Have you experienced personal brand injury? When you decide to embark on the personal branding process you are so energized to do as much as you can to be your brand. The process is motivating as you start to see the fruits of your labor and the results of your hard work.
However, along the way you may suffer from a setback – something that has perhaps caused a strain in your personal branding effort. In such cases, you need to avoid the temptation to push forward and risk personal brand injury.
Here are 4 areas you should not rush into when branding yourself. Take appropriate breaks and recover before risking personal brand injury.
1. Your Brand Colors
Do the colors you use reflect your brand attributes? For example if your brand is seen as “passionate”, “energetic”, and “active”, are you using RED? If others see you as “mysterious” and “spiritual” are you using PURPLE? Are your colors culturally appropriate for your target audience?
I recently noticed that 4 different sites to hire freelance professionals all use the color blue in their logos. This actually makes perfect sense as blue represents ‘authority,’ ‘integrity’, ‘trust’ and ‘loyalty’ – all the brand attributes you would want in a person you hire for a freelance project.
2. Your Brand Logo / Slogan
The heart of your visual personal brand is your logo and slogan. Once you launch your logo and slogan they immediately become your brand identity.
Make sure you have invested the time in selecting the best logo, image/icon, and slogan to represent you. Hire a professional to design a bunch of options, select a handful that you like, and then informally survey people in your target audience. Always inquire as to why they prefer a particular logo or slogan over the other choices. Look for consistency in their feedback.
Do your options clearly articulate the brand message you want to express? If not, take a break, recover and start again before injuring your personal brand. Trying to revamp a published logo and slogan later on will prove to be a big nightmare!
3. Your Website or Blog
A great way to prevent personal brand injury to to make sure your brand has a strong core such as a website or blog. To develop this strong core you must be able to answer the following questions and develop your site/blog around these answers.
- What are the goals for your site?
- Who is your audience?
- What are their needs?
- What thought leadership content can you give to meet these needs?
- Who are competitors and how will your site stand out?
- What visual vocabulary will the site have to show your brand? (colors, style, logo, etc)
If you are not ready to invest in a website, or if you are not interested in blogging, then at least set up a ‘personal portal’ on About.me, Flavors.me, Pitch Engine, Profiled.com, or Vizify. These can function as your website. Just keep in mind that these portals also need to have a strong core that sends out the right visual message for your brand.
4. Your ‘About’ Page and Bio
Your about page is usually the first page on your website or blog that people will visit to learn about you and make that critical decision to connect and do business with you. It may be the only page they will use to decide if it is worth spending their time to either click on your other links, or “bounce” off your site. The same goes for your bio on a personal portal site. Take the time to create a branded bio that captures your authenticity and story. By uncovering and including your story, you can truly provide that emotional hook to draw people into your brand.
Do you have any other suggestions to prevent personal brand injury? Please share in the comments below.