How to create your personal brand instantly (14 Point Checklist)
The 14-Point Personal Branding Checklist (Do This Immediately)
HOW TO CREATE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND INSTANTLY
PERSONAL BRAND = EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE
+ EVERYTHING PEOPLE BELIEVE YOU TO BE.
Effective personal branding is owning the online space at the crossroads between when you’re doing something important and when someone that matters looks you up.
“If you liked it then you shoulda put your name on it.” — Beyoncé
Oh, wait. Is that not what Beyoncé said?
Oh well. That’s what she should have said.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
If you like your name, put it online. If not, someone else will control your online identity. Worse, someone might smear it.
Your name, your personal brand, will outlast your current employer or station in life. Owning you online can help you bridge the gap between project-to-project, job-to-job. With a little effort, you can create an authentic online personal identity that is sustainable and able to evolve as you evolve.
If you want to live in hiding and stay away from showing up on Internet search results, well, it’s too late. The Internet has already found you. Over your lifetime, and post-mortem, search results for your name will only increase. Like it or not, a fact of modern man is: you’ve been found!
There are spiders crawling all over the Internet 24 hours a day, searching for your name. Sounds freaky, I know, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Depending on how you position yourself, this can be a massive opportunity.
These search-spiders don’t just want to find you, they want to find the real you.
They’re searching for the most relevant you. So you can choose, is the most relevant search for your name turning up a wild image that your friend tagged you in on Facebook (worried about your high-school or college days coming back to haunt you)? Or, is the world’s most relevant search result for your name something you have a say in — CONTROL OVER?
WHY YOU NEED TO BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN PERSONAL ONLINE BRANDING
The purpose of personal online branding is to help people discover the real you.
The irony of today’s day and age is that virtual reality (online presence) is what we use to confirm actual reality (physical presence/competence).
DO THIS FIRST
A personal brand isn’t a logo or a color scheme or a fancy font–those things can be an important part of your brand identity, but they’re definitely not the entirety of your personal brand.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA:
Register (or update) your first and last name with every major social media site.
- In other words, when you sign up for these social sites they may give you a random URL for your profile like Facebook.com/123456789abc. You want to go in and change it to Facebook.com/FirstNameLastName. For example, my Facebook name is Facebook.com/RichieNorton and my fanpage is Facebook.com/RichieNortonLive.
- Go in and create your custom url/username for all your social media accounts. For example, Facebook (personal), Facebook (Fan page), Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium, YouTube and other social sites related to your field.
- If you don’t know how to create a custom url/username (they change the process on how to do it from time to time), then just Google this “how to create a custom url username for _______” — put in the name of the social site that you want to use where the space is.
- If you don’t already have these social media accounts, go and get them now before someone else gets your name.
- You don’t have to use all of your social media accounts (right now); you’re just protecting your name. You’re owning your space.
- If your name is taken, you can possibly reverse the order of your name (last name first) or come up with another way of including both your first and last name by putting a dot, dash or underscore between your first and last name. The idea is to create the opportunity for search engines to pick up on your name.
Now write down somewhere all your social media handles (or email to yourself) so you have them handy. Print out this article and write on it if it’s helpful.
2. GRAB OR UPDATE YOUR DOMAIN:
If possible, buy your first and last name and register it (I use GoDaddy.com). I own the .com, .net and .org of my name (www.RichieNorton.com).
What are your domain(s)?
NOW THAT YOU HAVE PROTECTED YOUR ONLINE SPACE, YOU NEED TO START CREATING YOUR PERSONAL ONLINE BRAND/IDENTITY
Answer these questions
3. BRAND YOU:
What makes you, YOU?
- When was a time when you most felt like yourself?
- What were you doing? Why did it make you feel that way? Who is the “authentic” you?
What are your values?
- Write down your values and what you stand for. Values are the things you consider to be most important to you in your life. Like family, freedom, honesty, integrity, self-reliance, ability, professionalism, happiness, service, trust, etc.
What things or activities get you excited?
- You could include things like travel, technology, graphic design, photography, entrepreneurship, eliminating debt, starting projects, etc.
Send an email to 5 people that you trust and tell them that you are developing your personal online brand.
- Ask them to tell you what they think are your 5 strongest traits/characteristics. In return, thank them, then email them back what you think are their 5 strongest traits/characteristics. (Emailing them back something nice is respectful, they’ll like it, it will build report and its just good karma!)
What part of your professional life are you the best at that you also enjoy doing most? List these things.
- You want to show the world what you most like doing, because that is what people will hire you (or buy from you) to do. If you show stuff you don’t like doing, you’ll end up getting more inquiries for what you don’t like. If you show what you like doing, you’ll end getting more inquiries for what you do like.
What do you want your career and life to look like over the next 1–3 years?
- You already know the answer to this from the 4Ps of Progress activity. Write down what you see yourself doing in the next 1–3 years professionally. We will want to build out your social media profiles to be inline with this vision.
Who is your target audience?
- What do they want to see in you? What do they want to know about you? You want to give them (authentically) those things.
Now go find three people that you admire in your industry that you would like to model or benchmark. Not copy. You want to look at all of their social profiles and their website, etc. and emulate what they’re doing and then surpass them.
- Who are the three people you’d like to benchmark?
11. FILL IT IN:
Now that you know what kind of profiles you like, go and fill in all your profiles with biographical information that is consistent with…
- 1) who you are,
- 2) your values,
- 3) what excites you,
- 4) the good that others say about you,
- 5) your expertise,
- 6) your vision, and
- 7) your target audience’s expectations.
12. TIP FOR LINKEDIN:
I suggest you write your LinkedIn profile in the third person. I know there is debate about this, but go take a look at the Founder Reid Hoffman’s profile or the CEO Jeff Weiner’s profile or Malcolm Gladwell’s profile. Unless they’ve changed it recently, they are all in third person. Why? I dunno. Maybe for the following reasons…
- Third person profiles are good because that way the search engines pick up on your name. LI will come up as one of the top pages for your name on Google. Make great use of it!
- Also, people use LinkedIn to share their accomplishments. It sounds less braggy in my opinion when it’s in the third person. Write your LinkedIn profile as if it were something someone would read before you stood up to speak in front of 10,000 people in your target market.
- People use my LI profile to intro me for speeches, podcasts and other features all the time. It’s handy. Like a press kit. What do the readers of your profile want to know about you?
You get to control your brand with LI. Let your ideal audience know things about you that will instill trust. Here’s an example of my bio.
If you go with first person, just know why you’re doing it and make sure it’s getting you results and you’re not decreasing your personal brand equity.
13. PERSONAL SITE
People want to know who you are personally and who you are professionally on your personal site.
- I suggest you write about both of those things. Here is how I do it on my site. Do you notice the credibility markers? The features? The blurbs? The CTA?
Get professional photos taken. Professional doesn’t mean a studio with great lighting and a dark grey background. :-) Could be you outside doing your thing. Use a professional shot for your profile picture that pops. Upload this picture to your social sites. You can use the same picture over and over. Or you can use different pictures for different sites.
- While you’re at it, take a few other types of pictures to show off the things that are important to you. For example, your lifestyle, your friends, your family, your business, your travel, your speaking engagements, etc.
DO A LITTLE TEST:
Whatever your goal, try googling it. Be it a service you wish to provide, a type of product you want to sell etc. Look over the search results and then ask yourself, “If I was in direct competition with one of these people/entities who is actively building a relevant personal online brand, would I win?”
Ready to Increase Your Personal Brand Equity to Double or Triple Your Results in Life and Business?
I’ve created a 2 hour course that I recorded in front of a standing-room only crowd. People had to apply and be accepted to come or pay $1000 per seat. I’m giving this content to you free today to put yourself into the IDEAL SELF-START MODE, immediately. Follow this training and your brand and life and will become more productive and effective to reach your ideal goals within the year.