These days branding is not just for business. Every day one billion names are searched in Google. Chances are, your name (and in essence your personal brand) has been searched at least once. The line between our personal and professional lives is becoming increasingly more transient. More of our private affairs are publicly available online. It is now more important than ever to closely monitor the brand messages we transmit. Our personal choices– Facebook statuses, Twitter updates, blog posts and even our Yelp reviews– can be discovered, judged and used to affect future opportunities for us.
On this blog, we’ve already discussed the importance of being mindful of your social media messaging, the ways in which to reinvent yourself for new opportunities and some how-to’s for managing your personal brand once it has been established. However, what if you are new to branding or need help developing a strong brand identity? Fear not. Read on:
Discover the real you. One of the most important steps to developing a brand is to really consider the unique characteristics that make you you. What are your likes, interests, strengths, assets?
Note: Focus on the positive. You want to put the best you forward.
Know your competition. It is fierce, and you will have to understand the personal qualities that you possess that set you apart from others looking to land the same job, scholarship, client, etc.
Get feedback. Ask your closest friends, family, clients, colleagues and mentors to help you cull down your list of best attributes and to identify the areas where you might need work.
Create a communication plan. This figurative roadmap should include an analysis of the tools that you will need to get your brand message out there. While a Pinterest page might be ideal for a florist, it might not serve a criminal attorney as well. Blogs are extremely helpful in promoting a brand. However, be as specific as possible. You must not only decide on the tools, but also the frequency with which you will post on them.
Execute. You’ve considered and defined your personal brand. Now, just wake up and be the best you every day.
Measure results. Has one internet outlet brought in more leads for you? Have any employers called after reading an impressive blog you wrote? Are your friends, family and colleagues commenting positively on your updates? If so, great! If not, start back at one and try again. You’ll get it eventually.