague to describe how others perceive you.Leverage this information and the following checklist to start planning how you will refine your brand.• Define your professional goals and how you will accomplish them.• Use this career map to identify the key elements of your personal brand.• Create a brand statement that details how you want to be known and what you want to be known for.2. Communicate Your BrandAlthough you might have built a great personal brand, it is only useful if you are able to effectively communicate it to the professional world. To communicate your brand, you need to:• Ensure that your supervisor, boss and other executives in the company are aware of your unique talents as well as the value you add to the corporation. Do this by maintaining regular communication on your progress on projects and the results that you deliver.• Start paying attention to your daily interactions with those around you, including colleagues, clients, and even friends and family, consciously aligning these interactions with your personal brand goals.• Remember the timeless saying that your actions speak louder than words. At work, volunteer for extra projects and take on new responsibilities that are in line with the talents and traits you want to showcase.• Social media has enhanced the way companies market their brands and connect with their customers. You can implement this same technique to network and market yourself to employers. The key to creating a strong brand image through social media is consistency. Use the same name, picture and personal tagline when registering for different sites to assure people recognize your profile. About.me is an excellent way to link your different profiles, blogs and websites. You can personalize this page to reflect your brand image as well as track activity.• Consider starting a blog or creating a personal website to showcase your work. This allows you to build your reputation as a subject-matter expert, which is important to maintain after you have landed your dream job. Link your social media profiles with automatic cross posts to make this easier. In addition, reaching out through blogs and other communication outlets opens the door to grow your professional network with other bloggers.• Update these other communication tools to help you highlight the brand you want to communicate: business cards, résumé and cover letter, work portfolio, and wardrobe.3. Strengthen and Protect Your BrandTo climb the corporate ladder you need to market yourself and your brand image. This includes maintaining a professional appearance and behavior at all times. As a result of increased technology, especially social media outlets, the lines between your personal and professional life often blend together. “There is no professional or personal anymore,” says successful entrepreneur and businessman Peter Shankman. “There’s simply your brand, and it’s up to you to determine whether your brand is affected positively or negatively.”The following steps will help you strengthen and protect your personal brand:• Continually update your brand, and your professional achievements will grow. Maintain records of projects you have worked on, as well as the quantifiable results of these projects. This proof is what you will need to present when you are ready to ask for a promotion or raise.• Protect your reputation by regularly monitoring your social media accounts, website, blog posts and other communication outlets. Review pictures, comments and posts to assure they are appropriate and professional. Your brand should be a positive reflection of you.Building, improving and maintaining your personal brand takes a great deal of work. Managing your brand is a continuous process. It is not easy, however; taking the time to align your career goals and how you want others to perceive you is a proven way to help you confidently ask for a raise or bravely go outside your comfort zone to pursue a new opportunity. Ultimately, your personal brand will help you achieve your career dreams.The author is the CEO/owner of the locally-based outplacement firm, DMD & Associates, Inc. Her firm is engaged by companies worldwide to deliver outplacement programs that empower those effected by a reduction in force to get back to work quickly, while helping companies protect their brand and limit legal exposure.She is a board member of several Society of Human Resource Chapters, speaks throughout the United States about career transition topics and is published in multiple publications.

Apartment Renters Insurance Quotes – Find Your Ideal Policy at a Cheap Price

So many apartment renters would want to find ways of lowering their coverage cost. On the average, renters coverage is not usually expensive and this is good news for many tenants. Now, in order to find affordable rates for coverage, it is important that renters collect free quotes from reliable insurance companies, compare these quotes and their providers, and seek means of getting the ideal cost for the policy of choice. Below are tips for finding a good policy and making it cheap for you.Step One:Know what is contained in the homeowners insurance of the home owner. Meet with your land lord and discuss the coverage that he or she has already on the home. Most times, homeowners insurance provide coverage for the building of the home making it absolutely necessary that a renter buys coverage for his or her home content and expensive properties. After discussing with the home owner, you can now easily point out exclusions that may affect you and find the appropriate coverage for these exclusions.Step Two:Locate reliable home insurance companies online and collect free quotes on renters insurance from them. To save time, you are advised to use comparison sites of leading insurance agents. Some of these sites will offer you as much as five free quotes from trusted insurers to compare. They have been proven to be safe and also very convenient, so make use of these online tools. The bigger the network of the insurance agent you are working with, the more quotes you get to work with and the more time is saved in the process.Finally, getting your ideal policy means that you have collected your quotes, compared them, selected the policy that gives you top quality coverage, studied the insurance companies and have selected the one that is most reliable. If you are still concerned that the coverage cost is still high, then make it affordable by seeking discounts, bonuses, removing unwanted coverage and most importantly working with a professional in the insurance company. Let this professional guide you through this process so that you do not compromise coverage quality because you are looking for cheaper rates. You can get this service now!Where To Get This?

Several Reasons to Be Conscious of High Pollen Flowers

There are several reasons to be conscious of high pollen flowers that produce allergies and cause people to suffer when the whether outside turns from cooler to warmer. Warmer temperatures bring with it more moulds and allergens from the pollen in the air which is produced by flowering trees, shrubs and plants. An owner of a house that wishes to update their landscaping around their home should consider purchasing and planting no or low pollen flowering trees and vegetation if they suffer from seasonal allergies.Not many people realize but the gender of blooming foliage is very important to keeping the pollen counts down around their homes which will help allergy sufferers tremendously. It seems that the gender to plants makes a difference in their pollen contribution to the air we breathe. Male plants generate more pollen then the female plants during the flowering process.Seedless and fruitless plants, shrubs and trees by the hundreds are male and although female trees, plants and shrubs are considered disordered, they will create much fewer pollen spores than their male counterparts. The best place to receive help with the male/female plant questions is at a nursery or garden shop. Several plants could be marked as simple plants and a homeowner would not know if they were fruitless or seedless unless they ask. One example of a tree that could be a male or female is the Ginkgo tree located in Canada and some parts of the U. S. A homeowner wants to be sure to pick out the female version of this tree.Trumpet or tube-shaped flowers will help to keep pollen lower and allergies away. One of these types of flowers that come in a variety of colors is the morning glory. They come in white, pale yellow and lavender.When planning a landscape or planting a flower bed, go for the low-pollen variety of flowers such as poppies, tulips, peonies, sunflowers, zinnias, nasturtiums, clematis crocus, daffodils, begonias or impatiens. Pollen-free varieties are also available but rarer like the chrysanthemums.For cleaner, less feminine yard with more trees and shrubs, then the low-pollen and pollen-free versions are cherry, peach, crabapple, magnolia, pear, ash, redbud, plumb, juniper, magnolia, some maple and the female version of the yew. Also for limiting the pollen around a house, consider planting various versions of holly with red berries.Flowers that draw butterflies to them instead of bees are better blooming plants because bees carry more pollen than butterflies and other insects.Pruning a tree or hedge back every year will help to keep it from blooming year after year. One example of this is a boxwood which has an extremely allergenic flower, however, it will not bloom once it has been pruned each year before it gets a chance to make its flowers.Black spots, mould, plant fungus and even rust which form on the trees, shrubs and flowering plants each duplicate themselves through spores and this is a major cause of allergies in people. Asking a plant farmer or gardening store to help an individual to choose the most anti-disease plants will mean that the air around the plant will be cleaner and the air a person breathes will also be cleaner.This is simply a couple of the several reasons to be conscious of high pollen flowers and what to do to help in the fight against allergens when it comes to having outdoor fun in the warmer weather months.