In last month’s column, Part 2 of my personal branding series, I identified steps you can take to accurately identify your individual brand and develop your marketing strategy. This month I will be wrapping up the series by talking about how to advance your marketability using both conventional and non-traditional tools.

Once you have designed your marketing plan and created your marketing literature, it is now time to begin the advertising process. It is critically important to network into key groups with a strong personal brand. While the internet makes networking a much easier process than it used to be, electronically marketing yourself is not necessarily a substitute for face-to-face meetings.

You should still plan to attend key conferences, join groups that support the security profession and work to foster beneficial relationships. Participate on committees, volunteer for local events and serve as a mentor to further network yourself into the security community. Working to better the profession will always yield good reputational results.

There are many ways to market yourself electronically. Most of these avenues allow you to measure the success rates of your activities:

Create a Website

  • Many web hosting services have built-in, simple web design tools. These make it quick and easy to build a site that accurately reflects your professional presence and goals.
  • Keep in mind that your website sets the tone for how your brand is perceived.
  • Having your own domain name gives you a top-of-mind email address for people to easily remember.

Nurture Your Online Presence

  • Join the online groups that are relevant to your profession and goals.
  • Be an active member in these communities: comment on blogs, write articles and be a positive influence while advancing your goals.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

  • Try to make connections with the important people in your specific field.
  • Send them an email message directly or via their website.
  • Connect to them through professional social media sites.

Measure Your Success

  • See how you rank in the big search engines like Google or Bing. Additionally, search for yourself in ones relevant to your home country/region such as Baidu (China) or Xing (Europe).
  • Set up alerts in search engines to notify you when your name appears.
  • Monitor your profile stats on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Regardless of which route(s) you use to advertise your brand, the goal remains the same. You want to increase your exposure and ensure that people associate value with your product – you! Stand out from other candidates by developing a solid personal brand. Remember that if you do not do this for yourself, someone else will do it for you.