Regardless of whether you are a CEO to a multinational corporation, startup entrepreneur, or even an employee working your way up the corporate ladder, your brand is an incredibly powerful professional asset. That said, it can also turn into a liability if you’re not careful.
While the popular belief is that you shouldn’t care what other people think of you, it doesn’t hold up in the workplace. Sure, you shouldn’t get absorbed by other’s perceptions of you, but their opinion of you will influence your interactions. A positive or negative impression can also make the difference between being or not being presented with opportunities down the line.
For a business owner, their brand should even take precedence to that of the company. People generally connect better with other people than with corporations, while the personal brand is more flexible in the face of changing trends or situations. Business owners shouldn’t disregard the opportunities that their brand can bring to their business, either.
That said, you should stay on top of how others are perceiving your brand. Don’t let yourself fall into a false sense of security, only to discover that public opinion of you has changed without you noticing. By conducting regular brand audits, you can make quick adjustments and capitalize on all the opportunities that may arise.
What Is a Personal Brand Audit?
A brand audit is not about the image you’re trying to build but about what others see when they look at you. It’s about evaluating our current strengths and weaknesses and how you fare, based on current trends and shifting situations. In other words, you need to regularly check if what you hope to project onto others is in line with what others see. So, how should you do a regular personal brand audit?
- Ask for and Evaluate Feedback – “Feedback is the breakfast of champions,” says Ken Blanchard and it’s definitely, accurate here. Most business professionals receive regular feedback in the form of performance reviews. Analyze it, or any other type of feedback, to see what words people use to describe you. Do they match what you want to project? If not, ask yourself why and what words would you like to see in the future.
Taking it a step further, you can ask for informal feedback, yourself. Ask trusted colleagues to describe you in several words and make sure they are honest – not something they think you’d want to hear. If some of these words seem surprising, ask these people why they selected them; in the first place.
- Analyze Others’ Behavior Towards You – Spoken or written feedback may not always be an option. Nevertheless, people’s behavior towards you is equally as valuable and as telling – in some cases, even more so.
Are you being involved in projects, and are you asked to share your opinions and ideas? Are these taken into consideration? Is your voice heard? All of these examples can paint a pretty clear picture as to how others perceive you and will help you determine where you need to improve.
Conducting regular personal brand audits is not as difficult as it may sound and will provide you with tremendous benefits down the line. Remember that your brand appears in everything you do. So, if you want to be a leader, you need to project leadership in all aspects of work and character. Regularly conducting this audit will help you identify any problems early on and make the necessary adjustments when needed.