Maybe you’re not yet sold on the idea that you have a “brand” and that you need to manage it. Maybe you are. Either way, the following exercise may be useful or insightful, or both:
1) Pick a “document” that purports to tell people about the professional you: a resume, a bio, an online profile (on LinkedIn, say…)
2) Go to an online word cloud tool (try www.wordle.net or google word cloud tool to find a similar tool)
3) Either cut and paste your selected text into the tool, or, point it toward your url
4) Let the tool create a word cloud for you
Now, the words that are the largest font size are the words that show up most frequently in your document. The words that are the smallest show up the least frequently. The tools are typically smart enough to filter out “the” and “a”.
So, what are the 5 – 8 largest words in your word cloud? Are these the “loudest” messages you want your audience to hear? Because these are the “loudest” messages you’re sending. At least in that particular document. You could compare across documents to see how consistent your messages are.
Try it. Cool tools. Easy to use. Good food for thought. Perhaps this exercise will inspire some serious thought about career direction and development. Or perhaps just a serious re-write.