Branding Strategies for Today’s Job Market!
By Dilip Saraf on 28 Jun 2011
Branding is one of the most frequently visited, not to say hackneyed, topics. Although different segments of the economy approach this topic differently, when it comes to creating a brand in your career there are many invariants. If you do not pay attention to them you can suffer brand erosion, or even rejection in the eyes of your “customers.” You can also become irrelevant in the process. So, I am writing this blog to remind career professionals—the readers of this blog—of those invariants. So, if you want to build a strong brand and want to differentiate yourself, pay attention to these suggestions:
- A brand is a promise of value provided in a consistent, holistic, and impactful way
- Brand equity is the user inertia that helps or hurts the brand
- A strong brand attracts AND repels
- Building brand takes focus, time, and effort; it is life’s work!
- Destroying a brand takes just one thoughtless act!
- Developing your own brand begins with a soulful look at yourself
- Your résumé is one verbal representation of your brand; it is not your brand
- Spend time and effort aligning your résumé with your brand
- Build your LinkedIn Profile consistent with that branding statement
- Make your Facebook and Twitter accounts also align with that brand
- Be very focused in how you package your message; a tagline is not your brand
- Be confident in your message (age, setbacks, gaps), by dealing with them head-on.
- Run a short pilot before you broadcast your message to everyone
- Keep tweaking your message until “they” get it
- Learn how to project your message that resonates with all your “collateral.”
- Ask those close to you to read your “collateral,” such as your résumé, LinkedIn Profile, Facebook page, YouTube postings, or anything that you have out there representing you, and to tell you if what’s out there is how they see you. If they are not sure, find out why and then create the needed alignment. Seek professional help if you are not sure about their honesty or openness.
- Be honest to your brand
- When in doubt, tell the truth!
- Under promise and over deliver
- Do an occasional sanity check; listen to your own inner voice, not experts’!
- Be prepared to change your message, but not your brand
- Tough times provide the best test for your brand’s integrity!
- Your brand is a total experience you create in the eyes of your “customers.” So, be mindful of anything that touches your brand: your voice-mail greeting, your email signature (with your phone #), your thank-you notes, how you exit a company, and how you respond to your friends’ requests for referrals.
- Be vigilant, and frequently Google yourself. Don’t be surprised by anything you see from what you’ve done in the past that has now come back to bite you!
- If you want something from someone, be forthright, not sneaky! If you err, immediately own the mistake and apologize. Then move on!