Archive for May, 2012

Using Joan of Arc Story to Turn Earrings Into Inspiration

Job seekers and careerists: stick with me. I promise this is 100% relevant to advancing your career.

If you need further confirmation of the power of story to move decision-makers to action, or just want to see story beautifully wielded as a marketing tool, check out the video below by Michelle Phan. In it, she uses Joan of Arc’s divinely inspired mission to imbue rings and bracelets with deep meaning. Note how she speaks directly to the viewer, putting them in the same category as the legendary saint:

“I guess, in a way, I should thank Joan of Arc and all of you for inspiring me to believe in myself.”

It might not sound like the most eloquent statement taken out of context, but in the video the sentiment is heartfelt, real, and engaging.

Also note, instead of directly asking the viewer to buy, she implores, “Never give up on your dreams.”

The connection is made. Buying Phan’s accessories = your commitment to and inspiration for fulfilling your destiny.

As her offerings are not “just” accessories, so are professionals’ wares much more than technology strategy, operations leadership, or marketing campaigns.

When you prepare your career communications, think about the story, symbol, and/or concept you could use to convey the real meaning of what you do. For example:

A marketing executive does not just manage campaigns, she spreads your company’s most important message to the world.

An operations leader does not just make sure all the cogs are working, he delights your customers and stops the hemorrhaging of your bottom line.

Here’s one of my favorites from a real client, and most relevant to the Joan of Arc example:

A construction manager does not just build buildings, he is the MacGyver of construction, using uber-creative thinking to get the job done, no matter what.

Again, the connection is made.

Hiring you = spreading their important message, having delighted customers, knowing they’ll be the one construction company in the world to get projects completed on-time and on-budget.

There is a reason Michelle Phan has the #1 female channel on YouTube, coverage on platforms like Vogue and The New York Times, and a contract with Lancome. Where would your career be if you could use story like this?

Need help crafting a compelling, story-based message to land your dream job or take your executive career to the next level? Let’s Talk.

May 17, 2012 at 9:25 am 2 comments

Where did my LinkedIn “Specialties” go?

Head scratchI recently lost the “Specialties” section in my LinkedIn profile, and I’ve noticed that some of my clients have it while others do not.

You can save yourself some reading time by going to the bottom line: put your specialties in your new “Skills” section which helps with SEO. No need to read more unless you find the nuts and bolts of LinkedIn make for truly fascinating reading.

Rather than recreate the wheel by explaining further, I refer you to Matt Youngquist’s article on the topic here.

The only thing I disagree with in his article is trying to cram a list of specialties into your summary. I believe the job of your summary is to appeal to the human reader with a compelling, value loaded question or story that gets the reader thinking you are the solution to the problem that keeps them up at night.

Leave the SEO work to the “Skills” section and to your job descriptions.

May 16, 2012 at 8:47 am Leave a comment