You need to be able to tell your story in ways that differentiate yourself as a job-seeker or businessperson. This means defining what makes you UNIQUE.
In marketing parlance, your unique offering is referred to as your Unique Selling Proposition. Start by identifying your 4-5 major career SUCCESS STORIES. These are your marketing CASE STUDIES. These tell how you have delivered exceptional service and achieved outstanding results.
Next, build a rolodex of client / boss references – these are your testimonials. Have them handy, and keep up contact with these folks. Identify your personal FEATURES and BENEFITS. When you develop your own personal brand, it requires you to think about yourself as a product. and your personal PRODUCT features and benefits consist of such things as: the degrees you obtained, the academic institutions you attended (stay active through their alumni organizations), your certifications, continuing professional development, software skills, professional accreditations, industry Association memberships, volunteer work, the charitable organizations you are affiliated – any and everything that define and contribute to your personal BRAND.
You MUST find out what are your peers, bosses, and clients identify you with – whatdo they think of when they think of you as a brand. It’s not enough for you to have a brand statement – you need to compare and validate your desired branding with the marketplace’s perception of YOU.
An organization’s brand is its one key differentiator and gives it competitive advantage by being associated as certain things by its customers. You MUST do everything in your power to defend your brand name aggressively. If any of your co-workers or employees in your organization are speaking negatively about you or taking credit for your work, confront them immediately.
Publish – publish – publish! Submit articles to the key publications that cover the industry or industries you work in or sell to. Maintain your very own blog on subjects that apply to your industry or business. Author or contribute to any white papers you can, that cover scholarly topics or key business trends. Publish a book – go the route of self-publishing, if you have to.
Participate on industry panel discussions.
Land a speaking slot at your industry Association’s annual national, regional, and/or local conferences. Offer to speak for free, if you have to. This will help you to become a subject matter expert on the topics that matter most to your career and professional development.
Actively promote yourself whenever and wherever you can in your organization – up and across the organization. Provide your elevator pitch in writing to all of the people in your social and professional networks sothey can sell you when they are in appropriate networking situations.