Set the Strategy for Your Personal Brand
Setting the strategy to guide your personal brand communication plan is like setting any good set of goals. You first want to think about the big picture of what you hope to accomplish in communicating with your target audience.
The big-picture goal is best accomplished by then filling in your plan with details of how you’ll implement that plan. By including details about the activities you want to use to promote your personal brand, you’ll be more likely to follow the activities through to action.
Perhaps you’re new to your field and no one knows who you are. Your goal may be to become more visible so that people in your field recognize your name when they hear it. Here is one example scenario of how a new professional achieved that.
I belong to a Yahoo! group for career professionals. One of the participants started posting career-related articles almost daily. She has brilliantly become known in a relatively short period of time as a resource expert. Everyone knows who she is, and she has achieved high visibility in her chosen field. She was quickly perceived not as someone new to the field but rather as someone who is an expert.
When you create your plan, think about pieces of information that you can duplicate, reuse, or point in a new direction. Is there a type of communication that you can create that can be used in different ways? Following is an example of a well-planned communication strategy.
Steven decides that his communication strategies should include writing articles, speaking, blogging, and joining a professional organization. For each month of the coming year, he determines specific details related to each of these strategies so that he can accomplish his goals:
Steven’s article writing strategy is that he will write one article every three months and submit these articles to his professional journals. On his communication plan calendar, he enters what month he wants to write the articles, the names of the associations to submit to, and subject ideas.
His speaking strategy is to research the names of at least six organizations that he would like to speak to during the next year. He will contact all six organizations within the first three months of the year and offer to speak on the article topics.
To build a blog identity, he considers whether he wants to create a blogging forum or contribute to other people’s sites. He determines that his own blog forum should be his primary focus. He will blog about the same subjects that he plans to write articles about, and he decides that he will write blog posts twice a week, posting new information every Tuesday and Friday.
Steven wants to join a professional organization, so he plans to conduct an Internet search for professional association meetings in his area and to read the local business publications to see what meetings are scheduled. He will attend at least three meetings within the first half of the year and will join the organization whose mission and activities seem most beneficial to him.
Remember to be lazy! You can write one article and break it down into smaller parts to use as blog posts. That same article can become the topic that you give a presentation on to a professional association, or you can use it inside your company to present as a brown bag lunch talk to your colleagues.
Find something you enjoy and use it for each one of your goals, such as writing, speaking, blogging, and volunteering.