Most business owners' primary focus is to grow their business. To do so, many focus on messaging, branding, public relations and stellar service/products to drive repeat business.
All of these strategies and tactics work to bolster business development. But, why not take business development a step further and develop a personal marketing plan for yourself? Of course most successful companies/organizations have a marketing plan, but what about a personal marketing plan to build your brand and cultivate business?
Do you think of yourself as a small business owner? Probably not if you're not literally the owner. In many professional services firms, individuals strive to become partners or shareholders; others participate in profit sharing and stock programs. In essence they are "small business owners." This concept can apply to anyone who's serious about their career with some entrepreneurial spirit: "the company of me" and I'm the owner.
Once you are a small business owner, suddenly your mindset and effectiveness magically change. As a public relations professional, I've seen this consistently when collaborating with clients to develop personal marketing plans. "Small business owners" take business development more seriously and personally. It's no longer the job of the "other guys who know more people" to bring in the business.
Since many organizations get much of their business from personal referrals, the foundation of a personal marketing plan is about increasing your network, developing relationships and building your circle of influence. When people know you, they are more likely to remember you when they - or others in their sphere of influence need your services.
Individuals can develop their "brand" with a customized mission statement and blueprint. Then research, facilitate and make things happen. Sample elements include:
Become a professor of Lunch 101, 201, building to 301: Strategically reconnect with people and meet new desirable "leaders"Be a connoisseur of meetings: Go to those in town and out of town that your "dream clients" attend Join a community/civic organization - something you are passionate about, or you won't do it. Seek out your most prestigious organizations/trade groups; be a speaker at their next conference Find the "best" program/event for your company to sponsor and make it happen.
"Small business owners" are very resourceful. They make things happen. They seek out experts to help them achieve their goals. Why not become a small business owner today?
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