Time for a Personal Brand Audit?

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When’s the last time you’ve Googled your name? If you haven’t before, it’s probably time to conduct a mini personal brand audit. Try it. Make sure to Google all images associated with your name as well. Yep, images. Take an objective look at your own Facebook profile and see how others may perceive you. Whether that’s through the eyes of your grandmother, your boss or your clients.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a sports league or a small business owner, personal branding is crucial and you should be keeping your finger on your brand’s pulse. Fortunately, given this day and age, social media provides a stage for us to showcase our own personal brand through resources, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Live Video Streaming, etc.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to defining your personal brand, try describing yourself to someone else. Recently, I was interviewed by writer, Joel Stein, for a branding piece he was writing for TIME Magazine. I started off asking him the same question, and he responded as described here:

“I told her I was lazy, self-involved and sexually frustrated. Martin, who is very good at her job, turned “lazy” into “needing stimulation,” which she then turned into “dynamic” and finally “rock star.” She transformed “self-involved” into “open.” Starting to get it, I suggested that “sexually frustrated” is really just “sexy.” (Amy said:) “I think the first two for sure.”  – Joel Stein.

When it comes to branding, it’s important to remember that people don’t associate with company logos and corporate headquarters, they associate a brand with the person and a personality, behind those boardroom doors. Humans connect with humans. Not logos. Social media allows big corporations the ability to connect on a personal level as well as be accessible to consumers. Here are a few good examples of business and organizations that have used social media to enhance their brands:

Dana White / UFC
Doug Ulman / LIVESTRONG
Tony Hsieh / Zappos
Shaquille O’Neal
Ashton Kutcher
Conan O’Brien
Ochocinco

Personal branding is imperative for any successful business. But, first start by defining your brand and then develop a strategy to promote it, or as my good friend Ron Burgundy would say, “Shout it from top of a mountain….” So step up to the plate and take charge of your own personal brand, before outsiders define your brand for you.

“If you don’t give your brand some thought, you become the guy whose funeral is all about how much he loved the Mets. A funeral is the ultimate brand evaluation,” Martin said. “Luckily, it’s not hard to find a rabbi who is into snark.” – Joel Stein.

Read the entire TIME Magazine article here.

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