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Personal branding in the digital age - course handouts


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Course handout notes to accompany presentation 'Personal Branding in the Digital Age' - developed for Creative Exchange June 2010

Course handout notes to accompany presentation 'Personal Branding in the Digital Age' - developed for Creative Exchange June 2010

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  • 1. Personal Branding Workshop Creative Exchange, Derby Wednesday 30th June 2010 1. What is personal branding? People buy from people Personal branding is how you can shape others perceptions of you, by using marketing and branding techniques, to further your personal or professional goals. “If you type an email, you’re branding yourself. If you have a conversation with a friend or family member, you’re branding yourself. How you dress, what you eat, and how you talk all contribute to your brand. Think of your brand as the summation of all the associations about you that are stored in people’s minds.” - Steve Pavlina, Personal development coach The origins of personal branding Branding is what distinguishes why you buy a product: you choose a wine if its label, its design, its description and its marketing speaks to your values. Successful British brands include: Howies (eco-friendly clothes), Innocent (pure fruit smoothies) and Marmite. All have the same successful attributes: great content (a great product), great design and unified, consistent marketing messages. Personal branding was first defined in a 1997 Fast Company Magazine article “The Brand Called You” by Tom Peters. Instead of relying on a company for career guidance, it’s up to you to become a ‘free agent’ to take ownership of the brand called you. The new ‘killer app’ at that time - email – would only be read and engaged with if you already had a strong, personal brand connection with that person. Social media changes everything Before: Jobs are for life, stay loyal to the company brand. Now: Loyalty is to your professional journey working with organisations that can support your aims. Before: Only businesses and organisations are visible online, branding is a corporate issue. Now: Social networks mean anyone who chooses to can become an online influencer. What you say as an individual counts. Going offline is NOT an option Three laws of personal branding: Authenticity: Be yourself, replicas aren’t valuable. Define your brand before someone else does for you. Transparency: It’s better to be straightforward and honest then lie and have your actions work against you. Visibility: If you aren’t known, you don’t exist. Taken from “Me 2.0” Dan Shawbel 1
  • 2. 2. What are other people saying about you? Passive listening: Google yourself or Social mention: Google Grader: Active listening: Asking family, friends, colleagues 360 degree assessment (compare your view and others): Johari’s Window: Activity: Circle the three words closest that most accurately describe your best qualities: Able accepting adaptable bold brave calm caring cheerful clever complex confident dependable dignified energetic extroverted friendly giving happy helpful idealistic independent ingenious intelligent introverted kind knowledgeable logical loving mature modest nervous observant organized patient powerful proud quiet reflective relaxed religious responsive searching self- assertive self- conscious sensible sentimental shy silly spontaneous sympathetic tense trustworthy warm wise witty 2
  • 3. 3. The four-step personal brand planning process 1. Discovery 2. Brand what’s your what are your story? goals? 4.Management Start doing (and 3. Approach The 4 Cs of measuring) personal marketing 1. Discovery Find your sweet spot: The secret to a successful personal brand is knowing your strengths, who your audience is and why they will buy from you. The digital economy benefits experts and those who can own their niche – by carving out a deep niche you can eradicate the competition. Your niche covers: • Skills (provide specialist technical or service skills) • Service delivery (a unique methodology, a different way of purchasing or billing) • Values (your style of service delivery matches the values of your customers) To succeed in your niche you need to have: Differentiation (standing out from crowd) with Marketability (providing something others want and need) “Work less, earn more, love your job” It sounds too good to be true, but by doing what you love work will be fun, you will be more motivated so you can earn more. Personal branding adds value to your job or enterprise and improves happiness - in and outside work. Focus on what you do well – be a super-hero (or heroine) within your strengths. Outsource your weaknesses. Use keywords to define what you do. These are words that you can use to attract the most website visitors (Search Engine Optimisation) which also align with your brand which you can use in all your content (talks, status updates on social networks, website, brochures). – find out the traffic in UK and global for your keywords. 3
  • 4. Personal development resources: Myers-Briggs Personality test: VIA Survey of Character Strengths: Belbin Team Roles: The Highlands Ability Battery: Personal SWOT analysis Personal PEST analysis “But I’m not a salesman!” Personal branding is perfect for those who aren’t natural sales people. By planning your approach to your brand and sticking to it you are ‘soft selling’ your brand – what you do, your values and services – every day. Don’t cold call: let them come to you. 2. Brand planning – What are your goals? Define your audience: - Who is the audience for your products & services? (location, lifestyle, demographics, buying behaviours) - What are their values? - Create User Personas – archetypes to describe the types of customers you have and what they expect from your business Know your market: Competitors – Who are you losing work to currently? What can you learn (and steal) from them? Comparators – Who are your peers? Who can you share with them and learn from them? Key influencers – Who do you aspire to be? How and when could you connect with them? (Tip: social media is a great short cut to influence your influencers) Create your personal brand statement (external): 1) Personal positioning statement: what you’re best at who you serve 2) Personal Brand statement –your brand and your audience in one sentence First work on your ‘log copy’ versions for your website, brochure or CV: 200 words, 100 words, 50 words, 35 words, 20 words, 3 words. Create your personal vision statement (internal): Where do you want to be – in 1 year? In 2 years? In 3 years? How do you want to be perceived in your specialism? Financial goals? Personal priorities? 4
  • 5. 3 year career chart: Your big vision in 3 years Your major Your major Your major goals in 1 year goals in 1 year goals in 1 year Actions Actions Actions Actions Actions this Actions Actions Actions Actions this this this this year this this this this year year year year year year year year Set your goals (short, medium and long-term) as SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time), for example: “By April 2013, I want to be the leading web designer for the environmental sector in Derbyshire” “By April 2012, I want to achieve three £5K or more web contracts in the environmental sector” 3. Approach – The 4 Cs of personal marketing Think of your business as a market stall: to sell you need great: Content – this is your products, and also the marketing content you use to promote your products. It could include video, photos, your social network feeds, a blog, e-books Community – Who gathers around your content and who you want to attract Conversation – This is the chatter that sells your products, are they made using a special process? Do they have an unusual history? Thinking about using key influencers to influence more of the right people. Consistency – ensuring your design and content is consistent with your personal brand: tone, imagery and also regularity and frequency. 4. Action plan Look again at your goals and SMART objectives. Work out a short-term action plan (3-12 months) to achieve them. Be realistic about how much time ongoing you can give to your plan. 4. Personal branding tools Traditional: Business card: add your photo & preferred method of contact Virtual business card send by text message: PR – do newsworthy things, hire a PR expert 5
  • 6. Using social networks and online content to support your personal brand: Promote expertise: - Your blog - Guest write for bigger blogs, industry magazines, newspaper by-lines - LinkedIn Answers, Yahoo! Answers Share knowledge: - Scan horizon in your subject area (Google Alerts, Twitter Search Feeds, industry journals) - Write and re-tweet relevant stories as status updates Have a memorable avatar: - A consistent image, your face smiling and looking up or a distinctive logo - Use your avatar consistently, or a consistent style of imagery Claim your name: - Register a name you can ‘own’ across all networks you may potentially want to later use (see for availability) Networks: Audit your followers – Who are they? Where do they live? What sector do they work in? What do they share? What percentage are friends/ associates/ strangers? Tips for personal marketing on Twitter: Once a day: A tip based on your experience Something personal Ask a question Re-tweet an expert Converse with a contact Converse with a key influencer Once a week: Your new or archive blog article Promote followers (follow Friday) Once a month: Build or promote a list Twitter management tools: HootSuite – manages all major social networks and scheduling updates TweetDeck – Desktop and iPhone App to manage all major social networks 6
  • 7. 7. Freelancer and micro business: Personal or company brand? Business brand pros: Gives you scale to grow as a business Puts reputation against business rather than your name Cons: Need to be less personal about your status updates (e.g. ‘we’ or ‘the company’ are doing instead of ‘I’) Person to person networks are more effective than business to person Managing two networks is nearly twice as time-consuming! 8. Monitoring your personal brand Monitoring your digital footprint: Be aware of the ‘traces’ you leave: the internet is an evergreen cache, good and bad content takes a long time to disappear. Create new content to bury older content. Re-highlight great content (e.g. refreshing articles, linking to past achievements). Don’t say anything online you wouldn’t want repeated. Make sure you know and control the level of privacy on your networks. Capture and consistently measure your brand against your objectives: • Google Alerts – records new mentions of your name/brand • Web Analytics – measures web traffic, particularly referral websites • Social Mention - – your name/brand mention in social media • Measure growth in users of your social networks, email list, customer database • Capture and redistribute positive mentions, good PR and testimonials 9. More resources Creative Exchange – e-marketing courses Social Media Strategy – Thurs 8 July, £99 Digital Strategy – Thurs 28th October, £150 Creative Industries Network, Derby Database of Derbyshire creative businesses including branding, design & photography Blossoming Brands Personal branding coach, based in Nottingham Course developed for Creative Exchange by: Susi O’Neill, Digital Consultant Twitter @susioneill email: 7
  • 8. Creative Exchange Personal Branding Workshop 1. Personal Positioning Statement What are you best at and who do you serve? 2. Personal Branding Statement Your brand and your audience in one sentence 3. PERSONAL OBJECTIVES Your SMART (specific, measurable, (e.g. “By April 2013, I want to be the leading web designer for the achievable, realistic and timely) environmental sector in Derbyshire”) objectives (choose a good timeframe for you between 1 – 5 years) 4. ACTION PLAN Set realistic action for next 3 – 12 (e.g. By November 2010 to have 300 UK environmental industry followers months noting: on Twitter) Action Allocated resources (time/money) Success measure 8