In the 15 years I’ve spent as a Career Management Coach and business owner, I’ve found that the art of packaging yourself and your products or services well is vital to your career success. How else are you going to stand out from the crowd so people get to know you, then like you and finally trust you to provide what they need?

Basic marketing principles are all about frequency and reach, however what are you frequently projecting to your target audience? People make instant judgment about you (the old adage of ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression.’) So what are you to do? You’ll find plenty of articles on Personal Branding, however today I’d like to present a brief synopsis with my version of the KISS principle – keeping it simple …

What is your pitch and is it interesting?

Clearly define yourself – what it is that you and your business do, in 30 seconds or less. Most people will put you into a mental category depending on how compelling your opening statement is when they ask you about yourself. Tell them what you typically do and what makes that valuable.

[Tweet “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou via @janecareercoach”]

Master Your Image

Prospective clients, recruiters and countless professionals turn to Google and other search engines to research specific topics and service providers. Tap into search engine marketing to build brand awareness. What comes up when you Google yourself? If you aren’t at the top of the list someone else will be clicked on. Make sure you have a compelling website, that you can be found on LinkedIn, your Facebook business page, Twitter and through your blog. Virtually everything you say online is publicly visible so think before you post. Are you presenting yourself in the most professional manner for your business or yourself?

Make Your Point Heard

Establish yourself as the subject matter expert in your field – one who is unique and brings services that are indispensable. Broadcast your views to as many of your relevant audience as possible (think about your blog, podcast, online video channels, etc.) You can also blog for others, submit articles to trade magazines in exchange for a link to your website and don’t forget to volunteer as a speaker at trade events. That’s a great way to gain face time with a captive audience. Here’s a link to my podcast I’ve just started about careers – if I can do it (being exceptionally technically challenged!), anyone can do it!

Be Generous with Your Time

Be helpful to other business owners, contribute to charitable causes that benefit your field – these acts of kindness and generosity are not only much needed and also character building, they generate goodwill and help build invaluable relationships and contacts that may be mutually beneficial in the long run. Establish trust, grow your network and make a positive impact. It’s amazing where referrals come from and all because you took the time to build strong relationships. It’s not always about ‘what’s in it for me’ – I believe we are on this earth to live, love and leave a legacy. If you build a successful business along the way, then that’s a great bonus. I support The Kid’s Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital and World Vision because they mean a lot to me – what about you?

Get Out And Meet People – Just Turning Up Is A Great Start

There is nothing better than a face-to-face meeting. Your online presence is vitally important however the power of your physical presence is even greater. This is how you develop real, long-term relationships. Even if you are reticent, take a deep breath, extend your hand to offer a firm handshake, smile and genuinely be happy and interested to meet your next contact. Even if it doesn’t eventuate into new business, what’s the worst thing that could happen? A great bonus of being open to making a new connection is that it could turn into a great friendship!

Package yourself online and in person with an authentic, confident, professional image, manage your brand and stand out from the crowd!

I’d love to hear what’s important to you when it comes to branding and what you take into consideration when projecting your personal and professional brand.