How to interview a personal branding agencyMar 02, 2023
Ready to take control of your personal brand, refine your message, and scale the reach of your voice?
If you are looking to partner with a personal branding agency, it is important to find the right fit. With so many options available, the search can be overwhelming, but the reward is immeasurable. Your brand is the promise of an experience, a manifestation of your essence, so you certainly want to choose wisely. Here are the 4 key areas to pay attention to when you interview personal branding agencies!
1. Thought leadership matters
Just because someone claims expertise, doesn’t make it so. Choose a personal branding agency that is run by thought leaders in the space. When interviewing agencies, ask:
“Where can I find thought leadership articles written by your agency beyond the blog? Does your leadership give talks on this topic? Give me some recent examples.”
2. Be in the right “company"
Find a personal branding agency that has experience working with people like you. At Brand of a Leader, we choose to work with GenX entrepreneurs and CEOs. We are not right for Millennial job seekers or aspiring GenZ influencers. When interviewing agencies, ask:
“What do your clients have in common?” Do not settle for generic answers. The agency that is right for you will describe their target audience in words that will feel like “your people.”
3. Structure and a clear process are key to your success
If you are ready to invest in working with professionals, make sure that they will be saving you time and providing the clarity that you need. A well-structured process does just that. When interviewing agencies, ask:
“What are the exact steps that we will be taking together? What is my specific time commitment?” Beyond the questions you ask, pay close attention to the structure and the clarity of process throughout your experience: is the website well-organized? Are you clear on what the agency offers? Is pricing transparently shared?
4. Brand is not marketing and not PR
“Marketing is what you do; brand is who you are.” So many people conflate brand, marketing, and PR. Brand is who you are, expressed via a clear positioning and supported via intentionally selected associations. Marketing is how you promote your brand: social media strategy, book launch plans, podcasting, and so forth. PR is media placement: getting mentions in articles, both digital and in print. Before you make marketing moves or invest in a PR firm, step 1 is to figure out what your brand actually is. Equally as important is to make sure that your brand expresses who you are and not what you do. When interviewing personal branding agencies, ask:
“Can you share examples of personal brand statements or positionings you have created for clients?” Stay away from anything that relates to vocation or any cheesy statements of the “I help X do Y” variety. Be on a lookout for examples that elicit emotion, that inspire, and that give you a feeling of the individual’s essence without you even knowing them.
Also ask a trick question:
“Would you recommend that I launch a podcast or write a book?” Only charlatans in the personal branding space will give you an answer. True personal branding pros will honestly tell you that they are unable to answer this question without going through a thorough personal brand discovery process with you.
As you start the search for the perfect personal branding agency for you, remember that finding the right partner is a key step towards creating a legacy that lasts. When choosing a personal branding agency, consider its thought leadership, the type of clients it has worked with in the past, the clarity and structure of its process, and its understanding of the difference between branding, marketing, and PR. Seek out an agency that aligns with your values and helps bring your brand to life in a meaningful way.
Most importantly, trust your instincts. Schedule discovery calls and find the right fit: ask the questions we recommend, but also ensure that the fit feels right and that the process seems deep and exciting. You want to leave the call feeling excited and inspired.
Embrace the process, be open to new ideas and perspectives, and let your brand unfold with grace and purpose. If you are a GenX entrepreneur or CEO, include Brand of a Leader in your discovery calls as you begin the journey of bringing your brand to life and leaving a lasting impact on the world!
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