I’ll be speaking at the upcoming 2014 California Conference, being held in Anaheim, CA August 25 – 27, 2014.

This event is the largest gathering of HR professionals in the State of California and I’m looking forward to talking with attendees about The Future of HR, as well as learning from others!

Follow the event via the Twitter hashtag: #CAHR14

Date: August 26, 2014
Time: 09:45 - 11:00 a.m.
Event: 2014 California HR Conference
Topic: The Future of HR: 4 Keys For Creating Competitive Advantage Through Innovative People Strategies
Sponsor: Professionals in Human Resources Association
(310) 416-1210
Venue: Anaheim Convention Center
(714) 765-8950
Location: 800 W Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92802
USA
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

I’m looking forward to returning to my home state of Tennessee on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 to join SHRM Chattanooga for their monthly meeting to talk about The Future of HR!

I’m originally from Cleveland, Tennessee (about 30 miles down the road) and my family still lives there. My Mom is even going to join us for this meeting. Should be fun!

Date: August 12, 2014
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 01:00 p.m.
Event: Chattanooga SHRM
Topic: The Future of HR: Creating Competitive Advantage Through Innovative People Strategies
Sponsor: SHRM Chattanooga
Venue: The Chattanoogan
Location: 1201 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402
USA

To inquire about Jennifer's availability for your upcoming event - http://unbridledtalent.com/contact

Exploring Career Opportunities Without Jeopardizing Your Current Job #AskJennifer

Are you happily (or contently) employed, but at the same time wonder if there are better career opportunities out there?

(Email subscribers click here to view the video)

If that’s the case, you may wonder how you can position yourself for career growth – either inside or outside your current company – without making your employer nervous – or even worse – risking being blackballed or fired because they consider you a flight risk.

I’m diving into this topic on this week’s edition of Ask Jennifer – a new video series where I’ll be answering your questions – in five minutes or less.

Except this week’s episode is slightly longer. Oops.

Let’s chalk it up to inaugural excitement about the new format. :)

In Episode 1 of Ask Jennifer, I’ll answer the following question for “Valerie”, a woman who recently attended a workshop I led on “Defining and Communicating Your Personal Brand for Career Growth”.

Valerie has been with her current company for almost 20 years. She’s not unhappy. But she would like to explore career opportunities to understand how marketable her skills are – and if the grass really is greener somewhere else. But she also doesn’t want to send any red flags to her current employer that she may be looking. (Smart!)

Want to know what advice I have for Valerie?

Take a few moments to watch the quick video to learn more about the 3 steps I recommend to Valerie (and others) who want to get noticed for opportunities without causing any drama.

  1. Update/fully complete your LinkedIn Profile.
  2. Talk to/offer to help Recruiters that reach out to you.
  3. Attend and get involved with your local professional networking association.

Have a question related to growing your career, your leadership or your skills as a speaker or presenter?

Send it my way!

I’d love to hear from you, and maybe your question will be featured in an upcoming episode of Ask Jennifer!

 

 

My Fascination Advantage® Is The Veiled Strength – What’s Yours? [free assessment]

Do you know what makes you fascinating? What draws people to you and differentiates you from others in your profession or industry?

How To Fascinate Graphic

[Want to know how you "fascinate" the world? Read to the bottom of this post and get your code to take a free assessment!]

As a self-proclaimed “Assessment Junkie”, I love the idea of answering a few questions, and within just a few minutes, being presented with a multi-page report that gives me all of the answers I’ve ever wanted to know about myself.

Well, not exactly.

But I do enjoy taking assessments to find new and different ways to understand how I best communicate with the world and where I can add the most value.

That’s why I was intrigued when I first heard Sally Hogshead talk about her new book and the research behind How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination on a recent podcast with Brian Kelly called What The Speak.

Since I’m currently doing some work to clarify my brand and product/service offerings, I bought Sally’s book and read it over the July 4th holiday weekend. I also took the related Fascination Advantage® Assessment, which is billed as the first personality assessment developed based upon the science of branding, rather than psychology. Unlike traditional tests (Meyers-Briggs or StrengthsFinder) this assessment doesn’t measure how you see the world, it measures how the world sees you.

Interesting.

So I took the assessment and was intrigued by the results. I like the detail in the 16-page report, the information shared about all 49 Archetypes, and the explanatory videos that were included as part of the assessment results.

By the way, my Archetype is called “The Veiled Strength” and below is a snapshot of my primary, secondary and dormant advantages, as well as 3 words that others might use to describe me.

Pretty interesting stuff.

At A Glance Fascination Advantage

 

Want to understand more about how others see you and how you can discover your highest value?

Great!

I’ve got a free code for the 5-minute assessment (normally $37) for the first 100 (update: now 500) people that use it. Just go to HowToFascinate.com/YOU and enter [BL-jmcclure] minus the brackets in the Book Code box.

After you’ve had a chance to review your report and take it all in, please take a moment to briefly share your Archetype and what you think about your results with me in the Comments section. I’d love to hear from at least one person for each Archetype!

If you’re interested in learning more about the Fascination Advantage® and how you can create your own Anthem using the information, share it with your clients and colleagues and even use it to improve the work of your team, be sure to get Sally Hogshead’s new book How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination.

I really enjoyed it, and I think you will too!

I’m excited to be the closing Keynote Speaker for the upcoming Illinois HR Conference & Exposition just outside of Chicago, IL August 4 – 5, 2014!

The Illinois SHRM Conference was one of the first human resources conferences that invited me to be a speaker way back in 2011 and it’s a real honor to have the opportunity to speak on the main stage at the lovely Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center.

If you’ll be attending #ILSHRM14, I’d love to see you there!

Date: August 5, 2014
Time: 08:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Event: 2014 Illinois HR Conference & Exposition [Keynote]
Topic: The Future of HR: Delivering Competitive Advantage Through Innovative People Strategies
Sponsor: Illinois State Council for the Society of Human Resource Management
Venue: Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center
Location: 100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181
USA
Registration: Click here to register.

To inquire about Jennifer's availability for your upcoming event - http://unbridledtalent.com/contact

Create a Value-Based Positioning Statement To Generate Demand and Increase Your Fees

As a speaker, consultant or business owner, have you struggled with how to position yourself in the marketplace in order to create demand and eliminate the need to compete based upon price?

iStock_000008580358SmallTo solve these common problems, you have to begin by answering some fundamental questions.

Last week, the National Speakers Association (NSA) held its annual convention in San Diego, California, and although I was unable to attend in person, they did provide some of the sessions via live stream, which was a great opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s best speakers, authors and consultants.

One of my favorite sessions was from Hall of Fame Speaker and The Million Dollar Consultant® – Alan Weiss. I’ve long been a Fan of Mr. Weiss’ advice and approach. His Million Dollar Speaking: The Professional’s Guide to Building Your Platform book was one of the first that I read after starting my business in 2010. It’s full of great advice, examples and tips not only related to the business of speaking, but how to become an in-demand expert through effective positioning in the marketplace.

In his 75-minute talk at #NSA14 – “Million Dollar Positioning: How to Position Yourself as the Expert” – Mr. Weiss shared the basics of creating a Positioning Statement/Value Statement to convey expertise, value delivery and ultimately price in a crowded and noisy marketplace.

Figure out what you love – and what you’re best at. Take everything else away.

When you’re working at your best and highest value, you’re creating a great piece of art. And to create the great work of your life, you have to find what you love to do – and what you’re great at – and then carve away everything else.

It’s rumored that when asked how he carved out the amazingly beautiful and intricate David from a big square block of marble, Michelangelo replied, “I just took away everything that wasn’t David.”

Creating an effective and artful Positioning Statement is no different. Cull away things that aren’t really you or that you aren’t enthusiastic about so you can create your masterpiece.

Tell people how they’ll be better off after working with you.

Your Positioning Statement needs to answer these questions for your potential buyer:

How will you improve them?

What is the real value that you bring?

Ideally, you’re approach will be a bit edgy and provocative, and show that you think a bit differently. That way, your audience will want more – and because what you offer is unique, they’ll be willing to pay more to get it.

Position yourself as an Expert – not as a Speaker, Author, Consultant

There are hundreds and thousands of speakers, authors, consultants, etc. in the world, which means there is plenty of choice.

Buyers don’t want to hire just anyone, they want to hire experts. And if you’re not considered “The Expert”, you’re just a commodity – and you’ll always be treated as such in terms of price and opportunity.

Don’t just be a “delivery alternative” in your industry or profession. Be The Expert – which means you’ll need to create new and unique ideas, products and services that separate you from the rest.

Tip: Once you determine your area of expertise, you can then determine how to deliver it, but don’t mix in methodology in your Positioning Statement.

For example, don’t say: “Through coaching and consulting I create change that impacts strategic objectives.”

That kind of statement isn’t unique or compelling, and it doesn’t answer the most important question: “After I walk away from you, how will I be better off because I met you?”

Effective Position Statements: Examples

“I help small business owners accelerate their business and lead a fabulous life.”

“I help you to reduce stress so you can make rational and powerful decisions about your life.”

—–

Always opinionated and full of great one-liners, Mr. Weiss (@BentleyGTCSpeed on Twitter) also reeled off some great quotes during his presentation – and all of which just happened to be less than 140 characters. (Check them out below, and if you like one or more, just click the link to tweet it out!)

“Wealth isn’t money. Wealth is discretionary time. You can always make another dollar, but you cannot make another minute.” @BentleyGTCSpeed

“The greatest damage to excellence is from the pursuit of perfection.” @BentleyGTCSpeed

“Self-esteem is an action that creates self-confidence. You have to work on it everyday. Tell yourself what you do well.” @BentleyGTCSpeed

“Confidence is the belief you can help other people. Arrogance is the belief that you have nothing to learn yourself.” @BentleyGTCSpeed

I really enjoyed the session and took plenty of notes to take action and implement in my own expertise branding journey. And I appreciate the National Speakers Association for making this session available. I’d love to attend the event in-person next year!

Question: What’s your Value Statement? Share it with me in the Comments section. I’d love to learn from you and help others find your expertise!

Mid-Year Checkup: 5 Actions to Take to Reinvigorate Your Online Brand

Time for Review - Clock

Mid-year is a great time to reflect on your progress towards your goals for 2014 – and it’s also a great time to review your online presence to ensure that your Profiles are up-to-date and on-point with your Personal Branding Strategy.

Your life and career are continuously evolving, and social and online platforms are continuously changing, so it’s important to set aside some specific time each year to do a thorough review of your online presence to ensure that it’s accurate, current and presented in the best way possible.

I typically set aside some time during the end of year holiday season to do a complete rewrite or update of my Bio and add any changes to my online profiles, but I also schedule time mid-year to check in as well.

Below are 5 Actions I plan to take to ensure that my online brand is up-to-date, consistent and informative in terms of what I do, the value I provide and what problems I can help clients solve.

Take advantage of the latest layout updates for social Profiles:

LinkedIn recently announced an enhanced layout for members with Premium Profiles, which includes a more prominent Profile Photo, Cover Photo and Title/Headline, but so far, I’ve seen very few Profiles that have taken advantage of this. I like the new look and I’m testing some updates to see if it makes a difference in engagement.

Twitter also announced an updated Profile look a few months ago, which was significant enough to make many custom backgrounds and Cover Photos no longer work. Due to current photo size dimensions, you may find that your head has now been cut off, your design or logo distorted, etc. Fix that.

Facebook seems to always be changing their layout. So check it often. I’ve found that with the latest update for Pages, the top part of the Page fades into the old Cover Photo and blurs some of the content. Not a deal-breaker, but should be fixed.

All of these updates offer new ways to get great exposure for your personal brand with photos and prime real estate (above the fold) for bios, web links and employment information, so be sure to take advantage of them.

Check out these great examples of updated Profiles:

Will Staney (LinkedIn)

John R. Meese (Twitter)

Amy Porterfield (Facebook Page)

Upload (or update) a Profile Photo (across all platforms) that represents me well as a business professional:

Profile Photos create a lasting first impression; so take advantage of this brief moment in time by including a simple headshot photo of you dressed as you would be in your workplace. Ideally, the more friendly and approachable you look, the better.

And no group photos, cut out exes, dogs, cats, corporate or team logos, etc. This is your moment to shine. Make it all about you baby.

Check out these great examples of Profile photos:

Matthew Dooley (LinkedIn)

Teela Jackson (Twitter)

Kyle Lacy (Facebook Page)

Upload (or update) a Cover Photo, where applicable, that visually promotes my Personal/Company Brand:

Although there are some restrictions, Cover Photos are a great way to enhance your brand and associate it with your company or your unique strengths.

Have some fun with them and make your Profile pop!

Check out these great examples of Cover photos:

Mike O’Neil (LinkedIn)

Jorgen Sundberg (Twitter)

Marie Forleo (Facebook)

Update or make changes to Titles or Headlines to reflect current responsibilities:

Titles and Headlines are like Profile Photos – super important for a first impression. And sometimes the way your Title or Headline appears in search results (along with hundreds of others) can be the difference in being found – or not.

Be original. Be brief. Be memorable.

Check out these great examples of well-written Titles/Headlines:

Jennifer Peterson (LinkedIn)

Shally Steckerl (LinkedIn)

Joe Gerstandt (Twitter)

Rewrite any Summary, Bio or About sections to include specifically who I am, what I do and the value I can provide:

Challenge yourself to summarize your past experience in a meaningful and brief way. The focus should be more on what you’re currently doing and what you can do in the future than on the past.

Be sure to include plenty of appropriate keywords that people online (or in your company) would use to search for and find someone like you.

Check out these great examples of a Summary, Bio and About section:

Meg Guiseppi (LinkedIn)

Miriam Salpeter (Twitter)

Michael Hyatt (Website/Blog)

Over the next week, I’ll be working on reviewing and updating (at a minimum) my About Page on my website, my LinkedIn Profile, my Twitter Profile and my Facebook Page Profile, since these are the sites that typically show up highest in search rankings when searching for “Jennifer McClure”.

If you have any action steps, tips or tricks that you recommend for an annual or semi-annual review to ensure your online presence is consistent and compelling, please share them in the Comments.

I’d love to learn from you!

I’ll be speaking to The Ohio Society of CPA’s Women’s Initiative Group on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 on the topic of “Developing and Communicating Your Personal Brand”.

I’m looking forward to some great discussion on how building a strong personal brand can be helpful in growing a career as a CPA!

Date: July 23, 2014
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 01:30 p.m.
Event: The Ohio Society of CPAs
Topic: Developing and Communicating Your Personal Brand For Career Growth
Sponsor: The Ohio Society of CPAs
Venue: Coco's Bistro
Location: 250 Warren Street
Dayton, OH 45402
USA
Public: Private
Registration: Click here to register.

To inquire about Jennifer's availability for your upcoming event - http://unbridledtalent.com/contact

In Search Of: The Best Human Resources and Recruiting Blogs of 2014

UT Top 25 HR & Recruiting Blogs

Today, I face something that I haven’t faced in over six years. And I’m doing it intentionally, because it’s time for growth and change. It’s time to discover something new.

This morning, I deleted all of my blog subscription feeds (I use Feedly as my RSS Reader) for Human Resources, Recruiting and Talent Management blogs.

And I feel empty.

Back in early 2008, I discovered blogs. The HR Capitalist (Kris Dunn) was my first.

You never forget your first.

As I read more, followed links to other blogs and subscribed to more, I subscribed to hundreds of blogs. I learned. I built relationships with some bloggers. Many became friends, mentors and business partners.

I’ll always be grateful for the knowledge that they so freely shared and how they helped me to grow as I stepped out of the corporate human resources world into executive recruiting and then into building my own business.

At one point, I subscribed to over 300 blog feeds. Not all of them were HR, recruiting and talent management-related, but many in those categories were definitely in my “must read” folder.

However, over the last couple of years, I’ve been slowly unsubscribing to various blogs and now my “must read” list is down to just three. Which makes me kinda sad.

Why the reduction in force?

I’m tired of reading about the same topics (engagement, performance management, culture, sourcing, onboarding, etc.) without any new perspectives. I’m tired of content marketing. I’m tired of posts that are posted just because it’s Monday (or Tuesday, or any other day of the week).

So, I’m starting over. I want your help. And I’ll share what I learn.

The 31-Day to the Best HR and Recruiting Blogs List Plan:

Here’s the Plan: Leave a comment with 1 – 3 blogs that you love and/or learn from in the comments section. (Heck, you can even nominate your own!)

I’ll subscribe to all of the HR/Recruiting-related blogs mentioned during the period of July 1st – July 31st, and I’ll read (okay at least seriously skim) every post. I’ll share posts that I think are great with my social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Twitter and Facebook) to spread the word and share the goodness. I’ll also keep track of how many posts I share from each blog over the course of the month.

In August, I’ll share on this blog my Top 25 Human Resources & Recruiting Blogs of 2014 list, which will be compiled primarily based upon my shares, but also a little bit of magic pixie dust (i.e. personal opinion).

Want to help me out?

Please nominate 1 – 3 of your favorite Human Resources or Recruiting blogs in the Comments below to get them in my Feedly Reader for the month of July 2014 for evaluation.

With your help, I’d love to find some new voices, recognize some old ones and also help you connect to some great resources in this process!

I’m really excited to be returning to the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition for the third year in a row to speak in a Mega Session about Building an Effective Business Case for Leadership!

The 2014 SHRM Annual Conference is the largest global gathering of Human Resources and Talent professionals and it’s an honor to speak and to attend.

If you’ll be in Orlando, I’d love to see you in my session on Wednesday, June 25th at 10:00am!

Date: June 25, 2014
Time: 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Event: #SHRM14 Mega Session: Making The Business Case for Building Effective Business Leaders
Topic: Making The Business Case for Building Effective Business Leaders
Sponsor: Society for Human Resource Management
Venue: Orange County Convention Center
Location: 9400 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819
USA
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

To inquire about Jennifer's availability for your upcoming event - http://unbridledtalent.com/contact