Market Yourself – Part 3

This is part three of the three part series this week on marketing yourself. Check out part one and part two here.

In the first two parts of this series I covered how to establish your personal brand online and use it to your advantage in the interview, job application process. But I know that there are plenty other reasons to establish your online reputation that have nothing to do with getting hired. Some people are beyond the point where they want to get hired, they want to find career success on their own.

And so we come to step 3, selling your personal brand.

Once you’ve established yourself online, through a blog or website, on social media, you’re ready to take the notion of marketing yourself to the next level. You can start to make money off your brand.

Maybe you want to start a business. Maybe you want to go into business for yourself, as a consultant. And maybe you just want to sell something on the side.

Whatever your goal, you’re ready to go after it.

First, think about the personal brand that you’ve created. Where does it fit in terms of money-making opportunities. In my case, once I had an audience that believed in my knowledge as a marketer, I saw two opportunities.

The first, and smaller opportunity was in the form of writing. I realized that I could sell my knowledge in the form of a book, and then later a class in email marketing.

I used the existing name I’d created for myself and went down an even narrower path. By focusing on one aspect of marketing, I was able to research and learn everything I needed to know to be able to advise others in the field. And the first revenue generating opportunities were born.

The second is the general consulting business that I hope to grow into more permanently, helping pass on my knowledge in marketing to small business owners looking for guidance. I’ve established a credible base, and am now able to market my services more aggressively through the media channels I’ve built.

And you can do the same thing. Your personal brand is a base with which to reach out to potential clients, potential partners, investors, customers, and press. Become an expert in a niche area and sell your expertise in the form of books, classes, tutoring, advice, and services.

The more aggressive you are upfront, setting up your personal brand, the more “selling” power you can create for yourself down the road.

The key is that you have to put the effort in before you can start to benefit from it. I had established my blog for months before I started the book. But in the end, it pays off.

Market Yourself – Part 2

This is part two of the three part series this week on marketing yourself. Check out part one here. Part three will come tomorrow.

In part one of this series I said that the first step in marketing yourself in the digital age is to take control of your digital footprint. Once you define your personal brand, and take control of your reputation in a positive way, it’s time to use those tools to your advantage…to advance your career.

Step 2. There’s a job you want, an industry you want to be in, or a company you’d like to start. It’s time to apply the tools you’ve defined in Step 1.

First you can tackle your resume. What does yours say about you? Does it stand out from the crowd? Add in your website, your blog, your LinkedIn profile. It tells people that you have taken an active interest in your field and you are pursuing it in ways that make you more attractive as an employee.

Many in the technology, design, and marketing worlds are taking this a step further and changing the look and feel of their resumes to better suit the age we live in. But you don’t have to go that far to stand out from the crowd. In today’s world, specific continuing education opportunities you’ve taken advantage of, certifications you’ve achieved, and “extra-curricular” activities in your field can often look even better than where, and for what you want to school.

Next, you will interview. The interview is a chance for you to reinforce the brand with a potential employer (maybe client or investor) that you’ve built online and on paper. The more work you’ve put into it, the more confident you should feel going in. Let that confidence shine (see confidence tips from George Clooney here). Bring examples of your work without being asked. Tell them exactly what you’ve done outside of your 9-5 job to get to where you’re at in your career, and why you took that initiative.

Employers are looking for people who go above and beyond, and in today’s market they can afford to be picky. So be that person. Take an interest in your field, and be willing to get creative with it.

Finally, you should always be networking. Online, you can network in a number of different ways. LinkedIn is a clear choice for networking with other professionals in your field. Twitter is another great choice, because you can follow industry leaders in a less formal way, and share content you create.

You should welcome interactions with others in the field because the more connections you establish, the more doors you will open for yourself when you’re looking for a new opportunity.

In part 3 we’ll dig a little deeper into marketing yourself, and selling off of your personal brand.

Market Yourself – Part 1

This is part one of the three part series this week on marketing yourself. Parts two and three will come later this week.

YOU are a brand. I am a brand. We all have our own brand, and in a digital world, it’s on us to define what that brand is, and how we want to use it.

Recession or not, high unemployment or not, it’s up to you to create the life you want for yourself. Whether that means getting a high paying job in your industry, or a new position in a difficult industry to get into, or working for yourself and marketing your services to others, there are different things that you can do to give your “image” that much needed boost.

We all need it.

Taking control of your identity online is step 1. Social media has created a whole new channel to get our voice, and our personal brand out to the world.

Take this blog as an example. I’ve branded my name in the marketing world, developed a Twitter handle that I use to spread marketing news that I’m interested in and communicate with others in the field, included my LinkedIn page that has my career history and professional connections, and wrote a book demonstrating my knowledge in a particular field.

Not only can I prominently feature all of this on paper or online wherever I apply for work, show my skills, or market myself, but if someone does a Google search on me, I’m in control of what shows up. Because I’ve worked to make it that way.

What happens if someone does a Google search on you? Try it out.

Like what you see? Do you even show up?

Essential in marketing yourself is to stop ignoring your digital footprint, and start taking control of it. Start to build a reputation for yourself online.

In part 2 we’ll dive deeper into how to brand yourself to get a job.