Developing a Personal Marketing Plan
I’m letting you in on an insider secret – one of my favorite tools to apply to many aspects of my life: Danny’s Superstar Marketing Plan (aka, My Little Friend). In short, a marketing plan is a strategized approach to selling something. I use My Little Friend in business, in my relationship development personally and professionally, and in life in general. I give credit to life experience and a handful of solid marketing professors. For our purposes, we’ll use it on the job hunt. So, let’s take a look:
1 – Quick and Singular Brand Recognition: We want people to associate our desired profession with us immediately and above all.
Quick Recognition: “Hey Sara, do you know Jimbo?” “Oh yeah, he’s a graphic artist, right?”
Singular Recognition: “Hey Sara, do you know any graphic artists?” “Hmm, I know this guy Jimbo.”
2 – Positive Brand Association: We want people to think good things about our work when they hear our name.
“What do you think of Jimbo as a graphic artist?”
“Oh, he’s fantastic!”
3 – Internal and External Relationships Independently Sell: We want our network to work for us even when we’re not around.
“Hey John, I met this guy Jimbo that is a great graphic artist. I thought of him immediately when you said you needed that new billboard mockup done. He did some great print layouts for me last month. Do you want his e-mail address?”
4 – Customer Loyalty (not repeat patronage): Not only do we want people to always consider us when they think of our profession, we want them to go out of their way to see us as the best candidate above all else, even convenient choices.
“Becky, I know you wanted a local graphic artist in the $50-60k range, but I know this guy Jimbo out of Austin that is more than worth the $62k he’s asking for. Let me call him up for you?”
5 – Exceptional Results: This is the clincher! Once you have the contact with the potential employer and/or have the job, you must generate exceptional results. Go above and beyond what is expected. Succeeding here will only strengthen your personal marketing plan.
“Wow, Stacy! Jimbo has been a phenomenal asset to our team. He does great work, really responds to our fast deadlines, is fun to talk to at lunch, and made a mean chicken salad for our company picnic. Thanks for the recommendation!”
At the heart of the marketing plan is the idea that one must always present a consistent and reputable image of his/her work ethic, demeanor, quality of work (product, output…), and congeniality. In short, we want to constantly network to sell a truthful and positive image of our personal and professional self. Let’s say you are Jimbo – you want to talk to your friends, family, and contacts about your passion for graphic arts, what you’ve done that you’re proud of, and what you want to do now and in the future. Now, don’t give a sermon on the wonders of Jimbo every chance you get because we don’t want to annoy our network. That would work against our marketing plan. Instead, simply be thoughtful and positive when asked “How’s work going?” or “How’s the job hunt?”
People will be more apt to work for you when they like you and know that you like what you do. Also, if you are in a field with tangible output (let’s say…graphic arts), if the opportunity arises to show off your work, do it! How’s the job hunt? Great, I just finished a portfolio of my work to take on interviews. Oh, you want to see it, sure!
Consider how you can best develop your own marketing plan. Maybe my wording is too much for you. But the soul of the plan is to sell yourself and do so in a manner that will help move you forward. As always, faithful job seeker, remain steadfast in your hunt and I wish only good things for you!
Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.