As we continue with our attempts to help Interim professionals brand and market themselves better, here is a follow-up blog to last weeks 3 strategies of branding to help with self-promotion and sales.
One of the biggest features and challenges of pursuing professional interim positions is learning how to sell yourself to potential employers. If you have relied on interim positions for a long time, you know the constant effort that is necessary to identify clients and line up work consistently.
This process can either be completely gruelling, inefficient and a serious source of stress, or it can be a manageable bridge to excellent resume-enhancing opportunities. To make your self-promotion experience look more like the latter, you need to learn how to properly and effectively market yourself.
Key 1: Self-awareness: Know Your Expertise both the depth and breadth of it.
This might seem obvious, but it’s actually something that many professionals don’t fully think through. You may think you know your expertise – marketing consultant, IT expert, management – but to really stand out, you need to take it a step further. What unique skill or role can you play within your niche profession that might not be present in every other expert in your field? How have your experiences shaped you to solve specific issues particularly well? Find something about yourself that puts you a step above the next professional, because that’s what will get you the job every time.
Key 2: Communication: Always a key skill to stress and continue to develop.
It doesn’t make much difference to have a special quality if no one knows about it. However, articulating your unique skills in a way that stands out to potential employers is harder than it sounds, especially on online public profiles. It’s essential to have a public profile and portfolio as an interim professional, and that profile should concisely and precisely explain who you are and what you have to offer. This is not a list of your job description but more focused on your achievements, quantitative facts and % where possible.
If you’re not the best with written communication, consider hiring a highly skilled or professional writer to create a professional profile blurb that really gets your services across. Be sure you give them plenty of information about the trade and the unique role that you can play in the trade. A skilled, insightful writer with good information will be able to pick out buzzwords and key phrases that will capture just what an employer who needs your unique skills is looking for.
Key 3: Network & Timing: Know Who to Talk to and When.
Networking is everything, whether it’s in person or online. Even if you have incredible skills and you know how to explain them to potential employers, if you don’t actually reach those employers with your message, it all falls on deaf ears.
There are two primary ways to network in your field, find and reach potential employers. The first is through networking through your immediate professional circles, and the other is maintaining an online presence. As an interim professional, you have likely met many people in your trade. These people are not only friends and colleagues, but also a steady stream of new opportunities to pursue throughout your interim career.
Online, you should research the kinds of firms you want to work for and find out where they are looking for professionals. This will depend on your trade. An interim writer may establish a social media relationship with fellow bloggers, while an interim manager may simply maintain a professional profile on a commonly-used interim job search website and connect with potential employers via LinkedIn.
Key number 3 is very difficult but with practice these skills can be honed and utilised, plus with good timing you’ll find that the process of selling yourself to new clients is a smooth, organic, manageable and profitable process. Check us out if you have not already for more resources, like-minded peers and tonnes of relevant jobs.