Marketing You: Creating a Personal Brand

The world is changing, almost everything you see around you is a form of marketing; from the billboards you see on your way to work, to the TV adverts trying to make you crave pizza, even someone’s profile on a dating app. The aim of the game is to make you buy into something.

Do you know how to get people to buy into you? Because you need to. This is especially true for those on the hunt for a new job. To impress potential employers, you need to market yourself so that they buy into the fact that their business needs you.

You need to create a personal brand and here are some ideas to think about that will help you on your way:

‘You’: The Product

The first thing you need to bear in mind when creating a personal brand is that you need to differentiate between the you that likes Queen songs, dogs and goes on hikes at the weekend, and ‘You’ the professional product.

When gauging how to present your brand, it’s beneficial to get to know your professional self; look at your weaknesses and work to improve them, try to find out how other people view you to see if there is anything you can do to alter how you come across. Be the best ‘You’ you can be.

Career Identity

To be successful in your endeavours, you need to make sure you have an idea of your ‘Career Identity’. You won’t progress quickly if you do not have a career path in mind with clear goals. Really have a think about where you want to be in one, five and even ten years time and make that your target.

Highlight Your USPs

Identify what ‘You’ brings to the table; what are your real strengths and skills? Focus on these and think of them as your unique selling points, working hard on them will make them work for you. Back up your claims with a portfolio of evidence that you can display as required, detailing professional qualifications will act as showcase your abilities.

If You’re Looking for a Job

First things first; get that CV up to date and make sure that it is of a high standard. In most instances, this is how you will first introduce ‘You’ to the job market, so it needs to be good. There are so many resources available online now. If you need to, use models to structure your CV and seek feedback on it from friends or colleagues.

Make People Listen

You might snooze your alarm a few times in the morning, and you have been known to walk into the odd coffee table (always the table’s fault), but ‘You’ is a powerful, confident professional. Everyone ‘You’ meets needs to know this and take notice.

To achieve this, a good start is to get rid of some bad habits you may have when you interact. There is evidence to show that during a conversation, certain things can really switch the listener off, the main culprits are: negativity, complaining, over-exaggeration and dogmatism (enforcing your own views as facts). Instead, try to personally engage with people, be positive, passionate and enthusiastic – make people WANT to listen to you.

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

The way you speak can also say a lot about who you are, especially in the professional arena. To make people pay attention and take you seriously, studies state that you should speak from the chest, rather than from the throat or nose, and use a deeper register to exude power. Organising your thoughts as you speak, so you can put your point across clearly and with confidence, will also ensure you hold your listener’s focus.

Networking: Go Online

The Digital Age is well underway, we use the internet and social media more and more every day, so online is an ideal place to start building a professional network.

The obvious choice is LinkedIn, often described as “Facebook for professionals”, where you can make business connections and follow companies you may be interested in joining. Find out how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile.

It may also be worthwhile using other online arenas; you could write a blog based on your specialism, you could create YouTube videos based on your industry/field of expertise, or even run your own website to refer potential recruiters to. If you think outside of the box, your online presence could truly work in your favour.

Networking: Get Out There!

As tempting as it may be to try to network solely through online means, to make a name for yourself, get out there! Meeting people face to face gives you a better opportunity to make an impression, so try to attend business related conferences and seminars. You will not only develop your skills and knowledge, but you will meet other like-minded professionals who could turn out to be great contacts for now and the future.

Presenting ‘You’ into the professional world needn’t be a daunting task – with some creativity, drive and commitment you will see great results. Just make sure to establish your product, be heard and make contacts to build a steady foundation for building your personal brand.

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