Thursday, October 4, 2018

Three Things to Help you Build Your Brand Plan

In my work I am very privileged to speak at conferences. I also get to see other speakers and sometimes be involved in activities that are planned for the delegates. I at least do see the runsheet and am always amazed by the variety of presentations, and the creative, interactive, fun sessions arranged for the participants.

The most recent one I attended in Cairns, went for four days with hundreds of people attending. And as far as I know – it all went to plan (or appeared to!) It really was corporate conference planning excellence.

Their successful outcome would not have been achieved without detailed planning. Like an event, your career or business progression needs a plan. And as a preview to my upcoming workshop, Boost Your Brand with High Visibility, which I am busy planning, I am sharing a three-part series on how to build your brand.

So far in your Brand Plan we have covered. B for brand situation, R for research and A for audience. This time we look at N D P. Didn’t see the previous blog? Take a look here.

N is for niche. Can you determine what your market niche, point of difference or “nook” is?

In business if you are not different or unique and don’t stand out, the only point of difference may be the price and often customers will go for the cheapest price. A focused brand concentrates on owning one thing in the mind. Volvo is safety. Sure there are lots of other safe cars, but Volvo owns that space.

An example of a strong personal brand is Tony Robbins – he is power.

In your career perhaps your USP (Unique Shining Point) is that you are simply very good at what you do and are identified for your expertise; such as an award-winning meeting planner and have the qualifications, testimonials or awards to say that. Or maybe you have carved out a specialty niche like being the best blond colour stylist in town …or Sue Currie, personal branding specialist.

It does take a while to really work out what your uniqueness is.

A short exercise you can do is to ask someone who doesn’t know you or what you do to explain everything they can about you or your business simply by looking at your business card. What do you stand for? Is the personality of your brand coming through? Write down all your skills, talents and accomplishments plus your passions and why you like that. You’ll start to see some themes emerging which you can fine-tune to work toward your niche.

Desired outcomes. What are your communication objectives? We all know about goal setting and it’s the same with our brand communication plan. If we articulate what we’re after, then we are more likely to achieve it. But we need to be smart about it. That is specific, measurable, realistic, achievable and timely.

Write a thorough statement of what you really want to achieve with as much detail as possible. A personal objective might be to become regional manager by March 2019 with an increased salary of x dollars: to appear three times on television promoting your book by December 2018: to hold a factory tour or open day on February 9 attracting 50 potential customers.

These are very detailed statements and they have a timeframe around them. The more specific you can be then at the end of your communication campaign you can evaluate and see if you really did achieve what it was that you set out to do.

P is for your PR and the tools to use to reach your target. This is the ‘how to do it’ part. Here you detail exactly how you are going to reach your target public with your message to achieve that desired outcome you’ve already set – those smart goals. So what tools are you going to use?

There are hundreds of ways of communicating with your target public. Publicity and sending out a media release is one. Also special events, sponsorships, social media strategy, community meetings, shopping centre displays, launches, letter box drops with brochures, podcasts, networking, to name a few.

As an example if it is an open day at your business to potentially achieve 50 new customers, what tools would you use? Perhaps an invitation hand delivered with some sort of gimmick; perhaps some publicity in the local paper; setting up a creative media photo opportunity or sending out a newsletter to current customers.

To become a regional manager perhaps your strategy would include face-to-face meetings with your boss or potential employers; and a networking plan or social media strategy.

For your desired outcome, list 4 or 5 communication tools or strategies to help reach your objective.

To help you formulate a plan to boost your brand for 2019, I am running a workshop on Friday, November 2. Read more about Boost Your Brand for High Visibility.

Find out more about personal branding with my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.

Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her image management and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.

Image courtesy Shutterstock

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