As a prelude to the fast-approaching New Year, here are some questions to ask yourself as you evaluate your progress building your personal brand-building efforts during 2010:
Writing & publishing a brand-building book
Did you publish a book during 2011, or make significant progress towards publishing a brand-building book? Or, do you still feel writing and publishing a book is an “impossible dream” best-reserved for others?
If you feel you made significant progress, was it in one of the following areas?
- During 2010, did you come closer to choosing a topic for your book?
- Did you make any progress identifying your target market, and their information needs?
- Have you identified the experts in your field, as a prelude towards getting to know them better?
- Did you spend time analyzing their books and how they are leveraging their books into new opportunities and profits?
- Have you been tracking the continuing changes and developing publishing opportunities?
Most important, have you identified the “missing book” – the book that hasn’t been written yet – that your market is waiting for you to write?
Did you improve your author platform during 2010?
Your author platform is the sum total of your online and offline brand, or presence. It refers to the number of people who consider you an expert in your field.
Your platform is a leading indicator of your ability to sell books; publishers will judge the attractiveness of your book by the size of your following along with relevance, uniqueness, and consistency of your message.
Publishers, today, are as interested in your author platform as they are your ideas and your qualifications to write a book!
Here are some questions to ask about your 2010 platform-building efforts:
- How accurately does your blog or website tell your story and represent your capabilities and the benefits you offer?
- How many blog posts did you write this year? How does that number compare to last year?
- How many guest posts did you prepare for other blogs in your field?
- How many speeches, presentations, teleseminars, or webinars did you make this year. Did you reach a greater number of prospects this year?
- How many conferences, workshops, or networking events did you attend this year, compared to the previous year?
- When preparing fresh content for articles, blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, and videocasts, do you consider how these projects could be included in a future book?
- How many social media followers did you gain on Twitter, FaceBook, or LinkedIn this year?
- Can you create a list of significant relationships that you either began this year, or renewed and strengthened?
- Do you have an organized system you consistently use for saving, backing-up, and accessing previously-created content so it can be reused, re-formatted, or re-purposed?
Habits, ideas, & technology
Personal branding success involves an on-going program of learning and self-development. Here are some ways to measure your 2010 progress, as a prelude to creating a self-development program for 2011:
- How many writing, Internet marketing, or time management/productivity books did you read during 2010? What are some of the new techniques and tools you’re using on a daily basis?
- What new software, social media, or web marketing skills did you learn this year, or learn to use more efficiently?
- Are you engaging with coaches or mastermind groups to learn new habits and gain fresh perspectives from others?
- Do you feel more capable and confident than you did a year ago? Are you more in control of your destiny than you were a year ago?
Take notes as you address the above questions. As you review your responses, look for areas where you can add or update your responses. Your answers to the above questions will provide the basis of the commitments you need to make if you want 2011 to be a year of success–regardless of the challenges your competition or the economy may place in your way. Please feel free to suggest other questions or indicators of personal branding success as comments, below.
Roger C. Parker wants to help you make right choices writing a brand-building book. He blogs every weekday. His latest book is #BOOK TITLE Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, & Event Titles.