Many American business people work hard each day to be successful within the companies in which they work or in their own businesses. Countless hours of time and energy are spent networking, attending trade shows, using social media, sending emails and cold calling. Each of these activities has the goal of generating leads and developing business. However, most people who are in sales or business development do not have a personal marketing plan.
Let’s face it, most people have little or no idea how to market themselves effectively. I know this from having met thousands of small business people. I also know that many are motivated and want to learn. I believe that everyone can succeed if they leverage their talents, time and energy. Combined with a personal marketing plan there is no limit to where you can go.
I am on a personal mission to educate people about the importance of having a personal marketing plan and to grow their personal brands. America is a great country and the marketing activities that I listed above can all be effective. However, most people do not approach them with a system or a plan. For many, business and referrals come through these efforts but often it is a matter of pure luck. With even a basic plan a networker or salesperson can improve their lead generation and business development by 20 to 50 percent. You can be a leader, you can dominate, you can attract attention but to do this you need to market and harness the power of the free platforms that exist today and technology.
Here are some quick actions you can take today:
- Create a personal marketing plan. Remember to write your plan down. As part of this plan set financial goals but also set marketing goals such as:
- Number of new LinkedIn contacts made per week
- Number of new names added to email marketing list
- Number of follow-up calls or emails made to people who you meet at a networking event or trade show
- Number of social posts you will do each week
- Number of videos you will film each quarter
- Number of blogs you will create each quarter
- Number of personal marketing videos you will create, post and share.
- Create your personal mission statement. What do you stand for and why should people work with you when they have so many options and choices?
- Review and clearly identify your target audience/market and who are the key referral sources. Who do you want to do business with? Start by looking at your best current clients.
- Create your system for following up with new contacts. You goal should be to turn contacts into prospects or to build trust which leads to referrals or opportunities. Remember it is important to give before you receive. It may take months of giving and showing interest before any action occurs. Never give up.
- Review all of your social media sites and make sure that all photos, bios and job descriptions are up to date. It is critical that your real world brand matches your online brand. You need to present the right image every time you are in contact with a prospect. If you have a blank profile or with a horrible picture you first impression will fail every time.
We live in a highly competitive world for business as well as attention. Business people need to rely on action and effort and less on luck. With a simple personal marketing plan efforts will be focused and greater success will be achieved.
Look for resources and people who will help you. Don’t be afraid to ask me or others who you see doing a good job.
Do you have a personal marketing or networking question? Send it to me. I can help you create a personal marketing plan. If you want a list of question to kick start your personal branding effort send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.