The Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Association recently held a diversity network event called Navigating the Corporate Landscape: Personal Brand Marketing in a Multicultural World. Sponsored by Bob Evans Farms, the event featured Dr. Robert Rodriguez, who explained to more than 125 attendees how they can better market themselves. We asked Gerry Fernandez, president of the Multi-Cultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance, what tips on personal branding he took away from this event.
Make yourself more visible.
- Be proactive. It’s not others’ responsibility to notice you.
- If you’re not willing to stand out, you won’t be noticed.
- Being visible is not bragging. It simply lets others know who you are and the value you bring.
- Ask yourself this question—Who Will Wear Your T-Shirt?
Know yourself and be authentic.
- The goal is to let your brand become a vehicle for your most authentic self.
- This is how you’ll distinguish yourself from others who do similar work, affirm your true identity, highlight your talents, and establish your reputation in business.
- Build a brand that is absolutely geared to you and no one else.
Watch Out for Brand Traps
- Avoid generic brand statements such as: hard worker, fast learner, problem solver, good attention to detail, dynamic leader
- Your job isn’t always part of your brand.
- Look outside your department and/or company.
- Refuse to be labeled with a brand you don’t want or that no longer serves you well.
Personal Brand —Build Your Network
- Don’t waste your lunches—networking should be your mantra.
- Get to know those who can help you build your brand.
- Don’t practice “911” Networking.
- Get a mentor or a personal board of advisors.
Personal Brand Tips
- Always look for ways to enhance or develop your product—you.
- Manage your calendar wisely. Spend more time on things that improve and strengthen your brand. You are what you spend time on.
- Committees, task forces and special projects are all excellent ways to promote your brand and enhance your visibility.
For more information on fall workshops go to: www.mfha.net
Gerry Fernandez is President of the Multi-Cultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance