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- #56: The Personal Positioning Framework
#56: The Personal Positioning Framework
Define your product marketing "secret sauce"
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about personal positioning. That is, how we (as product marketers) communicate our unique value to the world.
We’re masters of product positioning — it’s one of the core components of the job. And yet, when I talk to PMMs, they all use the same talk track to describe themselves. And LinkedIn About sections and resumes are no better.
There are more than 100,000 product marketers in the world, certainly there must be some nuance between us. Whether you’ve been aware or not, every career decision you’ve made and every project you’ve worked on has contributed to the building of your own unique differentiators.
It’s your job to harness it to set you apart.
In today’s edition, I’m going to share the personal positioning framework I’ve developed to help you do just that.
It’s super relevant whether you’re building a personal brand, interviewing for your next role, or just need help explaining what you do.
Let’s get into.
Build your own personal positioning framework in 30 minutes or less.
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The Personal Positioning Framework
Let’s begin with a shared definition of personal positioning.
April Dunford says “positioning defines how your product is a leader at delivering something that a well-defined set of customers care a lot about.”
If that’s true, then personal positioning defines how a product marketer is a leader at delivering something that a well-defined set of companies cares a lot about.
Essentially, you become the product! With that in mind, let’s breakdown the framework I shared above.
Step 1: Define Your Value
First, we need to define your unique value as a product marketer. The truth is, your combination of strengths, interests and experience make you one-of-a-kind.
When you have a clear understanding of where you can deliver maximum impact AND get maximum energy, you’ll be able to make more intentional decisions about your career.
Self-reflection is key to completing this part of the framework. In my course, I provide a ton of journaling prompts to get you started, as well as recommend more formal resources like StrengthsFinder, PMM IQ by the Product Marketing Alliance, and the Good Time Journal.
When you have the outputs of your self-reflection, you can start to bucket them into themes. Ask yourself, “what unique value do you offer based on this combination of strengths, skills and interests?”
Here’s an example I created for myself:
Step 2: Identify Who Cares
Once you’ve defined your unique value, it’s time to identify what types of companies would care a lot about (or desperately need) that value.
So often, I talk to PMMs who are passive about their career. They let opportunities come to them, applying to roles and promotions only when they’re posted and available.
BUT, when you have this level of clarity over your own “special sauce”, you can start to target opportunities in a more thoughtful way. What if instead of fitting yourself into existing opportunities, you defined the opportunities?
My last two roles were never posted - I worked with the hiring manager to draft a job description that would allow me to thrive while also solving the challenges of the business. This couldn’t have happened if I didn’t have a deep understanding of the types of problems I’m great at solving and the types of companies who need those problems solved.
To complete this half of the framework, you’ll want to consider a variety of factors including vertical/industry, customer type, go-to-market motion and growth stage. Once you have the company profile, narrow down the specific problems that can be solved using your skillset and expertise.
Finally, and not to be forgotten, backup your value statement with a reason to believe. I call these marketable metrics, and they’re essentially proof that you’re able to deliver on your personal value proposition.
Here’s another example, building on the one shared above:
Step 3: Launch Positioning
Once you’ve completed your personal positioning framework, it’s time to share it with the world!
There are so many different applications for this:
Adjust your LinkedIn profile, About section and tagline
Update your resume and interview pitch
Offer focused consulting services
Showcase your value to your manager
Ask for specific projects for 2024
I’m so passionate about this topic because I’ve seen how powerful it is firsthand. I used to describe myself in what I now see was a generic way. But, when I decided to complete a personal positioning exercise, everything changed.
I got clear on the parts of PMM where I excel (and where I don’t)
I made intentional career decisions that opened up opportunities for me to play to my strengths
I doubled down on what I’m great at, and so no to the rest
And I built a one-of-a-kind personal brand (the only person who can be me, is me!)
I hope with today’s framework (and the free mini course I built to walk you through it), you’ll be able to feel this impact for yourself too.
Now, it’s your time to shine ✨
📚 Reading List: StrengthsFinders 2.0 will help you identify your strengths so you can amplify your natural talents. I’ve taken it several times throughout my career and it’s fascinating to see how my strengths have developed.
🗓️ Events: Join me in Austin for the Spryng conference, hosted by Wynter. Created for B2B SaaS marketers, the focus is on connection and conversation over formal presentations (think roundtables and peer learning).
Until next week,
P.S. Ready to build a high-impact career? Here’s a few ways I can help: