By Jeff Beals
Because you are a business unto yourself with your own brand to promote, it is only logical that you should think like a marketer.
Personal brands are symbolic embodiments of an individual professional that publicly distinguish that person from all other competitors. A brand is a trademark, a distinctive name, and a combination of images that creates associations and expectations in the minds of audience members.
Marketers of products and services are obsessed with branding. Companies hire talented marketers to craft strategic plans for each of their brands and then carry out the communications tactics that are part of the plans.
Likewise, you need a plan for your own personal brand. Fortunately, your strategic self marketing plan can be much simpler than a typical corporate marketing plan. The purpose of a self marketing plan is to build name recognition and positive opinions about your personal brand so that members of your personal target audience think of you when they have some personal or business opportunity that you would like.
As an individual professional trying to make a difference in the world, you should be obsessed with your personal brand.
BASIC MARKETING PRINCIPLES
Some principles of marketing are worth considering. Among these are frequency, repetition, reach and prioritization.
Frequency and repetition matter a great deal. In order for the typical person to remember your name, he or she needs to hear it over and over again. What’s more, exposure to your name and reputation needs to occur consistently on a perpetual basis. Furthermore, your message needs to reach the right people.
As consumers of information, we need to hear the same thing many times and in many instances in order for it to become fully rooted in our brains. That’s why you hear company names repeated so many times in commercials and why the same commercials are played over and over. It’s why successful companies continue to advertise even after they’ve been around for years and have established large customer bases.
Professionals who have a self marketing plan never let down. They keep showing up at events and scheduling meetings with people. They keep getting publicity and engaging in high-profile activities. If you fall out of the self marketing spotlight for just a short time, your star fades rapidly.
Prioritization means that you spend the majority of your self marketing time focusing on that part of your personal target audience that has the highest likelihood of benefiting you. Opportunity sometimes comes from the least likely sources, but you should spend more resources on the people who can help you most.
HOW MUCH EXAGGERATION IS OKAY?
While deceptive self marketing is bad, it is generally okay to use a little bit of puffery and some euphemisms in your communications. Puffery is a slight exaggeration of fact done in such a way that nobody considers it lying. For example, you might call yourself, “the friendliest insurance agent in the state.” Well, no matter how nice you are, that’s probably not true. Anyone who thinks about it can figure out that it’s just puffery. Calling yourself a “guru” could be an acceptable euphemism assuming you are an expert in your field.
Self marketing must be a perpetual activity, and you can never let down your intensity. Even when everything in your career and personal life is going great, you need to market yourself in order to be in position for future opportunities.
Responsible people save money to prepare for an unforeseen financial crisis or to be able to invest in a business opportunity that may come their way. Similarly, savvy professionals market themselves to prepare for a rainy day or to take full advantage of a perfect day.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, sales consultant and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (402) 637-9300.
Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:
“Jeff is sure to deliver an engaging and motivating speech! He cleverly ties together his stories and makes the speech end with a punch. Being the closing speaker is tough, but he stepped-up to the challenge and hit a home-run. Due to the high ratings and overwhelming response to re-watch his speech, we are planning on using his video during our NextGen watch party.” – Megan Dotson, Senior Client Success Consultant & Event Director, GovLoop, Washington, DC
“A couple of my Dean’s Fellows recently said your presentation two years ago about building your personal brand was their best experience at Creighton.” – Dr. Anthony R. Hendrickson, Dean, Heider College of Business, Creighton University
“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and
building long-term partnerships.”
– Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team