It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about the bigger picture of your career dreams. Do you want to develop an app? Start a handbag line? Become the VP of your current company? When thinking about these ultimate goals, are there things you’re doing on a daily basis to make sure you’re actively moving closer to them?
As a fashion and art publicist, I am always thinking of ways to solidify a brand, build a stronger relationship or make a new connection. Public Relations is the practice of gaining exposure through maintaining positive relationships between a brand and the public. Many Public Relations practices can be directly connected to pushing your career forward and a basic PR strategy can help solidify your career, market yourself and get you closer to those dream job goals.
Here are three tactics that you can execute on your own career:
Fully Brand Yourself.
Think about how you would like to be perceived in the career that you’re in or dream about entering. You are a brand. Decide what your brand represents and always be ready to share what you know and explain what you can offer. Try to keep everything as cohesive as possible from your website, blog, social media, collateral and any events you might be a part of.
A vision board is the perfect way to organize, envision and solidify all of your great ideas. Create one for your brand and use it as a reference baseline as you build out the above components that might apply to your career’s next step.
Work Social Media.
Social media is a boundless resource; there is a wealth of knowledge to absorb from detailed articles to creative concepts. Through social media you can meet likeminded people, learn about brands and research the climate of any career niche, whether it be art, fashion or technology.
Spend time connecting with people on all of your social sites. Join in on conversations and ask questions to spark an interest in your ideas. Create a branded hashtag that you use faithfully. If you have a few prized sites that you read daily, then share your favorite pieces or what you already know with the people who follow you. When you share interesting and valuable information on social media, you position yourself to become an expert in your field.
Make Real Connections.
Building relationships and making connections is the most important part of PR. Reach out to the people you have met over the years to simply say hello. See what new projects they are working on. Attend events, be engaging and meet new people. Learn about what they specialize in and share what you do. Being a great listener is networking at its finest.
Here’s a list of ways to turn these connections into real career leads:
Offer pro-bono services.
Offering pro-bono services is a great way to get your foot in the door at the organization of your dreams. Initially working pro-bono allows you to show off your skills with no risk to the company. Brands rarely object to free labor. Free labor for them can lead to a new client for you. It is also an amazing opportunity for you to show what type of employee or freelancer you will be. Offer your opinion at meetings, ask to work on specific projects that can provide visibility and pitch your best ideas.
Ask for an informational interview.
Informational interviews allow you to share your resume and potentially get feedback from a potential employer in a no pressure environment. Prior to your interview, learn about the company and the possible gaps they need to fill. Tailor your conversation around how you can help with those gaps. An informational interview is an opportunity to start a relationship with someone at the company who is an insider. When you make a great impression, if anything opens up they will be sure to reach out to you. I have had friends use this tip with success.
A tea date!
Asking a new contact to tea or cocktails is the perfect way to learn about the obstacles they are currently encountering with their brand. Learning about those obstacles will help you define how you can specially fit in. After the meeting, follow-up with an email that speaks to the exact obstacles you discussed and ways that your skills can help move beyond those obstacles.
Here’s a quick tip that always makes a great impression: Ask your tea date for their favorite drink and have it waiting when they arrive. It shows that you are thoughtful and that you pay attention to detail. Always reach out after a great introduction or a pleasant conversation and reintroduce yourself.
Now it is time to do the work! Be consistent, strategic and thoughtful. Make a concerted effort to use these three PR tactics in your normal day-to-day interactions. Go out and promote yourself! There is always a personal brand ideal to solidify, a social media outreach to execute or a relationship to nurture.
Are you currently in your “dream job”? How did you get there?
Feature Image via James Derek