Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, yes...the old SWOT analysis is an ideal way to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and where the opportunities and threats lie with regard to selling my, my brand.
In this post I'm talking about using the SWOT analysis to help me address the ever-present question of strengths and weaknesses, but if you think about it, it’s the perfect way to identify some very personal areas of opportunity.
Of course there is also the definition of insanity by trying to get a different result by doing the same thing. In this case I am seeking a specific outcome so I have to be willing to get outside my box and use proven tools in a new way. When I go about performing this self-analysis, the most difficult task is going to be realistically, as independently and as honestly as possible consider my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in light of my objectives, my experience, my circumstances, my sphere of influence, my chosen vertical market and the technical skills of my chosen profession.
I am thinking about this not purely from a competitive position, but I'm think about this as war. Psychological Warfare. The Art of War put into the form of a Thought War. In my personal brand continuum "space", who is vying for the same results, the same objective, the same partnership, the same engagement or the same job? I have to so fundamentally shift my thinking to be radically focused on and genuinely most interested in the needs of the target, partner or hiring company. What makes me stand out to solve their problems? Here’s how I am using the SWOT assessment process to define my personal brand and find my next book agent, production company, joint venture partner or maybe even a job :)
· What advantages do I have?
· What do I do better than anyone else?
· What unique or low-cost resources do I have to offer?
· What do others see as my strengths?
· How do I help close the sale or reduce overhead?
· What areas can I improve?
· What areas should I avoid?
· What do peers in my market see as weaknesses?
· Where do I fail when trying to close a sale or reduce costs?
· What opportunities am I seeing?
· What interesting trends can I identify and take advantage of, such as changes in technology, regulations, social patterns, etc.?
· What is happening in my market that can promote new business development?
· What obstacles do I face?
· What interesting trends can I identify which I should be worried about?
· Are the required specifications for my project, my venture, my job, products or services changing?
· Is changing technology threatening my personal brand position?
· Do I have bad debt or cash-flow problems?
· Could any of my weaknesses seriously threaten my business?
Once I actually complete my SWOT analysis I expect to have a clear picture of how I fit in my target market, my strengths and weaknesses, and what will differentiate me from the competition.
Now I can then get to work on distilling my findings into a succinct pitch that really shows my strengths and why someone will seek me out.