In Your Personal Brand Development Options we talked about the following 11-point checklist.
Use it to find the personal brand strategist who will help you develop the effective Authentic Personal Brand that delivers an excellent return on your personal brand investment (ROI).
1. A “Top Notch” Personal Brand Strategist WILL be Hard to Find
They will be especially hard to find on-line. Because they’re busy “doing the work” of personal branding, they have little time to spend writing and speaking about personal branding. It’s a better bet to ask someone who has a personal brand that they are happy with for a referral. Once you have that, ask that personal brand strategist the following questions. As with diamonds, those that are found easily on the surface are usually not worth keeping. You’ve got to dig deep for the quality stones.
2. They Will Deliver an Excellent ROI
“Top Notch” personal brand strategists deliver an excellent ROI. (Return on Investment) Their clients can easily identify the tangible benefits their personal branding has (and is) delivering. You must verify that the personal brand strategist you are considering gives their clients a consistently solid return on their personal branding investment.
3. They Are Experienced
An experienced personal brand strategist can readily prove “they know their stuff.” Typically, they do this through numerous testimonials or case studies. You should be able to validate by actually speaking with the person who wrote the testimonial or is the subject of the case study. Be wary of “unidentified” case studies or “name withheld” testimonials. While it’s true that some clients prefer to have their identity protected, if only a few of a personal brand strategist’s clients are willing to put their names to their testimonial – this is a “red flag” you should heed.
4. They “Walk their Talk”
An experienced personal brand strategist has their own distinctive, consistent, and authentic personal brand. They genuinely “walk their talk.”
5. They Have “The Right” Backgrounds
The only professional experience that equips a personal brand strategist with the skills they need to “do” personal branding is a background in corporate or product branding. And there’s a BIG caveat here.
In order to make traditional branding work for people – as opposed to working for products or businesses – the personal brand strategist must make adjustments to the traditional branding process. Corporate and product branding is a process that requires the brand strategists to “assign” values, attitudes, strengths and other brand traits to the brand they are developing. These brand traits are carefully chosen to appeal to the target market who will buy the branded product, or the services provided by the branded company.
In order to build an Authentic Personal Brand, the personal brand strategist needs to be able to work with their client’s REAL values, attitudes, strengths, and other authentic brand traits.
6. They do NOT Hold Any Sort of “Personal Brand Certification”
As Personal Branding is a new and unregulated field – you need to choose your “personal brand strategist” carefully. Those who cite a “personal brand certification” are telling you that they have been through some sort program that is equivalent to a general interest course in the traditional education system. They may have learned some good information, but taking the class does not enable them to “think like” an experienced brand strategist. It does not equip them to “do” personal branding. At best, such training makes them a talented amateur who has educated themselves on the subject of personal branding. They have a theoretical perspective – but lack the practical, functional skills that come only from the “right” professional background.
7. Their Own Personal Brand Appeals to You
It’s important that you find the personal brand strategist’s brand appealing. Why? Because it’s necessary for your brand values to relate to theirs. If your goal in developing a personal brand is to build a technology based business that will net you a massive amount of wealth, you should not choose to work with a personal brand strategist whose brand values do not include achievement business success and wealth. And you must avoid working with the personal brand strategist whose values make her the perfect selection for NGOs or non-profit organizations. You need to be able to relate to your brand strategist on numerous levels, and as your brand values are not yet identified – use your “gut” response to the appeal of the strategist’s personal brand as your compass.
8. Their Personal Branding Process Includes Multiple External Checks and Balances
The personal branding process used by the personal brand strategist you choose must NOT be solely dependent on the opinions and views of the individual being branded. Their branding process must require that others’ perspectives are included at critical point, in order to validate or redirect the personal branding process.
9. Their Personal Branding Process is Guided
You need to find out how much support the personal brand strategist will be providing to you. And also, how much involvement you will have in developing the final brand deliverables. Be wary of programs that allow you to direct the brand development entirely on your own.
Even for a professional personal brand strategist, the human trait of being unable to be objective about yourself will get in your way – and negatively impact your personal brand.
10. Their Personal Branding Process is Fully Developed
Your personal brand strategist needs to be able to outline their process, so you can see how step 1 leads to step 2 and step 3 and so on. If they can’t (or won’t) they might be just flying by the seat of their pants. And most of us don’t like being treated like “lab rats.”
- 11. Your Personal Brand Strategist Has All the Answers
Your personal brand strategist needs to be able to clearly and quickly answer all of your questions on the timing, cost and tangible deliverables that you will get from their Personal Brand Development Process. If they don’t have a quick answer, they may be applying their creativity to develop one – and that is something no “real” expert will EVER need to do.Using this checklist will enable you to find a competent Personal Brand Development expert. They will be able to give you the functional, quality, personal brand that enables you to maximize your performance and realize your goals.
This Checklist was first made public by Rosemary Davies-Janes in a March 18, 2009 interview broadcast by The Guru Nation. Rosemary (RDJ) served as The Guru Nation’s Authentic Personal Branding Guru.