By Kristen Harris
Branding is important in helping a product stand out from the pack. Important enough that clients hire us creatives to help them create, grow, market, and sell brands all day long.
We believe that individual personal brands are just as important. For more on that see our article Brand You: Are You Carefully Crafting Your Personal Brand?
Personal brands are like company cultures–everyone has one, whether it’s something that was purposefully created or evolved when no one was looking. So, are you a brand that people know and trust? How do you appear to others? Do you even know?
When is the last time you took a look at your personal brand? We recommend a personal brand audit every so often, to be sure your brand is intentionally communicating what you want to share with the world.
When doing a personal brand audit, take a look at these four key areas:
What You Do. This isn’t just a list of software you know, years of experience, and tasks you can complete. What do you REALLY do? What problems can you solve? Just like a product, people need a reason to try something new, to try you. What do you provide that others don’t?
How You Do It. With creative work, everyone approaches it in a slightly different way. What’s different about how you do your work? What are your unique and special talents? How do you approach a problem? Is there a system or process you apply to your work that gets certain results? Can you share an interesting behind-the-scenes view of what you do and how you do it? Share your strengths and unique superpowers (not sure about your strengths? Check out Be Your Best: Using Strengths at Work.
Your Communication Style. This covers everything from the style of your work to how you interact with others; it shows up in how you present yourself in-person, online and on paper. Are you clear, direct and to the point? Do you share lots of details or provide solutions through storytelling? Are you relentlessly positive, or maybe you maintain a healthy level of cynicism that helps you spot problems before they pop up? How do you communicate who you are and what you care about in every situation?
Your Values and Beliefs. What do you care about? What are the values, principles, and beliefs that guide your work? What’s so important that you just can’t and won’t compromise, no matter what? Why does your work matter, what’s important about it? Tell us how you’re making an impact, solving a problem, or making the world a better place.
We live in a world of branding and online presence, it’s inescapable. So do a quick audit to make sure the personal brand you’re projecting is the one you want.
Kristen Harris is the COO • Co-Creator of Portfolio Creative. A central Ohio firm solely focused on creative roles, Portfolio Creative has been connecting companies with the top creative talent for onsite staffing, full-time direct hire, and project needs since 2005.