Career and Jobs

How To Build Your Personal Brand Like A Marketing Pro

Whether you realize it or not, you encounter examples of omnichannel marketing throughout your day-to-day life, and the most effective campaigns use consistent cross-channel branding. This means that no matter the touchpoint (ranging from placing an order on an app to receiving a marketing message in an email), the brand’s presentation—and the customer experience— remain more or less the same. But it’s not just for corporate America anymore.

Consistency is also a key principle of building a strong personal brand, delivering a recurring set of traits that your audience can count on. If you think of your personal brand, and even your career, in terms of the value you provide to others, it’s easy to see how tried-and-true strategies of corporate branding and marketing can be useful on a very local level for the brand called YOU. Here’s how to get started.

Develop Insightful Audience Personas

Marketers have never before been so savvy about gathering as much data as possible about their buyers and using that information to craft accurate, granular buyer personas — profiles that stand in for your core buyers.

In your career, can you identify the clients, prospects, C-suite colleagues, and others who are making decisions about you? That’s your first step. Thinking of them in terms of categories, what do you know about their values and preferences? Being able to look beyond your own traits and understand where others are coming from, and the habits that differentiate their path to success, will help you communicate your own brand in a way that resonates with your audiences.

Understand The Buyer’s Journey

In consumer marketing, the buyer’s journey can be a great help or a massive hindrance, depending on how well it’s crafted and how smoothly it goes for the average buyer. In our career journeys, we all want to avoid hindrances! The phases of a consumer’s journey—becoming aware of a need, considering various ways to meet the need, and deciding which brand will provide the best solution—are highly relevant to communicating your value in the workplace.

The best way to understand your decision makers’ journeys is to experience them yourself. Take the time to examine more than just your corner of a project. What are the hindrances your boss encounters when your organization is striving to reach a goal? What is the day-to-day experience like for your clients who use your company’s services? How can your personal brand become equated with solving problems and creating a more seamless experience?

Thought Leadership Can Be Your Branding Channel

In the world of e-commerce, getting consumers to opt into active marketing channels (sometimes by offering a first-order discount) is vital; every email and SMS text marketing recipient provides a fount of useful data about how they interact with your brand and what they buy.

If you provide useful info blasts to your clients and prospects, the parallels are clear. But how about your personal brand and your career? Publishing truly useful blogs and articles, providing insight in LinkedIn group discussions, and delivering presentations to key audiences can follow those same principles: use your messaging to deliver value, but also use it to learn about your followers.

Use Geotargeting For Better Personalization

For better or worse, advertisers now perform highly specialized geotargeting to personalize ad content. A PPC or SMS marketing campaign timed to coincide with the start of school for prospects in Arizona might run the first week of August, but in Michigan, the same campaign wouldn’t run until the first week of September.

When it comes to growing your career, the globalization of the workforce (combined with a boom in remote work) means that your decision makers may be joining you from far-flung locales. Factor this into your interactions with them. How does their location affect their work experience? How can you personalize the value you provide so that it’s a seamless match for them, no matter where they are?

Gain Traction With Your Network

A mere 5% increase in a company’s customer retention rate can boost net income by 25%, according to data collected by HubSpot. That’s because repeat customers spend far more on a company’s products and services than first-time customers who don’t come back for seconds.

In personal branding, there is definitely such a thing as a repeat customer: it’s called your network. Consistently communicating your brand traits while delivering value ensures that, even while the Great Resignation causes churning among your colleagues, you remain front of mind within your professional circle.

Deliver A Seamless User Experience

Starbucks’ free customer rewards card is successful because it acts as a sort of key for fans of the brand to interact with its mobile app, website, and stores, according to business marketing firm Anthem Small Business Software. Walgreens’ mobile app is another example—a unified interface for customers to manage their relationships on their own terms with the drugstore chain.

I know that you are not a mobile app. You’re a human who needs downtime and should not be available to stakeholders 24/7. But the lessons from those national brands still apply: when decision makers interact with you, is it a seamless experience? Do they know what you stand for? Can they expect high-quality work from you because you’re doing what your innate talents and passions have led you to do? Do you deliver value with impeccable clarity and a pleasant interpersonal experience? And yes, when you’re re-charging your human batteries, do your LinkedIn profile and out-of-office protocols communicate well on your behalf?

By applying these strategies, you can inject the power of corporate branding into your personal brand—with a return on investment that is sure to be strong.

William Arruda is a keynote speaker, author, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and creator of the LinkedIn Profile Type Indicator (LPTI) which measures your LinkedIn profile likability and credibility.

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