What do you stand for? What is your personal brand? I’ve spoken and written plenty about the subject—now it’s time for you to perform a self evaluation. Ask colleagues or friends the following questions (if you’re not comfortable asking them, do your best to answer them honestly from their perspective.)
1) Describe my personality in three words.
2) What are my most valuable skills?
3) When you hear my name, what single word comes to mind first?
4) What makes me different from everyone else?
5) Describe my attitude in one word.
Make sure that you ask several people these questions so that you can develop an accurate picture.
The answers to these questions will paint a strong picture of the personal brand you’ve been broadcasting. Look at the results—are they what you would have hoped for? Do coworkers and other friends recognize the skills that you want them to recognize? Is their perception of what makes you different what you’d hoped it would be?
If the answer is yes, congratulations! You’ve just confirmed that the efforts you’re making to brand yourself are working. That doesn’t mean you’re done branding, obviously, but it does mean that you are on the right track.
If your survey returned mixed results, you know you’re doing at least some things right. Focus in on the areas in which you aren’t conveying the traits you’d like to be conveying. For instance, let’s say you want to be known as a great problem solver, but nobody listed that as a descriptive trait. Begin brainstorming ways in which you can begin emphasizing that aspect of your personality. That could mean blogging about challenges you’ve overcome (obviously you need to do this subtly—blatantly telling the world “I am a great problem solver!” won’t help anything) or it could mean helping others solve problems of their own. I use Twitter to share my passions with my followers—take a look at my profile and it won’t take you long to realize that I’m into music, marketing, and writing, among other things!
And if the feedback you received wasn’t at all what you hoped for, don’t despair. You’ve got plenty of time to redefine your personal brand. Take a look at past blog entries and articles that I’ve written for some tips to get you headed in the right direction.