Tuesday, March 24, 2009

YPC Blog: The Importance of Differentiation

Nicholas Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years. He is the Digital Strategy Lead and founder of Chicago-based digital marketing firm lonelybrand, where he directs the creation and execution of digital marketing programs that generate measurable signups, conversions and sales.

One of the greatest challenges of finding work in an economy plagued with downsizing, cutbacks, and an overbearing sense of frugality is differentiation. How do you position yourself to be seen as unique and special?

In my line of work I always try to think about how to make my clients stand out, get attention, and make the public stop and stare. It’s about communicating a clear and percussive message using the tools that budget allows, and innovating along the way to get more done with less.

For quite some time the advertising community has been discussing the concept of personal branding. With the advent of freely accessible Web 2.0 tools it is now possible to create and own an online persona.

Over the next couple of months I will talk about steps you can take to differentiate yourself – whether you are looking for a job, thinking of changing jobs, or simply looking to secure your position with your current employer - these tools will help focus and maintain the message that you are a valuable asset in a challenging time.

Before we begin I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I do not advocate using social media tools as the de facto method of increasing the value of your personal brand (or finding a job). These tools are all designed to work in tandem with the more traditional concepts. Get out there; network and meet people in your industry. Interview with relevant staffing agencies and prepare your in person message to be as powerful as anything developed online.


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