Julissa at computer

Understanding how to structure a plan for your personal brand

Julissa at computer

Julissa shares tips from the work she does planning personal brands for her clients

These days, professionals are treating their PERSONAL brand (professional image) with the same degree of thought and seriousness as any business branding – because we know we are an extension of the business in which we work.

Most would agree that having a clear plan for your personal brand concept and promotion is important in order to create a clear, consistent and highly effective image. But just how do you go about a personal brand plan?

1. Define your goals

When I work with clients one-on-one or when I present workshops and seminars on personal branding, I always begin with the why. If you aren’t clear on what you’re trying to achieve and why, you won’t end up with a clear, effective message.

2. Assess current collateral

Once you know what you want to achieve with your personal branding, you can take stock of where it’s currently at. This can be a complex process and it’s helpful to seek the opinion of relevant others to gain insight into what image you are currently projecting, and how clear and consistent it is. At this point it’s also helpful to get advice on trends and expectations of professional branding in the current market – for example, some old-school styles of portrait photography and web design just don’t cut it anymore.

My clients and workshop participants work through a comprehensive checklist to assess elements of their current branding and find where it’s helping or hindering their goals.

3. Rework your image

Now that you know what needs changing, you can develop a creative concept for your personal brand. This involves many elements including social media, images, video, text, work samples, testimonials, CV or bio and more. Working with a personal brand specialist is a great way to ensure you cover each element strategically, tying it all in with your overall brand message and goals.

4. Get feedback

Before you unleash your new brand to the world, take the time to test it out on a relevant audience, and make tweaks if necessary. It will save a lot of time and heartache as you work towards your business or career goals, if your image is where it should be from the start!

5. Map out your promotion

All this planning is wonderful but it means nothing if it’s not implemented. Many companies comment that they book in professional development but for one reason or another, nothing gets implemented from the learning – it’s great if part of the program involves practical sessions and follow-up with the presenter or consultant!

For my one-on-one clients, I give them digital tools I have created to ensure they consider all relevant areas of marketing and map out a timeline for implementation. It also becomes a great assessment tool – if you’ve had a great month, it’s easy to see how it correlates with the promotional work you’ve done in the lead-up.

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