By Distinguished Professor Robert M. Donnelly
In reality, you are marketing yourself for your lifetime.
However, how effective you are at marketing yourself is reflected in the success or failure of your career. It’s always amazed me how many people work for company’s building their brands, but do not apply the same basic marketing principles to building their own brand – themselves.
The 4 P’s of marketing – Product, Promotion, Price, and Place, apply as much to a person as they do to a product. You are the product and you have to package yourself properly. You then have to promote yourself effectively (who else is?). Then you need to price yourself for what you are worth. And lastly, you have to be at the tight place, which today is on the internet.
Successful brands are about having the right products, with the right promotions to attract customers at the right prices, and be positioned in the right places. These same basic principles apply to you. I guess you can say that you need to have your own personal brand.
The way the world is going with technology automating jobs out of existence and altering traditional career paths in the process, it is becoming more imperative that you start thinking about how you are going to market yourself in the new world of work then ever.
Economists are predicting that by 2027 individuals/gig workers will make up more than half the workforce. As a matter of fact an estimated 47 percent of millennials already work independently in one way or another.
A lot of employees these days are spending as much time tweeting, schmoozing, and blogging, as well as liking and commenting on others’ tweets, schmoozes, and blogs, as they are working at their jobs. Social media is consuming us all day every day these days.
As our society continues to morph into almost perpetual social selling with independent entrepreneurs living on the internet, in the not too distant future you may become the “CEO of You!”
After years of constant advice to “follow your passion” and “live the dream”, many modern freelancers are self-actualizing this advice by becoming the epitome of it in their own business of one. However, to continue to grow and prosper as an individual entrepreneur you have to develop and polish your personal brand.
Personal branding is about determining your unique skill set and persona. Everyone has a unique skill set, but many struggle to figure out exactly what it is, and some never do. You usually need to take an aptitude test to get started down the path to discovering what you do best. It’s a proven fact that those people who are doing what they do best and enjoy the most are more fulfilled and financially secure in their careers than those who do not.
The way the world of work is going the sooner you can develop your unique value proposition and utilize it to market yourself the better off you will be. With a collapsing middle class, as well as close to zero job security these days and none of the benefits associated with it, self marketing has become the salvation for many.
Robert M. Donnelly, a Distinguished Professor at Rushmore, is an author, educator, and brand builder. His book: Personal Brand Building for Life. is available on Amazon.