If you have been working in an industry adversely, you may well want to rebrand your personal brand as the first step in moving to a new industry. This article shares 5 steps to rebrand your personal brand in a new industry.
1. Translate Language
It is so important to use the language of the target industry. This should include:
- Job titles
- Technical terms
- Business terminology
A few years ago I worked with a director of engineering with a major semiconductor company. He had interviewed with a competitor company shortly before he sought out my help. He told me the interview had not gone well.
These two companies used very different vocabulary to describe their design processes. My new client had a difficult time understanding what the interviewer was asking. As well, my client was having difficulty in explaining himself in terminology that the interviewer understood. They could have been speaking different languages.
You will need to dig through industry and company materials to find terminology that is commonly used. This includes the job titles that are used. After this, you will need to update your resume and LinkedIn profiles to use this new language.
Using the right terms is critical to rebrand your personal brand.
2. Start Engaging to Rebrand Your Personal Brand
Find key individuals in the new industry who use LinkedIn and Twitter to promote their company, industry, or brand and then start engaging.
This can start simply by retweeting and liking their tweets and posts. Graduate to making comments using this new language. This will likely be pretty time-consuming because you will want to be careful what you say and how you say it, but always add value to the conversation. This might be by asking good, probing questions.
You will want to do this every day and maybe multiple times a day to get people to start taking notice of you. Start slowly and then as people respond to your comments, tweets and retweets start engaging on a one-on-one basis. This could start with a direct message on Twitter, InMail, or a connection request on LinkedIn. This could eventually graduate to a phone or zoom call.
It is this interaction with individuals that will help shape how you rebrand your personal brand.
3. Look for Platforms to Publish
I would recommend that you start small by posting on LinkedIn with longer than usual posts. You might consider using LinkedIn polls to research topics about which you may want to write longer-form content. Depending on the industry you are targeting, you will want to select the platform where “your people” are active. This will most likely be on LinkedIn and Twitter. However, if you are in any of the online industries there are a lot of Facebook groups you might want to consider.
When you are ready to start demonstrating your expertise, you will want to publish posts on LinkedIn or a platform like Medium. Start small and slowly build up to longer and deeper material. It will take time to find your “voice” and how your message is perceived. At this point, it is very important to listen. I would use this material to get conversations started with people in your target industry.
Like I stated earlier in this post, it will be the interactions with individuals that will help shape how you rebrand your personal brand.
4. Guest Posting or Podcast Interview Opportunities
Start with 2nd or 3rd tier blogs and podcasts to see if you can help the owners of these properties in any way. Notice, I did not say write guests posts or make other offers. You will want to find first what the owner of the property is looking for. It might be helping in researching a topic, an introduction to a guest, or simply proofreading their content.
I had one member of the Career Pivot membership community who wanted to pivot from IT security to virtual and augmented reality. He approached a podcaster who had a virtual and augmented reality podcast and asked how he could help. They agreed that he would help the podcaster with a review of the latest VR headset. My member ended up appearing on a podcast episode going back and forth in a very interactive discussion about this new technology.
Several other community members asked him how he landed the opportunity. He said he found the podcaster’s email address and reached out to ask how he could help. It was that simple.
5. Launch Your Own Blog or Podcast to Rebrand Your Personal Brand
This is the scariest part of the whole endeavor. There are a lot of resources to help you with this.
I am a big fan of Darren Rowse who is the owner of Problogger. Darren has a FREE start a blog course that several members of the Career Pivot membership community have gone through and have launched a blog. It is a really good course.
Once your blog is up, you will want to create a publishing schedule that you can maintain. For example, CareerPivot.com publishes one blog post and one podcast per week. I used to publish more frequently but I made a decision to scale back and focus on other areas of the business.
The keyword here is “consistency.” This could be once a week, every other week, or once a month.
Starting a podcast is a bit more complicated but mere mortals can do this on a shoestring budget. The resource I recommend is Dave Jackson’s School of Podcasting. This will take you through just about anything you would need to start and grow a podcast.
Whether you decide to start a blog or a podcast you will probably need help. This could be a proofreader, editor, graphic artist, audio editor, or just a friend to give you feedback. You will not do this alone.
These are 5 very reliable, tried, and proven steps to rebrand your personal brand. I did not say it was easy or fast but it can be done.
Given the disruption by COVID-19 on so many industries, you will likely have to prepare to shift industries in the coming years. You will need to build a platform to rebrand your personal brand and then maintain that brand going forward.
The only person you can depend on to maintain and progress your career is YOU!
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