How to Brand Yourself in 14 Short Steps
Wondering how to brand yourself? One of the best ways to articulate your skills, experience, knowledge, and overall worth in today’s competitive job market is to create a personal brand that helps you stand out in the crowd.
According to management expert and author Tom Peters, “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer of a brand called You.”
This article explores 14 steps to branding yourself successfully.
Step 1: Determine your unique value proposition
Spend some time thinking about what makes you different than your peers — your strengths, your passions, and your goals. If you left your job today, what would your company and colleagues miss? Know who you are, as well as who you are not.
Step 2: Find out how others see you
Ask trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends for four or five adjectives they would use to describe you. What are you good at? What are your strengths? In which areas do they view you as “irreplaceable?”
Step 3: Identify your goals
Where would you like to be in six months? One year? Five years? Ten years? Defining your goals is necessary to crafting a message that helps you reach them.
Step 4: Identify your target audience
Just like Starbucks knows that their target audience is coffee drinkers, you need to define to whom you want to send your message. This will not only help you hone your message, it will help you deliver it to the right places.
Step 5: Reorganize your priorities
You’re probably used to putting yourself behind your company, co-workers, and clients.You still want to be loyal to these groups, but be loyal to yourself, first.
Step 6: Pay attention to the details
Everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand. Once your brand has been defined, make sure that the little things — the way you dress, your body language, how you behave with co-workers, the emails you write — are consistent with your brand message.
Step 7: Update your resume
Go through your resume to determine it gels with your brand. Ensure that your resume accurately defines who you are, and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals.
Step 8: Become a social networker
Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Ask those in your target audience to subscribe to your pages, and update on a daily basis. Make sure your updates are germane to your branding message.
Step 9: Build your own website
Your website should highlight your professional accomplishments, your skills and knowledge, what you stand for, and your overall value. Make it primarily about you, not your company or clients.
Step 10: Blog
Platforms like WordPress and Joomla make it easier than ever to promote yourself to your target audience. Commit to posting a couple of times a week on topics that your audience will find interesting and educational, but that also highlight your unique skills and experience.
Step 11: Get published
Write a book, contribute to industry publications, or simply update the content on your own website. Being published is an ideal way to promote yourself as an expert in your field.
Step 12: Go offline
Be sure to promote your brand in person, too. Join and participate in industry groups, give talks at conferences, or offer to spearhead a large project that highlights your unique talents.
Step 13: Tend to your marketing network
Be sure to keep co-workers, colleagues, clients, and friends updated about what you are doing. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and what the people in your network say about you will ultimately have an effect on your brand.
Step 14: Review your brand (and how you portray it) frequently
Are you branding yourself in a way that’s concise and easily understood? Is your brand message consistent among all platforms? A regular review will ensure your message remains clear.
If you want to be successful, creating a personal brand isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity. Whether you aspire to get that promotion or land your dream job, creating a compelling and consistent brand will help you meet your goals.
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