Would You Pass a Personal Brand Audit?
To create a personal brand takes time, effort, and commitment, and must represent who you are and what you want to be known for. It is seen by many as a statement about both your professional expertise and personal style. People associate a brand with a personality because humans connect with humans. Now that you have invested the time to create your personal brand, when was the last time you performed a brand audit? Would you pass?
Google your name: Are you satisfied with the results of your search. Review all the images that are associated with your name. Review all your profile pictures objectively. Do the images and the information that you find covey the right message. Is this how you’d like others – your boss, prospective employer, clients, friends, relatives and the media – to perceive you?
Voice message: Does your voice message convey the interesting things you do from day-to-day, or do you use the standard boring message? If you cannot answer your phone because you are attending a small business forum where Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferris are speaking, do you let callers know that? If the phone is not your preferred way for others to contact you, and you are able to respond faster by email, consider including your email address in your voice message.
Email content and signature: Spell check your emails before you hit send. Sending emails with spelling mistakes make you appear unprofessional to others. And do you make it easy for others to contact you? Consider including your phone number, and links to your LinkedIn profile. People do click on links in email signatures so make sure that the information that is linked to is current, and represents your personal style.
Overall packaging: Are you appropriately presenting your personal brand through your dress, marketing materials and other written information? Do you dress better than the industry standard to set yourself apart? Is your website and business card design clean and represent who you are? Do you write in a clear and concise way? Do you have a professional email address? Your overall packaging conveys who you are to others.
Consistency: Building your personal brand is a long-term process, are you consistently building your brand. If you have a blog, do your post regularly. Do you provide regular status updates on your social media channels?
Conducting a personal brand audit enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of your personal branding goals, and is also a test to determine if your branding efforts communicates your professional expertise and personal style.