Marketing Brand YOU:
How to Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd
By Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach
Looking for a gig as an employee or a contractor these days requires more than just an error-free resume or a killer project list; you need to establish a personal brand to set yourself apart from the crowded marketplace of others who have the same or similar qualifications.
What is personal branding? Personal branding is the way you clarify and communicate what is special about you, so that you don't have to talk so hard (or hope for the right question) to explain exactly why you're the best candidate for the gig (be it a job or a freelance assignment). With branding, you are communicating more information on more than simply a verbal level.
Your personal brand is communicated through all visual and verbal communication, including your resume, cover letter, portfolio, personal web site, interview outfit, handshake, contact card, and even your personal interests and behavior. If any of these are inconsistent with the image you wish to project, your brand is compromised or at least weakened.
When developing your personal brand, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you want people to understand, think, and know when they see you/your resume/your email?
- What is the essence of your value to an organization?
- What makes you stand out? Your accomplishments, strengths, personal qualities, or just your hair color?
I once worked with a character actor who was wrestling with his personal brand because his primary value to directors was that he had a forgettable face. He is neither handsome nor ugly, tall nor short, and even his hair was a nondescript color. Although his credits are impressive, new casting directors never remembered him enough to call him back, even when they have been very enthusiastic about his auditions.
After we did some work with the questions listed above, we decided to brand him as the "red sweater guy." Why red? Because red communicates passion, which is how he feels about acting, and the color stands out and is memorable, even though his face is not.
To every audition, he wore a red sweater. On his resume attached to his black-and-white head shot, he wrote in red ink under his name, "the guy in the red sweater." He began introducing himself as "Chris, the guy in the red sweater," as well as identifying himself on his phone messages and voice mail as "the guy in the red sweater."
The result? The guy with the forgettable face became memorable, and effectively communicated his passion for acting by building a brand around a red sweater.
Correctly branding yourself will make you easier to remember, and will communicate much more than you can ever say in a cover letter or even an interview.
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Marketing Brand YOU: How to Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd © 2006 Veronika Noize. All rights reserved.
About the author
Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach, is the author of "How to Create a Killer Elevator Speech" and "How to Double Your Business in 30 Minutes a Day." A dynamic speaker and unconditionally supportive coach, Ronnie helps small businesses attract more clients. Ronnie's web site is a comprehensive resource with free articles and valuable marketing tools for small office/home office business professionals. Visit her web site
at www.VeronikaNoize.com, or call her at 360-882-1298.