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Want to start your own personal brand?
If you think about it, you could create the most impressive product in a particular industry, but if you do not market it successfully, the chances of success are minimal. Now, apply this theory to yourself. You may have a lot to offer a firm; you may be experienced, knowledgeable and possess all of the required skills. But, if you don’t market yourself, will you make it in your desired profession? It’s unlikely.
In order to ensure you secure the best jobs and the best assignments, you need to market yourself successfully. This is especially important for professionals that are going to be working for different businesses all of the time and need to secure new clients consistently, for example, consulting professionals, interim managers, and such like.
With that being said, in this blog post, we are going to take a look at how to market yourself effectively. This includes the benefits of doing so, as well as some of the different things you can do to market yourself effectively. So, let’s get to it and start developing your personal brand.
Top benefits of marketing yourself effectively –
- Better assignments – You won’t feel forced to take every assignment that comes your way. You will be able to hold out for better ones.
- Enjoy gaps between assignments – Through marketing, you will know that you can find assignments, and so you will actually be able to enjoy any gaps in between them.
- Confidence boost – You’ll feel a lot more confident and positive about your ability to secure assignments.
- Less unwanted downtime – Ultimately, the main benefit is that you will be better equipped to obtain assignments.
- More opportunities will arise – Once you start marketing yourself, it is like a snowball effect, and more opportunities will come your way.
‘Jack of all trades, master of none’
Most people fall into the trap of marketing themselves as a Jack-of-all-Trades. We all want to show that we can cater to all requirements and deliver on all projects, but having a specialist area can be much more beneficial.
After all, most clients want to find someone that has the capability to solve problems they are experiencing, i.e. they may be looking for someone that specialises in helping businesses meet health and safety requirements, or someone that specialises in relocating manufacturing to low-cost countries. They are going to hire someone that is a specialist as opposed to someone who is simply a ‘results-focused, business-oriented project manager’, as this doesn’t say anything about what you have to offer.
You may need to take a specialist course in order to be able to offer this and find your niche. This is easy to do today, as you can get your MBA online, meaning you can do this at a pace that suits you.
How do you identify your product?
You are your product. You need to get to the bottom of what this is. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What problems have you solved before? – Assess the situations you have been involved in before, comparing the problem before and after your intervention. How did you achieve your results? What actions did you utilise?
- Who faces similar issues? – You need to discover what type of organisations experience these problems, and whether there are many of them, to determine what opportunities will be available. It is also advisable to consider whether these organisations see the problem in question as urgent or not.
- What problems do you enjoy solving? – Liking your role is just as important as being good at it.
If you are worried that this approach will result in your missing out on an abundance of opportunities, don’t be. A lot of people think that they are cutting themselves off by specialising in a particular area or areas. However, you will have a much higher chance of securing an assignment within your specialist area, and by using the questions provided above, you will be able to effectively determining where opportunities lie too.
Get your message out
Now that you have established your product and target market, the time has come to get your message in front of that market.
How do you do so? Well, there are many approaches, from online discussions to networking events, and different techniques work for different people. However, what you need to ask yourself is:
Is this marketing activity creating awareness of your competence, credibility and compatibility with decision makers in your target market?
If the answer is ‘yes’, by all means continue. If the answer is ‘no’, it’s time to start looking for a fresh approach.
There is no magical formula, and it largely depends on your target market, for instance, in some industries, there may be particular conferences and events that represent fantastic opportunities. Moreover, you need to think about the ways in which you feel confident communicating. Of course, the client must be considered first, but don’t overlook the opportunities that will make you excel as well.
Routes to market to consider:
- Direct marketing – Phone calls or e-mails
- Management consultancies
- Social media
- Referrals from past clients, partners, customers and competitors
- University/ Business School Alumni
- Professional and industry exhibitions and conferences
- Professional and industry associations
These are just a handful of examples. It all depends on your industry and the people you are targeting. A considerable amount of research is needed to determine the best path in.
The bottom line: Your personal brand
The importance of marketing yourself effectively cannot be ignored if you are to successfully secure assignments. Follow the steps provided in this blog post to transform your career.