The jobs market is a tough place. How are you branding yourself? What is your marketing strategy for brand “you”?
With increased competition for decreased numbers of jobs, what are you doing to make yourself stand out from the crowd?
Jackie Brown was just another name until Quentin Tarantino directed the film by the same name came out. Now Jackie gets people asking her questions like “Is that really your name?”. People remember the name by association.
We are not all fortunate enough to have our name immortalised by Hollywood. What can Joe Smith or Mary Murphy do to make them stand out from the crowd? Is a CV and references enough anymore?
I am a huge advocate of using Social Media. You probably have a Linkedin account, you are almost certainly on Facebook and you may even have your own blog. If you are familiar with these tools, then you are half way to creating your own professional brand. Here is what to do…
- Link to as many people in your industry as you can. Add a link to your Linkedin profile to your email footer and get colleagues past and present to recommend you.
- Join industry related Linkedin Groups and start becoming active, posting and answering questions.
- Start an industry blog. If you are a nurse start a nursing blog, if you are a biochemist start a biochemistry blog etc.
Three simple (and free) things that help you market yourself. The purpose is to establish yourself as an expert in your field. If you are active enough your name will start to become familiar to others in the field. You will find yourself with a useful army of contacts who you can use to keep yourself “in the loop”.
Let’s take an example of a medical sales rep. She links to all her clients and also to colleagues initially. Over time all of these people will move job. Former colleagues will become reps for the competition, clients will be promoted or move to other companies where they can be a door opener.
She starts a blog on medical sales. It is a mix of daily experiences and thoughts on new products and strategies. She uses it to promote her current products. She is creating an online source of information on both Medical Sales, and individual products. She is establishing herself as an authority on these subjects by writing about them regularly. She will also find, that because of the need to update a blog regularly, she is actually becoming far more aware of the market than she may have been previously. Constantly looking for new material to write about means that she is in fact becoming an industry expert rather than just looking like one.
She is able to offer advice on Linkedin groups or other forums. People will start to want to link to her, because they want to be associated with the experts. Her current management will be pleased about the added exposure the company and their products are getting, and more importantly our imaginary rep will be performing better through better awareness.
Once established as a leader in her field, when the time comes to find a new job, she will be in a much stronger position.
Employers look people up on Linkedin these days before they hire. It is worth putting some effort into your profile and connections. Whatever you do, make sure that your work history and your CV match!
There is much more that can be done both online and offline to create a brand for yourself. Marketing is not a topic that can be fully addressed in one blog post, but I hope that this post gives you a start in marketing Brand “You”.