A few days ago I shared my experience of Tim Clark’s Business Model You® MasterClass in Amsterdam. At the time, I couldn’t reveal the topic I presented. Well, now I can.
I am very happy to announce the new tool I presented at the MasterClass and which attracted Tim’s attention: meet the Personal Branding Canvas (2016 update: this is the new graphical format)!
The Personal Branding Canvas is a visual tool designed to help you rapidly develop an effective Personal Branding strategy. The idea is to make the process as simple as possible. With the Personal Branding Canvas you can:
- Describe, design, and re-invent your Personal Brand without necessarily knowing anything about Branding and Marketing concepts,
and it will help you to:
- Teach, learn, and offer Personal Branding consultancy services.
The visual approach used by the Personal Branding Canvas helps accelerate personal branding strategy development. Visual thinking helps you transform assumptions into explicit information which, in turn, helps one think, communicate, and share key information more effectively. Download it here together with our Professional Innovation Toolkit usage instructions that can be found in this area of my company BigName’s website, the Professional Innovation specialist for enteprise.
PRACTICAL AND SIMPLE PERSONAL BRANDING
In the fields of consultancy and training, these two aspects are essential: high rates of learning and knowledge transfer and results.
Everyone wants practical takeaways: to learn a new skill, and to come away knowing they have learnt how to do something new or better.
When it comes to Social Media Marketing, for example, the approach taken by many books and courses is often too theoretical and poorly reasoned. Indeed, these books and courses seem to unable to transfer this very simple but essential concept:
To be successful on Social Media, you must transmit meaningful messages. In other words, you have to say, write, share something of value. The related technical aspects can be learnt later on but you should know that few make much difference, anyway.
Other books, on the other hand, lean towards an overly practical approach. As a result, they often end up being little more than extensions of Twitter or Facebook help systems. Another problem with these types of guides is that they become dated very quickly.
I strongly believe branding is the solution. You can only take informed decisions about your communication activities after you have devised a branding strategy.
However, the meaning of the term “branding” is not always clear and this can make what you need to do appear more difficult than it is. That the language of branding tends to be obscure, does not help matters either. It’s a topic that is neither well-known nor well understood. Conflicting opinions abound so it can be hard to know whether to focus on strategy or on practicality.
The same goes for certain consultancy services. Some opt to exclude clients from co-creation. They use Powerpoint slides with vague messages such as “your Powerpoint strategy” along with slides stuffed with terms their clients simply don’t understand. Actually, I think branding has more in common with coaching than with consultancy.
In short, it became clear that the current Personal Branding approaches desperately needed innovation. My attempt to do just that centered on Business Design principles.
PERSONAL BUSINESS DESIGN
The Personal Branding Canvas uses core Personal Business Design ( Personal Development + Design Thinking + Marketing) principles such as those of Tim Clark’s Business Model You®. Plus, of course, the concepts central to Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s book Business Model Generation. The idea of developing this approach came to me after reading Tim’s book and after attending his training sessions both in Italy and abroad.
While the Personal Business Model Canvas concentrates on, in very simple terms – revenues, business or personal – the Personal Branding Canvas homes in on Promise of value.
In short, it uses logic to allow individuals to identify their promise of value so they can transmit it to the right audience. Additional benefits include increases in levels of visibility, credibility, respect, reputation, and more.
As well as allowing its users to create an exhaustive and reliable map, all our Canvases are, in effect, synthesized design frameworks. Some may apply the term LEAN to how our Canvases work:
The focus moves from a long process of study and analysis to strategy development, and then on to the creation of an initial prototype. This prototype can then be market-tested. In turn, feedback from market testing can be used to improve the prototype.
Actually, the Personal Branding Canvas can be viewed as being a kind of ever-evolving prototype which is under perpetual development – this helps it adapt to ever-changing market needs.
A PROTOTYPE ITSELF
I have been using the ever-evolving, continuously updated, Personal Branding Canvas to great effect for months as part of my consultancy activities and during my courses.
You can help us evolve and improve the Personal Branding Canvas. This will ensure it becomes even more effective for yourself and everyone else. To get involved, why not take part in the process? You could leave a comment on this post or get involved in discussion over on Twitter & Facebook.
THE ORIGINAL 9-BLOCK VERSION
This was our initial 9-Block version of the Personal Branding Canvas. It can be downloaded here: BigName website – along with all the other tools in our Professional Innovation Toolkit.
Tim Clark’s and Alex Osterwalder’s work inspired me to create the Personal Branding Canvas in that version and they then encouraged us to develop the new version.
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