In an industry in which we are all fighting to be seen and heard, standing head and shoulders above your competition is vital to long-term success.
Fitting in, doing your job well and flying underneath the radar as an event professional is one thing. But launching a career in the spotlight, making waves, and showcasing your skills and expertise is another. Personal branding is the process of transforming yourself from a standard resume of skills and qualities into an in-demand authority--a thought leader.
In order to evolve from a professional into a brand, you need to think like a brand. Use the same tactics a brand would use to position itself as the only choice for your client and to establish your authority.
Here are some of those tactics to help you catapult yourself into the limelight, leaving the life of a professional behind and becoming your own true brand:
1. Position yourself as an expert in your industry.
The best way to establish yourself in an industry as the authority is to use your LinkedIn profile efficiently. First, ensure that all of your information is up to date at all times. Be attentive to how your overall presentation appears to your prospective colleagues or future partners, more than to clients. LinkedIn is a powerful professional network, and only your top experience and work should appear there.
Also, include articles in your LinkedIn profile that showcase your knowledge. Articles are great for SEO, or search engine optimization, which means your articles will appear at the top of search lists on the various search engines. This ensures that your profile is found by your target audience, and the articles prove that you know what you are doing.
2. Create an online portfolio.
If you’re in a visual industry such as graphic design, photography or events, then create an online profile you can use to showcase jobs you’ve done and projects you’ve worked on. Make it easy for both clients and colleagues to understand how you are unique. Include only work that reflects the kinds of events you want to attract. You might have some nice photos of your early, lower budget events, but when you want to target the luxury market, you have to curate your images and make sure that they are reflective of that goal.
Additionally, take a look at your online portfolio and confirm that it represents the diversity of clientele you seek to serve.
3. Feature a case study.
If you’ve worked on a great client brief, write a case study that demonstrates a problem the customer had and how you were involved in providing the solution. In a sense, you are writing yourself a testimonial, but in a way that demonstrates to your colleagues and clients the depth of your professionalism and how you are able to apply that to even tough situations. Include this in your LinkedIn Profile and in your online portfolio.
4. Use social media wisely.
Think about how you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Everything you post is a reflection on who you are and what you stand for, so make your content count. Consider what you’re posting before you post it and how you can use each platform to position yourself as an expert. Infuse your posts with personality and develop a recognizable persona that will stand out to potential employers or partners.
In this digital era where clients, employers and colleagues turn to the Internet to out who you are, sometimes before they’ve ever met you in person, we are all essentially personal brands. Ensure that you stand out for all the right reasons. Transform yourself from a qualified professional into a scene-stealing personal brand!
Kylie Carlson is the owner of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.