Whether you're looking for that next speaking gig, you want to get a tasty raise or you'd like people to approach you for your expertise, marketing yourself is going to be one of your biggest challenges.
Sometimes it's easy to forget about marketing 'you' because you're too busy marketing for your brand. But hey, you're important too, and creating value for your personal brand and being able to market yourself successfully can create loads of new, exciting opportunities.
Put in the time and effort and you'll reap the rewards - so, which habits should you start following?
Before you do anything, you need to work out what your unique selling point is. It's one of those cliché phrases in the world of business, but it's a useful one. Deciding and embracing what makes you a particularly marketable person is important. Without getting soppy, we're all special and we all have things that make us unique.
Find out what these selling points are. If you're not sure then you can ask some of your close friends, colleagues or family - don't blame us if there are any harsh truths though. Once you've honed in on your USP make this the center point for all of your marketing strategy and personal brand, so people can associate you with something.
Set clear goals for your marketing. What is it you want to achieve? If it's more speaking or media engagements then target your efforts on particular social media platforms, events and network with specific people and influencers.
If you're always working towards a set goal then it's easier to measure your progress and work out what you need to do to get there.
Understand your target audience inside out and learn about the type of language people use, the social media platforms they hang out on and what type of content they like to read and share. Research, research, research. Once you've got a grip of your audience you can see where gaps in the market are and try to fill them. Find issues that affect this audience and the sector and say things that other people aren't saying. Take different angles on topics and look at stuff from a different perspective.
Being able to market yourself in a creative, conversational way is a great way to stand out. Your personality is one of your most marketable assets because it's the key to connecting with people and getting your messages across in an engaging way. Creating content that's informative and entertaining is a must and having a personal brand that seems truly 'personal' is important. Showing your personality makes you more endearing to people, whether that's online or face to face.
Keeping up with emerging trends so you know your sector inside out and the challengers that it's facing will help to make you more of an authority on issues and a thought leader in your area. Being able to show that you're adapting fast to ever-evolving situations and issues will let you give astute analysis and show your perceptions are on point. If you're involved in the vast amount of conversations in your sector then people are more likely to invite you to speak or contribute to discussions.
Marketing yourself is about adapting too. Even if you think that you're doing everything right (which could be a problem in itself) it's always worth getting second opinions from peers and offering yourself up for constructive criticism. That's how you can learn about yourself, get better and improve your personal brand.
If things aren't working out, do your best to get to the bottom of it and work out why it's not working. You'll need to make changes at some point, so don't be stubborn and learn to adapt.
All of the points mentioned are important, but one ingredient that's crucial for everything else to be successful is self-belief. Believing that you're worth making the effort to market yourself is crucial because if you don't believe it then you can be sure that no-one else will.
You need people to buy into your personal brand, and they'll do that if you inspire them with confidence to do so. Conjuring up self-belief isn't as easy as it sounds, but just remember, that everyone has something to offer and you're important too.
Marketing yourself can be really valuable and can lead to lots of new, exciting opportunities. Taking the time out to spend time working on you and your personal brand is sensible and beneficial in the long-run.