Some of us many times have prepared marketing, sales, business, development or a whatever plan for our business.
But I don’t know anyone who has done a personal marketing or strategic plan.
Of course, we have almost everything in our minds. This is the difference now, we have to write it down and follow the procedure of writing the other plans.
Let’s answer first why have to create such a plan. There is only one answer.
Because we must know what our targets – objectives are for the future, what we want as next steps of our lives, what is the path to achieve them, how to enforce discipline and adapt efforts to reach the desirable result, keep the time schedules and use correctly the resources.
The steps are similar we use in the business marketing – strategic plan.
1. Find Objectives – Targets – Aims
The first priority of any plan is to be clear about what we aim to achieve. What do we want to accomplish. Do we want to get promoted in our current job? Find a new one? Go to language or business school? Start a company? Change our life?
Each of these aims requires a different strategy, so decide what we want first and then plan on how to get there.
2. Situational Analysis
Where we are currently in our career and life. We have to analyze all kind of parameters, family, macro environment, work, and friends and see the effect of them on the plan. Our current situation is also connected with the amount of resources we have, including our network, personal finances, materials and brand influence. No matter what is our age, gender or race is, our brand may have or not have specific skills needed to thrive. That is why we need a plan of attack so that we reach our goals.
3. SWOT Analysis of our selves
Strengths: Recognize and capitalize them.
Strengths are internal factors that positively influence our ability to achieve our objectives. It’s the area of our life where we are strong, where we are better than the “competition” and where our forte lies. Some question in order to identify our personal strengths are like: What are my talents, what can I do better, which things I am naturally good at, what personal resources I can access, which knowledge certifications and skills I have developed, where do other people see my strengths.
Weaknesses: Recognize and plan to convert them into strengths
Weaknesses represent all the areas where we are lagging behind, where we have shortcomings and gaps in skills. Some of our weaknesses are easily seen while others are not; some must try to get rid of or improve them or convert into strengths.
Some questions that can help us identify our personal weaknesses are like: Where could I improve? Where I am not talented enough? What tasks I usually avoid because I don’t feel confident doing them? Which resources am I lacking? Am I feeling confident with my education and skills training? Which is my weakest point? Do I have a short temper, manage my time efficiently; do I have negative work habits?
Opportunities are external factors that have a positive influence on us achieving our goals. Opportunities are where we can go with the flow of the environment based on our strengths. Understanding opportunities is a big leverage we have to count into our life strategy.
Questions to see opportunities are like: Is there any new technology can help me, which are the new changes in the country and the environment, is the business I am working for growing and if yes how I can take advantage. Where I can see the biggest favorable circumstances for achieving my objective, do I know people who can help me achieve my goals?
Threats are external factors that have a negative influence and can prevent us from achieving our goals. It’s about analyzing external factors on which we don’t have much influence and which can prevent us from going forward.
When analyzing threats, we should think about possible alternatives and how to stay as flexible as possible.
Some questions to identify threats are: Is my job changing? Does changing technology threaten my position? Which obstacles I am facing at the moment and why? Which is the biggest external danger to my goals? What are the biggest risks I am facing? Are any of my colleagues competing me for projects or roles? Could any of my weaknesses lead to threats?
4. The Mix of Our 4 ps.
Here, we are the product and while it can be hard to honestly reflect on our self-versus the competition, this is necessary to understand how to position our self.
Some words about our personal life cycle are important at this point. Instead of a product life cycle our personal one correlates to where we are in our career and life. It’s not how old we are but it’s based on how recognizable your personal brand is, as well as influence, power, trust, level of engagement with others and the total combined force and reach of our audience. (There are the same steps as products : Introduction , Growth, Maturity and Decline according to development of our personal brand, the trust we provide, the skills we have and how to transform them into added value for us, the degree of sociability , invitations, perception as knowledgeable person, tighter relationships, handling people and customer needs
Either the value we give to ourselves, how we communicate this, how much is “our brand” currently worth? And also the real amount of income we should calculate exactly what we take in for revenue each year, along with expenses. We need to know the amount of this money we need in order to implement our marketing plan.
Place is our preferred working location. As with any element of the marketing mix, we need to set objectives to guide our strategy in terms of our work, home, and leisure environments. Perhaps to identify our preferred geographic location.
Promotion is how we communicate ourselves and our benefits to the “target market”. Are we show off persons, in which level, is this good or bad?
5. Strategy Development
Strategy development is the next step. We have to create our personal strategy for all the above 4 ps.
For example for the promotion how best can we communicate our competitive advantage? What blend of tactics will we use, résumés, networking, interviews, direct mail, cold calling?
6. Action plan, Implementation, Evaluation, Adaptation
The gap of tactics execution…We are very good until now. What about the implementation? The final and most important step is to create the action plan, set a realistic timeline. Make sure we have regular milestones, time table, resources and evaluation. This is the hardest part. Don’t forget to monitor and adapt. Note what works and what doesn’t, get feedback on successes and failures and change objectives, strategy and implementation if needed.
Just making it happen.