Last month, our Co-founder and Lead BPM Mentor, KellyAnn Schiavo, was invited to speak on Women in Business Radio.
KellyAnn met WIBR owner and broadcaster, Sian Murphy, at a social media event she had attended some weeks ago and the two chatted over a coffee. With KellyAnn being an ex-Compliance Officer in Investment Banking, Blogger and co-founder of The Branding Initiative, she certainly is a ‘women in business’ so Sian invited KellyAnn into the station to do an interview.
“We’re going live right now! My special guest today is @KellyAnn Schiavo and we’re talking about branding. I think branding is one of the most misunderstood and complex issues when it comes to your business, marketing, customer focus – the whole enchilada really and that’s why I’m so pleased to welcome KellyAnn to the show. Not only is she the Co-founder of the Branding Initiative, but she’s also an Ambassador for Women In Business – so we really are knocking down all of the coconuts on this week’s show”
KellyAnn arrived, slightly nervously, at Channel Radio in Kent where Sian broadcasts for WIBR and was instantly made to feel comfortable and welcome. After Sian had briefed on the run of show, KellyAnn entered the studio to don the headphones and take the mic!
The theme of the interview was personal branding and what NOT to do. Having started her own personal branding, and the foundation on which The Branding Initiative is built, KellyAnn was well equipped to provide some insight.
Here are her top 3 tips on what NOT to do when starting out on your personal branding quest:
“Social Media Profiles
A lot of people have this great idea about branding themselves and start throwing images around social media like confetti! Don’t do that! The profile picture on your social media has to represent the real you. It has to show people who you are and give them an insight into your life in one image.
You can achieve this by not wearing sunglasses, hats, clown wigs and the like. It doesn’t have to be a professionally shot photo, my own is a selfie, taken with my iPhone as I was rushing out the door to a friend’s BBQ! What’s good about it are the eyes, looking directly at the camera and engaging with the audience. There is also a smile -lets face it, nobody wants to engage with someone who looks like they’ve got a season ticket to the Samaritans.
Your picture needs to be clear, not too much back ground noise and clearly shows YOU, your face and your smile. Use that same picture across ALL of you social media sites and don’t change it. People will connect to you via that picture, if you keep changing it, your audience won’t build rapport.
The same goes for the bio. Be consistent and have all of your social media say the same thing!
Network WITHIN your niché
Personal Branding is as important offline as it is on. What you are doing by having a personal brand is sending out an image. The image is of you, your values, your capabilities and your vision. Your audience will, eventually, connect to you because of this.
It is really important when networking to think about your tribe. Think about the people you want to connect with, work with, who you want to buy from you. Then, go find them and hang out with them – build relationships and grow those relationships.
If you’re business is in the health food industry, you might not want to be networking with people who sell fast food!
It sounds like a cliché when we say, just be YOU, be authentic. It’s true. You have no need to create a fake social media existence. People will see right through it. If you don’t actually have croissants and steaming hot coffee served on a gold napkin everyday for breaksfast then don’t show that as a ‘normal’ routine.
Authenticity, in my opinion, will never be a 100% reflection of the real you – I mean, I do sit around in my joggers with no make up and my hair tied back but is that the image I want the world to know me for? Probably not. Therefore my social media profiles reflect the ‘working’ me, not all of the ‘livin’ me and that’s as authentic as it will get. However, what you see is real true to who am, what I do and what I believe in.
Your personal brand has to reflect WHO you are and WHAT you stand for – no gimicks, no bull&%t! That said, you don’t need to show everything; if you’re uncomfortable showing images of yourself lounging about the house in joggers, then don’t do it. People want to see you happy. They want to see you enjoying your lifestyle – they don’t want to see staged photo’s from an Instagram feed or an endless stream of quotes. They want to see YOU – so be YOU. Don’t lie.”
KellyAnn had a great time on the show and will be working with Sian more in the near future.
You can listen to a recording of the show here (click on the grey button and navigate for equally insightful shows on WIBR).
If you would like to know more about how to start your own personal branding journey, please join The Branding Initiative Community FB Group where you’ll find lots of helpful advice as well as a really cool bunch of people to hang out with!