What could be more important than to market yourself? Businesses may come and go, but establishing a strong personal brand for yourself and strengthening the way that you market yourself will benefit you for your entire life. This is not only important when you are applying for a new job (although it is very important then), it is important whenever you meet a new contact. In this digital age, the first thing anyone does is "Google" you. By building your personal brand with a LinkedIn profile, personal website or portfolio, you will ensure that you stand out and avoid scrambling at the last minute. That being said, what can you do to up your branding game?
Investing in a quality designer to create your personal branding may not be as exciting as purchasing some funky new heels, the latest electronic gadget or whatever other items you have been eyeing. However, when you actually have YOUR logo...it feels pretty awesome. Taking a step back and realizing the importance of finding the right designer to craft your personal branding and design your logo will pay off for years to come. You need something strong, clean and timeless. You want something that will fit you next week and 20 years from now.
Okay…you got us…we are business card snobs. That is where our snobbery ends, but we believe that investing a little bit of extra money doing a thicker paper stock, spot gloss, foil stamping, embossing, custom die cut or other unique feature set on your business card will really make you stand out. Making an impression with your business card is important. People get a ton of business cards throughout the years. The likelihood that people will politely take your standard online-ordered business card and throw it right away is huge. We invest a little extra in our business cards and encourage our clients to do so, but we don’t hand over a single card without notice and comment. To us that is worth every penny!
Virtual Business Cards
A new up-and-coming trend is virtual business cards, or personal websites all about you. Remember how we talked about many standard business cards and their trip right into the garbage? The latest and greatest development in personal branding includes a personal, virtual based business card. This is a dedicated website with an embedded video created to showcase you and what you are all about. This one to two minute summary of you will help people get a better idea of what you are about and a brief picture of what you can offer. The team doing your video business card will conduct a question and answer type video session with you. They will then take all of this footage and edit it down into the most important details. People will feel like they are talking directly to you. It feels much more real and conversational. It’s a way to get to know you before they ever actually get to know you. This is generally paired with a landing page or personal website to tie everything together. This way when you are out and about or at a networking event you can easily share your personal business card with anyone via text or email. Its much more personal and people think its pretty cool..
Creating a personal website for yourself is not something that only photographers and artists should do to showcase themselves. Many creative professionals utilize personal websites to showcase their portfolios, but if you are not in that field there is still plenty of interesting and important information for you to share with the world. When you Google your name, what comes up? Wouldn’t you rather start to take control over the story you are telling people and control that outcome? Create a personal website that showcases the personal branding you invested in, your work history and accomplishments, any work examples you can showcase, testimonials from those you have worked with and your contact information. Consider writing a blog on your personal site giving those in your industry insight into your expertise and sharing your thoughts with the world. It is important to work with a reputable and creative website development team who understands the importance of branding for all sorts to create a website (and possibly full brand package) that showcases the very best of you.
Your resume should be an ever-evolving story of your strengths, work history and accomplishments. How can you make your resume stand out? First, make sure it is up to date and highlights all of your greatest accomplishments. Often, we as people aren’t always the best at tooting our own horns. We have learned that there are also an unfortunate amount of resumes with spelling errors. That makes you look sloppy. Don’t say that you are detail-oriented and then miss details as important as grammar on your one page resume. Take the time to make it right. Consider playing around with unique formats, adding quotes from past-coworkers, etc. Pinterest has some cool ideas for unique resumes. Use these one or two pages to help present yourself in the best light.
Good photography is important. If you are honest with yourself you will know if the image you are using for things like LinkedIn or other profiles of yourself is up to par. If you don't have a personal resource to take a photograph that represents you well, it may be time to spend a little to get the right quality image. Lighting, the right equipment, professional hair and makeup, the right posing techniques and post shoot photo editing can all make a big difference in your overall presentation. A strong presentation of your branding is multi-faceted and skimping in one area is doing a discredit to the others.
LinkedIn Profile Enhancement
When it comes to a social media platform that is all about your professional work life, LinkedIn is where it’s at. LinkedIn is great to network, highlight yourself and gain ideas from those in related industries. Make sure to fully optimize your profile so that will put your best foot forward and represent yourself well. Keep active and be selective in those you engage with and LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your tool belt.
Social Media Presence
You want to be involved with social media to see pictures of your friend’s babies, be alerted of people’s birthdays and ask people for lives in Candy Crush. What you don’t want is people seeing pictures of you binge drinking in college, less than appropriate meme sharing and other posts (from you or others) that represent you in a less than flattering light. We celebrate all that is Facebook, but make sure your privacy settings are as they should be and that only the people you want are seeing the most private side of your social media life. This is not just when you are job searching, but can be important to monitor.
Dial in Your Elevator Pitch
Nothing is worse than getting put on the spot and awkwardly bumbling about yourself and your business. Think about what you and your company is about and how you would describe that in 30 seconds. People will lose interest quickly if your pitch is off. The better that you can fine-tune your pitch, the more engaged you will keep people. Don’t bore your audience with an unplanned pitch. You and your business are likely very interesting…don’t screw up your opportunity to highlight that.
In search of your next career move? Have a less than desirable search-engine history that you would like to replace with your own messaging? Want to take control and highlight the work you have done to further your skillset or launch a new business? Many people don’t quite know where to start. 10twelve can help craft professional and stand out messaging for you and your business. Contact us today to get started.