Thursday, July 4, 2013

Personal positioning: How to market yourself?

Defininition of Personal Marketing

Personal Marketing or Personal Branding is the process of developing a “mark” that is created around your personal name or your career. You use this “mark” to express and communicate your skills, personality and values. The end goal is that the personal brand that you develop will build your reputation and help you to grow your network in a way that interests others. They will then seek you out for your knowledge and expertise.


Developing the skills for marketing oneself has become increasingly important as the complexity and change in the workplace has accelerated. Even for talented, competent people, it's a buyer's market. Individuals always benefit by making themselves more attractive candidates, whether inside or outside their organizations. Workers are more mobile, changing jobs, managers, employers, and geographic locations frequently, so they constantly have to educate others on their capabilities and experience. Jobs disappear due to advances in technology, outsourcing, or off-shoring options, so individuals are in the job market more often. On the other hand, people skilled at marketing themselves are first to hear news of emerging opportunities in their company or field, like working on virtual international teams or learning a new technology.

There is also a positive personal impact that results from marketing yourself. You can accomplish your personal and professional goals more easily and often faster. In addition, you can find opportunities to contribute your expertise more quickly and, in fact, have the opportunities find you. You will reap benefits of increased visibility, employability, and career resiliency. The process of marketing yourself creates options and choices for you as well, because you hear about them sooner.

The Self-Marketing 5 P’s are:

The 5 Ps are a set of recognised marketing tactics, which you can use in any combination to satisfy customers in your target market. Combining these different marketing tactics to meet your customers' needs and wants is known as using a 'tactical marketing mix'.
  • Price – Your desired compensation
  • Product – That’s you!
  • Projects – It’s what you do
  • Promotion – The way you promote yourself
  • Position – What makes you unique and why it matters

The Personal Positioning 4 C’s:

Four C’s of Marketing is created in 1993 by Robert Lauterborn, the Four C’s is an updated classification system of the Four P’s.
  • Category – What’s happening with your position in the marketplace?
  • Competition – Who are the players in your position in the industry?
  • Customer – What does your employer want? What do they need?
  • Company – That’s you. Your success metrics, goals, etc.

Personal Marketing Plan

1. Define your mission and the benefits you offer

  • Start with self knowledge: natural talents (aptitudes), interests, personality and values
  • Consider what role fits you best: generalist or specialist or a combination
  • Ask yourself, "What do I have to offer?"

2. Set your marketing objective: What exactly do you want to achieve?

  • Be specific, make it measurable, make it realistic, and build in a timeline with deadlines.

3. Design performance measures: What will be the observable, objective indicators that show that you are accomplishing or have accomplished your goal?

4. Gather, analyze, and interpret information about your situation using SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a structured strategic planning model often used for a project or business venture. The Career Vision version of the SWOT analysis is designed for an individual to use for career management and personal marketing purposes.
  • Identify your personal strengths and weaknesses: How do you stack up against your competition?
  • Identify external opportunities and threats: What trends may affect you and your career positively or negatively?

5. Identify your target markets: Who needs to know you, your capabilities, and professional goals?
  • This may mean that you focus your efforts on key managers, mentors or human resources staff solely within your organization, or that you broaden your outreach through membership in professional organizations, depending on your goal.
  • Also include the geographic scope of where you want to market yourself, for example, the Chicagoland area? The Midwest? Nationally? Or internationally? You decide what is appropriate for you.

6. Develop your marketing strategy and activities aimed at your target market
  • Volunteer for cross-functional teams and company-wide task forces
  • Share ideas and trend information with others and solicit advice from them
  • Take on leadership or committee roles in professional organizations
  • Attend conferences and continuing education events, even if you have to pay for them
  • Write articles for company or professional publications
  • Present to peers on topics related to your doing your jobs better

7. Define implementation strategies: What will you do, when, what resources will you need, and what might be obstacles to overcome? 8. Periodically evaluate marketing efforts and modify them if needed: What's working? What do you need to do differently? Do you need to do more, or scale back your efforts?

After the first draft of your personal marketing plan is committed to writing, discuss it with at least three people you respect such as a mentor, colleague or spouse. Incorporate their feedback and suggestions, and then begin to implement your plan. As you make progress, evaluate your results and revise your plan accordingly.

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

- Berle, Milton