Your Personal Marketing Plan Post Series
Section 1: Situational Analysis – A detailed description of exactly where you are in your life, as well as your mission, vision and life cycle.
Section 2: Audience Analysis – Researching what the market is for your brand, with both primary and secondary research and quantitative and qualitative measurements.
Section 3: Competitive Analysis – If you’re branded properly competition is irrelevant. If you’re still discovering and developing your brand, then you can only estimate who your competitors are by past data (Colleges) and from the strength of the brand you’re applying to (GE, Reebok, etc).
Now for the most comprehensive piece of your personal marketing plan: you’re marketing strategy. You’re marketing strategy is composed of the personal marketing mix (4 P’s), along with your target audience, positioning statement, objectives/goals and integrated marketing communications plan.
The 4 P’s of personal branding (Spoke about this in 2006)
- Person – you
- Place – your desired workplace
- Price – your brand value
- Promotion – selling yourself
Person (formerly product) is as simple as YOU and as complex as your strengths, personality, appearance and competencies. Place is the location where the person is applying for a job or seeks employment. Price is the total perceived value of the person or candidate and promotion are the strategies that the individual must implement in order to gain visibility for his or her brand.
Once you research your audience (as I spoke about in part 2), you need to segment it to find your niche. Businesses locate their target market. Product managers must hone down on a single market per each product. Your personal brand cannot please nor is relevant to everyone walking this earth. There are some people that will cling to it, while others will be repelled and attracted to other brands that have more in common with them. There are four main area’s of segmentation that I will go over.
- Geographics – regions, countries, city/town size and climate
- Psychographics – people’s lifestyles and behaviors
- Demographics – age, income, education, status, type of occupation, region of country, or household size
- Behavioralistic – befits sought, purchase occasion, user status, loyalty status, usage rate
Here is an example: You want to target people who live in Boston, MA, who exercise 3-5 times per week, with a household income of $150,000, between the ages of 28 and 40, who are extremely loyal and purchase your type of product 10 times a year.
You don’t have to be that descriptive. You could say “College student’s in the Massachusetts area that like to read often.” The idea here is to think about exactly who you want in your audience and who you don’t. 60 year olds aren’t going to want to read a college magazine and a fortune 500 company isn’t going to hire someone with no experience. From both the corporate and individual level, one thing remains consistent, you need to research, observe and direct your marketing messages at a specific target.
In the personal branding regime, this is commonly known as a “personal brand statement.” Basically, you want to match your brand to the audience in a single sentence. Mine would be “I’m the leader in personal branding for the next generation of worker.” Here is how I break down my personal niche: Business > Marketing > Branding > Personal Branding > Personal Branding for Gen-Y. Since I’m only 24, I know I can’t cater to CEO’s, executives or legacy’s, but I know I can speak to just about any college student or young professional about personal branding. This work’s because I’ve been in their shoes and not that of an executives, therefore I can connect on a closer level. Also, people usually work with others that are more successful than themselves. It would be impossible for me to teach an executive that makes over $500,000, has won industry awards and shows up in the newspaper every day. People want something that can provide them what they can’t already get themselves.
You’re positioning statement is who you are and what audience you serve.
How are you going to measure your outcome? How do you define success? When writing down your goals and objectives think short-term and long-term and make sure they align properly. “I want to be a millionaire” is not detailed enough. You really want to think about what measurable goals you can have, such that they are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).
Integrated Marketing Communications Plan
When I did these plans for businesses it was a blast. You get a budget and then divide it up amongst delivery channels for your brand, devising a strategy that you can execute. Businesses can spend thousands of dollars on their communication budget (Coca Cola spends millions). If you’re a premature brand, then you need to budget more wisely. My tripod approach to personal communication is: awareness, adoption and retention. Awareness is when people know your alive and what you can do for them. Adoption is when they take the first level of investment in your brand, meaning they could subscribe to your blog or give you a job offer. Retention is an ongoing relationship between you or your supervisor or the attention you can weild with the people that have already invested in you (life-time value of a customer).
Here are some of the strategies you can use
- Social Media – The cheapest way to build your presence online, offer thought leadership and be visible on Google.
- Social Networking – Als0, very cheap and effective. Once you have a message, you can just push it through your network.
- Email / Newsletters / Lists – Build or purchase lists of people that would be interested in your services.
- Radio – This area is dying at some level, but if you have a select audience and go on-air, it can help you gain presence.
- SEM Pay-Per-Click – If you have a website already, then you may invest in Google Adwords, so that when someone Google’s a keyword that is relevant to your brand, you will appear at the top.
- Public Relations – Placement in magazines, websites or even blogs can lend you a lot of credibility, traffic, customers and happiness. PR has become the dominant force in marketing communication plans.