Personal branding is a process that doesn’t start from scratch. Whether you’ve been actively thinking about your personal brand for years or only just started two chapters ago, you have been building your personal brand for your entire life.
What begins now is the process of taking responsibility for shaping your personal brand. Before you can start crafting the consistent presentation of the essence of what makes you stand out, you first have to discover what that is.
There are four basic steps to discovering your personal brand.
Personal Audit. In this step, you will dig into your personal and work history, your interests and passions, what makes you stand out, and what your current successes are.
Digital Audit. In this step, you will look at what your current personal brand looks like to someone on the Internet. What comes up when you search for your own name? Where are you active? What have other people said about you?
Where Are You Going? In this step, you will think about setting the course for where you want to grow your personal branding efforts. From what work you want to be doing in the future, to what you want your online and offline presence to emphasize.
Where Do You Start? In this step, you will focus on the practical steps to set that course for establishing and growing your personal brand, from identifying examples you respect to identifying opportunities that fit how you want to grow the brand.
For each of these steps, you’ll find an explanation, background information, and a “TO DO” list. The explanation and background information will help you understand the importance and get you thinking. The “TO DO” list gives you concrete tasks that you can check off. Do them on a separate document on your computer to keep track throughout the chapter.
If you follow these steps, by the end of the chapter you’ll have a solid understanding of your personal brand, and a firm platform for building your future personal branding efforts.