I have been working hard to build personal brand over the years, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the results. It takes a lot of time to build a strong brand, and the principles of personal branding are almost the same as branding any consumer.
In this article, the focus will be on branding to get more job offers, but the same principles apply to getting more business opportunities as well.
Do you Exist in the Market?
A lot of organizations want good people with good skills & experience to work with them. Though you are excellent, you are not getting the job offers that you deserve because they don’t know about your existence and expertise. I can confidently say that this is the best way to get your dream job. I have been in a similar situation before. This problem cannot be solved by uploading our resume in more employment portals, having an active LinkedIn profile or by applying for more jobs offline. If you have tried that before, I am sure you ended up bored and frustrated with the process.
Why Good People Don’t Always Get Good Jobs?
let us have a look at the reality first. Good people are not the only ones having a difficulty in finding the right jobs. Organizations are also finding it very difficult to find good people to work for them.
So there are a lot of good jobs and good people, but they are not dating each other. Organizations are always complaining about the difficulty of finding great people to work with them and experts are always complaining about not having enough good and relevant jobs in the industry.
Why is this happening? The reason is because we do knowledge work and knowledge work is not quantifiable. For example, consider two people who work in a phone factory. One person assembles 100 phones a day and the other person assembles only 80 phones a day. Now it is easy to say who is the expert in assembling phones. More phones per day, the better he/she is.
I think you can now understand where the problem stems from. A manager who makes a hiring decision cannot measure your expertise with any tests or tools. So people hire with emotion and “gut feeling” and hence the mega mismatch between jobs openings and individuals.
It takes at least 3-6 months for a manager to completely understand the unique skills of his/her subordinate. So even if you actually possess the skills, they may not know about it, and you may lose a great opportunity. To overcome this, you need to brand yourself in such a way to people perceive you as an expert even before they hire you. That’s what preeminent branding is all about.
In general, there is a huge market demand for experts because experts get the job done. But being an ‘expert’ is a subjective thing. There is no way to measure someone and certify them as an expert or otherwise.
Why Qualification & Certifications Don’t Help
Certifications don’t prove that you are an expert. That’s because the market is crowded with too many certifications. Certifications demonstrate knowledge, but not expertise. People DO NOT hire you for what you know, they hire you for the results you can bring.
Having a certificate of course completion or passing an exam will definitely put you ahead of many people. But the problem is that 1,000s of people who are competing for the same opportunity as you, also have similar certifications. How are you going to stand out?
Do You Need to Graduate from a Good University?
When big corporations and successful organizations want best of the best people to work for them, they always go for students who graduate from Ivy League colleges. Graduating from a good college will definitely help you in your career because it is a strong brand to add to your resume. But that’s not enough. And that’s not always required.
Also, since digital marketing is a fast changing field, having a graduation from even the best of the colleges would not have any relevance for a CEO who wants results for his company. A recent testimonial from Founders or CEOs about my work will be far more relevant and useful for someone who wants to hire me.
Startups and other companies have realized that hiring people from good colleges is no longer enough to get results where subject matter expertise is required. And in such situations, personal branding is for the win!
Networking Helps, But It’s Not Enough
Networking can be a great tool to connect with interesting people in quality organizations and can help you a lot in getting a good job. In fact, studies state that 70% of the superb jobs in the market get filled through networks and referrals, and only 30% of the vacancies need to go through the traditional hiring process.
But there is a limit to how much you can expand your network and how engaged you can be in your network. The larger you grow your network the thinner you spread yourself.
You may have met an influential person in an event, but if you never engaged with him for the past six months, he is not going to remember you. Even if he remembers you, why would he go the extra mile to recommend you to someone if he hasn’t had the opportunity to know that you are splendid at what you do?
Personal branding is the key here. With tested and proven techniques which I am about to reveal, you can grow your network to big numbers and also engage with everyone using similar techniques that corporate brands use to market themselves.
Is it OK to Brand and Market Yourself?
I agree that the idea of marketing yourself may feel a little creepy in the beginning. You have overcome that hesitation. If you are really good at something, it is your responsibility to let the world know about it. branding strategy is based on how companies market their brands to their customers. But it is not the marketing that you see around you.
How Ordinary People Become “Experts”
Becoming an expert is the easy part. Many people are experts already in what they do. Including YOU! Everyone has unique ideas, skills, and experience. The hardest is being recognized as an expert in the world that we live in.
Some people are good at branding themselves as experts, for some the branding happens naturally, and some don’t even try. The people who do not proactively brand themselves as experts will never get the good opportunities.
to be continued!