You are so…

I just watched “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” by Morgan Spurlock (who also did “Super Size Me”). This documentary follows Spurlock in his quest to fund his documentary entirely through product placement.

At one point in the movie, he is meeting with the marketing execs at Ban (deodorants) and asks them to finish the sentence: “your brand is …” Seems pretty straightforward to me, but instead of shooting out some descriptive words about their brand, the execs replied “what a great question!”

And a great question it is, but they really should have had the ability to describe their own brand. It made me think how to some extent we are all brands, whether we are business owners, job seekers, or networking pros, we are service providers and always have an image to upkeep, and an impression to leave. Whether you consciously want to or not, your goal is to be memorable, recognizable, and to stand out.

For this reason, we should all know what makes us inherently unique. What makes you, you? Or what do you strive to be? Making a list can help you keep these goals and ideals at the front of your mind. It’s also important to know what your USP is (Unique Selling Point) and then work it!

Take one minute to think about it, and to finish the sentences:

“As a business/As a job-seeker/ As a brand – I am…”

“My USP is…”

Here …I’ll start:

“As a business: I am, and always strive to be: personable, friendly, professional, flawless, straight-to-the point, available, timely, attentive to details, willing to learn, thorough…”

“As a translation professional, my USP is the fact that I have over 10 years of experience in the Advertising industry and that I am truly bilingual.”

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4 thoughts on “You are so…

  1. Great subject. I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately. I was considering getting a logo, but then I decided on investing in a professional-quality headshot that I can use for my on-line profiles and for my business cards. Do you think a photographer can capture my “brand?” If that’s possible, I want him to make me look professional, competent, and reliable, as well as approachable, friendly, and flexible. Is that asking too much?

    I have been looking at profile photos of translators whose work I admire and I do believe that their brand is reflected in their photo image, so I am hopeful that my photo will say a lot about me too. We’ll see!

    • Hi Sarah, Thank you for your comment! I think that it is possible to capture your brand essence in a photo, absolutely! And as a freelancer, you definitely want a professional head shot, especially if you have any kind of social media presence, but do not underestimate the power of the logo. I use mine on my website, in my email signatures, Thank You cards, business cards (I was never a big fan of photos on business cards), return address stickers, invoices… Using a logo on your printed collateral may help you stand out from those who do not have one. It will also help you look more professional, serious and committed to your business. I’ll tell you the truth, I called up one of my old graphic designer co-workers to do mine and she charged $100. In the long run, certain things are worth investing in. You can always contact a nearby art school and have a student make one for you for a minimal fee. Bring logos that you like for reference, and tell them what your logo should say. Make sure you get .jpg and .png files.

      As for your head shot, if you want to look professional, competent yet friendly make sure you aren’t wearing any patterns, loud colors, or too much make-up. Pull your hair away from your face (half-up, pony tail or headband if it’s long). Natural lighting is often better. It does not have to be in a studio. And when you smile, think of warm thoughts that actually make you happy, this should help you seem approachable. I’d also think of tilting your head ever so lightly to either side so you’re not looking at the camera straight on which could end up looking like a passport photo. I would also shop around and see if you can find a “lesser” experienced photographer to take your head shot. One last thing, look through your files to see if you already have a good head shot (mine is actually a shot from my wedding…sshhhhh!) =)

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