Thursday, May 21, 2009

Productively Build Your Brand on Zero Budget

Now is a great time to productivity invest in yourself without spending a lot of money. This month choose three activities you can begin working on to build or increase your personal brand:

Practice a great handshake – you only have 7 seconds to make a first impression. In those 7 seconds people assess your age, income, marital status and education level – in 7 seconds!

Create an email signature – include your contact information and a quote about you.

Change your voicemail monthly – have you listened to your voicemail lately? If not, try it.

Set up social media profiles – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo – there are so many choices and you simply need to invest 15 minutes per day to do this.

Create e-introductions on email for your network – make introductions for others in your network via email. Help them build their business and resources while you build a brand of being the ‘go-to’ connector.

Give one referral away every day – who will you recommend today? I believe the more you give out the more it comes back to you 10 fold! It works, try it out.

Write one thank you note every week – there are so many reasons to thank people but few people take the time to do this, it will make you more memorable.

Invite someone to a networking event with you – help them expand their network while you get to increase yours too.

Invite a potential connection for coffee – well this costs money… but not much. Coffee is a much less expensive option than lunch or dinner and can be more productive too!

Conduct a tele-coffee (this is where you make a coffee, and I make a coffee and we talk on the telephone!) I do tele-cocktails on Fridays! These take no more than 15 minutes and they are very productive!

Follow up after networking events – did you know less than 1% of people follow up? Be part of that 1% today.

Ask your network for help – reach out, you will be so glad you did. People want to help you but maybe they don’t know what you need? Choose to reach out to one person today.

Comment on discussion boards/websites – share your opinion and expertise with the world, they want to hear from you.

Start your own blog – go to and set up in 5 minutes!

Ask others to promote you – be brave, you are fabulous – tell others and they will spread the word!

Never leave the house in sweats – this is a MAJOR sin – don’t do it – it kills your brand! Ensure you have one fabulous outfit for all your errands.

Wear great shoes –shoes communicate a message about you – what message are you sending to the world with your shoe choices?

Walk with great posture – back straight and head held high – face the world with a smile.

Speak in positive language only – refuse to buy into the negativity right now, in every conversation speak only in positive words.

Join a non-profit Board – giving back in your community will increase your brand and your network and feels great too!

Donate your time - give to a cause you are passionate about i.e. read at your local school, volunteer at a soup kitchen, visit aged care facilities where you live, and offer to shop for someone – there are so many people who could use your time and talents.

Create your own language – have a favourite word and use it often, mine is ‘fabulous’. What is a word you use often that people remember you by?

Invest in your personal development – study online, read journals, attend a seminar, choose to do something to build your skills and knowledge today.

Read one book per month – set a goal and switch off the TV – books will expand your mind and make great conversational topics.

Seek out a mentor – check out mentoring programs within your company and online for great resources:

Publish articles online & in your local papers and journals – go to and publish today (for free!). If you are knowledgeable about any topic the world needs to hear from you.

Barter your services for others – if you can’t afford a service but you have talents, offer to share your time and expertise with someone else.

Be your authentic self – you are fabulous – let others see you. This is the best way to build your personal brand. Turn up as yourself 100% of the time, people want to know you, they want to help you and they enjoy your brand.

Choose the activities today that you can implement without spending money to productivity build your brand.

Neen James, MBA is an International Productivity Expert: by looking at how they spend their time and energy – and where they focus their attention – Neen helps people rocket-charge their productivity and performance. A dynamic speaker and author, Neen demonstrates how boosting your productivity can help you achieve amazing things. With her unique voice (Aussie accent), sense of fun and common-sense, Neen delivers a powerful lesson in productivity. Find out more and subscribe to Neen’s free monthly ezine at