Enough is enough! I’ve been reading about this never-ending dispute ever since I started my journey with personal branding. I am here to end this argument once and for all: Personal Branding encompasses Reputation Management, and that logically means they are not the same.
This is marketing 101 – you have to have a brand before managing its reputation. Plain and simple! Inspired by Dan Schawbel’s book, Me 2.0, the chart below, highlights the distinction between Personal Branding and Reputation Management
Schawbel divides Personal Branding into four phases – below is a personal interpretation of these phases:
Phase 1 – Discovering YOUR Brand
This is the stage of self-discovery. You will learn to more about yourself at this stage of your Personal Brand development. You should be asking yourself some of these questions:
- Who am I?
- What makes me unique?
- What are my strengths? What resources can I draw on? How can I turn these strengths into opportunities?
- What are my weaknesses? What can I improve? What threats do these weaknesses expose me to?
- What do people think about me? How am I perceived by others?
- Whom am I talking to? What am I trying to tell them?
- What is my mission statement? What is my brand promise?
- What is my plan?
Phase 2 – Crafting YOUR Brand
After discovering your brand, you need to see how to best package it. Here’s what you need to think about:
- What is my slogan?
- How should my avatar look like?
- What tone should I use to reflect what I intend to deliver?
- What color is my brand?
- Does my BIO represent my brand?
Phase 3 – Connecting YOUR Brand
At this stage, your brand is ready to go out and play. You need to share with your brand with your audience and earn their attention. Consider the following question:
- What are the best platforms to communicate my brand?
- Where is my audience located and how can I reach them?
- What tools should I use to deliver my brand promise?
Phase 4 – Managing YOUR Brand
This is where Reputation Management kicks in. The brand has been released into the wilderness and you need to keep a watchful eye. You need to make sure it is well taken care of. To do so you must develop a brand listening station. Some question you might want to consider are:
- What tools can I use to monitor my brand conversation?
- Who is talking about my brand? And how can I connect with them?
- What are they saying?
- How can I tackle certain opportunities?
- How should I react to negative feedback about my brand?
Something worth mentioning is that in the flowchart that highlights these four different stages of Personal Branding, I clearly marked each header with an arrow to indicate that each stage must be revisited as the brand grows and develops. Personal Branding is a continuous process!
In conclusion, we can safely say that Reputation Management is only a subset of Personal Branding. Do you agree? Did I manage to change your mind? Are we aligned in thought? Think About It!