Our personal brand is quite simply, how others perceive us. It’s what they think of when they hear our name and see our digital and in-person image. As we move into the New Year let’s each take a quick assessment of our own personal brand and what we can do to better ourselves in 2014.
- Google yourself– What do you find? Is it fresh? Is it negative? Does it need a PR boost? I once advised a prospective client who was looking for start-up capital for a new venture to google himself. A simple search produced a five year old negative news story about his business. I knew that if I saw that so would his potential investors. There are ways (creating blog posts for example) to drive the old and ugly down.
- Does your brand transfer to social/mobile? More and more consumers are on both social media platforms and mobile devices. According to Business News Daily, “companies will be finding new ways to target mobile devices and users.”
- How are you visually “showing” your personal brand? Have you made plans for a new professional head shot? If your head shot is more than a few years old it’s time for a refresh. (I’ve already made plans to see one of my favorite photographers, Tina Wilson, next week.) The article mentioned above states that Trends predictors are saying that with our short attention spans it will increasingly be a “show don’t tell” world. How are you “showing” your personal brand?
- Who is your target audience? What communications channels are they using? Each year I look back at all of the new social media channels that I joined. In 2013 it was Instagram, SnapChat, WeChat (international) and Vine. I entered those channels because I’m a professional communicator eager to check out the trends, but there’s no question the “tried and true” of Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn are where I connect with most of my business contacts.
- How do you plan to promote your brand in 2014? Through guest media appearances? Your blog? Podcasts? Social media? Your e-mail signature? Video? Civic clubs? Chamber of Commerce? Winning awards? Take time now to assess what has brought you business in the past and do more of it this year.
- Do you have an editorial calendar planned for 2014? Remember, social media provides a tremendous opportunity for you to be both content creator and publisher. No one knows your business like you do! Create your own content and plan ahead for the seasonality of your brand.
- Are you or do you expect to look for a new job or new client in 2014? If you’re reading this you are probably interested in finding new jobs or new clients. Maria Peagler and I developed a free one-hour personal branding webinar for you that includes more profit-making tips at www.personalbrandinghowto.com.
Please share what you’re doing to successfully boost your brand in the comments section below. All the best of luck to you in 2014!