Here are 7 questions to ask yourself as you audit your personal brand building efforts this week.
As the first quarter of 2013 ends, and 2013’s second quarter begins, take a little time to audit your recent personal brand building activities.
Audits play a crucial role in personal brand building success.
They provide an opportunity evaluate the progress you have made building your brand, permitting you to learn from your accomplishments and identify areas of improvement.
Auditing your brand once or twice a year is not enough. It fails to provide timely feedback. Yet, for most of us, our schedules are too filled to permit weekly and monthly audits.
Quarterly audits, however, are ideal.
The quarterly perspective is long-enough to highlight trends, yet the details of the events and accomplishments that contribute to our personal brand are still recent enough to be fresh in our minds.
Most important, quarterly frequency means that you can immediately put the lessons to work in the upcoming quarter.
Finding the time to audit your personal brand
Audits, however, don’t happen by themselves. You have to commit the time.
The ideal time for your quarterly audits is first Saturday of the new quarter. You don’t need to schedule a lot of time, 90-minutes or an hour should be enough.
Now is the time to schedule your first quarter audit for this Saturday, and schedule your audits for the second, third, and fourth quarters later this year.
If desired, you can also schedule your audits for the last Saturday of the previous quarters.
7 questions to ask yourself
Here are 7 questions to ask as you audit your personal branding efforts during the first quarter of 2013 and renew your commitments for 2013’s second quarter.
The questions are as valid for recent college graduates as they are for seasoned career-builders and entrepreneurs simultaneously building their brands as they build their business.
- Perspective. Are you viewing your personal brand building from a long-range perspective? This involves creating long-term goals, based on identifying the characteristics you want associated with your brand. It also involves mindfulness that brands aren’t the result of “wishes,” but are “assembled” from everyday decisions and actions at home and in the workplace. How often during the first quarter did you put aside your initial reaction and, instead, act from a long-range point of view?
- Relationships. Are you building strong relationships with clients, prospects, and co-workers? Success is often the result of “lucky breaks” involving endeavors involving friends made in college or in the years following graduation. It pays to view your daily encounters with others as opportunities to build long-term relationships. What are some of the things you did to create long-term relationships with those you met during the first quarter of 2013?
- Research. Are you always looking for new ways to improve your personal brand building? Few can afford the luxury of focusing simply on performance. In today’s fast-paced world, everyone needs to invest time expanding their capabilities by exploring new ways to connect with others through social media and Internet marketing. What new ideas, skills, or techniques–like SlideShare–did you explore during the first quarter of 2013?
- Packaging. Are you appropriately “packaging” your brand through your words, your dress, and the design of your marketing materials?” Does your writing accurately and concisely reflect the value of your ideas? Sloppy writing communicates sloppy thinking, as do disorganized and cluttered business cards and websites. What are some of the steps you took during the first quarter to improve the packaging of your brand?
- Reach. Are you merely performing up to expectations, or do you strive to outperform your previous best? For example, do you undertake writing or presenting projects outside of your comfort zone? When’s the last time you swung for a home run? What did you do to challenge your expectations during the first quarter of 2013?
- Habits. Are you committed to mastering the habits that lead to personal branding success? Although personal branding is often described in terms of strategies and tactics, like search engine optimization, headline writing, and new social media tools, the essence of personal branding success lies in your personal habits. Habits like time management, planning before acting, and leaving time to edit your words before distributing them, are ultimately more important. How effectively did you manage your time during the first quarter of 2013?
- Consistency. How consistent were your personal brand building efforts? Brand-building is a process, not an event. Frequency builds awareness, not occasional excellence. Consistency is easy to measure, because you can easily track the number of blog posts or FaceBook updates you shared. Were you able to keep on schedule with your blog posts, Tweets, and FaceBook/LinkedIn updates during the first quarter of 2013?
Use your answers to evaluate your progress and set new goals for the upcoming quarter.
How do you audit your personal brand building?
The above are just some of the ways you can audit your personal brand. How often do you audit your personal brand building? What are some of the ways you audit your efforts, and the efforts of your clients, co-workers, and competitors? Take a moment to share your auditing ideas, below, as comments.
Roger C. Parker is a writing coach who helps you build your personal brand at Published & Profitable. You’re invited to ask him a writing question.