The new Personal Business Model YOU Workshops at UTA are now being offered as Professional Branding, changed from last term when they were called Career Reinvention. Just another example of the pivoting process that's involved with the implementation of any Business Model. In interviews with those interested in the first workshops, we found a much greater interest from individuals wanting to be more successful in their current careers than those who are looking for another career where they can be more successful. So while the Workshops are equally applicable to both, we have shifted the focus a bit.
There are two mistakes most of us make when first introduced to Business Models and Canvas Thinking. The Workshops covers these (and more) with specific application to your career.
The first issue is confusing Key Activities with Value Propositions. It's easy to think that our customers value those things that we do so well. The truth is our customers value what helps them do the things they need to get done. An example might be a plumber who feels their master's license is their Value Proposition. The customer's problem may be leaking water, so perhaps 24 hours service will mean much more to them. We need to see our value from our customer's Point of View.
This is easier said than done for career professionals. The Business Model YOU strategy is to start here and to develop what it is we are, so we know what it is we can offer. The same mistake made in the opposite direction is to try and build a career around something you know customers want but is not at all suited for You. Professional Branding requires understanding what makes You valuable, and then communicating it well.
That bring us to the second major mistake most of us make as we develop our Personal Business Models. We confuse Key Activities with Customer Relationships. After a Business Model is completed we need to Act on it. I am open to anyone to disagree with this; but that has to mean Marketing the Model. No matter what other Key Activities are need for Value Proposition fulfillment, Marketing has to also be added to Key Activities and you need to be successful at it for the model to make money. If your model is for yourself as an employee, you still need to market your abilities to either a new employer for a new job, or your boss to enhance your current job. For Professionals, marketing needs to be done to reach new prospects. Every Business Model effort must conclude with Marketing in some form if it is to be meaningful.
So why isn't that Customer Relationships? CRM software vendors and consultants have confused us into thinking that Customer Relationship is about how we want to relate to our customers. That is not the issue. It's how do our customer want to relate to us? While I have Zero Interest in being a part of my plumber's internet community (no matter how many water saving tips may be found there), I do want to be able to quickly find a competent, reasonably priced plumber when water is found where it's not supposed to be. If that's the case, our plumber may find that money spent advertising on Angie's List might be more valuable than mailing out newsletters. On the other hand, I belong to a local health club and I do read their newsletters. I want to relate to them much differently and they get that.
Your Brand is not your name, logo, or company colors. It's how your customers perceive you. To do Professional Branding effectively, it makes good sense to first know what makes you valuable to others and then know how they want to find-out about that. That becomes your "message". Then all that's left is how to send it. There are many books and consultants who can offer you great advice on the mechanics of marketing; but nothing will define your message more clearly than a well constructed Personal Business Model.
Here is the bonus. At the UTA Professional Branding Workshop we develop your Personal Business Model and in doing so re-engage you with a career that may have been burning-out. Communicating your value to others in ways they want to hear becomes almost intoxicating. You will reinvent "Your Career, for Fun and Profit".