This article by the Wall Street Journal has prompted a good deal of thought for me, especially in relation to my future, and how I want to position Mark Montoya, Inc.
Shortly after this article was published I received a call from Lisa Cabot, who want to do a similar story/feature for the local ABC affiliate in San Francisco. After trading some voicemails, I got her on the phone and we chatted about Online Personal Branding and how it applies to jobs and careers.
She was very direct in wanting to find someone who did this one-on-one with/for clients as mentioned in the article. I had to honestly reply, ‘no’, because right now, I’m working on doing this for millions of people, not just those privileged enough to pay the stipend and amount required to work with these ‘Certified’ professionals.
Certified personal branding strategists
Branding specialists are more plentiful — and cheaper. Nearly 300 people, mainly career coaches, have completed a 12-week certification program run by Reach, a New York personal-branding company. They charge clients between $2,000 and $20,000, according to William Arruda, Reach’s founder.
Strategists help job seekers recognize their unique strengths, determine their target audience, craft a “personal brand statement” and improve their online identities. The approach paid off for a London, Ontario, client of Mr. Copcutt’s, Julie Chen, who practices
naturopathic medicine, which uses natural remedies such as herbs.
In February 2008, Ms. Chen persuaded a Canadian maker and distributor of nutritional products to pick her as its new product-development manager despite her limited experience. She touted her related skills and attributes. Without personal brand coaching, she says, “I would have had a very tough time getting this job.”
But the branding process can take months, discouraging applicants eager to find employment fast. To reduce anxiety among layoff victims, Reach recently launched a free “Career Bailout” program — in which 13 certified strategists provide services such as a résumé review and online identity evaluation. Yet few victims are using the limited assistance. “We have not spent enough time making the program visible,” Mr. Arruda says.
The thing is, I am assembling the pieces of the service offerings from these individuals and companies and providing them to the masses at a much lower cost. I have coaching services that are going to be offered on MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, wherein anyone can get in touch with a career coach merely by signing up and paying the fee associated with the coach. Further they can schedule the call for when it is convenient for both.
When I launch MyOnlineCareerSpace.com I will be able to help job seekers control their online brand by presenting their professional website in the likeness that they prefer and is important for them to get their ideal career. With testimonials, pictures, a professional resume, video (as appropriate) and other valuable information contained on each CareerSpace, the job seeker will be armed with a comprehensive online brand that supports them in presenting their ‘ideal’ self to employers in a much more 360 degree fashion.
The bottom line is that these services exist, yes, and I have taken it upon myself to provide this to job seekers everywhere without the type of markup that exists for these high-end clients. I have done this type of work before, and certainly, the cost does make sense… for those who can afford it. However, as in this case, it can be done with some elbow grease and ingenuity for way, way less.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.