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As marketers we are always doing work for others and sometimes a person with lots of skill and brilliance is lumped together with a business or brand. When this brilliant person leaves a business they can lose the presence they once had in an industry.
You might have a great job right now, but if it should end one day is your reputation good enough to get you a similar position/salary? Will people recognize you under a new name? Is the reputation you are building for the business you work for or is it for you? You need to take care of the company you work for, but you also have to brand yourself.
I have some tips on how to brand yourself for long-term sustainability. Throughout this article please keep in mind – your name matters.
Note: I am not saying not to represent your business. I am saying that you need to represent yourself at the same time.
If you are using social media to interact with folks and build a reputation then make sure to differentiate yourself from the business you work for. This could be in titles on social accounts or using your own on social media accounts as well as a business account.
Some businesses create social media accounts that are branded for each employee. You should use it and create credibility, but you must use your own social accounts to interact on a more personal level with the communities of your industry. Make yourself visible.
Make sure you are letting people see your brilliance, your personality and your expertise on YOUR social accounts, so no matter where you go work-wise your reputation is solid on social.
If your goal is to build a solid reputation you need to contribute to other sites in one way or another. You can write articles, be available for interviews or create something like infographics, ebooks, guides or helpful videos in your own name.
You want to get your name on respected websites and provide quality information. You should make it a goal to get published on in some way once a month. Offer to do a monthly post for a site that uses guest authors. This will often lead to other opportunities and also create a consistent audience for you.
Writing for others is not an easy task in the long-term, but the goal is to brand yourself. It is worth the effort in the long run.
If you are creating something with your name on it you do not want to create anything less than great. Take the time to create things that are so impressive that your creation is shared and your name becomes visible to many people. You want people to recognize you for what you have done and what you know.
It is better to create “less” and to create something that is outstanding. Creating a lot of “blah” really accomplishes nothing.
When you attend events you should represent your company, but you have to be branding yourself at the same time.
The goal is to help your business meet their goals at an event, yet let people get to know you as a smart and capable individual.
Businesses are often easy to remember, but at events there are so many people that it is easy to forget people’s names. How are you going to stand out and how will you be remembered? Have a plan when you attend an event to meet the right people, to handle interactions appropriately and to brand yourself without selling or bragging.
If you are speaking at an event make sure your name is clearly visible on presentations and make sure to add contact information at the end of the presentation. People need ways to reach out to you, so give them options.
Also, it is fine to have a personal business card and a card for your business. Hand out both.
One thing I have seen several people do is to come to conferences with t-shirts and other cool promotional items to give away. Attendees love the free stuff and I honestly remember every individual that has given me something. It is a great investment for personal branding.
You need to do a good job at the companies you work for because this can help create a solid reputation of reliability. What you want to avoid is forgetting to market yourself. If you want long-term work, for really any position, personal branding can help be more successful. Take the time to invest in yourself.