Article, Think of the Other P’s of Marketing, by Paul Coppcutt :

This is Not the End – it’s Just the Beginning
by Paul Copcutt

Step 7 - Planning

Think of the brands that you like and use every day. Chances are that outside of the technology sector these brands were built over years and through many hours of effort, trial, errors and re-branding. Even the highly successful Google or Blackberry, whilst an apparent overnight success are still built on strong foundations and with a focus on what they are good at and known for, companies that have a vision.

Strong brands also are fanatical measurers of their brands success, and very aware and quick to act if their brands fall short of internal and more importantly external expectations and perceptions.

You should be doing the same for your brand. Put in place some measurements – even if it’s as simple as putting a line in the sand now as to where your brand sits and then re-visiting that in 6 or 12 months time to see if perceptions have changed. If you are looking to build your on line brand note your Google score and then see how many more entries appear in 6 months time.

But just measuring your brand is not enough; you need to do something about raising the visibility and credibility. That can only happen consistently with a brand action plan.

Identify what aspects of your brand you want to highlight and raise and then identify what actions you need to take to achieve that. Then just like the plate spinner at the circus, do a little bit of everything every week to ensure that all the plates keep spinning. The danger is if you do not do that you become known in one area or only appear on one group’s radar and get forgotten by others who are equally important parts of your target audience.

The personal branding process is quite a linear one as you go through the various aspects, but the great thing is that if you do it well the first time you then have a blueprint or a template to look at your brand going forward for the rest of your career.

That means you can re-visit the process on many occasions to review and refine your brand. The average employee in today’s job market can expect to be changing jobs and/or employer every 4 to 5 years and potentially changing vocation 2 to 4 times in their career life.

Both of these statistics should be reason enough to have a brand plan, action steps and a regular review process. But many other aspects of our lives can come to play in the defining of our brands – our family, our location, our interests and passions and the branding process enables us to look at those aspects too and make adjustments as needed so that we remain in control and more engaged and motivated – doing something we are good at and we love.

Personal branding is one of the new millennium’s hottest career strategy topics and an essential tool for thriving in today's work environment. It is ideal for professionals who want to use who they are to help them increase their success and the value they provide to their employers.

Personal branding is not about creating a false image for the outside world; it’s about unearthing and maximizing your true strengths and using them to stand out and achieve your goals. Branding enables you to increase your confidence, self-motivation and visibility so that you can build strong and enduring relationships inside and outside an organization.

It gives you a much better idea of who you are, enhances your credibility and helps you differentiate yourself so that you can get involved in new and exciting projects and opportunities.

You can no longer rely on HR or even your boss to come to you with the next career move, its up to you to take control so that you achieve what you want to and give yourself the stimulation you crave.

This is certainly not the end, just a beginning – a new way of managing your career and life that connects to the real you.

Paul Copcutt is founder of Square Peg Solutions, and excels as a personal brand consultant for professional service providers and business owners who are missing out on great business opportunities because they are not clear on who what they have to offer, who they should be talking to or how to get their message out there.


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