Personal branding is an iterative process. As you change career paths, relocate, find new lines of work or climb upward at your current job, it’s helpful to step back and reflect on what makes you, you. Answer the questions below to make sure you’re in tune with You, Inc., and can articulate your value effectively to those in a position to advance your career. (For a deeper analysis of your brand, complete ReachCC’s Brand Quiz, developed by William Arruda of Reach Personal Branding -the source of a number of questions below).
1. Can you state your three most relevant and compelling brand attributes (adjectives that describe you)?
My top three brand attributes are:
2. Do you know what those around you think is your greatest strength?
Those around me consider my greatest strength:
3. Can you clearly describe what differentiates you from your competitors?
What differentiates me from my competitors is:
4. Do you have a positioning statement that describes what you offer, for whom and how you’re different?
My positioning statement goes like this:
5. Can you clearly describe your target audience – those people who need to know about you so that you can achieve your goals?
My target audience is:
6. Do you regularly Google yourself and proactively manage your brand online?
7. Do you have a coach, mentor, or someone helping you improve yourself?
Yes / No
8. Do you have an area of thought-leadership or specific point of view that you are known for?
Yes / No
9. Do you know the next step in the evolution of your brand (i.e. What you need to do next to increase your visibility among your target audience members)?
The next step in the evolution of my brand is:
Remember that your brand is how other people feel about you. You need to understand what other people consider your strengths, weaknesses and differentiators. Ask friends, family and coworkers for their objective opinion on what makes you uniquely you. If their thoughts are consistent with your self perceptions, congratulations! Now it’s time to proactively and compellingly articulate Brand You to your target audience. Be consistent and 100% authentic. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2009, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com, the first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S.