While Robin Hood, Rosie the Riveter and Gollum are seriously lacking in the social media scene, most of you reading this could tell me who they are. While you have better odds at winning the lottery than getting a resume from one of these folks, you could imagine if their CV came by your desk. Robin Hood would be a very personable guy to work with, however, he might need some extra training to become a barista. Rosie the Riveter would undoubtedly motivate staff to increase production by 200%. Meanwhile, Gollum might apply for a loan to open an antique jewelry business.
The question of “Who am I” or even “Who are you?” can be a daunting one to answer.
A few years ago I attended a conference hosted by Frank Kenney, called Bigfoot. An afternoon of educational sessions led by various experts in our area was great, however, the lunch keynote was ultimately what I needed to hear. Through story, Rabbi Daniel Lapin shared how important it was to tell people who you are. He shared that it used to be that merchants would give themselves a descriptive last name to help promote their skills hence Goldsmith. The idea was to introduce yourself and immediately share how you could be of service and provide value.
Explore the Question: Who are you?
Everyone has a complex and evolving identify Personally, I struggle with the idea that I could bottle up “me” into a clear cut vanilla flavored description. A few sentences? That doesn’t seem to cover even half of it. The challenge: create a straight forward, to the point and clear statement. I struggled with the thought that I needed to squeeze the essence out of my previous job titles in order to get the purest version of my skill set. Which wouldn’t be true as I am not my job title. I began writing down a list of prompts in hopes of guiding myself to the answer of “who am I?”
- Is there a common theme at the core of the majority of my jobs?
- What skills have risen to the surface and become my “cream” abilities?
- What are my job weaknesses?
- Where do I want to be working?
- What is my big picture goal of working?
- If I could do any job right now with the skills and resources I have what would it be?
- What do I truly dislike doing?
- What problems can I solve?
- What are my boundaries and requirements?
- Where do I want to be in one, three and five years?
Where to Tell People Who You Are
It’s time to do a little cleaning, dusting off of old profiles, and refocusing my pitch to those looking in from the outside. Places I am looking at updating:
Twitter: To say that Twitter is JUST a microblogging tool is a bit like saying the ocean is where fish live. Sort of… but there is SO much more. Things on my list to change are the bio, profile image, background, and header. This is where my friendly summary bio will go, one that explains me as a professional, a person and where to find out more. The background should reflect my personality, be professional, yet still genuine. I am not going to put granite in the background, that is so not me. Might go with me working outside with horses grazing in the background.
Facebook: As of this moment, Facebook is unfocused as a personal branding tool as family, friends, acquaintances, business partners and more are intermingled. My personal profile has not been a channel for leads for me, however I have it set to public so the bio, links, information and images do play a part in how I present myself. My list of things to update on this channel include the about section, links, and quotes. I may even begin to schedule out messages that will blend well with my eclectic mix of friends.
Foursquare: While I don’t see Foursquare coming up in top search results for “Lyndit” or “Lyndi Thompson,” it is still technically a landing page with my face on it. Things to update here: profile picture and bio. I also need to leave a few more tips at places beyond Costco. A brief scan over my tips and check-ins makes me look like I only grocery shop and buy horse food, which doesn’t tell the whole story. (I go to cool stuff too!)
Instagram: With the recent profiles, Instagram has bumped itself up as one of my absolute favorite new channels. I love the ease in which to engage with content, the simplicity of the interface and, if I so choose, the rich amount of content I can search. Things to update on this channel: bio, link and profile image. I also made a note to start adding images that are beyond the farm like more professional snapshots of my marketing life. Print work, events, and other things to position myself on this channel beyond baby and animal photos.
LinkedIn: Updating and cleaning up this channel is a bit like a trip to the dentist, it needs to be done a few times a year – at very least! LinkedIn showcases my skills, work history, testimonials, links, bio and more. This is my professional landing page, a page I have seen convert into many leads, clients and contracts. Tackling LinkedIn is becoming a very important area for presenting the answer to “who I am” online.
My website: Looking back at older pieces I have written, I see where I was and smile at where I am now. Traffic has significantly increased, visitors check in with my latest ramblings and I have found my approach and philosophy to online marketing, branding and tips to be good but not consistent.
The question, “Who am I?” took me on a journey. I got to jog down familiar trails that need a little sprucing up and explored new areas that have lots of potential. Holding on to the idea that an identity is always evolving provides a great deal of freedom to explore and refine how I message who I am.