Personal Branding (and Why it Matters!)

In today’s day and age, information is everywhere. We can’t escape it! We are bombarded by information, reviews and opinions on the Internet, television, social media sites, chat groups, text messages, and hundreds of other communication channels. In essence, we live in a world of constant connectivity with global audiences.

I know I talk a lot about product branding, but given our exposed lives, we have to understand the importance of personal branding as well. So I ask, have you taken the time to evaluate how you and your business come across on various channels? This is something that we should all be monitoring regularly in order to ensure that we are maintaining a positive impression.

In this age of information, personal branding is absolutely critical. It is how we appear to the world – our colleagues, friends, family, clients, and even strangers. If you show up to a meeting looking a mess, how can anyone trust you and have confidence to keep your business looking good? Our personal brands need to be well defined and consistent in order to successfully “self package” and market ourselves.

We’ve heard some great speakers and have done a lot of research on personal branding, and as a result, we’ve created this checklist to help.

Take a moment to evaluate your personal brand:

Branding Must-Haves

  • Professional headshot
  • Biography (both long and short versions)
  • Business card
  • Speaker one sheet
  • Capability single sided, one sheet
  • Media kit (if appropriate)
  • Testimonials or case studies from clients

Leadership Roles

  • Board member
  • Committee member
  • Association member
  • Volunteer
  • Industry award winner

Thought Leadership

  • Publish an article or column
  • Keynote speaker at an event
  • Create a white paper
  • Publish a book
  • Blog regularly

Digital Influence

  • Do you have a website?
    • Is it mobile adaptive?
  • Have you Googled yourself or your company?
  • Are you an obvious expert in your field?
  • Does your Google search produce mostly positive or negative results?

Social Media Authority

  • Facebook professional page
    • Do you have an engaging profile picture and cover photo?
    • Do you update content and post regularly?
    • Have you started any Facebook groups?
    • Do you participate in other Facebook groups?
  • LinkedIn
    • Is your profile completely filled out with detail?
    • Do you have 500+ connections?
    • Do you post content regularly?
    • Have you started any LinkedIn groups?
    • Do you regularly participate in other LinkedIn groups?
  • Twitter
    • Do you have a custom background photo?
    • Do you tweet and re-tweet others regularly?
    • Is your Twitter aligned with your personal brand?
    • Do you tweet articles and updates relevant to your industry?
    • Are you connected with other industry professionals or industry journalists?

After going through this personal branding checklist, how do you measure up? Which categories do you need to work on the most? What should your priorities be to increase your brand presence? Are there other categories you would add to this checklist? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!