What started in New York as a demonstration against Wall Street has become an international protest movement primarily directed against social and economic inequality. I’ve had the honor of getting up close and personal with protesters in New York, Chicago and Denver – all of whom I found to be non-violent and simply attempting to visibly voice their frustrations with the economic conditions.
Whether you’re a protester, passerby or passively aware of the Occupy Movement from seeing it covered by the media, there’s a way you can get involved on a personal level – without having to hold a picket sign or walk to park.
Occupy your brand
Taking a stand for what you believe and occupying it wholly is an empowering feeling and state of being. The Occupy protesters stand strong saying “We are the 99%” referring to the difference in wealth between the Top 1% and the remaining citizens in the U.S. It’s a definition, a statement and a way to empower each other in the group and Occupy movements across the country. The same philosophy applies to your personal brand. Define it, make a clear statement and allow yourself the permission to feel empowered. Let it occupy your professional life.
If the Occupy Movement intended to get attention, it gets an A+. Take this lesson and learn from their successes. From ABC and CNN to CNBC, BBC, top media outlets worldwide have covered the movement. To capture attention your message has to be relevant, personal, clear and concise. Occupy Wall Street was the primary movement until they branded themselves with “we are the 99%”. Viola! Their brand was now clear, concise and given that their cause, jobs and the economic disparity, was already relevant and personal, the attention came quick. To capture attention with your personal brand, make it relevant to your audience (e.g. hiring managers), personal to you and keep it under 15 words to ensure it’s concise and clear.
Make it personal
How does a movement that started in New York spread to 95 cities in 82 countries and get response from 5 Presidents and Prime Ministers? They make it highly personal to their needs. From Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, Mongolia and the U.K. to cities across the U.S., each one has personalized their Occupy Movement to their needs. Seek out ways to make your brand personal. What adjectives can you include that describe your personality? What short phrase describes you and your brand without sounding canned?
Connecting with your audience
Can you imagine getting 5 job offers in the next 30 days? Crafting a personal brand, that’s clear, which you embody and connects with your audience will have the type of results the Occupy Movement has experienced. These can’t be planned or foreseen; they happen as a result of being relevant. Today’s hiring managers are in dire need of highly qualified, professionals and executives and spend hours interviewing and sourcing for the top talent. When you deliver a relevant, personally branded statement to them, you will capture your audience – and possibly a new job.