Sudy Bharadwaj | mashable
Call it self-marketing, personal branding, professional development, or any other buzzword you’d like. In any case, both finding a job and climbing the career ladder are all about investing in the business of you.
As a professional, you are a brand unto yourself. The target market for the unique value you provide are employers who are constantly bombarded with messages from your competitors (read: other industry professionals) and also always on the lookout for innovation. Develop and market your personal brand effectively by using traditional marketing techniques.
The 4 Ps of Traditional Marketing
Though the boundaries of traditional marketing no longer exist due to online media and new digital technologies, its core tactics can be reworked to guide your self-marketing strategy online.
The four Ps of marketing are product, price, promotion and place. In the realm of self-marketing, you are the product that’s up for sale, which means you must successfully apply the traditional marketing model to you: the person, the professional and the brand.
Product: Be Consistent and Recognizable
To develop an online self-marketing strategy, you must determine who you are as a professional and build a personal brand around your core strengths, skills and experience. What do you bring to the table that others in your industry do not? Know your strengths and play to them by creating a consistent brand around yourself that’s complete with mission, objectives and recognizable visual brand elements. Today’s hiring managers are social consumers who are more apt to hire you based on the experience you’re selling rather than your ability to carry out a few specific tasks.
Just as you instantly know a can of Coca-Cola when you see one (and know what to expect once it’s open), your audience should know exactly what you bring to the table and what they’re getting by working with you. Whether you’ve branded yourself as a no-nonsense people mover who’s apt at managing staff, or an industry expert and consultant who provides fresh insights and innovates the way a company operates, be consistent. Decide on your core messages and stick to one brand name.
Price: Know Your Value
The importance of this element in online self-marketing is twofold. In addition to accounting for the value you add to an organization, you must decide what you, the hard-working professional, are worth and what your bottom line is — particularly if you ever decide to freelance or become an independent contractor.
Based on your accomplishments and experiences, your expertise comes with a price tag in the form of a salary. Decide what you’re worth based on how much others in your industry are being paid for the work they perform, and be resolute about how much you’re willing to accept. Every time you step foot into a store and buy a product, the price is more or less the same, so your hourly rate or salary requirements align with your industry and level of experience in a similar fashion.