You are your own brand. And you want your brand to be recognized.
But strong brand recognition does not happen overnight. Some companies spend millions, over years building their brands. Fortunately, you can do it for free, but it does take time.
So you'd better start doing it now.
There are products that are exceptional, that nobody knows about. Conversely, a similar product (or even an inferior one) branded in the right way, can become a best seller.
I’ll bet you are an excellent marketer, but how many people know that? Can you prove it?
Even if you are not looking for a new job now, chances are you will be someday. If you already have a strong brand, it will be so much easier. Then when you decide to make a change (or are forced to make a change) you will be ready.
When I started this website two years ago, I did not need a website. But I wanted to polish my writing skills by writing more often on topics I enjoy. If I do decide that I want to take it further, I already have something established. I knew that starting this site and building my brand now when I had no pressure would be much easier.
And let's be honest, I needed some way to justify my fancy coffee habit.
I am not trying to make any money with this website and sometimes I am irritated by the time it takes to stick to a schedule and update the site, but I know that it is an investment. An investment in myself.
Tomorrow, if I wanted to look for a new job I could point to my website and say, “look, this is who I am and what I do”.
You can also build your brand by:
· Gathering recommendations on LinkedIn
· Presenting sessions at events (Dynamics Community, Partner Channel etc.)
· Building a following such as a subscriber list
· Becoming known within the community (volunteer, be active in forums, help others)
People always say it is easier to look for a job when you don’t need one. Likewise, it is easier to brand yourself when you don’t need to. There is no pressure and you can build an inner sense of confidence.
I have a friend who was recently let go from her job as Director of Marketing at a Microsoft Dynamics partner after a merger. It caught her completely off guard. She knows and I know that she is a fantastic marketer, but now she has to make sure potential employers know that too. Right away, she got a business name, set up a website and is reaching out to contacts. But it is hard to do all of this quickly, under pressure, while you are still in a state of shock.
I have another friend who recently chose to go out on her own and start her own Dynamics GP training company. For some time, she had already been working on building her network and her name recognition by speaking at events and being involved in the community. When she made the leap, she already had a reputation and a support system to rely on.
Today, I don’t think having an updated resume is enough. In fact, I think that resumes are obsolete (but that is the topic for another post). If your brand is well known within the community, it is your name and reputation, and not your resume that will get you the job.
So I recommend that all marketers take the time now to think about how they want to portray themselves and what they want to be known for.
What is your brand?
By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing