Personal Branding: Do You Have a Plan?
Building a powerful personal brand is well worth the effort it takes. A strong personal brand gives a business owner the opportunity to lock out competition in their market, attract new business, and command higher rates.
But like just about everything else worthwhile in life, it doesn’t happen overnight. Building a powerful brand requires consistency and purposeful action over a period of months and even years. And I can tell you firsthand that if you don’t take the time to create an effective plan of action, you won’t achieve the results that you’re hoping for.
It all starts with a plan—but not just any plan. Your plan must be specific, and measurable. Set deadlines. Create accountability for members of your team that are working on this initiative. Hold yourself accountable. Below are several key questions that your personal branding plan must answer:
Who is your target market? Who are your ideal customers? Are you marketing to your town, nationally, or internationally? Men, women, or both? High income, low income, middle income? You get the point. Take the time to create a detailed “profile” of your target market—this will ensure that your branding efforts don’t miss the mark.
How will you connect with your target market? There are a wide variety of channels available to reach your customers—but they won’t all be effective. Marketing via Facebook may work very well if your customers are younger consumers. On the other hand, if your market is high-income business owners, Facebook is a poor fit. Research your target market and come up with a number of channels by which you can effectively communicate.
How will you differentiate yourself from the competition? One of the most important questions that your brand must answer is “why should a customer choose me over the competition?” In order to answer this question, you must first identify your most valuable points of differentiation. For some of you, this may be your years of experience and the valuable perspective you have acquired. For others it’s a particular skill or trait that you possess. What sets you apart from everyone else in your market?
How will you demonstrate your expertise? Establishing your expert status is crucial to building a powerful brand—how will you accomplish this? Writing a book is a great solution. So are publishing blogs and articles, pursuing speaking opportunities, and appearing on TV or in the newspaper. None of these things “just happen”, however, so create a detailed action plan to ensure that they get done.
How will you ensure that your plan is executed? Many business owners have a great vision and create a strong plan… only to watch it fall by the wayside. Most of the time, this happens because of a lack of specific deadline and accountability. If you’re going to start a blog, schedule a specific time each week to work on your content. If your staff will be managing your social media presence, assign a specific person with the task and specifically define your expectations. Then, hold yourself and your team accountable.
Personal branding can be a whole lot of fun, and it can make you a whole lot of money! But it all starts with a plan… without planning, your chances of success are virtually nil. Get in touch with me today if you’d like to learn more!