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3 Ways to Articulate Value in a Crowded World


Sean

Doing something of value is hard work. I have personal experience. Creating a business is hard. Finding ways to show your value is harder. But the hardest part of my professional career has been articulating my strengths. Potential clients did not see the immediate benefit I could contribute to their business. I could give possible solutions to help. But I had no backing on what I did for others.

Despite being in the Midwest, Indiana is a saturated market. Or to corrected my statement: Indiana is a saturated market—based on where you look. Here are some ways to bypass being looked over.

NYE Crowd
© Flickr User Andos_pics

Consistently Articulate Your Value

For people to hire you, they must perceive you will do something they want. Consistently articulating value means knowing how to show your value. You must demonstrate that you can do what you say you can do.

The Indianapolis market has a lot of “shifters”. This is when a professional “shifts” laterally to another position after a few years. He does not move up. Maybe he or she doesn’t show value. They may not recognize their own skills. As the Central Indiana technology industry industry grows, the tech job and supporting tech company roles (marketing, finance, etc.) will be taken by people who articulate their value—not by “shifters.”

Understand Your Role

I had a chance to sit down with Kyle Lacy, who heads up marketing strategy for Open View Partners. Lacy was the Director of Content Marketing and Research for Salesforce Marketing Cloud–the company formerly known as ExactTarget. Throughout all the change in the last few years, Lacy provided me with some valuable advice: know your strengths, stay focused on your goals, understand your role, and provide value.

I did not quite understand what he meant by “know your role.” Lacy clarified that by knowing your strengths and setting out future goals, you will know what you can contribute to any company. Any professional needs to know their limitations. Once they understand, you will know how to articulate value from their personal brand.

Build Your Personal Brand

Lacy and Erik Deckers, owner of Pro Blog Service, wrote a relevant and powerful book, Branding Yourself. Lacy kept hinting about sticking with a personal brand. He even gave me great advice on how I should move forward with my career. Besides that, Lacy helped me understand how to hustle.

But he also encouraged me to focus. Set your eyes on what you want and know what tools you need to get there. That made me think. I always wanted to get a master’s degree. If I don’t need a higher degree to provide value, then why do I need it? Don’t get me wrong. I feel everyone should improve their skill set. But don’t compromise your future by going after a degree you don’t need.

Lacy has one of the most notable personal brands in Indianapolis. When people mention his name, you know who he is. You might know where he works at. But you remember the personal brand. I was fortunate to sit down and pick his brain. I hope this article gives every professional some spark to build her personal brand. And create value for people. Because people make companies successful.

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About the Blogger: Sean Sullivan (@seansullivan110) is host at Converge Coffee. When he is not podcasting, you can find Sean at networking events, cultural events, and coffee shops quoting too many movies.

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Tue, March 10 2015 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Self Development, Success Consciousness

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