09/12/2011

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

As you peruse your diary over the next few weeks and wonder if your liver will survive what you’re about to put it through, console yourself by thinking about all the good that will come from the social side of Christmas in terms of your personal brand. You don’t believe me? I know it’s a stretch, but bear with me.

The festive season is a great time of year to nurture and expand your network and the great thing is that you have a ready-made excuse and plenty of ways to go about it. You also have the added bonus of not looking like someone who’s just ruthlessly building their network for the sake of it. Instead, you’re more likely to be seen as someone who’s thoughtful and considerate. And that’s never a bad thing.

The first obvious one here is cards; sending cards to your friends, colleagues and contacts is a great way to stay in touch. And staying in touch means staying on their radar. If you want to you can even let slip a bit a few details about what you’ve been up to. Don’t go overboard here, nice and brief will do — it is a Christmas card after all!

Now, with Christmas cards, it’s easy to fall into the trap that everyone else does: buy a cheap pack of charity cards, mindlessly sign your paw print and post. But you don’t have to follow the herd here. Take some time to think about what you’re doing, and ultimately, what you want to be saying about yourself. First of all, Christmas is not something that everyone takes part in, either for religious or cultural reasons, or maybe they’re just big meanies. So, if you decide to send a card, remember that your card doesn’t have to be a Christmas one. You might prefer to send a Festive Greeting or a New Year card instead. The advantage with taking a slightly different approach to your card is that it will stand out and be more memorable. These two things are important for a strong personal brand because you want to be remembered!

You might also want to consider including something in your card, maybe a variation of your latest business card or some relevant tips or advice for the new year or better still, go for the personal touch. Maybe a recent picture of you doing something awesome like finishing a marathon. Whatever it is, it needs to reinforce your personal brand on some level, so think it through and make sure its relevant.

The other obvious one here is partying, or networking as some people call it. As your inbox fills with invites to a multitude of celebratory bashes, instead of ignoring them, just think for one moment about how great these events will be in terms of your network. Not only will you get the chance to reconnect with people who you may not have seen in a long time, but you’ll also get the opportunity to meet some new people. If you’ve heard the phrase that your network determines your net worth, then I guess you might be RSVPing to more events in the coming weeks. But remember, it’s all in the name of your personal brand!

But before you accept too many invites, you might want to read my last article: Time For Embarrassment. These parties do have a darker side after all!


Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com and www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands


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