Previously in our ‘Marketing Your Interim Career’ series we’ve discussed defining your product and identifying your target market as important steps which will shape your marketing efforts. With that groundwork in place, it’s time to turn your attention to brand.
When we think of branding its usual to think of big names synonymous with the product they sell, Nike trainers, Dyson vacuum cleaners and so on but brand considerations aren’t just for big business, as an Interim your brand is still going to play a huge part in the success of your business and it’s made up of some key elements which will define what people say, think and feel about you.
Consider the journey your prospective client goes on and how they interact with your brand, by breaking this down you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities there are to connect with your brand and where there’s potential to go wrong. It’s likely your client will firstly connect with you via digital means whether that’s a website (if you decide to have one) or your LinkedIn profile, you’ll probably send them a CV detailing your expertise and how you can help and maybe speak to them on the phone at this stage.
Already your prospective client is being exposed to elements of your brand and these first touchpoints to your business are your opportunity to create some instant brand impact. Practical steps like registering a web domain will ensure you have a professional email address and the opportunity to create a website should you wish to, making sure you’re easy to get hold of with visible contact details and steps in place to handle calls, it’s likely you’ll be using your mobile phone given the nature of interim assignments but investing in a call forwarding or handling service can present a more professional approach.
You may be thinking about other elements of branding like logos, business cards, and websites but we’d argue that if you’re embarking on an interim career for the first time it’s best to keep things simple in the first instance. It’s important that your clients can find you and easily contact you, without those key elements you won’t have work, so focus on them first. The best brands are always evolving so there’s no reason why you can’t revisit the other elements of branding at a later stage.
And finally, a word about you, as an Interim – you are your brand. The nature of interim assignments means you might not meet your client until you’re arriving for your first day but it’s important to remember the brand still stands – through the work you do, every interaction you have and the impression you leave when the assignment is complete, It’s that consistent brand behaviour which breeds the authenticity seen in many successful brands and will help you to grow your interim career.