Your Personal Branding Plan

To clarify your personal brand, it helps to start with a series of questions. I suggest that you map them out. Personally, I like to use MindJet MindManager mapping software.

Here are some questions that may help you with your map:

Personal Brand Questions

  • Do you have a personal mission?
  • How do people feel about themselves when they are around you?
  • How do people benefit by working with you?
  • What words do people use to describe you?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What are the keywords you want to be known for?
  • If you assigned Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point types to yourself would you be: maven, connector or salesman?
  • If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
  • If you own a business, does your company culture empower your employees?
  • Are your opinions about politics and/or religion part of your personal brand?
  • Are you spending enough time investing in yourself rather than reacting?
    Online Reputation Specific Questions

  • Do you have a website that represents you? (Not a social media platform, a website that you own)
  • Are you pleased with the results when you Google yourself?
  • What platforms do you consider essential for building your personal brand?
  • Do you maintain a contact database of individuals besides your address book?
  • Does it make sense for you to invest time in leading a social media group through a Twitter Chat, Facebook group or GooglePlus Community?
  • Have you taken vanity URL’s or nicknames for all of your social platforms where they are available? – For instance, for GooglePlus you can use to take a nickname.
  • What are you doing offline to support your online reputation?
  • Are you registered for and tracking your online influence scores such as Klout?
  • Do you represent yourself online with your real name and photo or do you prefer to use pseudonym?
  • If you blog:
  • – Do you concentrate on one blog for your personal brand?
    – Do you need more than one blog to cover niche strengths?

    In the following two brief interviews, I think you will find some useful nuggets about managing your personal brand.

    Mari Smith, who has very successfully built her personal brand points out how she is mindful about what she posts online.

    Stefanie Michaels (@AdventureGirl) makes the point that it is important to get our where people can meet you in person. Your online brand is supported by offline persona as well.

    Of course, social media is social and revealing our personalities has benefits, as Rohit Bhargava points out in his book Personality Not Included.

    Some recent Personal Branding and Online Reputation articles you may find helpful:

    Are You In Control of Your Online Reputation by Dorie Clark

    How Lance Armstrong Has Helped Us Resist the Temptation to Lie by Kare Anderson

    Pay Yourself First by Jeremiah Owyang

    Build Your Personal Brand with These Books by Linda Sherman

    How Do You Organize Your Contacts?

    I have been using FileMakerPro for my CRM database for many years but I recently began testing the Social CRM software, Nimble and it looks like an effective tool.

    MediaChat Twitter Chat Thursday Jan 17. You are welcome to participate.

    We are going to be discussing the topic of Personal Branding on the Twitter Chat called MediaChat on Thursday, January 17th from 10 – 11pm ET. If you have never participated in a Twitter chat before, here are my Twitterchat tips.

    Please note that this time, even though I am the “guest” for Thursday’s chat, everyone participating is invited to answer every question. I think this may make it easier to have a group discussion on the topic.

    If you have never participated in MediaChat before, it is a great group of people hosted by Aaron Kilby. During the chat Aaron asks questions from @Kilby76 so make sure to follow him there. You will also find it useful to follow @Media_Chat. My Twitter address is @LindaSherman. Note that Aaron has created a Facebook Group and a GooglePlus community for MediaChat where useful discussions are held.

    I will update this post with selections from the results of the chat. If you have any additional reference links that you would like to see included, could you kindly put them in the comments.


    I was pleased with the questions I came up for the chat:
    They were both easy to answer and allowed people to express a difference of opinion or perspective.
    A rich and lively discussion ensued from our participants…. in spite of competing with Lance Armstrong’s confession on Oprah in the same time slot.

    Q1. What does Personal Brand mean to you? (we are looking for definition)
    Q2. What do you consider TOO self-promotional for Personal Brands on social media 
    Q3. Is it essential to your personal brand to own your own website?
    Q4. Are LinkedIn’s recent changes helpful to our Personal Brands?
    Q5. Who is your most recent inspiration for Personal Branding/Online Reputation Management?
    Q6. What have you done lately to enhance your Personal Brand?
    Q7. What tools do you use to keep track of your contacts to maintain interaction? 
    Q8. Have Facebook and GooglePlus made it harder to maintain a pseudonym Personal Brand?
    Q9. Are your opinions about politics and/or religion part of your Personal Brand?

    Since I was the “guest” being interviewed. First here are my answers. I would love to be able to share the entire transcript from this chat with you but sadly the great Twitter Chat archive tool, Hashtracking is in a brief transition period. I have pulled in a sampling of tweets. If I have missed something you loved, please share the URL to it (click on the time of the tweet) in the comments.

    Tweets from the MediaChatters











    As usual, Ray Gordon’s quips were in fine form:
    Since I am a good audience but not a great humorist, my husband and business partner, Ray is a nice balance to my Personal Brand and I am so appreciative that he will come out and share Twitter chats with me.

    Featured Photo for this blog post explained:
    These are four elements in my Personal Brand:
    – Social Marketing expertise (Forbes article)
    – Fitness (Go Army photo from Jan 2013 New Media Expo event in Las Vegas)
    – Speaking/Training
    – CEO/CMO executive experience in Japan
    Linda Sherman Personal Brand Illustration

    About Linda Sherman

    International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Linda teaches social marketing for business at the University of Hawaii. Her company, The Courage Group, provides websites, digital film, branding and social marketing strategy and training. Linda is also a personal branding coach.

    Connect with Linda Sherman on Google+

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    • Nice to read the entire chat. Thanks for putting this together. Many great teaching points. Elizabeth Traub

      • Thank you Elizabeth! Nice tips on making the most of a conference on your blog: My experience of BusinessNext Social/ New Media Expo was this wonderful gathering of Personal Brands. Obviously most of us are connected to companies as well. But it is the powerful intersection of having known each of these people on social, then meeting or seeing them again IRL (in real life) that is so special. I’m so glad that I got a chance to meet both you and Matthew from your team.

    • Great to revisit the awesome chat! Thanks for sharing!

      • It was great to meet you in this chat Gregg. Thank you for commenting here and a pleasure to connect with you on Twitter and G+.

    • Love that you really took some chat highlights and included them in there. Awesome stuff.

      • Isn’t it wonderful the way WordPress makes it so easy to embed tweets? I do wish that Hash Tracking wasn’t in a transition but in the interim, I’m glad that I could at least provide a taste of the many contributions in our hour chat. Thank you Chris!

    • Jewel Fryer

      Very nice outline Linda. This is a plan that anyone can follow no matter what goals they have in mind. I would also like to think you for the way you handled the chat. I appreciate it.

      • Your input before the chat was very helpful. Thank you for that and your kind comment here.

    • Great post Linda! You have curated those answers very well. Would be a perfect help for someone looking to build a Personal Brand!

      • Thank you Malhar! I let Twitter help with my curation by looking at what they labeled “top tweets” in my #mediachat search first. Then I took many passes through the results for “all tweets” and attempted to include the best contributions from as many participants as I could.

        Twitter doesn’t come back to where you left off after you click through for the embed code so I did contribute some finger skin to this project.

        • That’s a neat way to do. Thanks for sharing, I got some good ideas for the Twitter chat that I host.

    • A good overview of an effective branding strategy. Your personal brand also helps you make continual forward momentum in your own life and drive your future success.Thanks

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