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Create Your Online Career Brand

by Imran M. Ismail

How career practitioners — or any professional — can use
social media to brand and market themselves
“Building your personal brand online gets you noticed in the real world.” — Kirsten Dixson
“What makes you unique, makes you successful.” — William Arruda.

In today’s fast-paced and interactive world of work, branding and marketing yourself is the key to career success. In the past branding, was limited to products and corporate sectors and it was a domain of marketing companies with large budgets — and it was an expensive exercise.

Now branding has moved from products to persons and every citizen of the world can benefit from it — thanks to the Internet. With a little work any individual can define, create and promote their brand without paying a cent to marketers.

For the marketer, word-of-mouth is world of mouth. Social media provides an opportunity to tell the world who you are and what difference you can make in the world. Every career practitioner has unique talents, skills and experience, which they can promote through their unique brand to the right audience.

To tap the power of social media you need a well thought-out strategy. There are four steps.

Define your unique offerings, talents, skills and experiences

How can you create value in people’s lives? This is your unique promise of value.

To determine this, you need to define:

  • your vision – ideally what value you can offer to people;
  • your purpose –  how you can add value to yourself;
  • your goals – how you can reach your vision and purpose;
  • your values – what is important for you; and
  • your passion – what makes you jump out of bed in the morning.

Design your brand

Work with social networking tools such as Linkedin, twitter, Facebook, blogger, visual CV, etc. to create a positive and desirable image:

  • develop your online biography, resume, portfolio;
  • develop professional presentations and videos;
  • write a blog or post blog comments; and
  • post photos and news about/by you.

For off-line branding, join professional associations and attend conferences. Be mindful of consistency and clarity in your message and image. Additionally, to check your presence online go to www.onlineidcalculator.com.

Communicate your brand to the world

Develop, and maintain good relations and reinforce your unique image to the world by using different social media tools. This does not mean that you underestimate the power of in-person networking but compliment it by building your on-line brand.

At this step you need lots of energy and motivation. It is similar to an airplane, which needs extra thrust to take off from the ground, but once in the air it flies with less energy.

Refine your brand

Continuously improve your brand on the basis of the feedback you get. Regularly refine your purpose and goals and communication strategies to keep your brand in-line with who you are and what value you offer to others.

By following these four steps you begin your marketing strategy. Remember, your brand creates your demand and commands your success in career and life.

For additional ideas about branding. visit:

 

Imran M. Ismail is a social media enthusiast and certified career development practitioner currently working as an employment counsellor at The Working Centre in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

Profile photo of Imran M. Ismail
Imran M. Ismail
Imran is a highly motivated CAREER STRATEGIST, COUNSELOR and COACH. As an experienced career and employment counsellor with a strong background in social and behavioural sciences and additional training in career development, Imran is enthusiastic about helping people achieve their career goals.

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