Everyone has a Personal Brand, whether they realise it or not. But how do you determine the ‘Health’ of your Personal Brand? If you ever wanted to get an understanding of your online digital footprint and a snapshot of where your current Personal Brand sits, all you need to do is simply Google yourself.
I often ask people to do this when I run presentations on Personal Branding, which is usually met with a few nervous smiles and laughs from the audience, mainly because they don’t know what they’re going to find.
A Google search can often be someone’s first introduction to you, before they meet you in person. That’s why it’s vitally important that what you come up for is consciously controlled, aligned to your Brand, communicates your message with clarity and creates the perception that you want people to have of you.
Go on… just Google yourself now. I dare ya!
OK, now it’s time to do a Personal Brand Health Check based on the results and content you have come up for. This can be determined by asking yourself these 3 critical questions:
DOES MY DIGITAL FOOTPRINT REALLY CAPTURE WHAT I AM ALL ABOUT AND TELL MY TRUE PROFESSIONAL STORY?
Writing about ourselves can be a real struggle. Half the time, we don’t even know where to start or what we should be saying. If we are confused about our professional brand, imagine how hard it is for others to understand us when we try to communicate our professional story.
When we are unsure of our professional identity and brand, we end up writing vague statements about ourselves that fails to really capture the essence of our brand story, which often results in us underselling ourselves.
Vagueness is the enemy of a strong Personal Brand. If you want to stand out and leverage off your brand to grow your career, then you need to be specific about your Brand DNA, which encompasses:
- Who and what you are as professional in your field
- The problems you solve for organisations
- Your skills, capabilities and areas of expertise
- Your area of specialisation
- Your greatest achievements and the specific categories they sit in
- The results you can help an organisation achieve
- The value you bring.
A strong, memorable brand has to have constancy for it to be effective, so make sure the essence of your brand story is carried across the different communication platforms that you use.
DO THE RESULTS PORTRAY ME IN THE WAY I NEED TO BE PERCEIVED?
Your brand is not just what you say it is but what people perceive it to be. This means it is vitally important that you are conscious of the way people perceive you.
Our actions, interactions and the words we use, have a major impact on shaping the way people perceive us. Strong brands are well perceived if these 3 factors are in alignment with the brand message.
The language you use must be in alignment to how to you want people to perceive you. If you want to be perceived as an expert in your field, then you need to sound and act like one. That means using not only using the right technical language but also demonstrating your expertise.
For example, if you are looking to change career, then you need to be perceived as someone who has the right transferable skills and experience. Using the language of your current or old industry will not enable people to perceive you as someone right for a new job in another industry. This means you have to reword how you talk about your skills and experience and use the language that someone would use who is already in the industry you want to be in.
So, before you create your brand message and any related online content, you must always think, ‘how will this affect people’s perception of me? Will it reinforce and enhance my brand or detract and damage it’?
IS MY BRAND COMPELLING ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO SEEK ME OUT?
Your brand is constantly competing with others for attention. People are always thinking, ‘what’s in it for me’, often on a sub-conscious level. For you to command attention, your Personal Branding message not only needs to be crystal clear about what you do, but more importantly, what your expertise and experience means for them and their business. In other words, what you can do for THEM!
Just as in the movie The Godfather, you need to ‘make them an offer they can’t refuse’. This means your offer and value must be enticing enough to connect and resonate with your target audience. Think of the problems that your audience may have. Now position yourself and your offer as the solution.
If you want your Personal Brand to maintain a good health and work for you to attract career opportunities then it is essential that you follow these 3 guidelines:
- Make sure your content and message are specific and captures the essence of your brand DNA.
- Branding is about perception management. Always be conscious of how your message influences people’s perception of you.
- Make sure your brand message is compelling and answers the question for your readers, ‘what’s in it for me?’
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If you’re wanting to improve the health of your Personal Brand and are looking for guidance on how to do this, then please get in contact with me and we can talk about your needs and explore whether my Personal Branding services are right for you.