A phrase caught my attention a while back; “whether you know it or not, you are marketing yourself each and every day.” How true! We are sending messages about ourselves in everything we do – every action we take, every word we speak, every email we send. From holding the door for a stranger to how we treat the customer service representative on the other end of the phone – we are giving others a glimpse of who we are.
The more we are aware of the image that we are projecting, the more we should try to focus on intentionally sending the right messages - putting our best self out there.
There are three big steps in self-awareness and self-marketing:
1. Prepare - Know your value and establish goals
- Who are you now? Make a list of your best qualities. If you were to ask friends and coworkers to describe you now, what would they say? Create a “positioning statement” about yourself. Hone in on your strengths and your positive attributes. Identify and clearly state what sets you apart from others.
- What do you want out of life? Be as specific as possible. Use both short and long term goals.
- How will you know when you've reached your goals? Write down the key indicators that will let you know you’ve reached your goals. It could be landing that new job, completing a specific course, obtaining certification, or expanding your social network.
2. Package - How people judge you
- Although you may not be aware of it, people are constantly forming opinions about you and assessing your capabilities. How? By observing your eye contact, body language, appearance, and speech. Still others will form opinions based not only on your quality of work, but also on your work ethic, sincerity, punctuality, etc. Conduct a self-assessment in these areas, ask co-workers and friends for their opinions as well. If you identify areas that could use some improvement, get to work on those by enrolling in a speech class, learning time management skills, etc. Whatever it takes!
3. Present and Promote Yourself - Now that you know you have a lot to offer, how will you let others know?
- Create and maintain a professional resume.
- Stay current in your field and search for ways to continue your learning and gain expertise.
- Study a specialty niche in your field to increase your value to your current or future company.
- Network – in person, via social networks, at business meetings, trade shows, charity events.
- Join clubs, professional groups and organizations.
- Serve on committees and boards or volunteer your time.
- Make sure that any social media channels that you post on are presenting the “you” that you want others to see. Keep your posts professional and make the time to connect with like-minded individuals.
Once you become more aware of your personal value, the cues you are sending and the image you want to portray to others, you are well on your way to mastering the art of personal branding and marketing yourself!
Some courses you might find helpful: