“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” ~ Seth Godin
It’s no secret the world has changed. You are doing more with less. Things are moving at the speed of light. And Google has become the new resume. The question is … what are you doing about it?
How are you standing out? What are your points of distinction? And most importantly, how are you articulating that to your clients, your prospects, your boss, and your leadership?
The real challenge in today’s society is simply getting the attention of the people that can buy from you, hire you, promote you and/or recommend you. You have to find a way to stand out and you have to do it in a way that is authentically you. This doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert in order to “stand out”. You can be your amazing introverted self and still find a way to rise above the noise.
Bottom line: If you want to build career stability you need to be looking for ways to amplify your brand. And you have to do it now. The world is moving way too fast. The competition is way too fierce. It’s not “if” the economy will shift again, it’s “when”. So, what are you doing to protect the largest asset you own … the brand of YOU?
Here are 5 things you can do right now to turn up the volume on your personal brand:
1. Live in Permanent Beta
It’s hard to get stuck somewhere old when you are always learning something new. This is what permanent beta is all about. It is about making a lifelong commitment to continual personal development. How do you do this? A few ideas:
- Attend industry conferences.
- Take a class at a local university.
- Watch 2-‐3 TED Talks per week. I literally write these into my weekly calendar to make it a priority.
- READ! There is a study that shows if you read just 10 minutes per day, which typically equates to 10 pages per day, you will have read approximately Nineteen (19) 200-page
books! Imagine how much your life will change if you are reading 19 life, business and personal development books a year. #MicDrop
2. Know Your Points of Distinction
Before you brand yourself you have to understand yourself. Do you know what makes you different than everyone else out there that does what you do? What sets you apart? What makes you unique? No one does it your way. No one has your unique set of skills, gifts and ideas. So be proud of who you are and own it! You should be able to answer these 2 questions:
- A company would hire you (or promote you) over another event professional because?
- What do you offer that’s hard to come by?
3. Promote Yourself Internally
You have to find ways to stand out within your current organization. When push comes to shove, will you be the one they can’t live without? Are you the one that provides the most value? Here are some things you can start doing at work right now:
- Read the industry pubs and blogs, and then share articles and ideas with your team, leadership, boss and/or other departments that could help them do their jobs better or motivate them.
- Volunteer to lead the next sales or team meeting to share that really cool idea you learned from the last book you read or the last industry conference you attended.
Mentor someone in the company.
- Start a task force to help solve a problem you see happening.
- Always be looking for ways to help other people within your organization get what THEY want or need.
4. Promote Yourself Externally
You also have to put yourself out there on a larger scale. If you really want to expand your network you need a seat at the table. We are so lucky to work in an industry where you have so many choices to get involved at your fingertips. A few ways to start include:
- Lead and volunteer within an industry organization -‐ this right here is the secret sauce to all career success. So pick an industry association and get involved!
Sit on industry panels.
- Speak at the next conference.
- Get published in a trade pub or start a personal blog.
- Join Social Media Groups and be active by providing value and sharing resources to help others solve problems.
5. Ignore the Haters
I saved my favorite for last. This is the golden nugget. I bet the #1 reason you don’t put yourself out there is you are worried what other people will think. That they will judge you, make fun of you, or find you annoying. Guess what? People already don’t like you, find you annoying and are judging you. The Q is: Who are you living your life for? You … or them!
By mixing up a recipe of these branding ingredients. You WILL amplify your brand. You will expand your network. You will create a competitive edge. Life is too short to blend in. Plus, who wants to stay stuck, and safe, and just the same?
The world needs that special gift only YOU have.
By Judi Holler
Judi is an expert on personal branding who helps professionals learn how to expand their network, embrace fear and get a competitive edge. Judi will be speaking at our 24th Annual Conference For Administrative Excellence in October.