I encourage all professionals to become “celebrities in their own sphere of interest,” which means they use personal branding (what I like to call “self marketing”) as a way to attract more clients and find better career opportunities.
In a typical self marketing journey, an ambitious professional tries to go from a little-known entry level worker to a rock star in his or her industry or community. Self marketers strive to become superstars in their own spheres of interest.
Along the way, they encounter challenges, setbacks and, worst of all, self doubt. Creeping self doubt has paralyzed many would-be successful people. There are tons of people in the world with outstanding talent who never accomplish greatness because of self doubt.
I have been hosting a radio show on a Fox News affiliate since 2004. I will never forget the very first episode. As the intro music was playing, I got a momentary feeling of self doubt. Feeling a bit nervous, I turned to my co-host and said, “What the hell are we doing?” At that point, the music stopped, and I just started talking.
Now, years later, we have tens of thousands of loyal listeners. It’s amazing to think that I almost killed the show a couple times before it first aired because I was worried how well it would be received. Thankfully, my colleague and I stayed with our vision and fought off the doubt.
If you strive to do something unique and different as part of your self marketing efforts, be prepared to face self doubt. It’s hard not to get a little nervous when you are taking a risk. Self marketing is one of those activities that potentially can bring high rewards but also significant risk. The more you try to market yourself, the more you expose yourself to potential disappointment, failure and embarrassment.
Don’t worry about failure. You are better off trying something and failing than not doing it at all. With each disappointment, you learn something that will help you do better next time.
Just remember, you are operating in a high-stakes environment.
You are competing with talented people from around the globe. All the competition makes today’s marketplace very crowded and noisy. In order to get ahead and attract new business, you must stand out, be noticed and impress the people around you.
As a professional, you are a business unto yourself. You have a personal brand, which must be perpetually and actively promoted to your personal target audience. Never forget that, like the politician running for office, you are in a life-long campaign for excellence. A big part of your success or failure will be determined by your ability and willingness to toot your own horn.
With a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and the understanding of critical success skills, you have all it takes to achieve greatness. You just need to be willing to tell the world about your accomplishments.