Mind Your Phone Manners

mobile-phone-791644_1280Is your phone behavior hurting your brand? Are you leaving curt voicemails with little to no helpful details because you’re in a rush? Is your outgoing message on your voicemail vague or worst of all, are you using a robotic default message? Are you slow to return phone calls? When you leave a voicemail, are you paying attention to how your voice sounds?

Most of us commit cardinal sins against proper voicemail and phone etiquette from time to time, but in my June Twin Cities Business column, I discuss how to be more mindful with your phone communication to avoid harming your brand. Get helpful tips for outgoing voicemail messages that work, timing your phone communication, how to make the right impression when leaving a message, and more. Read the full article on Twin Cities Business online.

Bold and Bluetiful

5975_FRBLUWant to feel like you’ve just won the Tour de France? Buy yourself a French blue shirt – a bright shade of blue that makes a big statement. I know I’m always raving about wearing the color red. It remains a strong power color option,but try this other option for those who like a different shade of intensity. For your audience as well as yourself, French blue gives the subtextual message of champion.

While the depth of French blue varies from garment to garment, you know you’ve got the right color when you take periwinkle and dial it up. It’s not quite royal blue, nor is it sky blue – it sits somewhere in between. I like to visualize the Mediterranean. You’ve probably seen it utilized everywhere from nautical design to toile wallpaper, but it’s actually not an uncommon color in dress shirts for both men and women. It’s possible you’ve seen it on the racks before, but passed it up because it seemed too colorful.

Color communicates. That’s why I’m such a strong proponent of color in business wardrobe. Black and white aren’t colors, they are the absence of color. They say nothing about your character. But red or blue, for example, speak volumes. With its deep saturation and vibrant hue, French blue tells the world you’ve taken on challenges and won. You’re confident and in control. Ultimately, isn’t this the right kind of message to send to people when you’re asking them to trust you as a consultant, C-level leader or competent team member? Read the rest of this entry »

Say No to Networking

0515_PersonalBrand_400Networking can sometimes feel like a chore, but establishing ties is essential – no man, and no business, is an island. The key to networking well is to stop thinking of it as networking, and start thinking of it as relationship building, or prospecting. Don’t just collect business cards, but seize opportunities to nurture authentic contacts that can turn to leads or professional assets.

I talk about this in my May Twin Cities Business column. If you hate networking, or if you’re not an active networker, this one is full of wisdom for you! Even if you’re a seasoned networker, you can avoid burnout with my advice. Read the full article at Twin Cities Business online.

Does Hillary Clinton Have Presidential Presence?


Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the President of the United States last week and many are asking whether as a country we’re ready for a woman President. Here’s the question I’ve been asking – Is Hillary ready to BE President? After watching her recent appearances on broadcast television, I’m not so sure.

Clinton’s press conference on March 10th was one of the first times she spoke publicly about controversy surrounding her use of personal emails during her tenure as Secretary of State. During that speech, and others since, Clinton has exhibited many cues that show she is not that sorry. Just from a verbal perspective, the tone of her answers to journalists’ questions regarding the email issue could easily be categorized as disdainful if not arrogant. She was unapologetic in her answers, not a good start for her presidential campaign: Read the rest of this entry »

WOW! Them With Your LinkedIn Presence

b26-linkedin-manIt’s no secret LinkedIn may be the most under-utilized social media network out there. After meeting LinkedIn Coach Sandy Zeiszler of MoxZclicks, I’m even more determined to power up my own LinkedIn presence. A strong LinkedIn account can add to your online footprint just as much or more than Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Thought you’d want in on a few things you can do to build a stronger LinkedIn profile and WOW! your clients and colleagues.

You know by now, I’m going to suggest you have a strong business headshot. Nothing funny for LinkedIn—unless you are actually a professional comedian. Make sure you have a photo. I never accept invitations from people without ones. Your professional headline space is crucial. Coach Sandy says to “use words to help others find you. You want to separate yourself in a search when your target clients are looking for you and your services.”

In your summary, Coach Sandy recommends you add testimonials from others—right there in the narrative of your summary. What about those endorsements? Coach Sandy’s Big Click advice is “don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Showcase your top specialties.” She advises you identify 5 skills/talents for which you want to be known. Get rid of the rest on your profile. If you actually have several endorsements for another 3 to 5 areas, Coach Sandy says it’s okay to keep them. But do keep this part of your profile as clean as possible.

Showing off your work is also a way you can win fans and future clients. Coach Sandy says you can “share .docs, pdf, and videos to your summary, education and experience sections.” Remember, growing your personal brand is a continual process. So avoid trying to get too many things done at one time. Focus on quality as you bring in some of these suggestions. Here’s to your WOW!