If someone asked you what your name is, you would simply tell them your name and probably add who you are.
But, what if they find out what you do, right after hearing your name. On the contrary, how does it feel if when they immediately associate your name with the work that you do. Feels celebrated?
Well, that instant association and knowing yourself before you tell the world who you are… that’s personal branding.
Episode 2: Fix the mix of Personal Branding | Me.Inc | The Conversion Stack
And today’s episode is all about re-discovering ‘Me’ for the business world.
Personal Branding seems like a natural after-effect with the mushrooming of social media and the resurrection of a digital world during lockdown where your voice needs to be heard. For many, personal branding has been a pet experiment. It requires developing a habit that puts self-discovery routine on a treadmill.
It requires one to work on one’s own self and … the other is to help people perceive me in a certain way. Any branding for that matter has been a process of bridging the gap between what I have or what I am to what people perceive.
So here, there is a need to build two types of mixes for a personal brand.
- The inherent mix
- The outcome-based mix
First, the inherent mix of Personal Branding
The inherent mix helps you work on yourself. And the other is an outcome-based mix that helps you bridge the perception gap with your audience. The inherent mix is built over the traditional 4Ps which are principles of marketing.
In the 1940s, Prof. James Culliton, a Professor of Marketing at Harvard University proposed the 4Ps of marketing. In 1948, Culliton published an article entitled, The Management of Marketing Costs in which he describes marketers as ‘mixers of ingredients’. Marketers are perceived as those who bring the right things together to achieve the ROI.
It was later proposed to management studies as a framework for marketing decision-making by E. Jerome McCarthy.
The traditional four principles of marketing are:
- promotion, and
Each of these starts with a P. Using this, you could create the inherent mix of your personal brand. Align each traditional P with something relevant to your personal brand.
Here is how you do it.
Product = You
The first P is Product and in the personal branding context, it corresponds to the person for whom you are creating a personal brand, or probably yourself.
Price = Value you offer
The second P is Pricing. When you are working with your personal brand, it is not really the service fee that you charge, it is the value that you promise to bundle and deliver. So pricing here equates to the value you promise to deliver.
Promotion = How you show up?
The third P is all about Promotion. This is about how you package yourself. Your photos, videos, your voice, how you show up. And so on and so forth. It is also what you associate your brand with – the values, events, brands, etc.
Place = Accessibility to your brand
The fourth P is called Place. In a personal branding context, the place is not about where you live but more about the accessibility and availability of yourself and your brand. That’s what needs to be defined.
With this we are done with the inherent mix of personal branding.
The other mix is the outcome-based mix. What does that mean?
The outcome-based mix of personal branding
The outcome based mix would need four aspects to fix the mix of personal branding. This involves:
- Thought Leadership
The first one is Thought Leadership, which remains unique to you. And, this begins with a strong foundation to a thought that evolves into an idea. You should be willing to associate yourself with this idea and propagate it among a common audience or rather create a community over time.
Community is all about who you can share a Common Purpose with. This element of the mix is also referred to as the Compass. Thought leadership gains weight only with a community. Thoughts just on their own cannot be converted into action. It needs other people to accept it and adopt it into their lives.
Dialogue can be used to challenge each other. Each other here, refers to the relationship between you and your audience. A dialogue could be for Co-creation and doing things together. Build a dialogue and use it for something that could resonate with your audience for as long as you exist or even later.
A dialogue is closely tied to the common purpose that you choose to share. Most times, we miss the point that it’s not just that one person is building a personal brand. The community also comes together to co-create your brand in many ways. So, think about what should be those actions that you would do together? Think about it and list them down.
The last one of the outcome-based mix is a Roadmap. A roadmap is your vision articulated with literally milestone flags stuck on it. Have you noticed global CEOs writing a book as soon as they are announced publicly as the CEO of a company?
I remember when Bill Gates wanted to pivot, he wrote the book The Road Ahead. And I read this book when I was a student who left a great impact on me. Satya Nadella wrote the book Hit Refresh.
The most recent book that I subscribed to is Indra Nooyi’s biography, ‘My life in full’.
Similarly, I have read books by many CEOs and C-suite members who have tied their personal brand to their organizational brand. The examples can go on from The everything store for Amazon, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Ashlee Vance’s book on Elon Musk, Nike founder – Phil Knight wrote a memoir called Shoe Dog, and the list can go on.
You would definitely need a war room or, rather, a green room backstage that brings all these tools, tales, and tricks of the trade together.
We use two types of mix to build a personal brand.
The inherent mix includes the product, price, place, and promotion in relevance to personal branding.
The other is the outcome-based mix which involves your thought leadership, a community, a dialogue with that community, and a roadmap for them to stay with you.
Look out for the seven actions that shape the first part of the outcome-based personal branding mix which is nothing but Thought Leadership.