Friday, November 26, 2010

Social media branding: Discovering the real you

Before you can successfully plan a strategy for personal branding in social media you need to understand the real you.

This is the fifth part of an ongoing series looking at personal branding (links to previous posts in the series below). Today I offer some suggestions on how to discover your own inner strengths and interests.

It sounds easy enough right? Just think about what really lights your fire and what you love to do? But it’s a little more complex than that.

We humans lose track of our true selves and we stop seeing our own strengths and weaknesses. So what to do? I’d like to suggest two relatively inexpensive tools that can help you get on the path to self-discovery.

Strengths Finder

This little book may be the best $10-$15 you’ll ever spend.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, Strengths Finder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths.

The book spent more than five years on the bestseller lists as it helped millions to discover their Top 5 talents. In
Strengths Finder 2.0 Gallup unveiled a new and improved version of its popular assessment and sorted strengths into 34 themes.

You read the first 30 pages of the book and then submit to an online test. A computer-generated report is then emailed to you. Based on your Top 5 you can quickly see what approaches come naturally to you and which will likely give you the greatest satisfaction.

strengths as determined by Strengths Finder are (in order):
• Ideation
• Learner
• Context
• Achiever
• Includer

And while none of this was surprising, the way these strengths play off each other and people with different strengths was a huge insight.

KolbeA Index:

Kolbe A Index is a little more expensive (about $50) and measures a person's instinctive Method of Operation (MO), and identifies the ways he or she will be most productive. It is only taken once, because these innate abilities do not change over time.

The index was developed by Kathy Kolbe and identifies four human instincts used in creative problem solving. These instincts are not measurable. However, the observable acts derived from them can be identified and quantified by the Kolbe A™ Index.

These instinct-driven behaviors are represented in the four Kolbe Action Modes. For each you will be rated on a scale of 1 to 10. The combination of these scores tells you where your strengths lie.

KolbeA Index results are:
Fact Finder: 8
Follow Through: 3
Quick Start: 8
Implementer: 1

What all of this means is that I now have a solid sense of what my natural tendencies are and what really gets me fired up. Armed with this I’m ready to start planning my social media personal branding approach.

What do you think? Are these outside tools helpful?

Earlier posts in the series:
1. Personal Branding in Social Media: First Steps
2. Social Media Optimization for Personal Branding
3. Words to live by in social media personal branding
4. Blogs are the cornerstone of personal branding

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