By Marie Zimenoff
Career Thought Leaders &Resume Writing Academy
Times are changing and there are many new platforms you can use to build your personal brand. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work. It is important to not only know about these platforms, but determine which one is right for your personal needs or career objectives.
Things are moving so fast not only in your own industry, but also online and in the world of social media networking. Staying more marketable is about being connected and keeping up with the trends.
The internet has leveled the playing field to make yourself known and promote your brand. You do not have to be an influencer with thousands of followers to really connect with the audience. Many of us feel icky about self-promotion, but you are the only one who can tell your story and your online presence is important to show how you add value. It is about how your skills and abilities help organizations run more efficiently and effectively.
Having the clarity
When you are clear on what you are looking for and how you can add value, you can simply communicate that. You can offer to provide resources, and introduce people to your network or resources. You can be that connecting point. You can step in and volunteer for a project that allows you to demonstrate that expertise. That clarity has a lot of power in promoting yourself organically versus feeling like you have to promote and “sell yourself.”
Embracing what is unique about you
Embrace honestly what makes you unique or quirky. The people that attract the most positive type of visibility are those who are just being themselves and not trying to be someone they are not. If you are overly professional or fake, you’ll erode away at your relationships – on and offline.
People are really attracted to someone who is genuine because they feel like they know this person. Even though you may just be connected on social media, you almost feel like you know them. This shines through as they are expressing and not suppressing their feelings, adding value, and helping others.
What makes you stand out from the next person that cannot be captured on paper, but can be captured in your essence? That is your brand, your personality. It is who and how you are. That is what you want to highlight.
Embracing the qualities that make you shine
Seeing what other people see in you can help you find that essence that makes you shine. That is going to make someone want to work with you. It is finding that one thing and embracing it, and not falling into the imposter syndrome where you feel like you have to be someone else to be accepted or taken seriously. Often our specific idea of what is professional or what is needed is not what anybody else is telling us, but we just assume it.
Evaluating your own brand
Take time to process your brand whether you are looking for a job, want to keep your brand visible within a company, want to stand out from the competition in your business, or whatever your goal is. The best way to find your voice is thinking how you are most comfortable communicating. Taking time to understand what it is that attracts other people to you is important to evaluate your brand.
Having a plan
People have an idea where they want to go, but they do not know how to get there. You need to have a plan, including a plan for managing your personal brand. Being on social media can seem very overwhelming, so it is important to be very strategic and targeted in your goal. If you take the big picture and make it small to what you want to do at this very moment and who you need to connect with, it makes you more targeted and more focused on your actions.
Talk to a coach if you need advice in creating your social media marketing plan or strengthening your brand.
Allocating time for your plan
Start getting a little bit more active on social media to promote your brand in a positive way to be marketable. For instance, on Tuesdays you posted an article and you spend 30 minutes engaging with comments. Add up thoughtful questions to get feedback. If you do that consistently, you build more and more on that because you are gaining traction.
The key is to build smart and build from there. It does not have to be on social media if that is not the place you want to start. There are small steps you can take to read and stay up on the trends of your industry. You can also plan a connection one-on-one or attend professional networking events or association meetings.
Thinking a little bit outside
Most careers today are progressing externally because of a squeeze in the market. Even progressing internally may require external visibility like industry involvement in today’s competitive market.
Brand management is not thinking a little bit bigger, but just a little bit outside of your current company. Who are your vendors, your partners, or maybe even your competitors? How do you connect with people at those companies? It could be through a professional association, events, conferences, volunteering, teaching, participating in larger company meetings, and networking.
Those people become your audience. You can build relationships with them that create short and long-term value for your career management.
Building relationship and connecting with people
Make a more impactful connection with someone in your organization. Go beyond the professional structured interactions and build a relationship. Start figuring out who those people are that you want to build those relationships with. Do something once a month to connect with them.
Take those opportunities to ask questions about what is going on for them, what is their next big challenge, and what they have got going on. It gives you an opportunity to share yours as well. If you have clued in already what you want to do, you can share in those precious small moments what really matters to you and what you are excited about. Speak up and to stand for things that are important to your work and your success, and the success of those around you.
If you do that consistently, then you do not have to promote yourself or “sell yourself” because you are building the same consistent message in a constant way. You will have a much stronger brand.
Ready to define your value differently? Find A Personal Branding Strategist!
Working with clients on their digital brand or LinkedIn strategy? Get a process to help clients extract, express, and exude their brand
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