• Eve Smith

Personal Branding Checklist

Author: Roberta Lee (Roberta Style Lee)


The 13-step checklist will help you assess your personal brand and identify what areas

we can explore further. We can then develop your personal brand in an authentic way

that is true reflection of you.




Why Should We Care About Personal Branding?

Personal branding is something that everyone should be aware of. Even if you don’t

have your own business, you have a personal identity, and that is your brand. It matters

in life, in business and in your career.

People with strong personal brands are self-aware and have taken the time to ensure

that the message they portray is reflective of their values and most importantly, that they

are authentic.


Unintentional Personal Branding

For so long, branding has been a marketing concept only used in companies –

nowadays, with the internet and social media, we all have an identity online as well as

how we live the day to day. Not many women sit down and consciously create their own

personal brand – however our personal brand exists nonetheless. Taking time out to

look at your message, understand how you are perceived by others and whether that is

aligned with your values and beliefs is hugely important.

We all know that authenticity is a key component in building trust. If you dismiss the

online world, and other people's perception of you – essentially you are allowing your

personal brand to be defined by others.


STEP 1. Know Your Why - Define Your Purpose

Find your why. It all pretty much begins here. If you haven’t sat down with a pen and paper and mapped out WHY you started your business, WHY it's important to you and WHY it’s going to be important to your customers, take a step back and revisit your WHY. Without a WHY you won’t have a clearly defined purpose and your personal brand won’t be focused.


STEP 2. A Values Based Business

What are your values? As a personal brand this is hugely important. Whether you run

your own business or you are creating a career path for yourself at work - your values

are so incredibly important. What 3 values matter most to you? Write them down.


STEP 3. Your Story:

Share your experiences and your journey so far. Everyone has a story, what motivated

you to get started? Your About page or Our Story page on your website or LinkedIn

profile should connect with your audience. When you talk at networking events, it is this

story that you should tell. Your story is powerful and should portray the energy,

commitment and passion you have for your life, career and or business.

Check that your About page takes people on an emotional journey, where they can

connect with you and relate to your experiences.


STEP 4. Know Your Strengths

Identify your strengths. Create a list. Where do you naturally find yourself adding the

most value? What do you enjoy the most? Make a list of your top 10 strengths, then ask

your network to identify the ones they think are your top 3. If you use LinkedIn look at

the areas you’ve been endorsed for the most. If you’ve changed careers - reach out to

your network and ask them for feedback on your personal brand.


STEP 5. Be Clear About Your Audience & How You Can Help

Do you really know your ideal customer? You should know your customers like they are

your best friend. Do you know their birthday, where they hang out, what they like and

dislike, where they go on holiday, what motivates them? Once you know more

information like this this, you can create a consistent message that ‘speaks’ to them.


STEP 6 . Create A Tone of Voice

Have you defined a tone of voice for your brand? If you haven’t established whether you

are friendly, informal, professional etc, and set out clear boundaries for how you

communicate, your brand identity will be weakened through inconsistent messaging.

This can happen when your business ‘pivots’ and your focus changes - it’s important

that your voice is authentic, it reflects you and is consistent on and offline.

Create a list of criteria that all your communication should meet. Think about the way

you like to talk to people in everyday situations - you should emulate your in-person

communication style online as much as possible.


STEP 7. Personal Brand Boundaries:

When you create a personal brand you need clear boundaries - you need to know the

non-negotiables and set clear targets for who you want to get your brand in front of, and

who you do not - and be clear about why (come back to your values piece).

Create a list of 10 people/organisations that are aligned with your brand.

Create an example list of the type of people/organisations that are not right for your

brand - and why.

Ruling out what’s not right for you and your brand can help you narrow your focus, this

will help you find a niche where your brand will stand out and your brand values will

resonate.


STEP 8. Your Personal Brand Message:

What is the overall message that you want people to take away with them after they see

your business online - and meet you in person? Is it a message of empowerment?

Is it strength? Determination? Think about what you want that message to be. Write is

down and come up with a strap line - this is what people should remember about you.

For Roberta, she always wanted to ‘empower women’ - so that’s her message. Mine is to use my skills to helping others grow their own business.


STEP 9. Wearing Your Values

What you wear speaks volumes - it also affects the way you feel about yourself. When

you look in the mirror do you portray the message you want send out to the world about

your brand? If you want to build an authentic brand that resonates with your ideal

audience, you must live, breath and wear your values everyday.


Assess your personal style against your personal brand message and values - do the

items in your wardrobe speak of the same story and represent your brand in the best

possible way?


A really obvious conflict of values would be a person who is vegan, but their personal

brand/business or career is within an industry that inflicts cruelty to animals. The

perception of your personal brand can be easily damaged if you do not communicate

what your values are, or worst still portray yourself to be one thing and when you are

not.

Are you wearing your values every-day or just occasionally?

Do the stories behind your clothes empower you?

Does your personal style align with your values?


STEP 10. Brand Identity

A personal brand identity has to be a reflection of you . People relate to people. Your

personality must shine through in all that you do. If you create a separate home life and

work persona people won’t connect with you in the same way. I did this for 10-years in

my marketing career before I set up Roberta Style Lee, I had 2-personas which in the

end created distance and stopped me truly connecting with people in an authentic way.

Now I have one persona, I share my strengths, weaknesses and my struggles as this is

what helps me connect with women in a way that I couldn’t do before with a polished

and overly corporate image. I share more than just one-side of my life now and it really

helps me build longer lasting relationships.

What are your top 3 personality traits that your friends and family would unequivocally

say are you? These should be reflected in the way that you dress and your online

branding as well.


STEP 11. Brand Colours

There is proven psychology behind colour, at least, we have certain associations with

colour depending on our gender, culture and where we live. The message it portrays

and how it makes us feel is really important. If you want your brand to be authentic to

you, the colours you choose for your brand should have an impact and represent your

brand message and the colours should be identifiable in all that you do.

If you haven’t yet decided on your colours, or you’re contemplating a rebrand, consider

getting a professional personal colour analysis done.


STEP 12 Offline Identity

How you present yourself everyday is a incredibly significant part of growing your

personal brand. For example, in a business like mine, how I behave different

behind closed doors, to how I present myself when I have business meeting or work

with clients, matters too.


How your present yourself includes:

● Your appearance and choice of clothes

● How you present yourself at meetings and in everyday business

● How you describe your business and services

● Your elevator pitch

● The people you surround yourself with

● Businesses and suppliers you work with

● Even your business cards...the quality and print is also important

Take a moment to review each point listed and make sure that everything is aligned

with your brand message and values.


If I was to sit at home and ignore all things I encourage my clients to do, or dress in a

way that doesn’t empower me. Then I would need to question if my personal brand is

authentic. Whether my message is authentic… In today’s world - strong personal

brands are essential. How we differentiate from the competition is by being ourselves. If

we aren’t authentic, we won’t connect with the people that matter.

It could be that life has changed, and you’re just identifying that your life and style is

disconnected, this happens to a lot of men and women in their late thirties and beyond. Especially after a career change… we very often need to come back to the ‘who am I?’ question and define a style that empowers us and reflects our values. Are you dressing for the life you have now? Are your wearing your values? Does your image portray the person you want to be perceived as?


STEP 13. Your Online Identity (Traditional Branding List)

How you present yourself online is also really important and there is another big

checklist for the more traditional personal branding, such as:

● Email domain

● Your website

● Email address

● Email signature

● Social media handles

● Branded content (logos, banners, newsletters etc)

● Branded colour palette

● Font used

● Photography style

● Social media content style

● Type of content shared

Take a moment to review each point listed and make sure that everything is aligned

with your brand message and values.


Roberta says "Creating a strong, unified and authentic personal brand takes time - so set yourself small goals and work through each task as effectively as you can. Roberta Style Lee is a work in progress, much like me. Just go at your own pace and remember to enjoy the process!"

Randburg, South Africa

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