I’m a marketer, and have been a marketer for my entire career. In fact I was one of those kids who knew I wanted to go into marketing for as long as I can remember. I used to watch the television commercials more than the shows, look at the print advertising more than the actual articles. Sounds weird, but I just loved it right from an early age.
The best thing about marketing is that anything can be a brand. Things we’d expect like Tide or Crest, but also a restaurant, a plumber, or any small business. Any business can be a brand.
Even people. Take a look at celebrities, as an easy example, because each one is a brand too, marketing their “products” to their target audiences. Lady Gaga is already a master, at an early age herself!
I’d like to propose that if we each thought of ourselves as a brand, and marketed our skills like a brand, then we might be more successful at getting what we want.
Think about it. A brand is really just a collection of ingredients that are consciously packaged together to deliver a certain set of benefits. And then those benefits are communicated to the target audience.
It could be said for people too. We are all a collection of skills. If we package our skills as benefits and communicate them to our target audience, whatever that may be, then we’ve just gone from being an average person to a successful brand.
We’re talking mostly work stuff here, although we don’t have to be limited just to our professional pursuits.
Carefully packaging our own skills as benefits to potential employers only makes common sense if you really think about it. Some would call it defining your brand. It’s a fundamental of good marketing, and of personal branding.
Take it to the next level. With brand in hand, write a marketing plan. Start by setting goals. Write down want you want to accomplish this year, and for the next two years. Knowing where you want to go is half the battle; now map out what you need to do to get there.
Need more skills to get that promotion? Need to showcase your accomplishments to the right person at work? Time to change employers to further build your resume?
These are the kinds of things that you should map out for your marketing plan, as part of your personal brand.
And then track your progress against your brand. Adjust what you need to keep progressing, and continually make sure that your personal brand is where it needs to be. Don’t be afraid to change and evolve as you begin to accomplish your goals.
Of course personal branding is not limited just to work. Our brands live with us 24/7, in and out of work. As part of the process, it’s also important to map your personal goals as well.
Remember that although there is a personal side to your professional brand, there should be consistency across the board. The choices you make in your personal life also reflect your brand, so choose wisely from a similar three-year plan on the personal side as well.
It’ll do your brand good.
Jim Joseph is the author of The Experience Effect and an award-winning marketing professional who specializes in building consumer brands. His client experience includes blockbuster brands like Kellogg’s, Kraft, Cadillac, Tylenol, Clean & Clear, and Wal-Mart.
Stay tuned for some summer interview tips from Lizandra Vega tomorrow!