Your personal brand checklist – Birds on the Blog

Your personal brand checklist

Robin WaiteWhether you like it or not, it’s not just books that people judge by their covers – they’re judging you too, using a whole range of indicators.

Someone who understands this really well is Robin Waite, founder of web strategy agency Coconut. Rob moved from designing websites into business and brand consultancy because he realised very quickly that many of the business owners he was speaking to didn’t realise that their website was just a small part of the bigger branding picture.

I asked Rob how his own website and his book Online Business Startup linked together, which is a question I often ask guests on the show, but his answer was more interesting than most:

‘The book and the website just form part of this, marketing ecosystem, if you like. They cross-pollinate each other, so I will direct people from the book to the websites, my social media channels, to all sorts of different things. Then vice versa, I use the book to leverage my marketing and my PR and my speaking engagements and things like that. It’s not how the book links to the website, necessarily, it’s how everything is just set in this big ecosystem now of my personal brand. That is something that was missing for a very long time.’

So what is your personal brand? And does it serve as an ecosystem within which all your online and offline activities can flourish? Here are a few questions to get you started:

Who are you when no-one’s watching?

It all starts with who you really are. What matters to you, what makes you laugh, what makes you angry? Some people try to create a personal brand that’s more about who they wish they were, or based on someone they admire, rather than who they really are. But it’s exhausting trying to keep up an act, and pointless, because inevitably people will see through it sooner or later. Rob is practical and systems-minded, and that’s what comes across in everything he does and says. What’s distinctive about the way you do things and how is that reflected in your branding?

What are your assets, online and offline?

Your assets are the building blocks of your brand. Online they include your logo, domain name(s), website(s), imagery, copy, social media profiles, and perhaps richer more complex elements such as a blog or vlog, podcast, and/or online communities. Offline assets might include tangible elements such as your office, marketing materials and so on, but also events, talks, and of course your book. It’s worth doing an audit, so that you you can check….

How consistent are they?

This is something Rob taught me some time ago: across these multiple touch-points, are you recognisably the same person? If there’s consistency both visually – colours, fonts and particularly your profile pictures – and in the words you use to describe yourself and your services – your biographies, straplines, and descriptions, for example – there’s a powerful reinforcing effect. Too much inconsistency and people lose confidence. Not only does inconsistency weaken your personal brand, it can confuse your potential customers.

Where are you going and why should anyone care?

A personal brand is all well and good, but if you’re not doing something interesting with it, why should anyone give two hoots? At the epicentre of your brand ecosystem is this most fundamental of questions: Why are you here? When you’re clear on your purpose, and when you can communicate that purpose authentically, passionately and consistently online and off, then you’re building a brand worth having.
(And of course, as Rob discovered, a book is a particularly powerful brand-building tool!)

You can hear the full interview with Rob in the Extraordinary Business Book Club on 28 November.

And for more on building your personal brand, take a look at these two posts by Jacqui Malpass:

5 things you need to know before you create your personal brand plan – part 1

5 things you need to know before you create your personal brand plan – part 2

About the Author Alison Jones

Alison is a book coach and publishing partner for businesses and organizations with something to say. She hosts the Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast.

follow me on: