No matter what you do, where you are or what you sell, the first product that needs to be marketed is... YOU!
When you realize that, your personal marketing scene gets clear: You are a product just as any supermarket product on the shelves.
A product on the supermarket shelf gets customers’ acceptance through two primary conditions: A good packaging and a good content.
The packaging is all the external impacts the product will make on the customer. The content is what the customer finds inside the “box” once it is opened and used.
You and I are exactly the same. You have a content (and you must know if it is good or needs improving). And you also have a packaging, which is what people, your potential customers, perceive of you.
Your image, the sum total of all impacts you make, will determine in the first place if you are considered a good or a bad product. Acceptance or rejection usually takes place in the first seven seconds to four minutes of any personal encounter. That’s all the time you have to make a positive impact on your potential buyers.
Buyers? Yes. You are a product, remember? And people are continually buying or not buying you in every day interactions. Your buyers are the people who work with you or for you, your company’s customers, your spouse, your boss, your next-door neighbour... Anyone you come in contact with every day!
When it comes to person-to-person interaction, your whole image reaches other people through all five senses. What you look like, the way you move, your face expression, your clothes, all get to your customer’s brain through their eyes.
Your handshake and how you handle yourself in “territorial distances” has to do with the sense of touch. What your voice sounds like, your words, what you say and how you say it, impact through the ears.
Your body odors, your breath and other personal odors, as well as “closer contacts” with you, will tell your potential buyers a lot about you through the smell and taste senses.
If you are a product then you need to have a marketing plan. Do you remember how many products are launched each year, and fail disastrously, because they were not backed up by a good marketing plan?
So, you also need a marketing plan. You need to build yourself a good blueprint to construct your market-acceptance conditions.
First, you have to determine where you are now. Knowing where you are, and understanding how you got there, is the first intelligent step for a good personal marketing. Your present situation is your “launching platform”. That’s what we, marketing people, call “Situation Analysis”.
Then comes a very important second step: Clarifying as much as possible where you want to be. That’s your goal. And the more precise the image of your goal, the easier it will be to get there. No successful product campaign has ever existed without a clear, workable goal.
Finally, to develop your marketing plan you need to ask yourself: How can I get there? Of all three, this question is the most crucial. Why? Because it is rather easy to understand where you are now, and it is not difficult to determine where you want to be. But knowing the answer to the “how-question” is what makes the difference between boys and grown-up men.
What strategies are you willing to develop to get from point “A” where you are now, to point “B”, where you want to be? That’s what that last question can tell you.
See? You are a product just as any other product you know. You have a content and you have an image. And as a product, you need to develop the best-ever marketing plan you can come up with.
Investing a few hours on this exercise, can make all the difference for you in the fascinating world of personal marketing.