What is Your Personal Brand?
Whether you know it or not you have a personal brand. Most of us haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about what our personal brand is, and very few people actively work on creating their brands. With the increasing availability of information, it is becoming more and more important to take charge of your brand and control your image.
Here are 6 questions to ask yourself to help you understand what your current personal brand is:
1. What 3 adjectives would I use to describe myself?
When you think about yourself and how you want other people to think about you – what three adjectives come to mind? Think about what you value most – intelligence? humor? athleticism? Write these down.
2. What 3 adjectives do my family and friends say best describe me?
Over the next day or two start asking your family and friends to write down the three adjectives that best describe you on pieces of paper (you can tell them to do this anonymously so they don’t hold back). After you’ve asked 5 to 10 people for their input, take a look at the answers they gave you and organize them into the top 3 words that people used most often.
Feel free to combine similar words like “intelligent” and “smart.”
3. If I Google my name, what do the articles on the first page suggest about me?
Take a few minutes to Google yourself. Make sure you put quotation marks around your name like “Jane Doe.” This will increase the likelihood that the responses you get are relevant. From the Google results page (without clicking on anything) write down the impression provided by each article.
For example, if there’s an article about you winning a soccer tournament you can write “athletic.” Do this for all of the articles on the first page.
4. If someone were to look at all my social posts over the past week (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.) what impression would they get of me?
Take a look at all your social accounts. Look at the posts from the last week and write down one adjective per post.
For example, if you made a post complaining about an “F” on a paper that might suggest “poor student” to an observer, or if there is a post complaining about someone else, that might leave the impression of being negative.
5 – If I look at all the social posts that someone has tagged me in, what do they say about me?
Posts that other people make about us, such as pictures they put online or things they tag us in, also contribute to our personal brand. We have much less control over what other people do online, so making sure we’re promoting our personal brand at all times enables us to better control the story.
Now look at the posts that other people have tagged you in – write down one adjective for each of these.
6 – Do the answers to questions #2 through #5 align with my answer to #1?
If the answers align, you are well on your way to creating your personal brand. If they do not align, what steps can you take to help create a more positive personal brand?