For the past few months, I’ve been deliberating about relocating. At the start, I went through this process objectively and systematically. By the end, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was in a time travel movie. You know, simultaneously being “here” and “there” while running a business, writing a book, blogging, growing my business base and basically having a life. And the “here” and “there” were impacted more by the “where” I had a physical location (quality of home base mindset) rather than the “what” needed to be accomplished business-wise.
The fulcrum of my initiative, however, remains my online personal brand. For most of what I “do”, it doesn’t really matter where I “am.” I mean, I’ve published blog posts from Munich and had conference calls with Ohio while I was in San Diego. I’ve closed US contracts while in the Canadian Rockies…. hiking, I must admit. Probably just like you do. No revelation there. Except, I realized that my clients didn’t care so much “where” I was but that I was “there” when we needed to talk strategy.
While I do miss “face time” with my clients, many of them are so busy that it’s almost impossible to set a face time appointment that actually holds. I was wasting a lot of time chasing folks around who didn’t have enough hours in the day to do their basic jobs let alone sit down and speak with me face to face. Hence the value of Skype and the iPod Face Time app for starters.
How about you? Have you developed your personal brand? Do you actively nurture and utilize your brand? Does your personal brand carry you, credibly, no matter where you are?
The internet and portals such as LinkedIn expand how you define your “neighborhood” to, well, the globe. Yet many LI networking strategies continue to involve connecting with as many employees of your company as you can (e.g. “I’m connected to more folks at work than you are” social media strategy). Why limit the size of your backyard? Because you never know when you will need your network.
Are you confining your LinkedIn networking to your local space? How “local” is “local” for you?
When I was considering where to establish my business base, I realized I needed to focus on maintaining my online personal brand and established business base “there”… because “there” had become cyberspace. And I am very comfortable operating in cyberspace. Are you?
The new business development paradigm, as it morphs, will need to include evaluation of the value of virtual relationships. I’ve always had these types of relationships, starting from the days when I facilitated virtual national and international phone conference calls and online research for new product and concept development. Perhaps this ability is the skill set of the “future” – except the future already started a number of years ago.
Certainly virtual work teams, and a contracted global work force, are “givens” in this competitive economy. The location of one’s sales force, based on geographical physical territories, may become a thing of the past for business development. The ability to communicate across time zones and appreciate linguistic and cultural differences in doing so may become the norm pretty soon.
So what’s your personal brand? And how are you growing your brand beyond simply adding tons and tons of non-focused LI contacts? (Hint: that’s “collecting” rather than new market acquisition). What’s the size of your mental “backyard”? And are you limiting your opportunities by a conventional mindset?
Something to think about. Your thoughts?