I read a smart article this week about why superficial things like branding are important, and even though the author was talking about iphones, it struck me that the same principles can be applied to finding a new job, attending a networking event, or building a business…
In Peter Crocker’s ‘Flying Solo’ article he talks about being sucked in and falling for the marketing of the iphone, rather than going for an alternative which may in fact be a better product or do the same job for less money. And I’m happy to say that i’ve been sucked in too – I like my shiny, popular, trendy little number and didn’t even consider other options when I happily handed over my hard-earned cash.
Apple are excellent marketers, and I love the aesthetics of their products – some would say that’s superficial, but as Crocker points out “seemingly superficial things like branding, packaging, emotional connection, glossy design and sexy bits are absolutely integral to the quality and success of your product”.
So what has this got to do with your career or networking? Well the fact of the matter is that if you’re looking for a job, building your career, developing a business, or boosting your networking YOU are the product up for sale. You’re out there selling yourself, and if you fail to brand yourself appropriately, and add the ‘shiny bits’ to your marketing material, or promote yourself effectively you won’t be as successful as your counterparts who are the equivalent of an all-singing, all-dancing iphone!
Just because you’ve studied for years, know your industry inside-out, or have billed more revenue that anyone else in your company doesn’t mean that you’ll get the job, build the network you want, or make more money if you fail to “invest in the all-important polish”. As Crocker says “it’s like building a $400,000 Ferrari, but not bothering to do the $8,000 paint job’!
So if you’re applying for a new job, don’t rely on the content of your resume to do the hard work – you need to make sure your CV looks good too, and if you’re attending a networking event don’t expect your elevator-pitch to save the day – you need to make a good first impression visually as well as verbally. Think about how you are branding yourself? Are you saying that you’re the best at ‘X, Y and Z’, but your on-line profile, CV, cover letter, business card, and suit says something completely different? Content AND image counts, whether you like it or not.
Take a lesson from the iphone … you may or may not be the absolute best in the market, but if you can brand and market yourself well, you will sell like hot cakes!
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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting. Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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