Personal branding must for independent professionals (zzp’ers )
It is an art to do the job you would even do for free. Because it is a job you really like and because you can use your talents, passions and what motivates you in it to the fullest.
If you do the right job, have fun in what you do, you get the most out of your business and contribute the most to your environment, your clients and colleagues.
That’s why author and ‘dream job guru’ Huub van Zwieten made it his mission to help people finding the right job. In it personal branding is one of his favourite subjects because it is a good vehicle for getting your dream job.
It is in a way using all those instruments marketers use for you personally. See yourself as a brand. Using your personal values and personality can contribute highly to being successful in what you do.
Personal branding expert Dan Schawbel asked his Twitter followers for their definition of Personal Branding. In 140 characters or less: ‘The art of articulating and communicating your skills, personality and values so that others seek you to help them solve a problem.’
It is time to seduce! Marketeers understand how to seduce. And in it not only the functional and practical count, also the personal values that go with it. It is what YOU stand for. Heineken is not only considered a good beer, it also stands for maleness, having fun, drinking together. Nike produces good sneakers, but also sells fun and ambition. A brand you would want to be seen with.
Strong brand personalities
The best examples of strong (brand) personalities combine those functional elements with personal values. Richard Branson is not only an entrepreneur and leader, he also stands for fun, unknown opportunities and being a rebel. Madonna is not only successful as a singer, she also stands for authenticity and emancipation.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. That’s why, now more than ever, you have to sell yourself. The assignments do not simply pop up in your inbox. That’s why you have to be able to explain: why hire YOU? In which way you are different and better than others? Why is it smart to hire or buy from YOU? The crisis offers huge opportunities to do some soul searching and get your own marketing up to date.
Use the internet
In current times the internet could be a blessing, if you use it well and keep everything up to date. It is a chance and a threat at the same time. If you want to get the most out of Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc. you have to really put effort into it.
The process of successful personal branding, online and offline, consists of three steps:
- Insight; getting an insight in yourself, your business and what you stand for, what you have to offer. Get clear what makes you different from others. Authenticity is very important. Do not choose from brand values the market would appreciate. It has to be YOU!
- Translate; translate your values and personality to concrete means and use the internet a.o. to make clear who you are.
- And: Action! Invest time, some money in getting yourself known, the internet has so much (free) opportunities to really show who you are.
In it a good personal website is a must. Use a blog, it gives you a chance to get more personal. Use Twitter; sending your followers messages that fit you, it can strengthen your brand. Be present on social networking sites; an easy way to tell who you are and what you do. When appropriate and possible use YouTube, Flickr, an image says more than a thousand words. There are many sites you can use to share who you are and what you do with a film or photos. The possibilities are numerous! Make sure you use them well and make a choice in what fits with you, the market you work in and take into account the time you want to spend on it.
For more information have a look on www.personalbrand.nl (Dutch) and on www.shoestringbranding.com
(source: OneBizz and shoestringbranding.com)
translated by Lianne de Vries