Managing Your Online Personal Brand Part 2- Your Personal Brand Assessment

Tools for Managing Your Online Personal Brand – Part II

In Part 1 of this article, we reviewed why you should invest time in developing your personal brand online. Whether to enforce your online reputation, to help your current endeavors or future goals, the first place to start is with a personal brand assessment. You need to uncover your “personal brand strengths,” or top three skills—the things you want to be known for. Think in terms of the skills you list on LinkedIn or keywords you’d want to be found by, by a search engine.

In my LinkedIn Marketing Training and related four-week webinar course, most participants respond to this question by saying something to the effect that people tell them they excel at this and that. This underscores how to begin defining your personal brand strengths or as the title here suggests: Your Personal Brand Assessment. So, let’s get started:

  • Ask your closest colleagues, directors or employees what they see as your top three skills or “personal brand strengths.” See how they respond on an unaided basis. If they find it difficult, share with them a list you’ve prepared.
  • Pose this question to at least 20 people.
    You may not think that you know 20 people well, but this an opportunity to check back with former colleagues, suppliers, people you see regularly at industry association events, and so forth. This feedback will enable you to start drilling down to define your targeted personal brand keyword phrases.
  • In the world of SEO, we look at 2-3 words per keyword phrase, so thinking in terms of SEO will be very helpful to you at the outset and for your future Google rankings. Let’s assume that an example of a keyword phrase for you is: healthy gourmet caterer. The two adjectives narrow the search for “caterer” to one who is both gourmet and healthy. Anyone searching Google for such a caterer should come up with you.

In the full personal brand assessment that I provide in my group and individual courses on personal branding, I review 10 points around which to build a personal brand. By thinking and planning for these 10 points, you will ensure your success.

Let me share the top 5 with you so that you can start thinking about the whats, whys and hows of your own personal brand:

  1. Your vision and purpose.  Why are you creating this personal brand? What is its purpose? Who does it serve and how? What is your long-term view of where this personal brand will take you?
  2. Your Personal and Professional Goals.  This is a biggie. What are your goals? Are you seeking to establish a national reputation? Are you interested in being known as a top notch leader of an organization? Are you looking to build and grow your own business? Perhaps you are simply looking to land your dream job. Whatever your goals are, you need to define them upfront so your investment of time and money in your personal brand delivers a strong ROI.
  3. Your Top Skills.  Just as you would do on LinkedIn under your Personal Profile, you need to list your top skills. Underneath those skills, add your specific experience. You can then evaluate where to best emphasize your strengths. This is important for your future 15-second elevator pitch, which I will review in a future blog post on
  4. Your Personal Branding Keywords. To drive credibility or SEO interest around your personal brand, you will need to start making a list of keyword phrases that support your competitive position, strengths, skills and location. Your personal brand keywords, when defined and analyzed for search importance and competitiveness (I’ll will also discuss this in a future article), can be used to boost your LinkedIn profile awareness and potential Google search results.
  5. Your Target Audience. You cannot expect to sell your product or yourself without a thorough understanding of your exact target audience. Define your target audience by industry type, company type(s), position/title of decision maker, annual revenue, buying behavior patterns and location(s). Once you complete your Personal Brand Digital Marketing Plan, you will be able to dig deeper: with data on your target search behavior, influencer circles, activity in social media channels and more. A complete Digital Marketing Strategy should include the items in the list I deliver in mine—which I have done for more than 50 personal brands. See this list.


Next week we’ll discuss your personal style. Which will dictate your imagery, your messaging and define your content plan. Until then, here’s an exercise: Think of one or more business executives (or physicians, educators, architects or respected person in whatever industry you’re in). Think of what that person stands for in the industry. Think of related people who stand for something else—slightly different or completely different. How do they continue to reinforce and communicate their brands?


To Be Continued To Part 3, Your Personal Style

(coming next week)