You either have a favorable one or not, based on the promises you keep. When you keep your commitments and over-deliver on your promises, you build trust. You set yourself apart from the competition and create a lasting impression.
It used to be that you could walk into a room – a job interview, a networking meeting, and much more – and leave your mark. Today, your brand precedes you; your customers see you well before you see them.
Think of recruiters and hiring managers as those customers, and what you’re selling is yourself. Think of your brand like a business, and build a story around your experiences, skills, and strengths. And while you’re building that brand, keep these building blocks in mind:
Concisely Define Your Brand
Whether you want more money, a better job, a new and challenging career or the opportunity to make a real difference, you must first define your brand. And to do that, you must understand these four factors:
Product | What exactly are you selling and who is your intended audience? You could be a basketball player looking for a team, or a marketing expert in search of a new company to market. Be clear in defining your role relative to the audience.
Price | What is the value of your service? Can you always be counted on to make the game-winning shot? Do you have a penchant for picking out the right market? Assess what you have to offer and connect the dots between your benefits and your brand.
Position | Who else has what you have? You are not alone, and it’s important that you understand the competition. Nothing happens in isolation, and how you position your talents is what will begin to set you apart.
Promotion | How will you share your story? Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Good promotion spreads the word, and great promotion closes the deal.
Content Creation Matters
The good news is it’s easier than ever to share your story. If there’s a problem, you’re the solution. The trust you’ve built is your brand’s currency, and it starts at home.
The base of your brand can be a blog, personal website or your various social media profiles. I used WordPress to create MichaelPeggs.com, and it’s been the feather in my ‘Here’s Michael!’ hat.
Here’s what I recommend you do: start a website. Thanks to website builders like Wix and Weebly, it’s easier than ever to create a hub for your personal interests and professional impact. You start with a blank canvas and you control the design and direction. Most are free and require little to no technical expertise.
Once you’re up and running, start creating and publishing consistent content. You can blog, vlog, create a podcast, write guides, author whitepapers and present presentations on your specialty area. There’s a wide range of media you can use, but the goal is to show your experience and establish your expertise.
Consistently Monitor Media
Once that’s done, it’s important to keep tabs on what’s being said about you online. Not only will you understand how your brand is being received, you can also take action based on sometimes-frank feedback. The only thing that’s constant is change, and your brand must adjust to appeal to your audience.
Google Alerts is a free service that monitors—you guessed it—Google. You can set alerts based on names, phrases, and keywords associated with your brand. I recommend setting up an alert for your name, company, and close colleagues. Use Google Alerts to keep track of industry news and other topics that keep you in the loop and build your expertise. I would also recommend Hootsuite, another free service that can track mentions across social media.
Today, first impressions occur online, and you must balance the personal with the professional. The key to advancing your career is bringing everyone else along for the ride. It’s your brand and subsequent storytelling that builds that bridge.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at CareerBliss!
About the Author: Michael Peggs likes to think of himself as a Chief Branding Officer (CBO), daring young professionals to define their personal brands and go after their dreams. Your personal brand is how you sell yourself to the world. Follow Michael on Twitter!