Are You Branding Yourself or Just Your Company?

thrilledThis is not a how-to post, this is a think about it post :)

I wrote about this in January, but I want to revisit the topic. The search industry has a lot of really talented people. Often they are scooped up by different companies and they spend the next few years really working on increasing the visibility of the company they work for. This isn’t a bad thing and it is great to love the company you work with. However, you have to take the time and make the effort to brand yourself.

Jobs don’t last forever, no matter how much we want them to. If you are seen in articles, events and conferences as only a part of a specific company then that is how you will be remembered. I am not saying that you shouldn’t represent your company, because you really should. If you work with a company and your job is to promote them then you must do it and do it well. I just don’t want you to forget that you and your name are essentially a brand.

 Make sure you are marketing who you are and the skills you have as well.

 Ideas

If you are a writer, spread your knowledge around. If you know about PPC then write for a PPC blog and perhaps an overall search blog. But, if you also know how to speak and create awesome PowerPoints as well then write about that somewhere else. Spread your wealth of knowledge around with your name. Don’t limit yourself to a small group of industry blogs. The bigger the visibility the better.

This same strategy goes for videos, social media networks, forums, G+ communities, conferences and events.  Let your diversity show and spread out beyond your niche/industry.

Be ready to answer questions on social networks and other sites. Often people get more out of conversations after articles than they do the articles themselves. Be helpful, educate others and be seen. Find ways to be seen.

This Year’s Business Cards

This year I took everything off my business card but my name and my Twitter handle. I want people to know that it is ‘me’ the person, not the business, that has the skills. The idea behind it, get to know me and my skills instead of the company I work for (which, by the way is my own).

I know that not everyone can do this because their boss may not be too happy about it, but you can have two business cards for events; I know many people that do.

You Have So Much to Offer

If you start thinking about your skills, list them all out, and then begin to think about what great advice you have to offer you can find a lot of ways to get more exposure for yourself. There is nothing wrong with beginner’s information because so many people need it!

Don’t underestimate yourself. People can learn from your skill set, so take the time to get the information out there. If you do you may be ensuring that you will always have job options in the future.

About Melissa Fach

AuthorityLabs Community Jedi - Melissa Fach is the owner of SEOAware, LLC that specializes in consulting and training businesses. She is also the Community Jedi at AuthorityLabs, an associate on the Community Team at Moz, a past Editor of Search Engine Journal and a big cat volunteer. You can find her on Twitter @SEOAware.

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4 Comments

Ronell Smith

Melissa,

I just emailed this blog to a co-worker. I’ve spent the last two years re-branding myself, so I know the value of thinking beyond the company and placing more of the focus on the individual. I enjoy my current job, but I say these words each day: “I’m here only as long as they desire to have me and/or I choose to stay.”

Social media has significantly lowered the barriers to branding; we must all approach the task with the seriousness it deserves. We owe it to ourselves.

RS

Melissa Fach

Thanks, Ronell :) And you are right, several times. You have done a great job at re-branding yourself. I have known who you are for a long time and you are really admired by many! Great job :)

David Bawden

Hi Melissa, came across this post on the inbound.org site and just wanted to say I found it really useful, thank you. I have done some freelance and intern work previously but I’ve only been working in a paid marketing position for the past year so even though I do blog I often feel as though my opinion is not as valid as people who have been in the industry longer. Your last point was really helpful and made me remember, even though there’s a lot of experts in the industry there are always people like me who are just starting out and find each others experiences really useful!

Melissa Fach

David, I totally get how you feel :) I blogged about things 5-6 years ago and no one cared and today one of the more influential people will say the same thing and it is ‘wonderful’. I think I made the mistake of bulk blogging and what I should have done is focus on 2-4 outstanding and unforgettable things a year. Plus, conferences really help.

Thank you for your nice comment. It meant a lot to me.

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