You may not think of yourself as a marketer, and you definitely don’t see yourself as a commodity, but here’s a status update: Anyone who regularly uses Facebook, posts blogs, or likes the sound of their own Tweets is engaged in a form of self-branding.
If you play it smart, this kind of personal declaration can lead to all sorts of professional opportunities. The key, according to veteran publicists Jessica Kleiman and Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, is to adopt effective tools and strategies from the world of public relations.
The New York City-based writers have packaged their combined 30 years of experience into Be Your Own Publicist, a guide for using PR techniques to get ahead in the workforce and beyond.
“Celebrities and politicians often employ teams to help craft and manage their personal brand, but you don’t need the money to hire a publicist. You really can do it yourself,” says Kleiman.
Here are five tips from Kleiman to help everyone stand out, from job hunters to promotion seekers:
Cover your bases
The first thing we do in PR when working on a new project is figure out our key messages that will help articulate our goal. This exercise will force you to articulate what makes you special and different. And you can also ask other people how they would describe you. You’re so hard on yourself, but to hear other people say what’s great about you puts it into perspective, and then you can weave that information into your cover letter.
Just say no
In PR if we took the first “no,” we would never get our job done. You have to be able to take rejection, move past it and keep going. That resilience is a really important quality to have. You also have to believe in yourself because the competition has gotten stiffer, and you need to believe that you can add value to a company or to a client. If you believe that, often other people will believe it.
The fact is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look great. We recommend that people look to places like consignment shops, and flash sale sites [like HauteLook.com, which ships to Canada] that are basically online sample sales. Also, as we go into spring the department stores start to mark down their spring merchandise. I’m a big believer in never paying retail.
You want people to remember you, so we talk a lot about a signature style. And that may mean wearing all black, but you always wear vintage jewelry. Or maybe you always have a pop of colour. Orange is the colour of the season so add a couple of shells or blouses.
For men, you want to have a classic suit in navy, black or charcoal gray. The thing that’s great for guys is you can change up the shirt and tie, wear the same suit and no one will know better. There are so many ties to choose from now, but you want to stick to something fairly classic like a stripe or a dot pattern in a high quality fabric. You don’t want to wear novelty ties: Anything with cartoon characters goes in the garbage!
For more great tips, or information on how to order Be Your Own Best Publicist, visit beyourownbestpublicist.com.