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As a marketing coach, I talk about "branding" because I think we need to look at the world as a marketplace where we are the product. When youíre launching a new cereal, you need to get everything right: product, ingredients, image. The same holds true for individuals. By creating a personal "brand", you communicate a set of values, personality and abilities of the person behind it.

You donít have to be a marketing whiz to envision yourself as a brand. You merely need to understand that everything you do sends a message about the person you are. Thereís a lot of power in perception and when people see competence, confidence and success, thatís what they believe.

One of the easiest ways to advertise your brand is to take advantage of the small things that make a big impact. ĎThank Youí notes, for example. Itís amazing how many people forget to send a note when itís an opportunity to show off your character Ė your graciousness, potential and style. People who send thank you notes are not smarter, wittier or better writers than people who donít. And they donít have more time.

In todayís complicated world, there arenít enough opportunities to let people know who you really are -- your sophistication, social adeptness and appreciation of etiquette. So use every weapon in your arsenal and write a note of appreciation for recommendations, references and referrals. Itís even wise to send a thank you note if youíve been rejected for a job. Let the interviewer know you appreciate the time he or she spent with you and ask them to keep you in mind.

By marketing yourself as confident and professional, youíll separate yourself from the competition and launch yourself into a whole new world.



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