We are all aware that, before a company markets a product, they develop a plan. It generally includes said product’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, time line, action plan, projected profit, etc. However, have you ever thought of marketing yourself? How about taking it one step further and branding yourself?
Well, I recently did just that! In putting together a personal marketing plan, I essentially branded myself and created a document with many things one would find in a marketing plan for a product. For more information on what it means to brand yourself, turn to professional blogger Dan Schawbel.
Here are the components of my personal marketing plan, and a summary of what each component includes:
1) Current situation analysis. This states where you are right now, including the resources you have, who and what is in your network, your finances, etc.
2) Mission statement. The mission statement encapsulates your reason for being. It also includes your personal brand statement. The personal brand statement is one to two sentences describing: what do you do, whom do you do it for, and how do you do it uniquely? The mission statement then elaborates a bit more on this brand statement.
3) Vision statement. This statement is about the future. Where do you think you will be in five or 10 years?
4) Projected annual comparison. The projected annual comparison assesses what you are currently worth and what you think you will be worth in five years, or even in 10 years. A great way to find this out is to look at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
5) Personal life cycle. A product’s life (your brand in this case) has four stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. This section discusses where your brand currently is and what the next stages in its life cycle will entail.
6) Audience Analysis. The audience analysis has you analyze your brand’s target audience so that you can be prepared for who you will be selling yourself to. For example, my audience will be mathematics graduate school admissions committees. They will generally be made up of middle-to-older-aged people who have a Ph.D. in mathematics.
7) SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weakness are internal (and pretty self-explanatory). Opportunities and threats are external. What outside things can enhance your brand (such as a demand for math majors), and what outside things can threaten your brand (such as not getting into graduate school because of my competition)?
8) Marketing Strategy. This section is more focused on your action plan. This is where you state your goals and objectives, as well as put dates to these goals. You also include a communications plan (i.e. how are you going to communicate your brand now that it is established?). You need to make sure your goals are SMART! Check out the link for how to make SMART goals!
9) Appendix. My appendix had some supplemental documents that help to advance my brand and help employers get a better feel for who I am. It included: a business card, blog entries, my Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn profiles, cover letter, resume and list of references.
All in all, the personal marketing plan was a lot of work, but it is so nice to have it finished! I was able to reflect on a lot about myself and what I want out of my future. Below are a few snapshots of my PMP.