Quantifying the return on investment in personal branding is quite a tricky one. Many people fail to appreciate the power of personal branding simply because it’s not always easy to see a direct ROI in terms of sales or revenue. Unfortunately, there is no exact formula for measuring the ROI of your personal brand, BUT, this doesn’t mean to say that it can’t be measured at all. From my experience, to measure ROI you need to look at personal branding from two perspectives: the short term and the long term, the latter being the most important. I always say that a strong personal brand takes 30 days to define and then roughly nine months to build. Anyone who says you can do it in less time is either paying a lot of money for other people to do it for them or just isn’t judging success to the level I do.
As you begin to establish yourself as a leader within your niche, grow your brand awareness and attract a following, you want to be able to measure your impact. These are the four key metrics that I think can be used as short term markers of ROI in personal branding.
A great place to start is by tracking the size of your following across different online platforms. If your goal is to be known as an expert in your niche, then a strong following online is required to bring legitimacy to your personal brand. As you continue to grow your personal brand and build your network, keep track of the effect of your efforts on your social media following.
You might be thinking... okay but anyone can click ‘follow’ on someone's profile, so how do you know they’re actually paying attention to your posts? This is why engagement is such an important metric. Monitoring the insights and engagements of your social media posts, looking at factors such as likes, comments and views, will enable you to see the level of connection with your audience.
Your website is a great place to drive your social media traffic to. Utilizing Google Analytics tools, you can measure and analyze direct and click through traffic to the website to monitor the impact of your personal brand. Keep an eye on what pages people visit and how long they spend on each page.
As you grow your personal brand, you want more and more people to know your name and to talk about you. One way to measure this is to analyze your press features across the traditional and online press.
Personal branding is no quick-fix, but it pays incredible dividends when it’s done correctly. For me, the long term ROI on personal branding is where the real value lies. These are what I believe to be the five most valuable markers of ROI in personal branding.
Fulfilment is defined as the deep joy and happiness that comes from living a life in line with who you are and contributing to the world around you. To me, it’s the most important thing we can possibly find. Happiness is fleeting, fulfilment is forever. You can be fulfilled all the time, but you can’t be happy all the time. Once you truly understand what your purpose is and who the people are that you serve, you’ll have found your path to fulfilment. And that just leads to more joy and more happiness.
Being in flow, commonly known as being in the zone, is defined as a state of being in which you’re fully immersed in the activity you’re doing; you have a feeling of energized focus. You’re fully involved and you’re loving the process. Essentially, it comes from making sure that you’re aligned with the thing that you’re meant to be doing. Once you’re in flow and doing things that align with your personality and your ambitions, the things you can create and do are unbelievable. I would say that my life is roughly a thousand times more productive because I am so in flow! The things I create, the ideas I come up with, the problems I solve – they’re almost unbelievable to me and I can only achieve these things because I’m in flow.
In my opinion, one of the most important ROIs in personal branding is becoming a leader; it’s about having a positive impact on the world, about leading and inspiring a group of people. For me, receiving messages from people saying I’ve inspired them or helping or guiding someone to improve, is just unbelievable. Leading that movement and being that go-to person for others is a huge part of personal branding and once you’re doing that, you have some serious ROI.
When you’re known as being an expert and a leader in your niche, the opportunities that come knocking at your door are incredible; they even come knocking at doors you didn’t know existed!
I’m talking about opportunities to write for great publications, opportunities to speak, to meet people, to attend events. Opportunities to just converse with people who are so successful. Of all the points in this blog, for me, the creation of opportunities was the first thing that I really started to realize personal branding has the power to bring about.
Your job, your business – whether you own it or work in it – probably isn’t going to be the one thing you do forever. Once you leave, you leave that brand and/or that business behind you and wherever you go next, you have to start afresh.
Even if you change direction, if you’ve got a brand that’s truly in line with your purpose and your values, people are going to follow you no matter what you do. It’s really about future-proofing yourself and giving yourself the opportunity to keep improving and keep going forward.
I hope that this has been a helpful look at the ROI of personal branding. If you’re the right kind of person to invest in your personal brand, you will get so much out of it.