Discover what areas of your brand need improvement.
Create an overview of the personal brand you are auditing: who are you, what type of role are you in, and what are the goals associated with your personal brand?
Search for your name on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and major social networks
Review the results to understand and catalog the type of information that rises to the top of search results. If you have a common name, you may need to use geographic or job title modifiers.
Interview 3-5 people in your network about your personal brand.
Searching for information about yourself online is a great start, but remember your brand is also a perception others have, but don’t share. Therefore, find 3-5 trusted people in your network who will share honest feedback and ask questions about their perceptions of you, or perceptions they’ve heard of you.
Document the online assets that currently represent your brand, and any major places your personal brand is not officially represented.
Create a spreadsheet that contains the major profiles and mentions of your personal brand, including social networks, your personal and company website, press mentions, and interviews. Include a name and descriptor for the mention, URL for easy future access, and notes on sentiment, misrepresentations, assets like headshots, photographs, and bios that were used to represent your personal brand.
Spend additional time auditing any social media accounts that have existed for a long period of time.
Social media accounts such as Facebook, that you may have kept since college or childhood, deserve extra attention. Keep profiles current and with your professional, business image in mind.
For example, if there are dated pictures from a party that you went to in college where you are imbibing in alcohol and conducting yourself unprofessionally, you don’t want that associated with you now. There shouldn’t be any images or sharing of opinions that are offensive, or would incite controversy.
Set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions related to your name.
Google Alerts is a free service provided by Google to help you monitor mentions around the web, related to a certain keyword or topic, your name or brand in this case. Again, use geographic or job function modifiers if your name is common. Creating these alerts will quickly let you know of new mentions that could positively or negatively affect your personal brand.
Compile research from your audit and analyze your personal brand.
Now that you’ve completed an online and offline evaluation of your personal brand, digest the information and pull out trends, insights, and opportunities. Pay particular attention to common phrases, sentiments, and representations.
Determine the next steps for your personal brand, based on uncovered gaps and opportunities.
Using the findings from your audit, you may have work to do to align your personal brand, with your goals and desired image. These next steps may be simple, for example, create a common bio and headshot, and ask for this to be updated across platforms and mentions.
They may also be more complex. For example, you may find you need to become more clear in your messaging for your personal brand and need to craft a positioning statement, or you may need to work with a PR agency to re-shape your personal brand online.