By Dr. Howard Gauthier
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as the perception that people have of a particular product. And believe it or not, you are a product. You are the product you’re selling when you interview for a job. And you are the product you create as you make your way through your profession. So what perceptions do people have of you? What do they think of you as a person, and what do they think of you as a professional? Do you have outstanding skills and would you be an asset to an organization? The perceptions you create are developed through your image, skills, actions, and professionalism.
In the book The Brand Called You, Peter Montoya states that the most important element of a successful personal brand is a person’s specialization. In other words, what are you known for? Montoya suggests that a person should develop a specialization statement. This statement would state three things: (a) who you are, (b) what you do, and (c) for whom you do it.
So, what is your brand? What image do people have of you? What do you want your brand to be? In order to develop a strong brand, you need to identify what you want to be known for. In other words, what is your specialization? Some coaches want to be known as a great recruiter, and others want to be known as an expert in teaching their sport. Certain sports administrators are experts in marketing or fund raising, while others are experts in compliance. You will want to begin to identify your area of specialization by developing your Personal Branding Statement. This statement should identify (a) your personal values and beliefs, (b) your profession and area of specialization, and (c) the industry in which you want to be known for your expertise (i.e. intercollegiate sports, recreational sports, etc.).
In developing your Personal Branding Statement (and thus your area of expertise), you will want to identify and select a very narrow segment of the profession in which you will specialize. If your area is too broad, you will become a generalist and not a specialist. It is this act of specializing that helps to brand you as an expert within the profession. And as an expert you will be creating a strong brand image.
Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.
Use the Worksheets in the Book to Prepare Yourself for Every Aspect of the Job Search Process
Use the worksheets in the book to create your personal branding statement, to develop your resume, to write a cover letter that really sells you, to create your sales pitch, and more. It’s a competitive industry and you need to be prepared!
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“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators. A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University