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Sima Dahl
2,627 followers -
International Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Personal Branding for Professionals | Social Selling for Sales | LinkedIn & Vistage Speaker
International Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Personal Branding for Professionals | Social Selling for Sales | LinkedIn & Vistage Speaker

2,627 followers
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London-based premium incentives company +Positive Branding Limited contacted me for a quote on Branding. I'm just one of 13 experts including +william arruda and +Maria Ross to weigh in on this question: What would be your top tip for creating professional branding which stands out online?

Check it out everyone's answers here:
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Happy Friday and welcome to the home-stretch of my 5-part Personal Branding for Career Climbers Challenge – you’re in the home stretch!

>> Friday’s Personal Brand Question is: How are you unique?

Time Required: 10 minutes

I just got off the phone with a woman who is an Event Manager for a mutual fund company. She’s one of four that reports to a Team Manager who reports to a Senior Manager who reports to… you get the picture. So how does she differentiate herself from her peers? What makes her different? To start, she has 22 years of experience exclusively in the mutual fund industry. She prides herself on building strong working relationships with her internal clients. And she’s a strategic thinker – it’s not just the event experience, but the outcome that she focuses on.

You ARE unique. Your experiences, your outlook, your style. People struggle with this because they look for something enormous – that’s not the goal! Spend a minute thinking about:
* How your prior experience shapes the way you work
* What your clients (internal or external) would say they like most about working with you
* How your involvement in trade or industry associations keep you sharp
* Challenges you’ve overcome, and what you now do differently
* How you are always learning, growing, improving

Whatever you just thought of? That’s it. Start there.

Next week, we’ll talk about pulling it all together, if I survive another four days at Lollapalooza that is :)

#personalbranding #cocktailnapkinquote #swayfactor

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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.

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Today is an exciting day! It’s the first day of Lollapalooza where I’ll join 100k of my closest friends for an unending torrent of epic live music, and if that’s not enough, it’s Day 4 of the Personal Branding for Career Climbers Challenge! Have you been keeping up? Making progress? Let me hear from you!

>> Thursday’s Personal Brand Question is: Do you have proof?

Time Required: 10 minutes

If you’ve been doing the homework, you’ve answered the following: 1) who is your target market, 2) what problems you solve, and 3) how you solve it.

Now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and capture your proof points. Your stats, case studies, anecdotes and testimonials that back up your claim. If you’re just starting your career climb, you may not have much here and that’s okay – all you can do is work with what you have.

Be sure to include any relevant volunteer work or community service. In fact, that’s a great way for people of any age to get more experience under their belt, especially that seemingly impossible task of getting your first people-manager job when the employer requires prior experience.

This shouldn’t take long so set 10 minutes on the timer and go!

#personalbranding #cocktailnapkinquote #swayfactor

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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.
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Welcome back to my five-part series on Personal Branding for Career Climbers and congratulations, you’re halfway to the finish line! So far, you’ve spent roughly 30 minutes or less to identify 1) who your target market is, and 2) what problem you solve. Many clients struggle to define their Personal Brand because they try to eat the proverbial elephant whole. By breaking the process down into bite-sized nuggets – 15 minutes each – you’re successfully inching your way to defining your very own Personal Brand!

>> Wednesday’s Personal Brand Question is: What is your solution?
Time Required: 20 minutes

How do you eliminate your client’s pain? How do you solve your buyer’s very expensive problem? Your answer should include all relevant skills and experience you bring to the table. What specialized training do you have? Have you taken any courses? How have your prior jobs helped shape the way you approach your work?

To really crush this exercise, write for the Reader. Think WIIFM - an acronym for "what's in it for me" where me = your target buyer.

For example, my buyers include Sales & Marketing executives, Business Owners, and Meeting Planners. If you’re an SVP of Sales, I want you to know that my Sway Factor™ system is built upon a successful 20-year track record of crafting brands and generating leads for B2B companies – startups and global enterprises alike. And that I practice what I preach… that a full 99 percent of my clients are referrals or inbound leads. I’d start there, and I’d keep going, pulling out the skills and experience that a reader would find valuable.

If you have multiple target markets as I do, repeat the exercise for each one. There may be some overlap, that’s okay.

Ready? Your turn. Set a timer for 20 minutes and when the timer is up, move on to something else. Whatever you capture is good enough to proceed to the next step, Scout’s honor!

#personalbranding #cocktailnapkinquote #swayfactor

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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.

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Welcome to the second post in my five-part series on Personal Branding for Career Climbers. If you’re just joining, start with Monday's post and then bounce back here.

Before I dive into today’s thought-starter, let me reassure you that whether you found the first assignment difficult or easy, there’s always time to refine your personal brand story. As a human being, you are a work in progress. Perfection is NOT the goal, progress is!

Tuesday’s Personal Brand Question is: What problem do you solve?
Time Required: 15 minutes

I cringe every time I read a résumé that starts out by listing what the job-seeker enjoys doing… Newsflash: No one cares! I don’t mean to be harsh but as an employer, the ONLY thing I care about is what you can do for me. And to what end.

Take a few minutes and write down the company problem(s) that you solve.

Hint: It’s only a problem if you can tie it to money. If the problem you’re describing doesn’t impact profit, sales, revenue, speed to market, efficiency, retention, productivity, recruiting, or some other area of business with a financial impact, then keep digging.

By way of example, I could say I’m an international speaker and corporate trainer, but to what end? I have to let my target market know that I help companies:
1) accelerate sales ($$$)
2) retain high potential staff (cost of employee turnover, lost productivity)
3) transform every employee into an online brand advocate (bad PR, sluggish talent funnel, and even lost sales)

And remember what I said yesterday, it’s hard to cut your own hair! Set a timer for 15 minutes and just start writing!

#personalbranding #cocktailnapkinquote #swayfactor

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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.

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About once a week I get an email from someone either looking for a new job or heads down trying to climb the corporate ladder, asking for advice on defining their personal brand. And I know as well as anyone that it’s no easy task. I have a 20-year track record of successfully defining complex brands and creating marketing messages that resonate, and even I find it difficult to do this for myself. As I often say, “It’s hard to cut your own hair!”

This week I’m going to share one question every day to help the people I call Career Climbers with their personal branding goals. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned pro, whether you’re returning to work after raising your kids or you’re simply ready for a career change… personal branding can help you open doors and attract more opportunity. Ready? Let’s get started.

Monday’s Personal Brand Head-Scratcher: Who is your target market?
Time Required: 15 minutes

In the world of personal branding, the product is you. Your market, therefore, is whoever hires you, relies on you, whoever needs the work you perform. Make a list and be as specific as possible, then force-rank them. By way of example, when I worked in field marketing for an enterprise software company, my primary market (buyers) were sales leaders who needed effective lead generation and deal closing programs. My secondary buyers were global field marketing peers who looked to me for best practices and repeatable programs. In third place was the product marketing team; they couldn’t run programs in the field without my buy-in (and my budget).

Post your list here if you want feedback, and please weigh in on other people’s posts too. As I often say in my training programs, there is wisdom in the room – let’s share it!

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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.

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Sorry? Say It In Writing

My feelings were hurt. Although it was unintentional, that didn’t ease the sting. She was quick to apologize and I was even quicker to accept. It was not how she treated people normally, I knew that and I told her so. Onward.

This morning I found a card from her in my mailbox… a funny one-liner, “To f*ck up is human, to forgive divine.” But then she thanked me – thanked ME – for my grace.

I talk to audiences all the time about how to become more influential… how to increase your Sway Factor™, and the plain truth is that it starts with your character. It’s the huge impact made by often very small actions that set you apart and saying I’m sorry is one of them. Saying it in writing? That puts you at the head of the class.

#swayfactor #cocktailnapkinquote #personalbranding
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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.
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Headshot Days 2017

Date: July 21st
Location: Itasca
Time: 10am-7pm CT

Headshots aren’t just for CEO’s and celebrities anymore. Every professional should look their best online. In fact, your LinkedIn profile is 11x more likely to be viewed if you have a headshot. Let’s face it, everyone is Googling everyone, and how you show up online is more important than ever.

If your headshot says “roadie” instead of “rock star” don’t miss my next Headshot Days event. In its 9th year, Headshot Days brings together a renowned fashion photographer and celebrity makeup artist to deliver a gently retouched headshot perfect for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, websites, book covers, TED Talks, and more. And because we’re able to do multiple shoots in one day, the fees are discounted more than 60%!
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About this time last year, I stopped practicing some healthy habits I’d worked very hard to create. I stopped regularly working out. I stopped writing every week. I stopped honoring my calendar and found myself working at odds hours of the night. In short, I stopped being the woman I wanted to be.

It didn’t happen overnight, yet still, it happened. And I don’t really understand why. Truth be told, I’ve done this before. Living the life I want to live, crushing my goals, feeling focused, confident, then almost as if on purpose, as if self-destruction was my intent, found myself on a divergent path headed in the wrong direction.

I was unhappy. Embarrassed… Fighting myself to get back on the path towards full self-expression. And then yesterday I wound up giving the very advice that I myself needed to hear. I was talking with a friend in an unhealthy relationship. She’s frustrated because she knows she needs to leave yet somehow can’t, and she doesn’t understand why. I reminded her of a lesson I had once learned but have apparently since forgotten… that even when we don’t understand ourselves, we still have to accept ourselves. We still have to love ourselves. We have to do the thing we know to do even when it’s hard.

We all face challenges; we all stumble. Sometimes even the smallest step forward can feel colossal and impossible. If it were easy, we wouldn’t spend $10B a year on the self-help industry. In talking to my friend I realized I too was fighting myself, frustrated and stuck. I decided to heed my own advice: Just because I don’t understand how I got here doesn’t mean I have to stay here!

To get in motion I joined a private Facebook group of fellow speakers who meet online to help one another make time to write. And I’m pleased to report that this morning I successfully wrote for two solid hours. I’m done with the self-loathing. I’m done with the negative self-talk. I’m done trying to understand why I fell off the wagon. Because spending any more time trying to understand how I got here gets me nowhere.

Where are you stuck? If walking away seems too hard, try walking towards something instead. Just take one step out of your head and into action.

#cocktailnapkinquote #swayfactor

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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.
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When I’m not sure I can, I’m sure I can try.

The word “try” gets a bad rap. Take the Star Wars character Yoda and his famous line, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” I understand the intention but I still like the word “try.” Simply put, that word helps me move out of NO WAY and into action.

Last Sunday I was cycling with my friend in Wisconsin – my second longest ride of the season. Our goal was to do 70 miles but we ended up bailing at 50. Chicagoland is really flat, and the terrain was far hillier than I am used to. That and the tailwind / crosswind combo was killing me. Towards the end of the ride when I would get to the top of I hill I would say a silent prayer: “Please for the love of all things holy let that one be the last.” And then I would round the bend only to see another.

Upon seeing yet another hill my defeatist self-talk would kick in: I cannot do that. I am done. I am spent. No way. Maybe I should walk. Where is SAG support anyway? WTH is with all these hills?

Looking back, I realize I just never learned the critical art of cheering myself on. Maybe you learned that in organized sports, or from your parents, but I never acquired that skill… that soundtrack. I know better now.

Last Sunday when I heard myself giving up without even giving a shot, I switched the tape: No harm in trying. What’s the worst case scenario? I get halfway there and walk the rest? So what! I’m getting stronger for trying, becoming a smarter cyclist for trying. Be proud of the effort and pedal on. Unleash the beast. Go you!

And damn if I didn’t try. It hurt but I made it to the top of that hill. And the next one, and the next one too. Had I attempted the 70mile route would I have crushed it, or bonked? I’ll never know. But had I never tried to take those hills I would have not known that deep down -- buried under “I can’t” -- actually had it in me.

Last Sunday the emotional win wasn’t riding to the top of those hills; it wasn’t even the finish line; it was the TRY.

Now I’m going to “try” to finish my book. How about you? Switch the tapes and pedal on. No way to know where you’ll go unless you try. #personalbranding #swayfactor #cocktailnapkinquote

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Visit http://SimaDahl.com and download "7 Ways You May Be Destroying Your Digital Footprint." You can also connect with me on http://Facebook.com/IAmSimaSays, http://Instagram.com/SimaSays, http://LinkedIn.com/in/SimaSays and http://Twitter.com/SimaSays.
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