Every day it’s becoming more challenging to stand out. The marketplace is very crowded, and with a national unemployment rate of more than 10 percent, everyone is gunning for positions when there is a shortage of opportunities. All media streams are competing for the same set of eyeballs, and all personal brands are also competing to get press in those channels.

To get attention, you have to understand why you’re trying to get your name out there and what purpose it serves. Branding yourself just for the sake of it is a waste of your time. Also, people aren’t going to notice if just you copy someone else or you fail to select the right niche. By branding yourself as a marketing or financial expert, you’re letting the world know you are one of thousands of other professionals who identify themselves in the same regard.

Jerry Springer, host of the “Jerry Springer Show,” told me that you need to “recognize what your niche is and then that will define where you should go for your audience.” For instance, if your niche is kitchen supplies for baby boomers, the Internet might not be the best place to find your audience. You might want to stick with radio or TV.


“Some people waste their time advertising and trying to get press because they put their ego ahead of their career or clients’ needs,” says Springer. Maybe they want to see themselves on billboards or in commercials, but they are losing money because their audience, the people who will actually hire them or buy their services, will ignore it. To get attention, you need to have a niche and locate the audience you want to target, using the right medium and then communicating a message that will resonate.

—Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y and author of “Me 2.0.” Follow him on Twitter @DanSchawbel.


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