Branding Checklist for Your Advisors and Your Firm

Brad Shepard Enterprise

 

There are a handful of personal branding habits you only have to be done once or a few times a year, such as defining your personal brand goals, reviewing your professional bio, and checking your presence in search results for terms that people use when they look you up online.

Other habits involve weekly action, such as sharing expertise-building content on social media and developing relationships. These regular activities help you achieve your personal brand goals, reinforce your professional story, and improve your presence in relevant search results.

How to turn your personal brand resolutions into regular habits

These checklists tell you exactly what to do each year, quarter, month, and week to help build your personal brand and those of your teammates.

We’ve made a distinction between the recommendations for individuals who want to build their personal brands, and those aimed at companies looking to implement, scale, and see the return on investment of a personal branding program.

A company-wide personal branding initiative requires effective implementation at both the individual and company levels.

Your teammate’s willingness to participate is necessary for a company-wide personal branding program to be successful. You can’t require them to manage their online presence, nor can you do this for them – people must feel intrinsically motivated to build their own personal brands by understanding how it benefits them, personally.

An effective company-level implementation will empower your team with the knowledge and tools they need to build their individual personal brands.

 

YEARLY PERSONAL BRANDING CHECKLISTS

Yearly Personal Brand Building Checklist for Individuals

[   ] Define Your Personal and Professional Goals

As the Cheshire Cat says in Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

To know which roads to take this year – which risks, initiatives, habits are worth taking on – you must first have an idea of your ideal destination.

Imagine yourself a year from now:

  • What do you wake up and do every day?
  • Which skills are you best known for?
  • What adjectives would be used to describe you?
  • Which regular habits would be required to achieve these goals?

[   ] Craft Your Personal Brand Story

Write a brief biography that summarizes your professional history while displaying your personality. Connect the dots for your audience by describing how past experiences have led to your current professional situation.

To write a strong personal brand story, try incorporating some or all of the following elements:

  • Quantifiable Facts: Provide specific numbers as often as possible when describing how much experience you have in your field and the results you have achieved for your clients or employers.
  • Personal and Professional Passions: Including “extracurricular” interests in your biography helps make you more memorable, as does conveying why your professional experience excites you on a personal level.
  • Validation: Better than describing yourself as “creative” or a “good communicator”, list any awards or accolades that serve as third party validation of these traits.
  • Contact Information: Clarify who should contact you (i.e. what types of clients and/or needs you currently serve) and the best way to reach you.

Yearly Personal Brand Building Activities for Companies

[   ] Encourage Your Team to Define Their Goals

Issue a reminder (or series of reminders) to your team, encouraging them to define their personal brand goals for one year from now.

Take this opportunity to reiterate the benefits of personal branding to your team. This will help you to incentivize them to take this first step in building their online presence in such a way that’s grounded in their real-life goals.

[   ] Remind Your Team to Update Their Biographies

As part of the same yearly reminders, remind your team to update their bios to reflect any new accomplishments, milestones, or highlights of the year that impact their personal brand story.

Provide your team with guidelines on how to write a strong professional bio, per our recommendations above. As part of these guidelines, list out the different places where your team members may want to update their personal brand story, such as:

  • Company website
  • Personal microsite
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Twitter profile

Use a tool like Kredible’s Kdna to get a top-level report on the percentage of your employees that have filled out the biography sections of their social media profiles, company websites, and more.

[   ] Define Your Company-Level Personal Branding Goals

Just as it’s important for you and your coworkers to define your individual goals, it’s crucial for your organization to establish personal branding goals at the company level.

Some of the metrics Kredible looks at for our clients include:

  • Employee adoption rate: what percentage of your employees participate in the program?
  • Profile improvement rate: how much have your employees’ online profiles improved since starting the program?
  • Content sharing rates: how much company and industry content have your employees been sharing since starting the program?
  • New business: how many new leads and sales have been generated by participating employees?
  • Repeat business: how many renewed contracts and customer upsells have been generated by participating employees?

QUARTERLY PERSONAL BRANDING CHECKLISTS

Quarterly Personal Brand Building Checklist for Individuals

[   ] Audit Your Presence in Search Results

Do you know what comes up when people search for you online?

Once every 3 months, at least, search for yourself on Google. Besides your first and last name, look up keyword combinations such as:

  • Name + Company Name
  • Name + Location
  • Name + Industry

[   ] Improve Your Presence in Search Results

Since 90% of people don’t venture past the first page of search results, the first ten results that show up are the most important to your personal brand.

To optimize your search results, you can take steps to remove specific links you don’t want to show up or you can crowd them off the first page with good content that enhances your personal brand.

If you want to improve your presence in search results:

  • Join new social networks that relate to your personal brand goals: at the very least, make sure you have a profile on LinkedIn.
  • Build out your social media profiles with keywords that people are likely to search in conjunction with your name.
  • Share content on social media to help your profiles rank higher in search results, while bolstering your credibility as an expert in your field.
  • Go above and beyond by publishing original content, either on a website or blog that you manage, or a social blogging platform such as Medium or LinkedIn Pulse.

Quarterly Personal Brand Building Activities for Companies

[   ] Audit Your Team’s Presence in Search Results

Considering how your employees’ personal brands impact your company’s bottom line, it’s important to get a temperature check on your team’s search presence as a whole.

It would be a cumbersome process to search for every single employee, then aggregate your findings into a big-picture analysis of your whole team’s search presence.

Kredible’s Kdna reports do this automatically: giving you a top-level view of how effectively employees at your company are presenting themselves online.

We recommend running a Kdna analysis once every quarter, then sharing the report with your team. Use this occasion to re-iterate the value of personal brand building, in terms of how it can help your teammates’ individual careers as well as the company’s bottom line.

MONTHLY PERSONAL BRANDING CHECKLISTS

Monthly Personal Brand Building Checklist for Individuals

[   ] Check Your Social Media Metrics and Refine Your Sharing Strategy

Once per month, make a point to check the analytics of your social media posts to learn what types of content resonate most with your audience.

A tool like the Kredible Share Center allows you to easily find and share professional content on social media, then view analytics on how each post performed.

You’ll want to look at metrics such as:

  • Number of clicks on the links you shared
  • Number of likes, comments, and shares on your posts
  • Number of people who saw your posts

By seeing what content topics and formats are most successful with your online audience, you can refine your social sharing strategy and more effectively build your personal brand.

Monthly Personal Brand Building Checklist for Companies

[   ] Check Your Team’s Social Media Metrics and Refine Your Company’s Strategies

Just as individuals can refine their sharing strategy by making note of what works best, your organization can benefit from rolling up all of these individual-level metrics into a company-level social media snapshot.

The Kredible platform allows you to analyze, across all employees, what types of content drive the most clicks, interactions, and views.

This information helps you refine your company’s approach to both employee personal branding and content marketing, assuming that some if not most of the content your team members share will be your company’s own branded content.

Once you know what works best, you can focus your company’s content creation efforts on the higher performing topics and formats while deemphasizing those that don’t resonate as much with your audience.

WEEKLY PERSONAL BRANDING CHECKLISTS

Weekly Personal Brand Building Checklist for Individuals

[   ] Share at Least 2 Pieces of Professional Content on Social Media

Build your credibility in your area of expertise by sharing at least 2 pieces of professionally relevant content on social media each week.

Use a tool like the Kredible Share Center to find the latest articles about your company and industry, then share them on your professional social networks.

Refer to our recommendations on how to create a process for regularly sharing content and best practices for posting in such a way that maximizes engagement.

[   ] Keep Up With Relationships on Social Media

Barring messages sent by spammers and robots, try to answer direct messages on social media within a few days at most.

Besides responding to people who’ve contacted you first, try reaching out to at least one person with whom you’d like to build a relationship. Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch with old relationships and making new ones, use it to set up conversations with strategic individuals or “just in case” meetings with people you find interesting.

Weekly Personal Brand Building Checklist for Companies

[   ] Send Your Team a Social Media Sharing Reminder

Encourage your team to be active on social media by sending them a weekly reminder.

As part of our weekly email reminders, we provide each individual employee with their online credibility score and link them to the Kredible platform – where they can receive guidance on how to build their score. Our tools walk people through the process of strengthening their social media profiles, auditing their search presence, and sharing new content through the Share Center.

SHARE THIS POST WITH YOUR TEAM

Get your team on board with personal branding! Share this blog post with your coworkers, and refer to our SlideShare presentation for a summary of the steps above in checklist form.

If you liked this post, check out our Employee Advocacy Guide to learn how to launch and scale a successful employee advocacy guide at your company!