How To Write A Personal Marketing Plan

Image result for writingAs marketers, I find we’re always aware that we should be doing more to promote ourselves.  But with the demands of marketing products and companies – often with very few resources and little support – it can be exhausting to go home and create a marketing plan for our own brand development.

I totally get it.

It’s like the old saying, “Never check a book keepers books”, meaning accountants never have time to do their own accounting.  Marketers never have time to do their own marketing.  But here’s the thing… wouldn’t it be easier to market ourselves if we tackled it the same way we tackled a marketing plan?

Hear me out.  I’m serious.

What if we stepped back and created an actual marketing plan for us?  SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, go-to-market strategy – the whole shabang?!  What if we, as marketers – the experts in strategy development – Image result for beautiful mind gifremoved emotion and passion from the equation and treated our careers like another product we are meant to master and make successful.

I actually think that would be more fun than sitting on the bus every day remembering that you really should be sending out (spamming) your resume and going to networking events.

So let’s break it down.  How, as marketers, can we assign the same product marketing plan
principles to promoting ourselves?  Like any good marketing plan, we start with an outline.

Your Personal Marketing Plan:

  1. Situation Analysis
    • It’s time to get real about your situation.  Do you have a degree?  Masters?  Are you at the beginning of your career (1-6 years), middle (7-15 years) or towards the end (15+ years) – what does that mean?  Have you recently been laid off?  Same company for 10 years?  Be honest and completely objective.  You are simply collecting data.  There’s a reason the marketing mix is at the end of the plan – you don’t know what you’re going to do with the data yet.
  2. SWOT Analysis
    • Strengths – Be honest (none of that fake modesty BS).  What do you actually excel at?  In my case, I’m really good at presenting and creating compelling stories.  Try naming 6-10 skills/attributes where you totally kill it.
    • Weaknesses – This is often the easiest thing you can do.  We’re fairly good at tearing ourselves apart.  In this case, keep it constructive and objective – no emotion.  What are your weaknesses?  In my case, I am not great at following financial conversations quickly.  Many of my colleagues can do complicated calculations in their head and I find myself struggling to catch up.  As a marketing professional it’s up to me to use this information to improve my product (myself) and play to my strengths.
    • Opportunities – This one can be exciting and daunting at the same time.  Opportunities could include new roles, going back to school, or any number of other surprises life sends our way.  So write them down.
    • Threats – This can take many forms.  Layoffs, new hires, new technology standards or KPIs… the list can be endless.  Think about the things that could most threaten your professional life and plan accordingly.  Pretending threats don’t exist is just as stupid as dwelling on them.
  3. Competition Analysis
    • This one’s tough.  I’ll admit I struggle with this one myself from time to time.  The obvious competition are your co-workers and colleagues, but what about externally?  It might help to do some research.  How many people are studying marketing these days?  How many people are going back for their MBAs in marketing?  How big is the talent pool in your city?  Think like a recruiter when tackling this section.  Ultimately, that’s what you’re up against.
  4. Professional Objectives
    • Now comes the part where you physically write down (or type if you’re like me and are glued to your laptop) what you want to be when you grow up.  You’ve researched the market, you’ve thought seriously about what you excel at and struggle with.  You’ve even evaluated your current situation.  Where do you want to go with all this data?  For me, I want to be a leader among next-generation B2B marketers.  It’s crazy.  I get it.  But it’s something I can constantly reference when I’m thinking about my next step.  Will this help me become a leader in my field?  If the answers yes, go do that.  If no, don’t waste my time with it.One thing to keep in mind when setting goals is to keep them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-based.  A better way to state my goal would be “I want to be a keynote conference speaker on the subject of B2B marketing within 10 years.”  It hits all the marks and is in line with my original goal of being a leader in my field.  You’re turn.
  5. Financial Objectives
    • This one’s the easiest, so I won’t spend too much time on it.  How much money do you want to make or save?  Write it down.  Done.  (Once again, think SMART)
  6. Marketing Mix
    • Okay, here comes the fun part.  How are you going to get there?  You’ve done the research and you’ve stated your objectives.  Let’s dance.  Here are a few options, but we’re marketers – get creative.
      • Social Media
      • Conferences
      • Networking Events
      • Write a book
      • Design a portfolio
      • Write a funny resume
      • Make personal business cards that express your personality
      • Teach a class
      • Volunteer your marketing skills for a cause you care about
      • Buy a billboard for a month promoting yourself – seriously, have you ever seen anyone else do that?  I didn’t think so.
      • Give a lunch and learn to your company employees so they know what you do all day
  7. Budget
    • Any B2B marketer worth their weight will tell you “You don’t have to spend a fortune on marketing, but a small investment goes a long way” – so invest in yourself.  You don’t have to buy a billboard (although that would be awesome and I really hope someone does and sends me a picture) but you could spend the money to go to a marketing conference.  Or budget time, which is often just as precious as money, each month to volunteer or teach or write or whatever.  Some investment goes a long way.
Image result for personal billboard

Okay, apparently someone did do it… and it’s awesome!

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