Whenever possible, you should follow a logical progression as you construct an online personal brand. (I say ‘whenever possible’ because for many of us it is something we have to react to what is already out there.) But ideally speaking, you want to establish an identity before projecting it onto networks and social media. And as you construct your personal brand, you want to get a handle on how others perceive you in stages. So you can respond and take control of impressions before releasing your personal brand to an entire target audience. Finally, it is an ongoing commitment so it requires constant attention and monitoring.
I created a simple ladder of eight steps to illustrate this progression, and once you get there, there are another four things you should consider doing in perpetuity; personal branding is a career long endeavor.
- Become self-aware. Take personality, interests, and/or strengths test to get a firm grip on what you are all about.
- Take inventory of brand assets. What content, core competencies, or knowledge do you already possess?
- Identify a target market. List clients, associates, potential employers, and whoever else you are trying to reach. It is not all about you.
- Conduct competitor analysis. Know who you are competing against, so you can differentiate and benchmark.
- Build a personal website. This is the centerpiece of your online personal brand; it is something you will keep throughout your career.
- Create social media profiles. If you do not already have an account, build a profile based on the intended purpose of the service and what you are trying to project. If you already have an account, you want to repurpose what’s out there to fit your personal brand.
- Get feedback. Release the ‘Alpha’ version of your personal brand to a small cadre to get an understanding of their perceptions. Respond accordingly.
- Start making connections. Now you are ready to reach out to your target audience.
You can view more graphics related to online personal branding at: www.onlinepersonalbrand.org