There’s nothing worse than a weak , boring brand – a brand that has no clear vision, no clear voice and no clear visual style. If you’ve ever had to question if your brand is totally awesome, it might be time to fix your brand!( aka do a brand audit). A strong personal brand is clear, consistent and credible. A strong brand communicates who you are, what your business stands for and where you’re going – an in a way, a strong brand is almost magical!
It makes people stop in their tracks, want to scroll through all your stuff, and seek out your content above all others!
So, if you want to create a brand that keeps folks stalking your social media feed, then get ready to do a brand check – because you might just need to send your brand to rehab!
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF A BRAND AUDIT?
So, glad you asked! A brand audit allows you to “check” your brand for clarity, consistency and credibility. Yep, you need all three. A brand check will help you:
- stand out amongst a sea of cookie cutter entrepreneurs.
- position yourself to be seen and heard in your industry without being fake, forced, or phony.
- creatively come up with ideas that allow you to present your biz in a unique and personal way.
- show up with a strong presence and sense of purpose.
- make sure people are viewing your brand in the way you intend them to.
- provide a one of a kind – almost magical – experience that puts you in a category of ONE. (we’re gonna make the competition irrelevant babay!!)
Now, if you’d like to make sure your brand is hitting on all cylinders, check out my FREE “Fix Your Brand” Checklist! Okay. Ready to get your brand poppin’? Download the “Fix Your Brand” Checklist or grab your favorite journal and let’s get to work!
STEP 01. CREATE YOUR BRAND VISION
The first step to creating brand magic is to get clear on who YOU are as a personal brand. If you are creating a brand from scratch or never took the time to get clear on your vision when you first launched your biz (hmmhmm), there’s no better time than now to get it together. Use the prompt questions below to help you create a brand vision as unique as you are:
UNCOVER YOUR BRAND PERSONALITY
- Think of your brand as a party. You want it to be the BEST PARTY EVER, right?! So ask yourself, what kind of party would it be? (Fun, Upscale, Playful, Professional, Relaxed).
- Now, all great parties have awesome (and memorable) themes. So, if your party had a theme, what would it be? (Nautical, spa-like, beachy, gritty, glamorous, hot and sexy, outdoorsy, Parisian).
- Next, who are you inviting and what conversations are people having at your party? What language are they using? (Humorous, Brash, Insightful)
- Lastly, let’s think about the experience you want people to have when they are around you. What FEELING do you want people to have when they see your brand? What impression do you want them to leave with? When people leave your parties they always leave thinking…what?
Try picking out three to five words to describe how you want people to FEEL when they interact with your brand. Once you pick out your words, write them down and tuck them away or add them to your mood board. We’ll be coming back to those words and using them as a filter from here on out.
GET CLEAR ON YOUR BRAND’S UNIQUE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
So, staying true to the “party theme” – Invitations have been sent, the word is out, but there’s another party on the same day, at the same, time! Why would someone want to RSVP to your party? What makes you the premier choice over the competition?
DEFINE YOUR BRAND PURPOSE
What do people know you for? What is your claim to fame, i.e. what’s the main purpose of your brand? Your company exist to bring ____________ solutions to the marketplace. (This would be like your brand’s purpose statement and brand promise.)
CREATE YOUR BRAND GOALS
The brand you create is not just meant to bring change to other people’s lives, you are also working hard to build a brand that can help you achieve your own life goals. How much money do you want to make? What does your ideal day look like? Who do you want to work with? Who don’t you want to work with? Where do you want to work? How many hours do you want to work? Knowing these things will help you create a brand that is true and authentic to your goals, values, and passions.
STEP 02: REVIEW YOUR “MUST HAVE” BRAND ELEMENTS
There may seem like a gazillion and one (can’t forget the ONE) things that you need to do to make sure your brand is the bomb.com, but don’t worry, take it one step at a time, do what you can when you can, and eventually you’ll get there. Beyonce wasn’t built in a day so don’t expect your brand to be either! But there are some things you can do in the next 24 hours to make your brand pop! Here are the most important elements to tackle first – especially if you are starting from scratch:
- BRANDED BLOG/WEBSITE: The face of your brand is your blog. This is the first thing many people see, check and search for when they want to know more about you. Your blog is the best way to make a great impression.
- Blog Header: Is it clear and clean? Can people tell what you do and how you can help them within the first few seconds of landing on your site?
- WordPress Sidebar Images: Are your sidebar images on brand and on target, linking to relevant information, products and opt-ins?
- Navigation menu: Are your categories appropriate? Clear? Easy to navigate? Linked properly?
- Blog categories: Are your categories organized properly? Are you keeping your best resources top of mind? Are the categories in line with your biz and blog purpose?
- Supporting Images: Are your images, graphics and photographs poppin’? Do they look professional and are they aligned with your brand?
- Your about page: Does it clearly explain who you are, your story, your qualifications and what you hope to do for your fans in a unique, personality-driven way?
- Your profile pic: Is it professional? Does it show off your personality? Are you smiling? Inviting? Do you look the part? Meaning is the vibe you’re projecting what you want to communicate to your audience?
- Sidebar and footer: Is it cluttered or clean? Are you showcasing the free resources that you have? And are they linked to the proper opt-in box or lead page. Is it easy to navigate? Do your social media links stand out? Are they on brand? Are any and all affiliate or product ads relevant to your blog content and helpful to your readers?
- Products & services page: Can readers quickly and easily see your product offerings? Are they on brand? Can readers quickly connect to the benefits they’ll receive from your offerings?
- Killer Testimonials: Do you have any? If so, can readers easily find them? Have you added some to your sales pages?
- Branded product packaging: Whether you sell digital or physical products, is the brand packaging on point? Is it unique to your brand? Would YOU be excited to get consume your product?
- Your blog posts: Are you creating quality, easy to consume content (pillar content) your readers want to read, like and share? Are you offering value to your readers? Are you creating content that makes them want to learn more from you?
- Your Content Upgrades and Branded List Builders: Do you have premium content upgrades and e-mail opt-ins? Are they compelling? Is the copy clear and concise? Do they connect with the problems or needs of your perfect fit fans? Are they on brand? Are they easy to find on your site?
- Your blog photos and graphics: Are they high-resolution, professional and on-brand? Do they have a consistent feel, look? Are they shareable, pinnable?
- SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS: Are your social media accounts on-point? Can your fans recognize your brand across all platforms? Do your URLS and handles match? Does each social media account include a tagline or compelling bio description? Are the images you pin and post on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest in the style of your brand? Here are the visuals you need:
- Facebook Cover
- Facebook Profile Pic
- Facebook Shared Images
- Facebook Tabs
- Twitter Header
- Twitter Profile Pic
- Twitter In-Stream Image
- LinkedIn Logo/Profile Pic
- Google+ Cover
- Google+ Profile Pic
- Google+ Image Post
- YouTube Header
- YouTube Profile Pic
- Instagram Profile Pic
- Instagram Image Post
- Instagram Video
- Pinterest Profile Pic
- Tumblr Avatar
- Tumblr Image Post
- BRANDED PROMOTIONAL + MARKETING COLLATERAL: Do all of your tangible goods (like your business cards, stationary, thank-you notes, etc.) communicate a clear, credible brand? Do they all use the same colors, logos, fonts and elements that are in your brand book? Additional marketing collateral includes:
- Newsletter Header + email templates with branded signature
- Newsletter Supporting Images
- Product Images
- Ebook Covers
- Webinar Presentations
- Branded Marketing Material
- Opt-in Boxes
- Sales Pages
- BIZ + BLOG SYSTEMS: The way you build your business is unique and distinctive to you. This includes how you interact with your customers, how you deliver your products and services down to the way you create your products and programs. Have you written down your systems, tightened up your templates and come up with a totally cool customer experience? Are they consistent? Do they exceed expectations?
- Your photo templates: Are they well branded? Do they include the same fonts, colors, etc. that are in your style guide?
- Your blog + business plan: Do you have one? (If not, check out the Champion’s Business + Blog Toolkit to create one.)
- Your brand book: Do you have a style guide of all your brand and design elements?
- Your sales funnel systems: Do you have simple systems to capture, connect and convert readers into buyers?
- Your biz + blog systems: Do you have client intake systems? Product delivery systems? Workflows? Customer service systems? Clear examples of the experiences you want to create for the customers who purchase your for products and programs?
STEP 03. SET YOUR BRAND ACTIONS
CHECK ALL OF THE THINGS YOU ALREADY HAVE
So we just reviewed (in depth) all of things most personal brands need in order to show up as a power player online! Now it’s time to start putting your brand in play. Check off the things that you already have.
CHECK ALL OF THE THINGS YOU WANT TO CHANGE
To ensure your brand matches that party vision of yours, think about what your brand and biz looks like now and what you need to change to make it feel like the BEST PARTY EVER! Is it a new color scheme (visual)? New product offerings (content)? A re-vamped social media presence (marketing)? Something else? There are some brand elements that you may already have in place that need a little freshening up. Maybe you need to update your website, or remix your Facebook covers? Whatever you think you need to change, highlight it on your Fix My Brand Workbook.
CHECK ALL OF THE THINGS YOU STILL NEED
Isn’t this fun!!! The next step is to check off or make a list of the brand items that you still need. In the notes section I suggest adding a deadline (aka date and time) when you will want to have this brand item finished. It may be an immediate action or something you want to tackle next quarter. Whatever it is, put a date on it and put it in your Biz + Blog Planner to keep you on track.
STEP 04. PLAN + PROMOTE YOUR BRAND
You’ve answered tons of questions to gain clarity about the vision you want for your brand and it’s goals. Then you completed your brand check using the FYB checklist so you know EXACTLY what you already have and want you need or still have to change. So right now, you are going to use your brand audit to create an action plan and timeline for your brand goals. Here’s how it’s going to work:
If you didn’t already put a date on WHEN you’re going to actually rehab your brand elements, then let’s take care of that right now! An audit without action just doesn’t cut it. It may seem like a lot of work now, but believe me, when people are stalking your social media feeds and smackin’ your buy now buttons, you’ll be glad you did it right!
Refer back to your FYB Checklist and brand plan often to make sure your brand stays fresh, that all your brand elements are complete and that you are building a clear, consistent, credible and absolutely magical brand at all times. Also, make sure to use The Most EPIC Biz + Blog Planner EVER!!! to promote the heck out of that brand of yours. People need to see YOU!