June Meeting Review

by Emily Liner – Risk Management Associates, Inc.


IFMA’s monthly lunch meeting was one you were sure not to miss. We had a packed house and a fabulous guest speaker; Kaplan Mobray, discussing the ultimate guide to how to create, manage and project your personal brand.   Kaplan Mobray addressed the ten must-know insights to building your personal brand.

This session, based on Kaplan’s best-selling book, offers help for one to identify their strengths, passions and create a brand for yourself that is positive and unique and positions you to excel in your career.  Kaplan explained how ‘personal branding’ is the act of deciding what direction you are going to take your life and how important personal branding can be.  He started the group with pondering the idea, if you’ve ever wondered when you left a room, what do people say about you? And for many of us, there’s a gap between how we think we’re perceived and how others actually see us.

By creating a personal brand, it allows you to self-manage your life and stop relying on others to do it for you. Kaplan explained to us that the act of personal branding, assures you that it’s okay to be yourself. It’s about expressing your authentic self by allowing yourself to be the person you are meant to be.

Kaplan introduced the group to his 10Ks to personal branding:

1.)     Know thyself – not by name, but what are you.

2.)     Know what you want to be known for

3.)     Know how to be consistent

4.)     Know how to accept failure as part of building your personal brand

5.)     Know how to communicate your personal brand attributes

6.)     Know to how create your own opportunities

7.)     Know  and master the art of connection

8.)     Know that silence is not an option

9.)     Know your expectations (not your limitations)

10.)   Know why you are doing what you are doing today and how it will shape where you are headed tomorrow.

First, you have to develop confidence as you develop your personal brand. After all, your target audience, (such as the CEO, a client, or a supervisor) wants to know that you can do what you say you’re going to do. You build credibility through your action not your words.

Confidence will come from knowing your strength and your positive qualities to share. When you know you have something of value to offer, your confidence and self-esteem rise.

A valuable part of branding is becoming known for something. Kaplan had the IFMA group fill out “Hello, My name is…” cards; except we were not allowed to use our name. The point of this exercise is to identify your best characteristics so that you know what to build on. By developing a personal brand means ensuring that you leave a legacy and people will remember you through your actions, your expertise and the connections you make.

At a time when many of us are soul searching and experiencing unprecedented change, having an identifiable brand greatly impacts how the world views us.

Throughout the presentation, we learned career enhancing skills that we were able to implement immediately. Because people who make themselves positively memorable are the ones who are most often hired, promoted, valued and positioned for opportunity.

If this was a meeting you were unfortunately unable to attend, I personally would encourage you to purchase his book. In his inspiring lecture, we learned how to focus our life’s goals with our life’s actions to create a powerful package called “you.” These principles can change your life, give you focus, propel you career, and take you to a much greater place. As you look to keep your job, grow your career and elevate your performance —what are you doing to make yourself positively memorable and how can you polish your style to make an impression that reflects the real you is going to keep you above the rest.