‘Getting the name out there’ is something people have been doing since the dawn of hiring itself. And yet, in a world where marketing is one of the most advanced sciences we know, we sometimes fail to apply the basic principles to ourselves in the same way we would with companies.
“When I’m evaluating brands and campaigns, I regularly use Charlie’s four C’s, and ask are they: coherent, consistent, compelling, and cut through,” says Niall McGrath, Marketing Direction with Richmond Marketing, including Red Bull.“So is the message coherent? Are we consistent with our brand proposition? Is the message compelling – what are we offering more than others? And does our message have cut-through. After all, there’s a lot of noise out there how do we stand out.”
“So is the message coherent? Are we consistent with our brand proposition? Is the message compelling – what are we offering more than others? And does our message have cut-through. After all, there’s a lot of noise out there how do we stand out.”
And he adds that this is not a difficult thing to apply to the individual.
“To be coherent the individual must be confident about what they’re looking for, and clear in their abilities – as well as how it can be applied to a role. For consistency, they have to show that they’ve consistently overdelivered, on KPIs.
“Are they a compelling hire? Well that means, do they have something that no one else does – this can be personality or skills. And cut-through is simple: what makes them stand out in a crowd of talent?”
Speak your mind
Cut-through, in other words.
There’s a common misperception out there that the ‘professional world’ is a place where everyone should keep their heads down, and their opinions suppressed. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you’re going to be the person in the office who speaks up and offers a solution when there’s a problem, then you need to reflect this in your online persona – get your teeth into the issues that people are talking about in your industry, take a side, pick an angle and show that you’ve value to add to this world we inhabit.
Talk to people
Most obvious thing of all time, yes. But do it properly – online and off.
As above, don’t be afraid to disagree, disrupt and show you’ve got something to say. All in a respectful way, of course. If drinks are being thrown over your head, you’ve probably gone too far. RETREAT!
Find your niche
So, you’re into ‘technology’ are you? Well. Good for you.
The only problem is that so is everyone on the PLANET.
The aim of establishing a brand for yourself is becoming the ‘go-to’ person on a particular topic – to be compelling. And unless you’re a seriously big noise in your field, in which case your brand will be fairly wrapped up already, you’d be best off filling a slot that’s currently unoccupied.
You’re never going to be the go-to person on ‘startups’ – but you might well be the go-to guy on Ireland’s medical tech startup scene.
Learn, learn and learn some more
Good idea: Being vocal on a topic you know about.
Bad idea: Being vocal on a topic you kinda half-read an article about once, while you were kinda half-watching a rerun of How I Met Your Mother.
Respect the subject you are talking about as much as yourself. Don’t mouth off on things you’re utterly clueless about; the greatest and most genuine opinions are held by those who know their subject inside-out – consistently, each and every time.
And when you see someone like that in full flow, it’s a marvel to behold.
Establish a tone – and stick to it
Plain ol’ consistency.
If you were a company, as McGrath outlines, you’d have a tone – and deviating from it would be a big no-no.
You shouldn’t treat your own brand any differently.
The word ‘persona’ comes from the Latin word for ‘mask’ – but you shouldn’t be thinking along those lines at all.
There’s a reason why ‘be yourself’ is perhaps the most clichéd piece of advice of all time – because it’s 100% true, but so many people can’t seem to grasp it that it has to be repeated ALL THE TIME.
Your tone, your niche, your opinions, everything we talked about above: they all have to be rooted in the real you. If they’re not, you’ll be found out very quickly.
But if they are – and if you can offer something informed, original and true – you’ll quickly find yourself a brand to be reckoned with.