How to develop a personal marketing plan to get ahead in your career
17th, May 2022
If you aren’t an owner or partner at a firm, you may not feel much pressure to market yourself. However, even if no one is pushing you to bring in new business today and you’re not looking for a job, you want to devote time to marketing to build your reputation and position yourself for new opportunities at your present firm or elsewhere. Learning to market yourself effectively can make a substantial difference in your career. Ideally, your firm will actively assist your efforts because you are bringing attention to the firm, but either way, your first step is to develop a personal marketing plan.
Your marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as a few written pages that outline specifically what you are going to do to market yourself. Before you get to that part, however, you first have to answer a few key questions:
(a) What’s your personal brand? Your brand is your reputation– what you are known for and what people expect from you personally and professionally. You should be able to succinctly state what you do, who you help and how you add value to relationships. Focus on what differentiates you from your competition.
(b) Who do you want to target with your marketing? You have to develop a profile of the person you are trying to reach, including their demographics, industry, geography, etc. Then identify their interests and concerns and the best places to find them (ex. industry organizations, publications they read, etc.). This will help you develop a strong marketing message and promote it in the right places.
(c) What are your priorities and goals? Where do you want to focus your efforts? For example, is your objective to get new accounts, retain or upsell existing clients, get a promotion/new job or attract media attention? Once you know what you want, then set a concrete target, such as a certain number of accounts, amount of revenue generated, positive reviews from clients and so on.
(d) How much time and money are you willing to devote to marketing? If your firm is supporting you, then you may not need to outlay money. However, the firm will have a budget. If you aren’t getting assistance, set your own budget. Regardless of whether you are getting money, you still need to devote your time to marketing. How many hours a week will you set aside?
Next, you have to outline what specific marketing activities you will undertake and set goals for yourself. For example:
(a) Outreach to referral sources or prospects. Who will you meet with? How many people will you contact every month?
(b) Speaking engagements. How many per year? What types of organizations?
(c) Articles. How many per year? What types of publications?
(d) Networking. How many and which groups will you join? How often will you attend meetings?
(e) Marketing to past and current clients. What materials will you send and how often?
(f) Social media. How often will you post? What types of content will you post? How often will you interact with your contacts online?
(g) Website. What content will you create for the firm’s site (blogs, videos, eBook, etc.) and how often?
(h) Publicity. Will you submit your name for awards, reach out to reporters or podcasters, send out press releases, etc. and how often?
Finally, you need to determine whether and how your firm will assist you. Can they create appropriate marketing materials, provide social media and business development training, research and pitch organizations and publications on your behalf and/or provide client data, prospect lists and competitive intelligence?
This may seem overwhelming but once you answer the first few questions, the second part is basically a spreadsheet listing your activities and goals. Importantly, you don’t have to do it all from the start. Pick one or two things to focus on and be diligent and consistent in your activities. Then expand from there.
If you need help with your personal marketing plan, contact us for a consultation.