PERSONAL BRAND TUNE UP FOR 2013

Your personal brand is how people perceive you, good or bad, in your market, industry, community and organization.  The beginning of the year is a good time to assess your brand and determine what’s working and what needs improvement.

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Start with the basics and ask yourself these questions.
How do I want people to perceive me?  Is what their impression of me what I want and what I expected?  There are several ways to determine the answers.  Start by looking at your social media.  Have you been picking up friends and followers consistently?  Are followers and friends liking your posts? Are they sharing and commenting?  Are you getting endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn?  If the answer to each question is yes, your brand is resonating.

If you are not getting the desired response, look at what you are posting and examine if it is consistent with you brand goals and mission.  A direct way to find out if your brand’s message is effective is to personally ask contacts.  Ask people who you know will give you honest and straight answers.  Don’t ask yes men; the truth may hurt, but a little pain today will help you focus and reach your long term desired goals.

Assess you goals and mission.  Clarify them or if you don’t have a mission and passion statement create them.

No tune up would be complete without setting goals.  Goals for your brand can be diverse, but they should all focus on the spreading your message, attracting attention and building your follower base.  The larger and more involved your follower base the greater traction and amplification your brand will receive.   These are some examples of personal branding goals:
1) Post daily on social media content consistent with your brand.
2) Create interesting and engaging brand content (blog posts, video posts, social media posts).
3) Share information from others that is consistent with your brand.
4) Create a personal marketing time budget. (Ask yourself how much time will you spend marketing yourself in the real world and cyber world?)
5) Set weekly, monthly and yearly community growth goals.  (Ask yourself how many LinkedIn connections, twitter followers and Facebook fans do you need?)

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Your image matters.  Therefore a personal brand tune up should include new photos on social sites and profiles.  Change your Facebook page image and customize your backgrounds on twitter, YouTube and other sites.

Profiles get old fast. Review your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and website. Update them with new or current activities.  Mention recent successes, accomplishments and affiliations. This keeps your information and personal brand fresh.

Perception is reality.  It’s up to you to take control of how your brand is viewed and how it is projected.  We live in a competitive world and failure to build and tune up your brand regularly will slow its growth allowing competitors and others to grab attention that should have been yours.

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