In this article I would like to introduce a new lecture format. I had nothing else in mind but to develop the perfect marketing lessen. It should combine marketing know-how, SEO knowledge, the professional handling of social networks, and a lot of fun. Did I succeed? More on this in the article.
The basic idea behind the marketing lecture:
Attentive readers of my blog know that I like experiments. During the shutdown in the summer term I started to develop innovative electives based on a new version my personal branding concept. The students should learn to market themselves authentically and credibly. Not just theoretically, but very practically. In addition, the students should not only improve their concepts slowly and coached by me in learning loops, but also transfer this into practice. It was clear to me from the very beginning that the core of the whole subject would be a WordPress blog run by a student team. The students should be completely free to choose their thematic focus, so that the fun of the whole thing is not neglected.
The concrete learning outcomes or how to acquire blogging and marketing know how.
Acquire basic marketing know-how about blogging. Since many companies are looking for ways to present themselves optimally, this is an investment for the student’s professional future. They can also prove that they have really gained practical know-how and have not only heard about blogging in theory. Of course it was obvious to use the secret worldwide standard – WordPress – as a basis for the activities. Especially because there are a lot of interesting, free plugins for optimizing a blog.
Acquire basic SEO know-how. It’s much easier to teach students the SEO-tricks by analyzing and optimizing their blog posts and with the help of the excellent MathRank plugin, rather than spend a long lecture session rambling on this topic.
Professional use of social networks. Most students have social media accounts, but few have thought about how to use them professionally. Especially WordPress is perfectly suited to act as an efficient spider in your own communication network. There are also some plugins (some free of charge, some with a 30-day trial period) that can be used to automatically connect social networks to your own blog in order to efficiently distribute your messages in many different channels. This is also a form of marketing know-how that every student can use in one way or another in his or her professional future.
Through teamwork, students learn to coordinate, develop a communication plan and thus act professionally.
The results of the marketing lecture:
I was really enthusiastic about the results. The students threw themselves into the work with excitement and drive. And produced really interesting and great content. Here are a few notes about the teams and their activities:
During my time at Siemens I learned a a lot about concepts and their implementation. In too many cases my colleagues spent too much time developing an exciting and more or less perfect concept. But they completely forgot the implementation and continuous improvement process. Having these situations in mind I developed a simple but effective continuous improvement process for your personal brand. In the video you will find the short overview. Enjoy the video.
In the second part of my approach to the nature of a personal brand, I briefly dealt with the topic of performance and result orientation. In the third and last part, the focus is on personality. It is the core of the brand identity of a personal brand, similar to the brand identity of product brands. Here, it is primarily a matter of communicating an authentic and trustworthy image based on one’s own psychological profile. The highlights are presented in the video. Have fun watching.
Anyone who has rummaged around in my blog will soon realize that, unlike many other personal branding experts, I don’t focus on personality, but on the performance of a person. Why? If you are a nice guy, but your performance is interchangeable, there is a good chance that your customer will still take the better-priced competitor. Your competitive advantages are limited.
If you are a nice guy and your service is unique and competitive, then a customer will accept a higher price or your future employer is willing to pay a higher salary. However, building a unique offering involves a lot of effort, unlike the little bit of klinkling around presenting yourself. More about this in the video.
Finally the time has come. My concept “Personal Branding in (less) than 5 Minutes” can go to the start. Next week the first short videos will be ready for the start. This summer I took a closer look at some approaches to personal branding and discovered some convictions that I personally do not share.
For me, the performance or the offerings of a person are still the most important element of a personal brand. The statement that only the personality counts is a little too short for me. In other words: if you can’t do anything but are a nice guy, you won’t survive as a personal brand in the long run.
Anyone who claims that nowadays you can’t distinguish yourself by your performance or by what you offer hasn’t thought long and hard enough. In my VHB course, I have conducted many interviews with completely different managers, entrepreneurs and artists who convinced me that it is very well possible to stand out from the competition by an extraordinary performance. If you think about your own performance, your skills and competences in a goal-oriented and competitive way, then anything is possible. Take a family doctor as an example. At first glance, a family doctor is like any other, at least as far as professional competence is concerned. A thorough examination alone, where the doctor takes his time, is the exception rather than the rule. But there are only very few family doctors who are able to explain to their patients what they have just diagnosed in a friendly, authoritative manner and not in technical jargon. And if they are also empathetic and gently teach their “customers” certain diagnoses, then you can clearly set yourself apart from other competitors.
What most approaches skilfully leave out is the fact that although anyone can do personal branding, they can’t be successful with it. Why? If you present a comparable service or offer on a website, a LinkedIn or Xing account, and are not prepared to really stand out as a person, you will still be overlooked. In other words: if you are not prepared to stand out clearly and positively from the competition, you can let the whole thing go. Just being conspicuous a little is almost synonymous with not being conspicuous at all. Without a basic knowledge of personality psychology, you won’t get much further with personal branding. A short excursion into classical brand management alone shows its importance in the development of a product and corporate brand. This makes it all the more important to use personality psychology in a personal brand as a tool for convincing external presentation.
Most approaches focus only on the one-time development of a personal brand, not on its continuous improvement. I noticed this myself during the revision of my VHB course. It is designed as a one-time project, which is also in the nature of things. In the course of the last few months I have mainly been concerned with the implementation and further development of a defined personal brand and have discovered that many instruments from my professional past can be used in a targeted manner for my own optimization. In doing so, I have mainly thrown change management methods, such as AIP management, KAIZEN, project management and a few other candidates into my conceptual shaker, thus developing an approach that helps everyone to become better in the long run.
In my concept, I therefore place the performance/offer at the center of a personal brand, spice it up with a good portion of individual and social psychology and marry the result with a permanent improvement approach.