Before you go try and build your brand online and develop a presence you first need to know who you are, what differentiates you from others, and what makes you compelling to people? Most casting directors will ask you the same basic question: “Why would I want to watch you?”
Branding is based in authenticity. Just as Mike Rowe knows that he is all about blue collar America and representing the rough tough, roll up your sleeves and get the work done crowd, you too need to know how and where to position yourself and ensure your brand online is in line with who you are in the real world. Be clear about whom you are and what you have to offer so you can deliver your message and your personality consistently to everybody watching. The best way to figure this out is with good questions.
A good way to start the process is to write down as many things as you can about yourself and lay it out in front of you. To help you define your brand, I’ll give you 15 great starter questions to ask yourself that will really help you focus in on who you are and what you’re about.
1. What is your personal mission in life?
2. What are your strengths?
3. What is your tagline? (Ex: McDonald’s – “I’m Lovin It” OR Cotton – “The Fabric of Our Lives”)
4. What do you like to do, what activities make you lose track of time?
5. What makes you feel great about yourself?
6. What do people typically ask you for help in?
7. What do you want to be known for?
8. Why does it matter?
9. What sets you apart from others?
10. What makes you compelling to people?
11. What skills, abilities and knowledge do you have that will draw people to you?
12. What can you create for others?
13. What will make you satisfied and fulfilled that you are making a contribution to?
14. Can you help people solve or avoid a serious problem?
15. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
Once you have all those answers on paper, also ask your friends, family, your significant other what they see you be passionate about.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you must know your brand attributes—there are 2 of them:
1. Rational attributes – These are the things that make you credible like job experience, awards, recognition etc.
2. Emotional attributes – These are the personality characteristics that make you interesting and attractive to others. Things like being funny, excitable, compelling, interesting, smart and entertaining. Once you write all these things down and have them out in front of you, you’ll likely have a really good idea of what your personal brand will begin look like.
If you need more help there is a GREAT book out there called Strengths Finder 2.0 by a guy named Tom Rath. The book does a fantastic job at helping you figure out what your top personal strengths are and how you can really separate yourself from the crowd. Even though it will likely take you a few days to read, it’s totally worth your time for the insight in can give you about yourself. I highly recommend it!