Understanding Your Proposition

Articulating the Value that you bring to prospective employers/ clients

Introduction

Getting clear about your proposition and the value that you can deliver for a prospective employer/ client, is increasingly important. Once you are clear about this, you will naturally stand out from the crowd.  

The following approach has been adapted from the Lighthouse Personal Branding Model, developed by Chris Perry

What is your core proposition and how do you go about identifying the unique and differentiating value that you can bring to an organisation, team or project?

These are the questions that we will cover within this section of the #TLH Essentials series.

What we will uncover are the foundations on which we will build and project your personal brand in future sections.

What are your foundational strengths and/or experience?

Activity:

I suggest that get yourself a coffee (or alternative beverage), find a quiet space and grab a pad and a pen.

Write down a list of all of things that you feel are your core strengths, the things that you believe you are good at (in fact great at).

Ask your family members, friends & colleagues to do the same for you - don't forget old bosses - they are usually very good at identifying those things that they value the most.

Next, write down the experiences that you have that you feel would be of benefit to other employers/ clients - don't forget, these experiences (both good and bad) will help you overcome future challenges or take maximum advantage of future opportunities. These experiences should support your claims around your core strengths

Next, identify all the things that you are most proud of during your career - your successes, the results that you have delivered, the feedback that you have received - the things that give you a glow when you think about them.

Finally, write down a list of the organisations that you have worked with/ projects that you have been involved in, that you enjoyed the most.

Now, sit back and reflect on these.

Many people find this extremely difficult to complete - we don't tend to be good at reviewing ourselves in such a way.

I have found that it is often a good idea to let these questions float around in your mind for a few hours or sometimes days, and as things come back to you, make a note of your thoughts.

Once you are confident in the contents of your four lists, the hard work begins 🙂

Take each of the lists and identify the top three in each area;

Across these 12 elements are the core foundations on which your future career success will be based.  Everything from now on will focus on these 12, we will build memorable and consistent communications around these 12 aspects and position your personal brand so that you can attract organisations/ projects that you know you (i) will enjoy, (ii) be able to deliver maximum value.

These 12 elements are the catalyst for developing your 'elevator pitch' - when someone asks you what you do, you will respond with a very succinct, very direct and extremely focused response, a response that will grab the recipients attention and engage them in conversation.

Your Elevator Pitch Template...

I help <type of organisation/ project that you have enjoyed> overcome (or achieve) <one of the areas that you are most proud of> by <include an example of your strengths>.

The typical response when you make these types of statements is 'wow, tell me more'.  At this stage, you can provide a very short description around your top three experiences

Positioning Your Proposition

Now that you are clear about your proposition and have really started to narrow down on a niche where you know you can most value, you know that you will enjoy and you have significant achievements already and can openly discuss them, we need to look at how we are shine a light on them, both online and offline.

We go into greater detail within the "Know the Market" and "Your Sales Campaign" sections but very briefly what you need to start to consider is how you can increase your visibility, reach and presentation in a way that supports your core proposition. This is really about passively building your personal brand. The more visible you become, the more activity you put in, the higher the potential that you become visible to potential clients/ employers who are looking for people just like you!

The essential aspects include;

Do you need a Floodlight or a Search Light?

Undoubtedly, you need to shine a light on your experience and most importantly the value that you can deliver, but should this be a floodlight or a search light?  What do you think?

Given that the definition of a Search Light is "A searchlight is an apparatus that combines an extremely bright source with a mirrored parabolic reflector to project a powerful beam of light of approximately parallel rays in a particular direction", then you need to develop your search light!

Your search light focuses on your career direction, more active personal brand and your career search strategy. It involves you gaining and projecting a strong understanding of where you want top go, what you want to pursue and how you will pursue it.

Activity:

The more closely defined your search, the more chance you have of success.  Take out a pen and some paper and start to consider;

1. What sectors are you interested in and the reasons behind this interest

2. What functional areas you'd like to work within - are you more interested in finance transformation for instance?

3. Do you want to work on local, national or globals projects?

4. Finally, what geographical restrictions would you have - would your base need to be within 25 miles of home for instance?

The answers to these questions will provide a defined breakdown of the type of organisations that you would like to work with. This combined with the outputs from the earlier activity will help you to apply a laser approach to your targeting.  Use Google, Linkedin & other online databases to identify a list of potential organisations and the relevant people within these organisations.  Once you have this list of core 'stakeholders' consider ways to build a relationship with them. This may include;

Remember, effective branding is about positioning yourself within the areas that matter to prospective clients/ employers.

Use the above exercises to find out what you're great at, what you love to do, who you really enjoy working with and back this up with tangible examples of how you have delivered value and with the right marketing, you'll have a steady stream of opportunities present themselves to you.

Once you've completed the #TLH Essentials series, we arrange for a 121 review so you'll have ample opportunity to reflect and adapt as you progress.

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