The concept of personal branding is not a recent phenomenon, however, it is still surrounded by myths. In 1997 Tom Peters described a personal brand as a promise to the marketplace and the world.
In summary, personal branding defines who we are, what we stand for and what we have to offer. Despite that, many think it is necessary only for freelancers or CEOs or perceive it only as a tool for self-promotion.
There is a lack of realization that personal branding is a much broader concept, which can be explained using the 7 elements of the marketing mix originally published by E. Jerome McCarthy back in 1960. Citing psychologist Kurt Lewin, “there is nothing more practical than a good theory”, we can adjust the 7Ps in the context of personal branding where these become the 7Cs and are described below.
A personal brand starts with a product – a person behind it, a character that’s authentic, has a vision and goals, knows its talents and skills, and can tell its personal or professional story. Each and every person is a character of his own personal branding story.
A price in personal branding is attributed to the currency of trust that your audience gives you while spending time to interact with you. As the personal brand is strengthened, over time this credit of trust turns into credibility. Your audience knows what value it will get from your character.
Channels are places, where messages of a character reach target audience. When we think about channels, we should not solely think about social media, but rather consider both online and offline networks. Besides LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, we should also acknowledge events, conferences or even personal 1:1 communication, where your audience gives credibility to interact with your character.
Content is your gun of promotion. In other words, content in the context of personal branding represents messages of your character that through the channels reach your target audience. When we think about online channels, content of a strong personal brand should be not limited to text, but should also incorporate visuals – photographs, audio and video.
Contacts are the people that will appreciate your content provided on particular channels. In other words, this is your target audience, whose needs you satisfy with the character of your personal brand. It is the network of your credibility, for whom you create value and where you create your future value potential.
Consistency corresponds to the processes that should be taken into account when developing your personal brand. Your content should consistently reflect your character and should be published at a certain frequency. In other words, it is not enough to appear in the media once and expect your personal brand to bloom at the same time becoming a thought leader. Consistency, persistence and patience are key.
Physical evidence Confirmation
In personal branding there is no physical evidence, instead, there is another evidence to convince yourself that your personal brand works. It’s the confirmation you get from others and expressed by their engagement with your content. This engagement with your credible character through the consistent content you provide via relevant channels is the confirmation you get from your contacts that leads you to having a strong personal brand. Looking at personal branding through the lens of the marketing mix becomes clear that this is a rather complex concept.
The same way 7Ps of the marketing mix play a significant role in developing an excellent marketing strategy, 7Cs of the personal branding mix can lead to a better understanding of what should be your personal branding strategy.
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