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Establishing Your Brand In Any Industry
Monday, May 06, 2013

Personal branding isn't something that marketing professionals made up nor is it exclusive to any certain industry. Whether you're a chef, a technician, teacher, or doctor,  you have a brand. A brand is basically how you're perceived by those you would consider your clients and colleagues. It's how others view you in respect to your career.

Even if you work for a major company, you don't have to take on the company's corporate brand as your own. In fact, a personal brand of your own will help you stand out when it can be easy to become invisible within a big company. A known personal brand is a great advantage for your professional pursuits. The more people know of you and your speciality that sets you apart, you'll gain more recognition throughout the industry.

Consumers in general tend to favor big name brands because they are more familiar with them than the lesser known, but usually as equally as good, brands. This is the same with people who have become household names. Building a personal brand tends to be a lengthy process because it can't just be thrown together. A brand is like a career itself. It has to have a foundation to build on and events to exhibit that brand to reinforce it.

Here are some other insights and advice for creating the brand known as YOU:

A personal brand has to be definitive and consistent. The key to branding success is that it's reinforced and instantly recognized. For an office employee, it may be a charismatic charm and signature gesture. For a business owner, it may be a unique service that they offer. In this job market, everyone is essentially a free agent so you have to act as your own publicist and manager.

Branch out. If you have a wide range of experience, then by all means make each useful to your job hunt. It's very common for people to have had a career in one thing, and use their experience from that career to thrive in another related one. Many farmers, for example, are also chefs. With years of experience of harvesting the crops and ingredients, they have a deep understanding for how the products should best be used culinarily. Find your other hidden talents and don't be afraid to market them.

Make the link with LinkedIn. You can try on a variety of different hats while experimenting with your personal brand creation, but where it can become a problem is when it isn't consistent with who you are across the board. How you represent yourself online should be the same way that you represent yourself in person. If you're applying to a job as a sales manager and a merchandiser, you don't have to have a separate LinkedIn profile but make sure that all the information on it is relevant to any job you apply to. Your resume may highlight certain parts of your background to cater to the specific position. Keep in mind that you want to create a lasting image of yourself, so avoid constantly shape-shifting because people aren't going to remember a single ones of those personas.