Is Your Personal Brand In Alignment With Your Personal Goals?
Personal Brand Development
Building a brand can be tedious, long-term work. The road to success is often difficult, time-consuming, and full of unforeseen roadblocks. Sometimes it might seem impossible to keep up with your never-ending to-do list – creating new content, interacting with your audience, maintaining a website and blog, staying current with your industry’s trends – phew!
How can you balance the priorities of your personal brand without losing yourself in the process? Perhaps it’s time for a check-in and reassessment – is your personal brand in alignment with your personal goals? Strong, actionable goals will help your brand expand clientele, build authority in your industry, and sustain your brand’s presence over the long term.
But trying to figure out how to start determining and completing your goals can be confusing and tiresome. There are 101 strategies and 101 experts who tell you to write a list, keep a journal, enlist a friend for support, make it a challenge – and so on! If you’re new to intentional goal setting or can’t seem to cross off that first goal, try recontextualizing your goals to model SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based.
There are a multitude of reasons you may not have achieved certain goals set in the past. SMART goals establish a baseline to help you construct clear, actionable, and trackable goals.
As you set short-term and long-term goals, some may seem more challenging to achieve than others. If you applied the SMART framework to these more challenging goals but still feel like you're not making progress, consider another perspective – what can you really control?
Consider content management for your brand. You can control the amount of content and the type of content you produce, and you can also control who to reach out to for PR and visibility. But can you control if journalists, reporters, or writers respond to your email or phone calls? Of course not!
Or consider any social media platform – you can control when and what your post, but can you really control the platform's algorithm? No way! Don't beat yourself up if you have a few hiccups here and there with elements that are out of your control.
Conduct An Audit
Ideally, your personal brand should be a reflection of yourself. As you grow as an individual and as a professional, your brand should reflect these growths and accomplishments. A brand audit is a great way to ensure you are on track with your goals and help you set incremental milestones that you can more easily conquer. Here are a few guiding questions to assist you while you audit your brand.
Where's the brand currently?Looking at where your brand is now will determine where the brand could be in the future. These goals can be short-term (quarterly goals) or more long-term (5-10 year plans). Remember, your personal brand is a reflection of you – what does your brand currently say about the person you are now? If your answers vary too much, consider this a pivoting point to make some changes.
What's the brand doing well? Goal setting isn't all about negatives and what you can and should change. Goal setting should also include positives – accomplishments, awards, and other victories. Understanding what is working for your brand will help define what "success" means for your brand. Don't forget to celebrate your successes!
What needs to be improved?Achievements are not met without some obstacles along the way. Maybe impressions could increase on a certain site, or maybe conversion rates are lower than you would like. Your personal brand is a work in progress, and it will ebb and flow as it adjusts to new platforms, new services, and new followers. You won't have all the answers all the time, but acknowledging what needs to be improved is an excellent strategy to pair with goal setting.
What needs to be scrapped?Is there a recent marketing tactic you implemented, but it's not getting the results you expected or wanted? Maybe the timing isn't right, maybe your audience isn't ready yet, or maybe your audience isn't interested at all. Scrapping something doesn't equate to failure – it's just part of the process!
Once you have some answers to these questions, you can update your network and sites as needed and switch gears to focus on other aspects of your brand, like:
Finding Your Audience
You can create content around anything – but should you? Finding the right target audience will help you better curate your content, drive traffic, and increase conversion rates. Start by reviewing your current customers and your competition to gain more insights into your targeted market.
Reviewing Your Messaging
Once you've determined your target audience, then you review your messaging. Is it for the target audience? Your messaging should be varied enough to keep loyal followers around while also remaining attractive to a new audience. It's a tricky balance to find! Also, ask yourself – is my brand's messaging showing the personality of the brand? If not, adjust your messaging to be more reflective of your brand's values and personality.
Proper goal setting, like SMART goals, will help you implement structure while you grow your brand. Goal-setting exercises will determine your brand's values, priorities, and passions. Make sure you have some fundamentals down as well, such as proper headshots for profile pictures, and keep your website up-to-date with links to your recent articles and posts.
Your personal brand is a living entity, and it's constantly being shaped and honed while you also grow as an individual and a professional. Tackling and implementing changes to your brand can seem overwhelming at times. But luckily, companies like Bell + Ivy can step in and take some of the pressure off. Bell + Ivy offers personalized online services like content research, personal brand bios, and more.