It’s time to step into the spotlight.
You’re not a product, or a brand. But you ARE a business, and that business depends on your personality. If you have been wondering what to do to raise your profile to meet that role, I want you to know that marketing yourself is essential to every step of your success, from finding a job to building your own small business.
In coaching people to become personal brands, I teach that self-marketing means building your own personal brand, but show you that it requires a different approach than marketing a company. That approach starts with you thinking of yourself as the CEO of your own brand. To get you started in this direction, here are a few of my top tips:
1. Determine your USP/ your unique selling proposition. The first step in learning how to market yourself is to answer two questions:
– why me?
– what’s in it for my audience?
Before you even start a coaching process like mine, or get that website and PR team together, spend some time sitting down and thinking about your strengths, the things that drive and motivate you and your goals. What are the things that your peers appreciate about you? What do you bring to the table? If you were to quit your job today, what is it that the company would lose?
2. Set clear targets. Once you have identified your USP, reflect on your goals. The best way to set goals is to start with the big picture — the long-range end goal — and then work down to the smallest individual goals. Personally, I don’t usually envision ME in ten years, but rather – I reach for a familiar template that resonates with me and ask what it will take to reach their level (in my case, think: Oprah). Then, break down possible steps to get there.
The key to defining goals is to make them manageable and well within reach. You need measurable milestones, and when you reach them, you’ll feel accomplished and driven to reach the next one. It sets up a pattern of success.
3. Know who you serve.
Every brand has a target audience. That includes your personal brand. Understanding how to market yourself means knowing your audience and how to reach them. Who are you trying to reach with your marketing? Knowing who your audience is will enable you to deliver your message in the right ways, to the right people. This one was a game changer for me as I learned who my “superstars” are – and has made marketing myself infinitely easier. Try it yourself.
4. Create your brand.
As you begin to market yourself – figure out what you look like, what your logo and offerings look like…and do not be cheap. Your personal brand affects everything you do. It’s what people see when you post on social media. It’s the way people react to you in person. It’s you, and the way others see you, from top to bottom. This means you have to be sure that every detail is what you want people to see. This involves your style, your interpersonal behavior both in person and online and all the communications you offer. Everything has to be consistent with the brand you’re presenting to the world. Look the part.
5. Create a compelling online presence. We just talked about personal brand presentation – and this must include separate and special attention to the creation of a website and social media channels for YOU the brand, not you the person. Did you know that I have two channels, for example? There’s Coach Keren (@CoachKeren) and there’s Keren Eldad. One of them is a business. The other one really, really likes cats.
When you are ready to be a brand and market yourself as one, build a website that highlights who you are, your accomplishments, your experience, and the knowledge and skills and the value you bring. Keep it focused on you, though, not on your company. This is not your business site — this is your personal site. This will land you speaking gigs and press. You can easily set something up on sites like WordPress or a range of other providers that have easy template-based services you can use to get started quickly.
Once you’re up and running, get a blog going (it’s good for SEO, and your mom will read it!), and add the social media channels. Make a commitment to posting a blog at least once a week, and keep it focused on topics that will be interesting and educational and will be directly related to your experience and skills.
6. Network your derriere off. We’ve talked about the importance of a site and social media, but even in the digital age, on-the-ground, in-person interactions matter. To this end, join up with industry groups. Get yourself invited as a special guest at trade shows and conferences. Get on panels. Give talks. Look for opportunities to spearhead large projects that will let you showcase your talents. I teach others how to do this as it is what I do for a living.