It’s December! Already! Do you know what that means???
It’s time for my annual “Year in Review” process. In Chris Guillebeau’s book, “The Art of Non Conformity”, Chris recommends everyone perform their own annual review. He even posted a review template for everyone to use, based on his own version.
I have just started this process for 2013 now that it’s December (ugh!), and when I am complete, I will post an update here. Throughout this process, I will look at the accomplishments and challenges of this year, and will create Power Stories for the accomplishments (things that were uniquely attributed to me and my skills) and a Lessons learned (for course correction or elimination) for the challenges or incompletes.
Until that is completed though, I thought I’d pass along one key activity that is a part of this process, and would be a valuable tool now for all speakers to undertake this December as well: doing your Brand awareness baseline blueprint. In the Brand baseline blueprint, you:
- measure year over year changes (message, content, profiles, followers, likes etc),
- ensure brand & message consistency,
- understand influence (what content people shared, liked, commented on, feedback received),
- understand who are the power connections and what they interacted with, and finally,
- what has been the most popular content & in which platform (flipside, what hasn’t been well received).
My goal is to look for inconsistencies, lessons learned, power stories, top topics, and most engaged people. I identify what I need to adjust, build out, or add to reach my goals. You can start with my goals or create your own.
- More influence? (more engagement, on a more personal level: like / comment / share on at least 5 posts a week, with at least 5 different people (of which, at least one of those is a new follower or connection)
- More followers? (partner with someone, expand my reach: I will do at least 1 webinar a quarter with a complimentary partner)
- Sell my book? (create more engaging content, get creative, get more followers and build influence through some offline activities: do a series of at least 3 lead gen posts, 2 webinars, and 2 speaking engagements with presentation interaction tools).
- More consistency? (be strategic with profiles, keyword / key phrase placement)
- More Speaking engagements? (build awareness, ‘findability’, expertise, etc.: join at least 2 new groups, increase audience specific keywords/phrases across all profiles)
Obviously, with all those goals or any others, having specifics tied to each, and deadline dates makes success measurement much more successful and meaningful.
To build your brand health, hit your targets (goals), and to bring in more income, you first have to baseline and assess where you are, pure and simple. Be honest. Then you must follow this up again, at least every quarter, especially if you are looking to build your brand in 2014.
Until I get my spreadsheet and app built to automate this for you, kicking it old school for creating your brand baseline helps you have a hands on approach, in black and white.
- Take an 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Fold in half (top to bottom), then in half (left to right, like a little card), then in half again from top to bottom. Then unfold. You should have 8 ‘rectangles’ to write in, 8 on each side, with 4 down the left, and 4 down the right.
Now bear with me….
- The left side of your paper is the BEFORE, or your Baseline. You will always refer back to this. The right side will be for your AFTER. The timing for AFTER is to be determined by you. If you are looking for a job or growing your business, this should be weekly. But Monthly is good option as well. Quarterly, then Yearly are options for less aggressive goals. The complete worksheet and excel template is coming, but I want you to focus just on completing the baseline and to make this as easy as possible, with a simple sheet of paper.
- You are going to label each block going down, as LI for Linkedin (this is for the prospecting part of your brand), FB / G+ for Facebook & Google + (for the people and passion, respectively), Tw/Pin for Twitter and Pinterest (for the perspective), and finally, Youtube / Vimeo (for the promotion). On the back side, in the first block, list all the other places you are: Toastmasters directories (whether for professional organizations, Chambers, etc), this website (especially if you have a Qualified Speaker profile, e Harmony or other match type sites, Referral Networks, Business directory’s, etc. Most people forget everywhere they ‘are’. Do a google on yourself to double check. Make sure to include your direct url or vanity url for each of your profiles (you should do this for ‘yourself’ and ‘your business’ if they are different names).
You are going to rate your PACK-Ms for each block:
Picture, Activity, Connection, Keywords, and Message. You will score yourself for each, 1-5, 1 being the lowest 5 the highest. I know this is all starting to sound complicated but it really isn’t. A video will help, and I will attach it to this post in a week.
- Picture: is it presentable & show personality? Rate 1-5 (1 being lowest), on the presentability of you, and if it’s appropriate for the platform. Multiply by 2 if this pic is a good one, and matches or is in a similar vein for at least 1 other outlet. You are looking for a picture that captures the essence of you and what you are about. It doesn’t have to be a suit and tie. It should be a real picture so others can relate better to you.
- Activity – How often do you post content, original content vs shared content; How often do you engage or respond to someone else; How often do you participate in group discussions or provide ‘solutions/answers’? 1 for never, 5 for more than 1x daily. Multiply your score by 2 if you consistently post original content.
- Connections – look at how many connections you have: connections, likes, followers (reach), then how many interactions you have per month with those people (engagement). Divide interactions by connections and come up with a percentage. 1 = <11% 2 = 11-20 3 = 21-30 4 = 31-40 5 =>40%.
- Keywords – Posts: look at & id top keywords & topics used in profile, bio, posts – are they consistent with messaging and goals? 1=no focus, 5=consistent and used throughout. Do you need to spend time identifying the right keywords and phrases you want to be found for, or what your target audiences search on?
- Messaging – is it clear: someone can tell in 4-8 seconds what you’re about, what you stand for, what sets you apart. 1 = not clear or inconsistent, 5 = says and conveys exactly what I want about myself.
Tally the scores.
Also make sure to id / note key posts that people used, shared, commented to the most, and who your most active users / connections are.
This is your baseline for the beginning of the year 2014, or period of measurement. Yes, most of it is subjective for the moment, but we’ll get to the harder, more accurate stuff later. And yes, there are influence measurement tools such as Klout, Brandify, etc. but they have issues, and are based on someone else’s access to part of your information and their algorithms for score calculation. To have a clearer view, so you know exactly what you need to do, it is best to at least do this for yourself.
More on what to do with your baseline in the next post.
Make sure to get your baseline done. You will be looking at/for inconsistencies, gaps, mixed messages, and ways to take advantage of your network to build a better brand. It’s obviously important to have goals and direction with this, but you need a baseline assessment first.
Take control of your brand and messaging before someone else does and stop leaving your social currency on the table. Each day that you don’t know how your brand is doing, or understand how your brand is received and interacted with, is another day without leads, opportunities, and income.
Comment here, call me or email me – I’ll help you! This is the year all Emerging Speakers Bureau members will make some significant progress in 2014! I am in the process of creating a workbook, class, and templates for this. If you would be interested in a free version of it, in exchange for your review, opinion, and endorsement, shoot me an email.
To your Speaking success! Now go Raevolutionize!
All the best,