In order to figure out how to market yourself, you have to figure out who you are first. Nur Costa breaks down how to achieve these goals in her article “The Art of Self Branding.” Her steps greatly lend themselves to three categories: find it, say it, show it.
The first step is to figure out who you are to other people already. Ask people what they think of when they first think of you. What comes to mind? Asking people from only one portion of your life will result in a one-sided view of yourself. Make sure you get people from every aspect of life; family, friends, classmates, professors, co-workers, peers, etc.
Step two is realizing where you are amazing, where you are struggling, where you can improve, and what may come at you that you can’t handle. A SWOT chart, like this one, will help identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Step three is to situate yourself among peers that are better than you. Surround yourself with people that will push you to be better. If you are the best out of your peers, you won’t be as inspired to make yourself better.
The fourth step is finding your place in all of your work. Finding something you love to do, something your good at, and something people ask for are all pretty easy things to do. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to find something that fulfills all of these requirements, but this is a very important step if you are going to enjoy what you’re doing.
Step five is putting all this identity into action. Make sure that your readers or viewers know exactly who they are looking at when they view your work. Use corporal, concrete language to show exactly who you are and what you’re talking about.
Step six is to realize that a short mantra can drive your vision to another level and keep you going when you hit the dreaded writer’s block. Make yourself a mantra that you can repeat to yourself, maybe end your blog posts or videos with, or make an inspirational sticky note of.
Step seven is realizing that your work does not exist in a void. There are other works out there as well. Look at them, see how they market themselves, see what they are doing well and what they aren’t. Use that. Steal like an artist, as Austin Klein would say.
Step eight is making sure people know that you’ve made this wonderful thing. By networking, more people come to know about your work and get to see your work. If you’ve put this much effort into something, make sure people can see what you’ve done and that you’re proud of it.
Step nine is putting all of this into action. You have made the plans, written down your objectives, who your personal brand appeals to, what you want to accomplish, and more. Go make it happen!
Step ten is just making sure that you keep up with the people in the room with you and with your own goals. If you start to slip, jump right back on the horse and remember what you started this for. You can do it!