When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Having a system in place can greatly benefit your branding efforts by providing a comprehensive and clear set of objectives and processes for consistently branding your name. By following a clear system you can be more efficient and more effective.
Be Clear from the Beginning
Start by developing a statement about your brand’s vision. Make your statement as clear, concise and brief as possible; include who you are, what you do and what your promise is. This doesn’t need to be an official statement, but it will serve to guide you through the process and clarify your identity in your own mind as you move forward. What will you be remembered for? What is your position in the market and what advantages do you have?
Identify Your Natural Strengths
Your natural strengths will be the core of your personal brand. Your natural strengths will inevitably show in everything that you do, and come naturally to you without being forced or faked. Make an effort to discover and identify these strengths so that you can nurture them to their fullest. By building on your natural strengths you not only make your own job easier, but you will find that you can be more sincere and deliver on your promises.
Choose Your Tools
Branding means getting your message in front of an audience that wants to hear it. There are uncountable channels for getting your message out there online: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and many, many more. Take some time to develop a list of these tools and determine which ones are an appropriate fit for your brand. There is never enough time to utilize every single avenue out there, and by determining which ones are most effective for you, you will in the end make your job more effective and more efficient.
Develop Your Design
Consistency is key. When developing the design behind your brand, you should choose appropriate fonts, colors, images and words that accurately represent your brand. Once you have found the right design elements, it’s vital to use them consistently. Over time, these design elements will be inexorably linked to your brand, and whenever you deviate from them you will not only damage your brand but confuse and dilute your customer’s opinion.
Create a Schedule
Developing a schedule for all of your branding efforts will go far in helping you develop your overall brand. It’s hard to be consistent and effective when you are jumping from task to task. Instead of being reactive about your branding efforts, be proactive. Plan ahead, and set up a schedule for all of the tasks you want to accomplish. Break down a list of each task you want to finish by day, week and month. Stick to your schedule, and monitor your accomplishments over time to make sure the schedule is realistic.
Listen to Feedback
Get active on social media networks and listen to your audience. See what people are talking about in your industry and your professional networks. When you understand your audience, you know what they expect and what you need to deliver. You can stay on top of monitoring your personal brand by setting up alerts and watching news feeds for your networks. If you see any negative or questionable comments about you, be positive but proactive about handling them. Ignoring them can be the worst thing you could do.
Keep all of your tools, resources and collateral in one place. You can take advantage of social bookmarking sites, your own desktop bookmarks, spreadsheets or whatever works best for you. Keeping this information organized can save you a lot of time in the long run searching for that tool you haven’t used in several months. Being efficient can be the difference between failure and success.
Monitoring your progress and results can be the most important thing you do. As you move forward, look back on your progress and ask yourself what is working and what isn’t. If there are certain objectives that aren’t being accomplished, drop them from your schedule or find a new way to incorporate them in the future. Also, try hard to set aside a little time each month to research and seek out new ways to improve your efforts.