No matter if you have a business, work for one and just study them – you have heard of this great concept called the 4Ps. This concept mix allows brands to be able to bring their product + services to market (customers) effortlessly. This process was developed to enhance engagement and of course convert that engagement over into funds/revenue. While these concepts are impeccable for business to utilize, this concept is something that professionals can yield or convert this methodology over into their career trek + personal brand.
While the term ‘personal brand’ is a buzzword that is everywhere you turn, it is the link to your skill set. The days of being able to do your job well and move up are long gone (well for some). While some rely on luck, there is a formula that will out original notion. This is where personal brand takes things up a notch. Not only are fields changing at the blink of an eye, but professionals are competing against a bigger pool of candidates. Yes, they might be smarter or have more education – yet, what will set you apart is aligning your personal brand.
Now that I got that snippet of a pitch on personal branding and how amazing it is, let’s get on how to incorporate the 4Ps into your personal brand. Spoiler Alert – what is going to be the thread for these elements? Confidence. You can do all this great work, research and execution and your confidence in your brand lacks – how can someone buy into it? Just like you buy into that new phone roll out even if your current phone can update with the same software. Same thing.
The definition of product goes a little like this: “A product can be either a tangible good or an intangible service that fulfills a need or want of consumers.”
While this description on to align an actual product to market is spot on, it can be tricky to connect that to your personal brand or experience. On the contrary, this is easy to align – You are the product. Simply put: your energy, your skill set, your experience, your theories (yes, you can have them as professionals) and the list goes on. Take this theory beyond the ‘what do I do well” sort of questions and put more effort into what the heck makes you better than the next. Why do companies and businesses need you on their payroll? How do YOU make their company better? No matter if they have 100 or 100K employees – how does you coming into work every day convert coins (revenue) for them?
This element is sort of the take on how to take you/ your product and build upon it. This allows your USP or Unique Selling Point to come about more within your brand identity. This concept is all about knowing your brand and USP then creating statements that support that. No matter if you are working in the medical field or within customer care – this concept stands firm. You must look at the bigger scope of your industry or next career step and see how your product is needed. When you understand the supply and demand aspect of careers/jobs, you will be able to see the need for what skills and experience you have.
For example, for me – it was taking myself from just being a marketer that built campaigns or marketing pieces to being a marketer who understood holistic multi-channel segmentation to developed high performing campaigns. Being able to format how you see yourself goes back into confidence and research of what your industry needs. Also, keep building onto your brand story!
This part of the formula goes into how will your audience (managers, decision markers, companies, etc) find out about your brand. Placement is everything! Think about it- when you go to the supermarket, most are likely to buy the items at eye level. The thing with this element is for you to understand what channels would be good for your personal brand. Would it be weekly e-mails to your boss to align you for that raise or creating an iron-clad LinkedIn profile? The thing is not to rely on one singular method for people to learn and follow your brand. Trial and error will allow you to assess how your audience better find your audience and continue to learn more about it. Some addition ways to do this:
- Follow Twitter Chats: Create that professional Twitter account and engage in random chats about your industry/field. Here is a list of common chats. Another tip – keep updated on the common hashtags for your industry/field. You never know who you might luck up from to add to your network!
- Create a meeting flow for you and your manager to check in on your progress. Rather if this is monthly or bi-weekly, it is needed. This will allow you to understand how your skill set is meeting or exceeding what the company/team needs.
- Join interest groups: No matter if this is at work or through local professional groups, attaching your brand to others will allow you to see where the industry is going and what potential treks you can take in your industry. This allow you to place your brand on the radar of your potential audience.
- Ask for higher profile opportunities within your current role: Extra work? Yes, it might be that – yet, think strategically about what you attach your name to. You don’t have to take every opportunity – take the ones that are going to elevate your brand identity.
Just as items for luxury items or simple things at Target – there is a cost behind it all. The company (market research, forecasters, etc.) determines the value add and how to equates to the price you pay. You should think of your brand as a business and determine the cost in which your employer or target audience should pay by how you package up + determine the worth of your personal brand. This value is seen by them, but you set the tone on how the benefit is seen within the short + long term timeline. You establish this said value through the other Ps mentioned already and secure the bag with doing research on the industry (skill set needed, experience, progression, etc). Be prepared and ready to pitch your worth at any given moment; don’t be afraid to drop the line ‘Through my consistent research’ when needed. This comment will let your audience know (recruiter, manager, etc) that you have a pulse on your going rate. Also, when you know your worth, add tax by being able to communicate how that will translate over into your day to day and future impact of joining their ranks.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary + compensation package – along with your bonus at end of year. The negotiation talks just don’t stop when you accept a new offer – you can do this also at bonus time (trust me, I have).
Understanding how the 4Ps of marketing can translate over into building or fine tuning your personal brand will allow you to acknowledge your worth and then hold confidence within it. The confidence within your brand goes over into another (unknown) P within this mix – Purpose. Your purpose is more than collecting a check (which is great), it is about creating longevity for your career and developing multiple ways to benefit from your knowledge.
Where you are on your career journey holds value and there will be a great employer who sees that and will be willing to pay the cost for it. Don’t like your intern level work be lackluster to a veteran in the game. And Baby Boomers, don’t let the new school determine that you can’t keep up. Everyone has that genius level and there is a company it will fit with it. Hold that purpose + confidence close and build that personal brand.