Think of your favorite brand or company. What makes them different from the rest? Is it their engaging social media presence? Their powerful underdog narrative? Or maybe it’s just simply the products they offer. Whatever it may be, something about their brand was compelling enough to grab your attention and makes them stand out. Just like every product or company out there, you can market yourself the same way.
You as an individual have your own brand — one that can be used for similar distinguishing advantages. While the results may not be increased sales or profits, the importance of determining your personal brand lies in the benefits of building and boosting your career. This built persona should help market yourself – your strengths and unique attributes – while amplifying a reputation and trust within your industry.
While it might seem intimidating at first, here are the basics of how your brand can be used to start getting noticed by employers, recruiters, and industry professionals.
Ask “How am I going to position myself?”
The first step is figuring out who you are and want to be a professional. Determining your values and passions will help you narrow down your career path and think about where you want to be one, five, or even ten years down the road. To generate ideas, ask yourself some of these questions:
- What motivates me?
- List topics others can come to you for insights and ideas
- What is my desired industry for expertise/thought leadership?
- Where do I excel?
- What projects get me excited?
- Distinguish your strengths and weaknesses
Now, take it one step further by generating a personal narrative around why you are passionate about these topics or specific industries. Adding personal anecdotes or stories expands on the ingenuity and authenticity of your brand that can strongly influence hiring decision-makers.
Develop Your Personal Image and Online Presence
Let’s show the world who you are! Use these avenues and resources to help market and expand your brand.
Market Yourself with Social Media
With numerous social media options, the most critical thing to remember is keeping your online presence consistent and engaging. This may look a little different depending on which channels you use, but creating content is the most substantial way to build credibility and heighten engagement. Content could range anywhere from posts to personal blogs, but make sure to keep the messaging focused on topics and industries that showcase your knowledge and brand.
For building out a professional online persona, LinkedIn is one of the most highly recommended platforms as it is one of the world’s largest professional networks. The best way to stay engaged on LinkedIn is to participate in groups, connect with individuals, and create content related to your desired industry. If you’re looking to market yourself to employers on LinkedIn, make sure to completely fill out your profile. Include your professional headshot, quantified metrics, or accomplishments in your skills/past experiences and industry keywords that are relevant to your role.
Market Yourself with Website and Email
Nowadays, creating a personal website can be easy and as personalized as you want it to be. Immediately when a viewer hits your website, they should be able to understand your brand. Your personal website should showcase your professional narrative along with your best skills, experiences, and work/portfolio (especially if you are a writer or designer).
Your personal brand can also be integrated with a unique email signature. Think of all the emails you send every day (it’s probably a lot!). Now, whenever you sign off an email, recipients will recognize your brand while having access to your contact information and social media.
This might be obvious, but it’s definitely one of the most important tactics. Part of your online presence (especially in this day and age) involves heavily networking to expand your professional bubble. As you begin connecting with more colleagues and professionals, your industry insight, value, and personal brand will begin to grow. Networking allows for your brand to be recognized, leading to more chances of catching the eyes of potential employers and recruiters.
Marketing yourself is easy once you lay a foundation for how you want employers and recruiters to perceive you. Always remember to consistently stay genuine and authentic to yourself. As your career grows, don’t be afraid to additionally evolve your brand, so you can continually use it as an opportunity to market yourself for the career you want.
This article was originally published on October 22, 2020 ; it has since been updated and republished on August 22, 2023.