You should be your most important marketing client - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

You should be your most important marketing client

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Jen Wood Cunningham Jen Wood Cunningham
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  • Parkersburg man pleads guilty to Kroger robbery in Beckley

    Parkersburg man pleads guilty to Kroger robbery in Beckley

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:46:21 GMT
    A man who robbed the Kroger on Harper Road in Beckley, WV bank in March, went before a judge on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Jonathan James Rager pleaded guilty to Second Degree Robbery in front of Judge John Hutchison.
    A man who robbed the Kroger on Harper Road in Beckley, WV bank in March, went before a judge on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Jonathan James Rager pleaded guilty to Second Degree Robbery in front of Judge John Hutchison.
  • Beckley Police investigate shots fired on 8th Street

    Beckley Police investigate shots fired on 8th Street

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:11:03 GMT
    A person opened fire at a home in Beckley during the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Detectives are investigating a case of shots fired along 8th Street, which is just off of Johnstown Road. The incident happened at around 2 a.m.
    A person opened fire at a home in Beckley during the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Detectives are investigating a case of shots fired along 8th Street, which is just off of Johnstown Road. The incident happened at around 2 a.m.
  • Deveron Patterson pleads guilty to 1st Degree Murder

    Deveron Patterson pleads guilty to 1st Degree Murder

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:45:11 GMT
    A case that began almost a year ago lead to a guilty plea in Kanawha County court on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Deveron Patterson, 26, of Raleigh County pleaded guilty to a First Degree Murder charge in connection with the death of Kareem Hunter in Sept. 2013.
    A case that began almost a year ago lead to a guilty plea in Kanawha County court on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Deveron Patterson, 26, of Raleigh County pleaded guilty to a First Degree Murder charge in connection with the death of Kareem Hunter in Sept. 2013.
  • ColumnsMore>>

  • Ex-Im's choices of winners, losers hurts overall business

    Ex-Im's choices of winners, losers hurts overall business

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 10:00:19 GMT
    In recent years, the Export-Import Bank of the United States has drawn heavy criticism. Officials from the bank have gone on a nationwide barnstorming campaign to build support as many congressional Republicans consider shutting the public credit giant down via defunding it.
    In recent years, the Export-Import Bank of the United States has drawn heavy criticism. Officials from the bank have gone on a nationwide barnstorming campaign to build support as many congressional Republicans consider shutting the public credit giant down via defunding it.
  • Advances in technology can be both hazardous, helpful to your health

    Advances in technology can be both hazardous, helpful to your health

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-28 10:00:20 GMT
    “Sometimes I think I spend 80 percent of my time undoing what other people tell my patients,” Dr. Bob groaned after I recently asked him if I should increase my daily intake of a certain medicine now in my daily regime.
    “Sometimes I think I spend 80 percent of my time undoing what other people tell my patients,” Dr. Bob groaned after I recently asked him if I should increase my daily intake of a certain medicine now in my daily regime.
  • Understanding the quiet man behind the manic genius

    Understanding the quiet man behind the manic genius

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-26 10:00:18 GMT
    I met Robin Williams 32 years ago at a bar in Italy. He must have been about 31 and had lived almost half of his life, although we didn't know it at the time.I was sitting at the bar with my ex-husband.
    I met Robin Williams 32 years ago at a bar in Italy. He must have been about 31 and had lived almost half of his life, although we didn't know it at the time.I was sitting at the bar with my ex-husband.

Jen Wood Cunningham is an advocate for students, educational access, life-long learning and growth and is a collaborator with community partners to enhance opportunities for youth in our state. She has a bachelor's degree in business management from WVU Institute of Technology and a master's degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University.

Marketing professionals are trained to craft and disseminate a clear and concise message for the brand to which they are employed. 

Businesses want customers, both current and prospective, to be aware of what products or services they provide. 

Your personal brand should be managed similarly so the way you see yourself or how you hope others see you are similar to the actual perceptions. 

Get to know yourself

This is more than just your resume; although, that is a good place to start. Ask yourself: 

What areas do I have expertise and experience? 

What do people know about me/my work and what do I want them to know? Get feedback from mentors or members of your network.

How can I promote my skills and expertise? 

Does my community work reflect my brand and allow me to promote my skills and abilities while helping others? While helping your community, you will work in a team, showcase your talents, and support others, which will allow you to build your brand, skills, and network. 

Hone your networking and soft skills

Networking is very important. Let's face it. It is about who you know. 

When meeting someone new, give a good handshake, say the new person's name several times during the discussion to help you remember, and most importantly, give him/her your full attention. Put the cell phone in your purse or pocket and engage in conversation. 

A CareerBuilder.com study from 2011 showed "71 percent of employers say they value emotional intelligence over IQ."

If you need to brush up on your etiquette and soft skills, make an appointment with a professional like Pam Harvit of the Harvit School of Etiquette and Protocol who can help you step up your game.

Your brand online

It is important for all individuals to take a step back and review their online profiles with an objective eye, as a prospective client or employer might. Use discretion and common sense when posting online because social media can help build your brand or tear it down.

It's important that your image — on paper, online or in person — is perceived in the way you want others to see you. 

Don't be afraid to ask for feedback. Find out what skills you need to polish, promote your strengths and engage in your community. 

The person you meet today could be the person to help you get your next job or land your next big client.