Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your new year is off to a great start. If you’re anything like me you’re full of new ideas and loads of inspiration for plans you want to implement in the new year, personally and professionally. And, hopefully, many of these plans involve your personal brand and how you’ll leverage it to grow your business or career.
But, before you go off charging full speed ahead on your goals for the new year there’s one step you should take at least once a year that will help you reach those big goals much more easily. And it’s something most professionals and business owners aren’t doing (aka - this WILL set you apart from your competitors!). I call it an annual personal brand audit and it’s the key to a healthy and thriving personal brand presence that will help you attract your dream job or clients. Think of it like your annual physical with your doctor to make sure you’re in good health. Just like a physical can detect health problems early on before they cause major problems, a brand audit can uncover things that might be a little off with your brand that could lead to bigger problems later on down the road . . . like missing out on job offers or not landing that dream client.
When you consider the fact that your personal brand is the ONE thing you have that your competitors don’t (read more about how to Use Your Personal Brand to Differentiate Your Business Brand) and the fact that people do business with people whom they trust, it’s easy to see how important it is to have your online personal brand represent you in a way that builds that know, like, and trust factor.
While there are many reasons to do a personal brand audit, I've boiled it down to my top three reasons to keep it simple for you. So here goes:
Reason # 1
Your brand evolves over time and a brand audit can help you maintain consistency as it changes.
Let’s face it, we all change, grow, and evolve over time, personally and professionally, (at least we should if we’re doing it right). ;-) Who do you know who is exactly the same person they were 5 years ago? Or even a year ago? Just as things can change with your health without you even realizing it, so, too, can things change with your personal brand. Maybe you earned a new certification. Maybe you won an award. Maybe you delivered a stellar talk to your biggest audience yet. Maybe you worked hard all year and gained a clearer understanding of how to talk to your ideal audience. That should all be reflected in your online personal brand presence to help you connect on a deeper and more authentic level with your audience. (Read more about brand consistency in The 3 C's to Brand Yourself (Like a Boss))
Reason # 2
Your goals may shift over time and what served your prior goals may not serve your current goals.
I’ve been in this exact place. I started my business with one set of goals, and then a year in they shifted. Although it was a very slight shift, how I was presenting myself in social media and on my website didn’t quite fit any longer. The way I was messaging my area of genius and my offerings was a bit off. So I made some tweaks to how I was presenting myself in my online platforms and on my website. I even hired a photographer and got updated headshots that were more reflective of how I wanted to be seen. If I had continued to share my personal brand without these shifts, it probably wouldn’t be the end of the world. But the disconnect between how my audience perceived me and how I WANTED them to perceive me could be the difference between connecting with my audience and not (a.k.a. hearing crickets!).
Reason # 3
Changes to the platforms you are using may necessitate a change in how and where you message your brand.
Social media and other online platforms allow us to get our products, services, and messages in front of our audience in an engaging way so that we can build our thought leadership and serve our clients and customers. But all social media platforms make changes to their algorithms, interfaces, and how they can and can’t be used from time to time. And this can really impact how our personal brands come across to our followers and connections. When a platform you use makes these changes, it’s time to reevaluate your personal brand and goals and make adjustments on that platform or even explore other platforms that might be a better fit for you. The recent shift in how Facebook will deliver content from business pages is a great example. This change will make Facebook live videos even more important going forward. And what better way to deliver your personal brand to your audience than through video. A personal brand audit would uncover this sort of opportunity so you can take advantage of all the benefits of the platforms you use.
Now, I don't mean to sound like your mother (you really should listen to her, though!), but I hope I’ve convinced you that auditing your personal brand annually is as important as getting a regular health check-up. :-) So take a look at your personal brand today to make sure it's working for you and not against you as you work to build your career or business.
Let me know how I can help!
The Brand Teacher
Want to audit your personal brand to make sure it's working for you to attract your dream job or clients? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's schedule a chat about how we can work together or book a Personal Brand Boost Strategy Session today!