The following is the eighth in the series "Personal Branding For A Better Life," in which marketing expert Jim Joseph applies big brand marketing lessons to help you build a successful personal brand.
A marketer’s job is never done. There’s always a new challenge to tackle or a change in the marketplace that requires attention.
Personal branding is much the same. You are a continual work in progress as is your brand, so please don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated. As you continue to grow, new challenges will always come your way.
Life is a journey -- one that is meant to be enjoyed every step along the way. I’d like to think I’m still evolving, trying new things each year. I’ve recently added “empty nester” and “graduate school professor at NYU” to my brand, and I’m embracing every milestone.
No matter where you are in your journey, there’s still more to come. So if you are relatively early in your quest, don’t get overwhelmed. If you’ve been around the block a few times but still don’t have it right, don’t get frustrated. You’ll figure it out.
The process of personal branding is meant to help you be more successful, but only when you do it step-by-step. Hold on tight to your aspirations, learn from your experiences along the way and apply it all to your personal brand.
The key is to know where you are in your pathway and what else lies in front of you. One of the things big brands do as part of their annual planning process is a gap analysis. This helps guide their marketing strategy.
Brand managers outline their annual goals over time, nd then list out the assets they will need in order to accomplish those goals. Some of those assets are already in-hand, so they check them off the list. Others are yet to be acquired, so they make it a key part of their plan to gather them in the next year. Others need to be acquired over time, so they are planned accordingly.
Your personal brand gap analysis would do much the same: outline your goals and list out the things you need in order to achieve them. Check off the items you’ve already completed, and make a plan for those you still need to get done.
Sounds simple, right?
It is simple if you stay clearly focused on your goals, not in a manipulative way but in a strategic manner like a big national brand would do.
As you go through life, simply close all the gaps toward accomplishing your goals, gathering all you need for your brand plan. This is how your gap analysis becomes an action plan and to-do list, helping you along your way.
You can use this gap analysis as a way to checklist the items you still need to accomplish, whether that’s continuing your education, getting a promotion at work, meeting a partner or having a more active social life.
As you check these items off, move onto the next in a continual evolution of your brand. This then gives you a path for growth and change over time.
By identifying the gaps in your brand plan, then closing them one by one, you’ll be that much closer to achieving your lifetime goals.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Jim Joseph is the North American president of New York-based communications agency Cohn & Wolfe, part of the media company WPP Group PLC. He is the author of three books, including the latest, The Personal Experience Effect (Happy About 2013). Joseph also teaches marketing at New York University and blogs at JimJosephExp.com.