As a passionate supporter of women in business, I attend many conferences, seminars and read loads of information about how to “make it” in your career. What I’ve observed apart from the juggling roles many women face with home life and work life, there is the common theme of not feeling comfortable promoting yourself. Okay so we write blogs and post updates on Facebook, but what about implementing a more comprehensive personal branding strategy? By following my Brand Plan, not only will you have an easier pathway to self promotion, you will attract notice to propel you to success.
In this first part of a three part series, we look at the B R A of your BRAND PLAN.
B is for your Brand Situation.
This first point is where you take a snapshot of your business or career and the issue or opportunity you would like to use to create a communication strategy. Write a few paragraphs or summary of the opportunity for creating some brand awareness. E.g. are you celebrating an anniversary? Have you developed a new product line? Is there a new competitor in your market?
To give you an example: I was conducting a public workshop – Corporate Career Class. That was my opportunity to create a brand awareness campaign. The end result was that we generated publicity to an audience reach of 75,000 which reinforced the Sue Currie brand and services.
A business example is when Illawarra Mutual Building Society IMB celebrated their 125th anniversary. That was an opportunity that they decided to create a campaign around. A strategy they used was to get 35 marquees branded with IMB and made available to community organisations for events. This reinforced their brand visually plus their brand value of giving back to the community. This can be applied to your own personal brand too. Have you recently been promoted? Looking for work? Moved to a new area? What is your brand situation?
R is for Research.
This is the next step in your Brand Plan. What do you already know about the situation? What do you need to know? How can you find out more information? Do you need to do some mystery shopping? Perhaps conduct a survey of current clients or customers? Do you need to carry out more formal research with a focus group? What websites do you need to research – competitors or others in your market? Any branding or public relations plan needs solid research before you begin.
To some it might seem like a waste of time and money, but you are better off investing now and finding out that perhaps your idea is not such a good one than to go ahead blindly and lose your investment.
Arm yourself with as much background information as possible before you begin your communication plan.
The A of your Brand Plan is for Audience.
Who is your target market? Write up a detailed summary of who your client or customer is? With a personal brand your market may be your boss, colleagues or industry peers.
Who do you need to stand out to? You also need to identify the influencers to this audience. Who are the people who can help you reach your target market?
E.g. you may have a beauty product that you are launching. You have identified your target is women between the ages of 18-35 and you have a detailed picture of who that person is. Who is going to influence them? Is it spas, gyms, hair salons? Write down all those people who can influence. Of course one of the main influencers is the media. This is also where you detail which media is going to help you reach your target audience. Magazines? Radio? Online sites? Lots more research to do…
This article is part of a three-part series by Sue Currie. In Part 2, Sue looks at determining your Niche, Desired outcomes and using PR to reach your target market.