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Podcast Transcript

Branding 101 with Jaime Chambron

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:11  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we're uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Well, Marsha, I'm feeling so productive and prepared for 2024. With all of these episodes on reflecting, goal setting, I feel like I have my very own set of motivational coaches kicking me in the booty to get out there and get ready for this year.

Marsha Clark  0:37  
Well, that's good, Wendi, because that was pretty much the intention of these first few episodes of 2024. And we do want to help our listeners start the year off strong and step fully into their power.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:48  
I love that. And that brings us to today, and our episode focused on "Branding 101". And this is a first time guest, but a very dear friend of mine that I've known for over 20 years now. God, I don't want to say that. But anyway, I'm gonna say it anyway, Jaime Chambron. And so Jaime,, welcome. So glad you're here. Thank you for coming.

Jaime Chambron  1:10  
Great. Well, thank you for having me. I'm thrilled to be here today.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:12  
Excellent. Okay. And so when we have guests, we like to share with our listeners how we're connected to them so that you as the listener have some sort of context. So in this case, I'm the one who actually recruited Jaime to be here with us today. And I know Jaime through an organization that we helped found back in 2001, or 2002, called the Alliance of Technology in Women. And it started here in the Dallas Fort Worth area. And Jaime was a part of the founding board and I will never forget, I had to interview for my position. I had to interview on the board for the marketing director position. And Jaime went on to not only be a key leader of that board, but form a sub organization within the Alliance of Technology in Women (or as we lovingly call DFW ATW) called Great Minds, which was focused on girls. So Jaime, tell us just a quick pinch about that.

Jaime Chambron  2:20  
Yeah, yeah, so Great Minds. And it was really to help expose middle school girls to all the different facets of technology and what's possible, because middle school is when a lot of girls kind of fall off the track of wanting to be interested in science. We did a lot of Great either after school programs or evening programs at the Perot Museum or the former science museum with the Girl Scouts. So we've made a big impact. And I'm really thrilled that the program is still surviving today. It's thriving.

Marsha Clark  2:49  
And I just want to say this. There are, there's more awareness and even more programming available. 2002, 2001, whatever it was 2001, 2002, there wasn't. That was ground-breaking at that time.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:02  
And I want to point that out that Jaime was definitely ahead of her time in thinking of this program because you're right, Marsha, there's a lot of talk about STEM and STEAM now. There was none back then, especially around girls. So we became friends, and then fast forward to several years later, like 2004, we'd love to talk about Red Magazine. Real quick, Jaime. So go for it.

Jaime Chambron  3:03  
So I was one of the co-founders and Wendi came in. I think you did marketing, more marketing or marketing.  So we spun out of Print Magazine in Dallas and that lasted a second or two.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:42  
It lasted a year. It lasted a full year. We printed for a full year but the best thing about the whole thing was the every month we would have an issue release party and it was always at some up and coming bar or restaurant or whatever. And so everyone involved would get two free drinks. We were all there for the drink ticket. Fabulous. Fabulous. So anyway, yeah. So now we're going to shift this back into the reason why we're here today and get off of Memory Lane. We're here today because branding and personal branding, it means a lot to me personally as a marketing person. And but before we dig in, I want to hear Jaime's perspective and it's good to level set. I want to hear her definition on personal brand.

Jaime Chambron  4:33  
Sure. So part of your brand is really the intentional effort you're putting in place, being intentional consciously to create an influence someone else's perception of you. Because what it is at the end of the day is what are they going to think about you in terms of your authority and your industry, your credibility, what makes you different from other people that do what you do so that you can differentiate yourself from competition and advance your career, increase your circle of influence and carve a larger impact. Because like Jeff Bezos says, your personal brand is what people are talking about when you are not in the room, what they're talking about when you're not there.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:17  
Right. And I just want to add also it a little on Jaime's background. We talked about where I met her, but Jaime is a Harvard grad. And I want to say you're IT, computer science, which was your degree. So part of Jaime's personal brand, even though she has this computer science degree, and very much has a logical and technical mind, I have always been so impressed with Jaime that she also has a very strategic mind and a very marketing and brand-focused brain as well. Like Jaime can go both directions. She can be right-brained, when it's required, and she's extremely creative. Like I saw all of that come out with Red Magazine. She was an integral part of the reason why that thing lasted even the year that it lasted because she was very creative and strategic from that perspective. But then also, she's has a very technical mind.

Marsha Clark  6:13  
That's a rare combination, Jaime, if you haven't heard that. Having grown up in a technology world, you know, for most of my at least my corporate career piece and working with many technical clients in the last 25 years, that is a rare combination. So it's nice to have that. And thank you for being here to share it with us.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:35  
So Jaime, what first got you interested in this topic of personal branding?

Jaime Chambron  6:40  
Yeah. So, I think as I was going through my career 20 something years in tech, I made a lot of pivots because I was starting to grow. I went from programming to project manager to consultant to running a team, running a line of business. And so I realized, as I grew in my career, I needed to reset expectations of what I do, the value I provide. And as I gain more responsibilities means I have more tools in my tool of tricks. And then there's things over time to as you grow your career, there's things you learn, you don't want to do that again. There's things you learn, like I really love doing this. And so part of what I had to do, as I continued to grow and move into new roles and positions you always are selling and pitching yourself. And I think it's even more important today that you know how to sell yourself and sell your strengths because that's the only way you're going to advance yourself where you're at today, or even going to another organization, you're really selling the value that you're bringing to another group. And so secondly, I'm a really big fan of the book, "What Got You Here Won't Get You There". And so to remember and realize the things you learned and did and the value to get you to wherever you are in your career today, it's going to be different for that next steps. You're going to have to reinvent your brand, reinvent, you know, the value that you bring to someone else. I just say it's what you do for you and the value that you provide. And so over the common thread and kind of what I found as I reflected on my career and moved into what I do today with the career coaching and personal branding work, is I even with Great Minds, going back to where we started the conversation, I've become really good at understanding how to package, make the intangible tangible. And so Great Minds, we figure out how to package programming and attracting Girl Scouts and others wanting to come to that. And my tech career, I ran a lot of different professional services orgs. and so I got used to understanding how to package services. And at the end of the day, we are a service to someone else. And so I'm really just taking what I've been doing for 20 something years and now helping people package themselves.

Marsha Clark  8:43  
Well, and I just want to say, too, I mean, having done women's programming now for almost 25 years, branding always comes up. It can come up in the form of boardroom presence, executive presence, you know that 'What Got You Here Won't Get You There', the good 'ole Marshall Goldsmith point, and it's just absolutely true. And we don't know all the time how to put our best foot forward. So I love that you're going to share some thoughts, some tips. And even though the term 'branding' has now been around for a while, there are many young listeners, I'm sure out there, who are struggling with this. So I can't wait. I told Wendi before you came here today, I said I look forward to learning. So thank you again for being here and sharing that kind of information with not only Wendi and myself in this room, but also all of our listeners.

Jaime Chambron  9:33  
You got it!

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:34  
So now I'm curious, Marsha. Do you remember when you first heard about the concept of personal branding? I mean, was this something that you thought about or taught in any of your programs? I feel like it touches on some certain aspects. Okay, yeah, talk about that.

Marsha Clark  9:49  
So here's what I will tell you, boardroom presence, and then branding and then executive presence. We're kind of the sequence of nomenclature right? And in the early days, being one of the few women in technology in the 80's was power suits for women with the same fabric that men's suits were made out of, starched shirts and rosette ties. That was what branding look like. We were supposed to look like a slightly female version of the men. Then it went to, 'Oh, you can buy suits that are very tailored and professional looking, and they don't have to be made out of men's suit fabric'. And I remember, yay, you know, going and doing that. And I then made it a point not to look like men, because I wasn't one, you know, kind of thing. And then it got into, and I think I've told this story on some previous podcast, but I used to have the women come to me and say, 'Well, why do we have to (because I grew up in EDS very strict dress code) why do we have to only wear those color suits and do this, that and the other?' And they named a certain fairly senior woman and said, why can't we dress like her? And I did not know how to answer that, because she had been successful and she dressed atypically. And finally, it dawned on me and this is where branding really kind of took hold in me. I said, what else do you know about that person other than how she dresses? And they couldn't answer that question. And I said, if you want to only be known for how you dress, do whatever you want to. But if you want to be known as a smart, competent, agile, capable person with a brain and creativity, you might want to focus on that. And that's when branding really got rooted, if you will, in me. Right. And that was in the 90's.

Jaime Chambron  11:53  
And so 90's was also the internet, right? That's when everything was coming out. Yes, that's also when a book got published by Tom Peters called "Brand New". And so people realized, on the internet, My Space, I think, was some of the original online sites, you needed to control your presence on the internet and with who you were working for that there's this concept of you need to brand yourself back to what do you do, what's your credibility, not the how you dress at work but like, what are you actually producing, the value that you're providing there to help with their careers. So now if you fast forward you've got all kinds of different platforms out there. You've got LinkedIn now, Facebook, it's now also the gig economy, so it's really important, not the sites we normally know, but even Upwork. These platforms are 24/7. So while you're, again, not there, your online profile needs to be clear and crisp of what it is that you do. And they all need to be aligned too because people are at checkout, okay, looking for a job. Check out LinkedIn, but they might also check you out on Facebook to see what kind of person you are, day and night. So you've got to keep it all in control and even. Also, it's important that online you're building your network, you're selling yourself online. So again, the brand is really important, being clear about it is really important to help you with growing your network in terms of what you do for who and the value you provide so the right people connect with you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:23  
Exactly. And I just, the big thing that I see with people is they completely ignore their LinkedIn or their network while they have a job. And then something happens to their job and all of a sudden, they're your bestie. And they're all up trying to have coffee with everybody. And all, it is like you were in a cave for five years while you thought you were all cushy and safe over there. And those people, that just bugs me. Again, going back to one of our previous episodes a couple of previous episodes ago, two episodes ago, I was talking about the water and how I make an intentional plan of (in our Big Rocks Revisited episode), an intentional plan around checking in with a family member, a close network member and then a second tier network person like making that a priority to check in with three people or have coffee with them or a phone call or a something every single week and rotating through those people. I need to make a plan because guess what? All of a sudden, you'll walk in one day on a Wednesday and your whole department is gone and you haven't done anything to nurture or stay close to your network, and bad.

Marsha Clark  14:36  
Well, and I also want to say when we try to brand ourselves to be or be seen or look like everybody else, I will tell you what fascinated me and I can't even tell you this has been I guess several years ago now where somebody read an article that said if you lift one leg up while you're taking a picture and put your hand on your hip, you look better. And in every picture you started seeing that was the pose.

Jaime Chambron  15:05  
It's called the teapot. The teapot pose. Yes, everybody can picture it now.

Marsha Clark  15:09  
And I see five year old girls doing it. And it goes back to where did they know to do that or see or hear it? I mean, that was what it. . . so the point of a lot of our work, and even the title of this podcast is all about authenticity. And so I just want to say in the branding world, you don't have to look like everybody. And in fact, you just get lost in the sea of everybody else if you don't really understand your own brand and can represent it in a distinct way.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:42  
Yeah. So for anyone who's out there listening and is still on the fence of whether or not they should even care about spending time on their own personal brand, Jaime, what are some of the primary benefits to taking charge of our own personal brand? Why does anyone need one?

Jaime Chambron  16:00  
I mean, so to Marsha's point, it's standing out from the crowd. You don't want to be one of a million minions, you want to be known for something, be memorable about that. It's going to help you establish trust. If you're trying to become a thought leader in an industry, like what's your point of view to get out there to be remembered to be that authority. It's going to help you build your network, again, if you can stand out from others. Every day on LinkedIn we get hundreds of people's emails coming in to like network with you. But if you're a little more authentic and credible of really wanting to get to know someone, they're gonna accept your request or want to connect with you. So back to credibility, building that, and also it's going to help you be confident. I think I see especially at networking events, be it online or in person, if you're not confident about presenting yourself, it's partly because you don't really know how to present yourself, how to share what you do and who you are.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  16:58  
I love that. So one of the things that I really like when you do this, Jaime, when you teach or coach others about personal brand, is that you're framing things in terms of two things that I thought were really interesting. Number one is elements. And number two is assets of our brand. So tell us more about what you mean by elements and assets.

Jaime Chambron  17:22  
Yeah, yeah. And I'm going to equate this little bit to Legos. So think about elements as the Lego blocks. So they're going to be the alchemy of your story, your brand story. It's going to be skills of yours, it's going to be experiences. Think of each of these as a Lego piece, value delivered over your career. It may also be your own superpower. All those are elements of your brand, all those bits and pieces. Then think about a Lego kit, the kit at the end of the day you're building something, some sort of building, toy, you name it. And so at the end of the day, an asset is the end product that you're building. And so what we're doing is we're recombining all these different elements to create your brand assets. So things like your resume, that's going to look different from your LinkedIn profile which may look different from other tools like maybe if you're going to be a thought leader, white papers or presentations. All these things interconnect and can be recombined to create other things, too. Maybe you have a portfolio of like visual things you've produced in your career. That's another asset to your brand. So all different parts and pieces.

Marsha Clark  18:13  
You know, the way I look at it, Jaime, is you stated something earlier about making the invisible visible or the intangible tangible kind of thing. And when I think about what is my point of view about something, or what is my brand promise, or what is my superpower, what are my values that I want to represent - those are the intangibles or the invisible oftentimes. And yet your resume, your CV, your bio, all of those kinds of things and again, your physical representation based on dress and so on, that makes all of those other things, your values, your principles, and so on tangible so that people can hear it, see it, feel it, touch it kind of thing.  Am I getting. . .

Jaime Chambron  19:20  
Correct. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Marsha Clark  19:23  
So I like the idea of working through, developing a personal brand by looking at those elements and then, as you say, transfer them or transform them into assets. So my ears picked up a moment ago when you mentioned superpower as a brand element. And I have a little plaque on my wall that says 'I'm a woman. What's your superpower?' So that's kind of my thought whenever I hear the word superpower. And so we love talking about that on here. So I'm wondering, what do you mean when you include that as an element of our personal brand?

Jaime Chambron  19:59  
Yeah, so what I want to get to is simply what you do for who and the value you provide. Are you a super connector? Are you a super problem solver? What is it that's really your biggest strength, like I make the intangible tangible. What's your biggest thing that you do? And so as I go through and help people figure that out, I go through a number of different exercises, and one is just really to diverge on all the things you believe you're great at. And I put it from the perspective of, or what are you better than anyone else at? So think about all the people that you know, what is it that you're better than anyone else that you know of to help you hone in on? Are you a relationship builder? Are you that problem solver? Or are you the greatest presenter out there, to kind of figure out and hone in on. And a lot of times I end up helping kind of once we brainstorm all the different possibilities, what that one liner is for them to communicate to others.

Marsha Clark  20:59  
You know, I had a call recently, someone that I worked with years ago. And he told me, he gave me a label that I had never heard before. It was based on somebody he knew and a book they read that he wrote, this other person wrote and he read, and he said, 'Marsha, you're a visible expert on women's things.' Now this was a man. And, I was, I'd never thought about that. But I love the idea because as we talk about invisible to visible, being that visible, and when I think about my I'll call it my superpower, I see myself as an authentic and compassionate leader. And that's what I try to display in my actions and my words. And, you know, in your work, Jaime, you're working with people about this topic all the time. Do you find a difference in how easily people can answer that question of what is your superpower, I mean, differences based on gender, age, religion, culture, country, whatever it may be?

Jaime Chambron  22:05  
Yeah. I think partly like how far along you are on your career could play into it a little bit and how in tune you are, because I feel like young professionals are still figuring things out, trying different things. I think as you get more mature into your career, you become known. I think you get recognition by others so you can tell these are the things I should lean into more. And that's even really some of the exercises I do is asking colleagues of yours what do you think I'm fabulous at, getting feedback. So I think it really I haven't seen anything culturally or gender wise. I think it's just more like where you are in your career and how honed in are you to listening to feedback, and it's just understanding feedback you get, good and bad, that's going to resonate with how your career ends up unfolding over time.

Marsha Clark  22:56  
I am curious, though. I think about Sylvia Hewlett's work around executive presence. She spends quite a bit of time on attire and it is fascinating to me the different reactions you get about what is appropriate dress for women. So I can tell you I'm a big sports enthusiast. I'm listening to my sports radio on the way here this morning to record this. And it's a cast of men talking about being girl dads and they're talking about you'll love it until they (And this is very coarse. I don't mean for it to be offensive.) but you'll love your daughters until they get boobs. Now, this is the way men talk so let's just be real. I hear it on a regular basis. And you know, this idea of, I don't have to ever tell my son go back in your room and put a sweater on, right, or go back and, you know, whatever. And so I have that experience. I have the experience of why do we have to dress a certain way and let that define us, and yet we know that it does and so we cannot like it but do we want to pay attention to it. And so this notion of attire, men can wear almost anything and never be questioned. So when you say you don't see differences necessarily in gender, that's a big one for me. And it's both generational and gender. So can you dive a little deeper?

Jaime Chambron  24:24  
Yeah. Yeah. And I think because a lot of what I do is more focused on the online digital or print. I'm not in the 'what do you look like' so I could agree with you on there's definitely differences and how people present themselves physically that is definitely different and also just kind of what their background is. And I'd say the different, you know, older generation to the newer generation too I think there's a little bit of difference of like back to the they've been in one career for 40 something years so do they really they need to develop their brand? Do they need to do any of that where now the 20 Somethings, you're gonna need to figure this out now. And they grew up with social media and so to them, it's a little different. And they may have already built unknowingly on a profile that was college related and that's going to potentially take them a few steps back because you have to clean, you have to almost clean it all up, be professional going into college now. I mean, I have people coming to me even high school kids wanting to work on their resumes and their online presence.

Marsha Clark  25:32  
Interesting. So realizing the importance of doing that sooner rather than later.

Jaime Chambron  25:37  
Yes and I think it's going to be earlier and earlier. It might become something you have to make those soft skills that you never got taught like how to balance a checkbook. Doing that in high school because they're all on social media.  I have kids in middle school, they're visible on Tik Tok, on you name it, and so they need to know etiquette early.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:57  
Okay, so Jaime, when people struggle answering the question "What is your superpower?", what do you do to help them get over that block?

Jaime Chambron  26:08  
So back to my kind of tools in my toolbox of different exercises, I often sometimes recommend a few assessments like Your Strength Finders just to kind of help them re-hone in and get some other like third party perspective, back to asking friends and colleagues that 'what makes you fabulous' question. Also reviewing any current resume they have just reflecting the last few jobs, like what things are they most proud of accomplishing? Those are the kinds of things I want them to think through. And then going forward aspirationally what's their big, hairy, audacious goal in life? And is that something to tie their brain to? So there's a lot of different exercises I walk people through to help them and one's going to resonate more with someone else on what it is that they're really great at.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:54  
So Jaime, I've heard a phrase around just the marketplace - brand promise. And you know, is that one of your elements and if so, what is it? What is a brand promise? And is that the same or is that different as my personal brand?

Jaime Chambron  27:11  
Yes. So let's clarify a few things. Okay. So first, your personal brand are all the things you're doing to influence one's perception of you, right back to the what people remember you are about when you're not in the room. So that can be your LinkedIn profile, resume, your blog posts, social media engagement, all the verbal and written conversations you have, anything you are doing to influence one's perception of you. Now, your brand promise is that one liner, I've said a few times, that clearly communicates what you do for whom and the value you provide by doing what. So back to mine, it's: I help professionals (the who) make career breakthroughs (the value) by making the intangible tangible (the how).

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:00  
Drafting that, you're going to review your experience and superpower, think about what differentiates you. You're going to pick a focus area, and then focus on a one liner. I love that you have this one liner thing. I mean, that's just, okay. So and with that you're bringing in your brand promise. You can reinforce three or four different items that differentiate yourself. Okay. Love that. Love that. All right. So you've listed quite a few different elements that can make up our own personal brand promise, but I don't think I heard anything in here about my purpose, or where that comes into play. So if I'm somebody who has a really clear idea about my purpose, can I include that in my brand, also?

Jaime Chambron  28:44  
Absolutely. However, working with individuals, and this is another exercise in the tool of tricks, but a lot of people aren't really clear on what their purpose is, unfortunately. That's why I don't tie it to the one thing. It is one of many things that can be leveraged in figuring out what your brand promise is. So a lot of times when I'm figuring out the superpower and the brand promise, we do in parallel figure out what their purpose is, like it kind of comes to light. So all of this, they all play together. It just takes time and reflection and forcing someone to just sit back in their career and really reflect on what's been meaningful and your 'why' to what you do because a lot and I work with people in doing career pivots that helps them also figure out where to align themselves going forward.

Marsha Clark  29:34  
I want to tie this into something, Jaime, that we've talked about on an earlier podcast. In my continuum of one's professional journey (I don't even call it a career. I call it a professional journey.) and it starts with a job. So get out of school, whatever level of schooling I have, and I need financial independence and some financial security. Then I go to career where ambition kind of kicks in, I can do more, then comes calling where I know what my strengths are and I play to those strengths, then comes purpose, which is where I combine my strengths with my passion. And then for myself, there's then legacy. I mean, as I think about next continuum, next point on the continuum, of what's my legacy brand, if you will, what will people remember about me kind of thing. And so I try to help people define that purpose by combining strengths and passion. So I think it connects with what you're saying, and trying to get clearer about that. And yet, doing that sooner in our professional journey, rather than later, that kind of ties to what I often get asked is "Where were you when I was 25?" you know, when I'm talking to a 45, 50, 55 year old woman. And I love that you're getting those requests and that younger people are seeing that it is an important part of their professional journey. So I appreciate that we've talked about the elements that make up our personal brands because I think most people immediately jump to thinking about and creating the assets and all the ways we're going to share or promote our brand. So developing and maintaining those assets wisely, is an important part of ensuring that our brand is sending the message we intend. So Jaime, what advice do you have for our listeners on managing these assets well?

Jaime Chambron  31:34  
So I think the first step is really having something out there, right. And so taking some time to invest in getting your resume updated, getting your LinkedIn profile to really show who you are. And so I think a lot of people just put up their presence on these different platforms really haven't invested in understanding how to leverage them to the fullest, and getting just base information out there. And you can take a stab at it at your own because if you're in tune with yourself and you're tune in what you've done in your career, the value provided, the outcomes, you can quantify it, you can write it down, then just going through and making sure you have those materials up to date. And then it's, you know, getting a way of a habit to keep the materials up to date, right. So I recommend a lot of times my clients to keep a journal of like reflecting over the week or over the month what great things did you accomplish so that they can come back six months later, a year later, to go update their LinkedIn profile or update their resume.Those are the two key. Don't get overwhelmed by all the different media sites, but from from a career journey perspective, those are the two main items to keep up to date. So I would recommend, you know, getting comfortable with modern day resumes and the LinkedIn platform and getting your content out there is the biggest thing and making sure it's all aligned between the resume and the LinkedIn profile.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  33:01  
So Jaime, what happens if you don't have alignment? I mean, why is that alignment and consistency so important in our personal brand?

Jaime Chambron  33:10  
So, first off, if you're not clear and consistent, no one's going to really understand what it is that you do. And I see it all the time, because I've got people who are trying to be the career job and do a side hustle, but they don't have, like it's not clear what they're doing. They can attract more business to eventually become an entrepreneur. So just you need to be clear, because you can't be remembered if you're not clear on your LinkedIn profile on your resume. So that's one of the biggest pieces. You've got to be clear and you've got to be memorable. And those things need to be consistent Instagram, Facebook, you name it so it's reinforced over and over again whenever someone's looking you up, that they know what you do for who and that value that you're providing.

Marsha Clark  33:51  
And I think the clarity and alignment. . .When I look at LinkedIn, I have two thoughts, two big sort of throbbing thoughts, I would say. When I see people who have this long list of I'm a nature lover, I'm a reader, I'm a you know, I mean, it's all these things, and it's too much. So you know, I don't know how to connect with those people. And so when they reach out to connect to me, I don't know if I want to connect. So that's one sort of throbbing thought, if you will. The other is I used to because I thought growing my network is important so the number of connections I have on LinkedIn needs to be as big as it can possibly be and I would accept anyone and everyone. I don't do that anymore, because now LinkedIn has become a sales channel. And so I now have this little and so if you call me and say I want to help you grow your business, or have you ever thought about writing a book, I don't want to talk to you either because I've written a book and if you'd done your homework you would know that and you're not just you know, cold calling. And so I think about that in the context of branding as well. And that's why the clarity, alignment and consistency, you know, use words that people relate to, not that are just clever or cute. And it allows people to know who you are and what you do.

Jaime Chambron  35:21  
No, you're right. And one of the things I reinforce with my clients because they want to write things in their terms based on their perspective, but they have to write everything on that your future bosses perspective, your future clients perspective, your future, you name it. It's not from what you think it's about what are the words and language the recruiter's using? It's all kinds of fun things to know about the algorithms and whatnot, but you've got to write it from the other person's perspective, what they're going to want to know about you.

Marsha Clark  35:52  
And the currency part is also knowing how to get through artificial intelligence, thresholds and sensors and filters.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  35:58  
Yeah. Okay. So speaking of connecting with others, Jaime, where can people find you if they want to reach out and learn more about your coaching and support that you provide?

Jaime Chambron  36:08  
Yep. So of course, LinkedIn. And so it's in/chambron. You can also find me at my website, and if you want to just grab 10 minutes with me to share where you are in your career or get a little bit of advice and guidance, my signup page is bit.ly10withjaime.

Marsha Clark  36:39  
That's great. And I bet a lot of people will appreciate having you as a resource. I just can't imagine that they wouldn't. And you know, Jaime, when I was looking you up and getting ready for our time today, I noticed on your LinkedIn profile that you have the acronym NCOPE, next to your name. So what does that stand for?

Jaime Chambron  37:02  
So I'm a member of the National Resume Writers Association and they run training and certification on what NCOPE stands for which is Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert. So yeah, so basically, over five or six weeks I've learned from another guru all the ins and outs of LinkedIn, how to optimize/understand the algorithms. But I also learned other tricks on using Google for job search, job search terms, basically anything and everything to help with being found by recruiters on the internet.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  37:39  
Okay. Marsha, your question just made me think of another one. One thing I'm curious about, Jamie, in terms of personal brand management is the use of hashtags. I mean, we use them around here, obviously, for every single episode. There's different hashtags involved with all the different topics. But I'm curious to know your opinion on the best use of hashtags for a personal brand. Is more better? Are there better words than others? I mean, does anybody even really bother using them besides or you know, what they're for, which is to search based on that particular topic or are these just online vanity plates?

Jaime Chambron  38:17  
Yeah, that's a good. . .so back to the training, there actually is a little bit of how this plays into when you post and engage on LinkedIn. So algorithm wise, you only want three tags on a post, or if you post an article, publication, share something. And then you can have five tags tied to your profile on LinkedIn and should really be the five topics you want to be known for being an authority in or wanting to speak about on LinkedIn is how that really should be used.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:55  
Okay, and so while we're on the subject of hashtags and social media, you specifically have been referring to LinkedIn as an asset but none of the other social platforms. Is that intentional?

Jaime Chambron  39:08  
So how I look at the different platforms is LinkedIn, to me, is the foundational site to be on for anyone having a career, even being an entrepreneur, anything related to jobs and work and making a living, that's LinkedIn and that's where your professional self is. But then, based on what we were talking about earlier, all the other social sites you might be on needs to be aligned with who you are. So Facebook, Tik Tok, X, all of those needs to, Instagram, needs to reflect you. I mean, there's now even business accounts on Instagram. So you've got to also replicate your brand on those other sites. But I see those as much more social. Instagram a wee more for the people with more visual businesses. I find they're on Instagram representing their business or professionals. But otherwise LinkedIn hands down is get a handle of, that's where people will find you professionally, for a job, to buy from. It's there.

Marsha Clark  40:11  
And I just want to offer to our listeners as well because this was new news to me some months ago. I had a call with a series of executive headhunters because I often get asked for references there and they said that even senior level all the way up to CEO jobs are being sourced from LinkedIn, because at one time when it first started I think it was more lower to mid level jobs that people saw LinkedIn as a recruiting tool. But I want our listeners to know it goes all the way to CEO these days.

Jaime Chambron  40:46  
Yep. So the statistic if I remember correctly, 97% of recruiters including the executive headhunters, LinkedIn is their database nowadays. They do still have their separate database to take further notes, but they're sourcing, their pipeline to source candidates is LinkedIn.

Marsha Clark  41:05  
And also for our listeners, you know, there's this little banner I guess you'd call it that says 'open for work'. You can still be open for work without announcing to the world. But you've got to know how to use LinkedIn and people like you, Jaime, can help them know how to do that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  41:19  
Okay, I'm so glad you said that because now I'm going to deviate just a pinch from our script here. But the 'open to work' thing, Jaime, is that good or bad?

Jaime Chambron  41:28  
Just saw an article. Don't do it. From a Google recruiter, don't do it. I like to recommend turn it on briefly like if you've just got laid off, unemployed all of a sudden. I like to say turn it on briefly and share with your network because your network, right, and then turn it off. Like at least it's on, a blip, you get it posted on LinkedIn, because it's still the other stat 80% of jobs are still filled via networking. They're not posted online. It's the sourcing the candidates. But yes, there was an article posted over the last week that says don't turn that flag on.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  42:04  
Okay All right. I feel like we've just scratched the surface here today on the subject of personal branding. But Jaime, before we wrap up, is there like one or two last words of wisdom that you want to share with our listeners?

Jaime Chambron  42:18  
Yeah. So biggest thing, figure out your brand promise, that one liner, what you do for who and the value you provide. Once you hone in on that, everything else is just going to flow and follow to publish.

Marsha Clark  42:32  
Well, and I feel like that brand promise needs to be displayed prominently somewhere to remind you every single day so whether it's on your laptop screen on a sticky note or on your whiteboard or whatever it may be because you look up, you glance at that and when you're saying, "Okay, I'm about to meet someone for the first time. How do I want to show up? What am I going to do for them? What value am I bringing?" So it's a good reminder and having the visibility into that, literally the visibility into that.

Jaime Chambron  42:58  
Yes. Absolutely.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  42:59  
So Marsha, what about for you? What was the key takeaway for you?

Marsha Clark  43:02  
Well, I think this idea of even the labeling that you get like a brand promise and the elements and the assets and how those represent pretty specific things. You know, the work that I do, because I'm big on tools in the toolkit as well, is when we can give a name or a label, it's more easily accessible and therefore easier to manage. And so you've given me language and labels to help structure what can be swirling thoughts in one's head. So that's the big deal for me today.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  43:38  
I love that. I love that. And for me, it's this idea of keeping track of your wins as they happen so that you're not having to, in the stress of the moment if you lose your job or you know you're going to be downsized in the next 90 days, it's not the stress of "Holy crap. What did I do here for the last three years? What were the wins?" I mean, and Jaime's probably going to go into more detail on this if you guys schedule a 10 minutes with her, you're needing her services or wanting her services, you know, that quantifiable data like what led team that was responsible for 30% increase of sales in this business unit. You know, you need those things, but when you're freaking out in the moment, you can't remember that you led the team that increased 30% in revenue, or whatever. So that for me is the big thing, is to start writing down and making a point to keep track of those wins. Plus, I'm also loving the idea of frankly, you know, when I'm having a crappy Tuesday, I can look at my list of wins and just feel better about myself.

Marsha Clark  43:56  
And it's quantitative and quality. And, you know, something strikes me, it just kind of came flashing through my head. You know, for us as women, it's sometimes hard for us to admit our, we might think we have a superpower but we're never going to say it out loud because that would be too braggadocious or egotistical or whatever. And I will tell you how I've gotten myself around that, how I manage myself in that. And I offer this phrase to our listeners. When the potential client or prospect asks me so what's so unique about you or what's different about you, I start that with priming language of 'what my clients tell me differentiates me from others is' because that way it's not me bragging on myself or being arrogant. It's me sharing data that's legitimate. And then if you go look at my LinkedIn or whatever, you'll see testimonials from people who say those things, right. And so I just want to offer that to our, you know, primarily female audience listening to this podcast that even when it feels like I could never say that, or that I'm going to display a competency or not a competency, just a personality of, I'm good at this. And we have to own that in ourselves and be willing to share, but there might be a way that we can indirectly do that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  46:15  
Yeah, that way you don't feel like you're bragging but yet, you're still talking about what your skills and what your uniqueness is.

Marsha Clark  46:24  
And you have the words in all those places to back that up. So, Jaime, thank you so much for sharing your insights, your inside knowledge, I mean, whether it be the stats or the fact that you can actually get a certification in online. . . I just find that fascinating, too. And, Wendi, thanks for bringing your longtime friend to us. I really appreciate what we've talked about today. And I hope and know that our listeners do, too.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  46:51  
Well, I knew this would be a great episode. And so, Marsha, what's coming up next week?

Marsha Clark  46:56  
So next week we're going to continue building on this idea of leveraging your personal brand. And we're going to explore the topic of intentional networking, so using your brand in a specific way to broaden your network and, you know, you're going to attract the kind of people you want to attract based on your brand. And I know, Wendi, you even give us tips on how you take care of that and do that as well. And I'm excited to learn some tips from you as well as offer some tips to our listeners.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  47:22  
Awesome. Well, thank you again, Jaime, for being with us today. And once again, I'm gonna plug her website, And you can find Jaime, connect with her, book a time with her because, again, I'm going to vouch for somebody that I've known for 20 plus years now that Jaime's the real deal. She knows what she's doing. She knows her stuff. And this is a, she's not and I want all of our listeners to hear this, too, that she's not competing with Marsha. She's taking this tiny slice of a stage that you're in in life and really drilling down into that expertise.

Marsha Clark  48:04  
That's right. I, you know, triple that. Just, look. I think there are lots of people out there with very special expertise. Your superpower is this. The other thing I love about what you offer in your work, Jaime, is the anecdotal experience of how you've had to re-create or re-imagine or re-brand yourself and so you bring the practical anecdotal along with the research. I love it when you talk stats, kind of thing. And then the practical application with the tools. So I think that's a pretty special combination in regards to being able to help others. And, you know, I would just say to our listeners, is Wendi, you said we're not in competition, we are here to support one another. And there's plenty of room for all of us out there if you have that abundance mindset and you are in service to one another in that supportive network. And so, listeners, thank you very much and I do hope that you'll avail yourself of Jaime's services and her expertise and that you've found some tidbits today that can help you in your own branding process or re-branding process. And let us hear from you. We always like that and please share the podcast and the information with people that you think can benefit from it. And, as always, and today's podcast is a living example of this, "Here's to women supporting women!"

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