Personal Branding. It’s not just for social media influencers…

If you’re hiring, you need to work on your personal brand too!

The digital marketing industry is shifting into a candidate driven job market and demand for mid-level skills will soon exceed the supply of quality mid-level candidates. It’s because of this shift of supply and demand that as a hiring manager you’ll need to be doing everything possible to differentiate your vacancy from the crowd of jobs available to applicants out there. This includes you.

‘Personal Branding’ is a buzzword which we all know. As described by Wikipedia, it’s ‘the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. […] Amongst job seekers, […] a number of personal brand assets are likely to include resumes, links to carefully managed social media such as LinkedIn or Twitter, personal blogs, evidence of published articles etc.’

This is all very well for the job seeker but what about the hiring manager?

As a hiring manager, you want to focus on seizing every opportunity to onboard the best professional for the job. If you’ve made the decision to offer them the job, you’ll want them to accept. Many things will be out of your hands but making sure they want to work for YOU is something you can directly influence.  It’s no longer enough to rely on the salary and plethora of personal benefits to sway the job acceptance. If you want to hire the crème de la crème, you’ll have to make sure your own personal branding is on point.

woman talking in meeting

Any job seeker worthy of an offer will be doing their own due diligence, researching the job, company, team, product/services and even you – the hiring manager. And it is you, their future boss, who could make all the difference in them accepting the offer. It’s essential they see you in the best positive light. You’ll want your personal brand to both attractive and appealing.  You’ll this person to be encouraged by what they see. You’ll want them to be excited to work with you and to be part of your team.

To get your own personal branding on track, I’ve put together a list of 10 things you can do to ensure you, your business and job vacancy stand out from the crowd…

Become a conference speaker or moderator

To build up your reputation in the industry: PubCon, SearchLove, UngaggedBrightonSEO or so many more. As well as some of the more local conferences which may appeal for non-London based businesses i.e. Chester SEO & Digital Meetup, Digital Gaggle (Bristol), MeasureCamp (Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol on rotation), Search Leeds or Optimisey (Cambridge). If you’re seen to be on the conference circuit, the expectation is you’re at the forefront of the industry and committed to learning. Make sure your behaviour could only be perceived in a positive light.

Become an online conference speaker

If you’re unable to get approval to be out of the office, this shouldn’t limit you. There are so many online forums or even online conferences now like Alexandra Tachelova’s Digital Olympus where you can be a keynote speaker without leaving your office!

Twitter chat guest or participant

Proactively leading a discussion, offering authoritative advice on industry topics is very good at profile raising. Or if you’re early in your focus on personal branding, be an active participant in your niche industry discussions. Look to #SEMrushChat, #DigitalOlympusChat, #PPCChat #Ecomchat #SEOchat etc.

Whitepaper author

Contributing to, or directly writing authoritative reports/guides for the industry. If guest speaking isn’t your thing, publishing well researched white papers or well-crafted industry articles could be!

Social media contributor

Building up a reputation for being an authority or the name connected as the search marketing authority of the brand. Whether LinkedIn, publishing articles or commentary on relevant industry news etc. This will give potential employees the impression your work is current, and you will also be more likely to be listed in google searches. -We’ve seen a rise in the number of job seekers using Instagram to find their next job.

Company representative

A proactive contributor to company actions, internally and externally out in the industry. Whether it’s spokesperson, conference attendee or, collaborator. There are so many opportunities, you just need to put yourself forward.

Internal contributor

Whether in a meeting or in an email round robin, always be a contributor, maybe set yourself a goal of at least one contribution to every meeting you attend

Network beyond your immediate team or specialism

Stretch your comfort zone. People tend to gravitate to where they comfortably connect. Try making a conscious effort to liaise with the PPC team if your focus is SEO. Or if your role is Content, why not engage with the Analytics folks?

Guest post blogging

Again an opportunity to showcase yourself as an authority and get your name out there.

Write a book

It’s unlikely you’ll have reached a level of experience where you’re able to write a book on your hot topic without considering your own personal branding but, it’s a great opportunity to look at those who’ve already got their personal branding 100% right. Christoph Cemper, Rand Fishkin and Kirstie Hulse to name but a few.

There’s no need to throw yourself into all of the activities above but by embracing a few of them into your day to day activity you will find your personal brand begin to evolve and develop not just within your company but within the industry.

Remember, you might have started this as part of your campaign to hire better staff and build your own personal branding but ultimately, you’ll find this is a key component to your own career development and it will only strengthen your reputation as a manager and build upon your internal credibility.

If you need help hiring your digital marketing jobs, our specialist recruiters will be happy to help. You can read about our hiring services and get in touch via our website.

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