The internet is full of information about measuring the success of a brand. You probably already know tons about using the right metrics, strategies and best practices to understand the impact of your business. But what about your personal brand? Can the same methods be applied?
Building your personal brand involves many of the same steps as building your company's brand. You must establish yourself as an authority, grow awareness and attract a following.
In an article for Fast Company, writer Tom Peters says, "We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You."
Having a strong personal brand can also help you boost your company's business. According to a report from MSLGroup, brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee versus the brand. So the stronger your personal brand is, the better you can advocate for your business.
If you're looking to drive business by growing your personal brand, you need to understand and be able to quantify your impact. Here are seven metrics that will help you do just that:
A good place to start is by taking stock of the size of your following. If your goals are to establish your authority within your industry, then you'll need to have people to back you up. Having a strong following brings legitimacy to your personal brand and proves that your messages resonate with a specific audience.
Today, seven out of 10 Americans use social media, according to the Pew Research Center. So chances are the audience you are trying to reach is on social. Having a strong presence on a few key social media sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, is important for your personal brand.
Note how many followers you have on each of the sites where you have a presence. As you continue to grow your personal brand, keep track of the effect of your efforts on your social media following.
Personal branding consultant Lida Citroen writes on Twitter, "Everyone has a brand, by design or by default." But how do people feel about your brand?
Anyone can click "follow" on someone's profile, but it can be difficult to determine which of your followers are actually paying attention to your messages. This is why engagement is such an important metric.
Track the likes, retweets and, most importantly, the comments you get on your social media posts. Are people interacting with your content? Start conversations with people and engage with them. The more buzz you can create, the better.
3. Page visits
Your website is a great place to drive your social media traffic to. By including links to your website in your posts, you can see how many people are actually interested in learning more about you.
When tracking your website visitors, don't just look at the number of visitors. Keep an eye on what pages people visit and how long they spend on each page. For example, someone who spends 20 minutes on your services page is probably very interested in what you have to offer. Look for trends and note what pages are performing best and what ones you need to improve.
People with strong personal brands have tribes behind them. While your social media following is one tribe, there is a better way to measure how dedicated your audience is. And that's through your subscriber list, whether through your blog or through email.
People who subscribe to your list are looking to gain more from you and show that they're willing to take action for you. They want to actively follow you, not just browse your posts in their feed.
5. Blog comments
A blog is an invaluable tool for growing your thought leadership. Writing blog posts on important industry topics will allow you to increase your authority and be seen as an expert.
According to HubSpot's State of Inbound report, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to drive positive ROI. To observe that ROI, look at not only your blog subscribers, but also the comments on your blog posts.
What are people saying about your posts? Are they looking to interact with you? Don't be afraid to comment back and start conversations. You may make new connections or discover new opportunities.
As you grow your personal brand, you want more and more people to know your name and to talk about you. To measure that, you need to track your mentions.
Look at how many people mention your name on social media and what they say about you. Do they see you as a leader? Check the media, too. Have you received any media coverage or been asked to be interviewed? Any mention of your name, whether on social or in the media, helps to grow awareness of your brand.
On Simply Measured's blog, social media consultant Jeff Barrett writes, "You create a personal brand to get noticed and gain recognition as being excellent at what you do. But the real result is that a strong personal brand opens doors for you and makes the business you do or aspire to do easier. That's the bigger picture."
Whether you sell products of your own or you work for a company that has a product or service, driving sales is no doubt your ultimate goal. This is the true proof of the strength of your personal brand. If you can attribute an increase in sales to the growth of your personal brand, you can prove that your branding efforts are successful.
In an episode of his podcast, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk says, "You need to earn the opportunity to be a personal brand. You need to show them the proof. If you're an actual expert the proof should be in your forethought, your wins, and your execution."
What has been the impact of your personal brand on your business? Has it helped you drive more sales? Share your story in the comments below: