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Self-Improvement - Marketing Yourself As A Brand

May 9, 2008
We are all familiar with name brand products in the stores. Companies have learned they can sell more of their product if they can make you associate the name closely with a particular service or advantage.

Branding yourself is a relatively new concept in the world of employment, but basically it uses the same strategy, only this time the product is you. Branding yourself is a way of making it clear to potential employers or clients what, in particular, you might be able to do for them.

Successful products have slogans, and so can you. When someone asks you what you do for a living, do you answer with your job title? Do you say, for instance, "I am a manager." This is hardly inspiring. Or do you say something like, "I work for the What's-it Manufacturing Plant." That mentions them, but it does not identify you. Branding is a way of identifying yourself with special qualities, just like short advertising slogans will identify a product with special qualities. Mercedes Benz is, "Engineered like no other car in the world." Holiday Inn is, "Pleasing people the world over." With Polaroid, "The fun develops instantly."

When someone asks you what you do, rather than responding, "I am a manager," it could be, "I turn management around in companies so that they can profit again." Or rather than just a teacher you could describe yourself as, "I teach children to enjoy learning." This short but positive association can make you more attractive and encourages them to want to know you better. Your brand can be communicated in your conversations and be suggested with examples in your resume. A brand for you can identify you to a potential employer as having a most special quality or advantage and impress them that you would make a most desirable employee.

There are advantages and disadvantages both to working for someone else and in working for your self.

When you work for someone else, you do not have to be making as many decisions about what you should be doing, because the big decisions are decided for you. Usually when you work for someone else, a great advantage is receiving a regular pay check. Whether business is good or poor, you know you can count on a certain amount of money each pay period and you can budget accordingly. This takes a lot of stress out of your life. You may also have the advantages of working regular hours, and may be able to leave at a certain time and not worry about work until the next day. In general, when you work for someone else, there is less responsibility. But there are also aggravations to working for someone else. You don't get to decide how things will be, you need to please your employer, and the company can end your employment at any time.

When you are self-employed, your income is directly related to the success of your business. Most businesses take some time, perhaps a few years, before they start turning a profit. There may be tremendous profits, or not. Without incorporation, there may even be debt. There will not be anyone to pass the big problems to, but must resolve them yourself. Your job typically will not end at a certain time. When things need to get done, you must do it. There will be stress. But the potential advantages of being self-employed are tremendous: wealth, pride, independence, and satisfaction.

Four reasons are common for self employment. Many people choose self employment when they cannot find other employment. When no one will hire you, you can always work for yourself and try to make it profitable. Many successful businesses begin this way. Some people choose self employment because they desire to get rich. Your chance of accumulating wealth is greater if you own your own business. Some people start their own companies in the same kind of business where they have previously been employed. They like their work, but they want to be able to do it their own way, and do it better. And some individuals have a vision. They dream of being able to do the kind of work they wish at last, or wish to help others.
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