By: Kelly Evanko
Now more than ever, since the economy took a downturn, many of us need to find a way to be more innovative in marketing ourselves to potential employers or to start our own ventures in the creative sector. The days where we spent 10+ years at our jobs are long gone. The most important job we have today is to be our own boss and to essentially sell and market ourselves to others. Today, YOU and your brand are the new modern resume. Your personal persona will follow you long after your professional persona is gone, therefore, here are some tips on how to market yourself, whether you are looking to change careers or take the job you already have to the next level.
It’s not about WHAT you know, but WHO you know!
The first and most important thing you need to do to brand yourself is to really start building a strong personal foundation. In order to do this, you need to essentially interview yourself by asking these questions. These are the building blocks to building your brand.
1. What is my passion?
2. What are my beliefs?
3. What is my opinion or way of thinking?
You need to take the time to lay out your core values, as these shape how you present yourself in public, as well as how people identify with you. Always be open to self-improvement and self-reflection. These are positive things that can make us grow both on a personal and on a professional level, as well. Don’t be afraid to experiment or think outside the box. Creativity is key to the development of your brand.
Next, you need to identify your primary specialty, what you have to offer to others. Make a list of your top five talents or qualities. What is your gift? Turn these into your tagline. It helps potential clients or employers remember a KEY point about you, so make it count. Don’t be afraid to ask others for feedback or constructive criticism; this can only make your brand stronger. Become an Expert. You need to make people believe you are the best at what you do. It is all about perception. You obviously have the talent, so now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and put those talents to work for you. You also need to keep learning and updating your talents as the landscape is forever changing.
Communication is key. This is where Social Media becomes your best ally. This gives people an easier way to identify and connect with you. Here are some ideas.
1. Build your own domain. Use your name or something that describes you.
2. Blog. Post a few times a week discussing topics that pertain to your brand, share on Facebook and Twitter to increase traffic of people who see your posts. (Read more about how to Blog Your Way to Your Dream Job)
3. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest are great ways to gain followers and share the same interests as you. Engage and interact. This will attract people to your brand.
Now, one of the most important factors of building your brand is networking. Networking helps build relationships. Do for them and they’ll do for you is the mantra that best describes these connections. Get to know people and put yourself out there; this helps you stay miles ahead of the game. Networking and building new acquaintances may be out of your comfort zone, but it can make all the difference in the world. New relationships are the movers and shakers that can take your brand to the next level. These are the people who can retweet links to hundreds if not thousands of people. These are individuals who know others that they can put you into contact with.
Your brand is essentially what can get you the interview, or take your creative passion to the next level. The truth of the matter is, today you are judged more by what you’ve done and who you know more than anything else. With the right strategy, a little self-reflection, and some old-fashioned hard work, you can create a brand that everyone will be talking about for years to come.
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