With the days of cradle-to-grave employment far behind us, it’s well-understood that professionals need to continually market themselves throughout their career.
While companies spend vast amounts of money to market their brands, the good news is that you can market yourself for next to nothing. Thanks to the Internet and, in particular, social media, it’s never been easier to establish You, Inc. and build the kind of name recognition and brand loyalty that will enable you to essentially write your own ticket.
Let’s take a look at several key steps you can take to build – or bolster – a powerful personal brand:
1) Figure out exactly what you have to offer. Consider your skills and abilities. What separates you from the competition? If you had to describe yourself as a professional, how would you do it? One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to come up with a snappy slogan for yourself. If snappy isn’t exactly your style, focus on key phrases that describe your expertise. Are you a human resources consultant specializing in executive development? Or a marketing guru with a penchant for selling the un-sellable? Before you can sell yourself, you have to define yourself, so take the time to figure out your value proposition.
2) Next up, you need to find out how others view you. Naturally, you can ask your colleagues and supervisors, past and present, but an even more effective means of assessing your reputation is to check out your online presence. In the case of any seasoned professional, a simple Google search typically elicits dozens of hits. While it may seem strange, at first, to search for one’s own name, the truth is that most every professional has looked themselves up online to learn “what’s out there”. If you haven’t done so yet, you just may be surprised where your name will turn up. From references in corporate white papers to citations in college students’ presentations, respected professionals are apt to be mentioned in a number of places.
3) Finally, you need to begin establishing your professional online presence. If you haven’t yet taken the time to do so, set up a LinkedIn account and begin populating it with work experiences, contacts, and recommendations. Ask previous clients or employers to write brief recommendations of your work. Set up a Twitter account or a blog in which to share your thought leadership. Be sure to include your snappy slogan or value proposition in your header. It may sound basic, but the simple consistency of featuring the same headshot every time helps build your brand. When people hear your name, they will picture that photo and remember your brand. The results will be wide-reaching and immeasurable.
For assistance building your own personal brand, contact High Profile Staffing today.