How to Audit Your Brand (Plus free checklists!)
Have you ever wondered whether or not your brand is clear?
Whether it communicates who you are and what your business is all about while at the same time being strong and completely awesome?!
If you have, then this post is for you!
Today, I'm gonna show you how to do a brand audit. And because I don't like the word "audit" (it totally reminds me of 'auditors' which reminds me about 'taxes' which makes my head hurt), we are going to call it a "brand review" instead. Mmmmkay? Good!
In addition to making sure that your brand is clear, strong and completely awesome, doing a brand review will also give you these delightful benefits:
It'll provide you with better insight into your brand and business as a whole.
It'll make sure that people are viewing your brand how you actually intend for them to AND will allow you to attract the RIGHT people!
It'll make you stand out because your brand will be stronger.
It'll give you ideas on how to personalize your brand to make it unique.
Want a video walkthrough to audit your brand instead of a lengthy blog post?
If you'd prefer to have a VIDEO walkthrough on how to audit your brand PLUS you'd like to REALLY personalize your brand to make it extra amazing ...
Okay. Ready to buckle down and check your brand presence?
Grab a notebook or some paper and let's get started!
1. First, define your brand.
What do you want people to FEEL when they think of and see your brand? Happy? Relaxed? Fun? Psychotic? Try picking out three words to describe how you want people to FEEL when they interact with your brand. Once you pick out your three words, write'm down and use them as a filter going forward through this post!
(By the way, I wrote a detailed post on how to define your brand right here.)
2. What is the goal of your brand?
What's the main purpose of your brand? (This would be like your brand's mission statement and tagline.) It needs to be CRYSTAL clear, baby!
3. Ask people what they think.
Alright, you already know the three words that you want people to feel when they interact with your brand, so now it's time to see what they actually feel! And the easiest way to do that? Ask them!
Ask people on your Facebook to visit your website and give you their top 3 words. Ask friends. Ask past and current clients.
After you've gotten a decent amount of responses, do you see a theme?
Are the words that people are giving you inline with what you're trying to achieve with your brand? (If not, don't panic because that's the whole point of this brand review- to make sure your brand super clear and super strong!)
4. Now let's take a look at what you already have for your brand.
Below is a checklist of things that most brands will have in order to create a super strong presence! Go ahead and either click below to print off the below checklist or just write down the list yourself.
Now you're gonna go through this handy checklist and check off all of the things that you currently already have and also love.
Have you downloaded the checklist yet?
Don't worry, I'll take another sip of my mind bogglingly delicious coffee while I wait.
5. Ask yourself WHY you love the things you already have and want to keep.
Now let's take it a step further by writing down WHY you'd like to keep each particular brand item! What do you love about them? Why do you want to keep them?
It's not enough to simply love something though, you need to love it for the right reasons! (And the right reason is that it's not only awesome but it communicates your brand clearly. Are the items you already have and love inline with the three words that you picked at the beginning of this post?)
6. Make a list of the things you still need and want to change.
(C'mon admit it, making lists is super fun.)
This time, make a list of the brand items that you still need AND the ones that you already have but want to change. To really light a fire underneath your butt, write a deadline next to each item so that you can see visually WHEN you'd like to have each item by.
In fact ... go ahead and actually schedule when you're going to take care of each particular item in your planner.
7. Okay, now for the true "auditing" part of this whole thing.
Aaaaaalrighty then! (Name that movie quote!!! If you don’t get it then I’m going to feel really old. Like ... full blown fogey old.) Ehem!
It's time to review all of the items that make up your fabulous online presence!
This is gonna be a nice long list, so don't panic! Read through the list below and consider the questions to decide whether or not you might need to change something.
(Keeping your brand's 3 words in mind the entire time! You want to make sure that each item below is inline with the goals and descriptive words that you wrote out above.)
Then for each item that you want to change, write a few notes about why. Ready? REVIEW!
- Your homepage. Does it communicate clearly what you do? Is it uncluttered? Does it instantly give people a sense of who you are and what you're all about? How about the load time- is it too slow?
- Your about page. Does it clearly explain who you are and what you hope to do for your clients/readers while showcasing loads of your fabulous personality?
- Your headshot. Is it professional? Does it show who you are and your awesome personality? What does your facial expression say? Does it give off the correct vibe that you want to communicate with your audience?
- Sidebar/header/footer. Is it overly cluttered? Are you showcasing any free resources that you have? Is it easy to navigate? Are your social media links super easy to see? Are any affiliate adds relevant to what you love and what your readers would actually like?
- Navigation menu. Are the categories appropriate? Clear? Easy to navigate?
- Blog/Website categories. Or they organized properly? Are you making your best resources prominent? Are the categories in line with your blog/website's mission?
- Your editorial calendar. Are the posts that you have scheduled to write about inline with your ideal readers? Are they inline with your brand and your main goals?
- Products & services page. Are you clearly showing the benefits that your clients will receive? Does it look professional? Non-sleazy?
- Kick-butt Testimonials. Are they easy to find? Are they on your sales page?
- Your product packaging. If you sell products, is the packaging on point? Is it unique to your brand? Would YOU be excited to get your product in the mail?
- You blog posts. Do you have a way for your audience to easily access your posts and categories? (Like a post archive?) Are your posts quality posts? Are you offering value to your readers? Would YOU want to do business with you?
- Your business collateral. Do all of your tangible goods (like your business cards, stationary, thank-you notes, etc.) communicate your brand clearly? Do they all use the same colors, logos, fonts and elements that are in your style guide?
- Your e-mail templates. Do all the e-mail templates clearly reflect your voice? Are they professional? Helpful? Do they include your custom e-mail signature?
- Your service and customer experience workflows. Are they consistent? Do they go above and beyond to exceed expectations? Do they include something unique to make your brand extra cool?
- Your business plan. Do you have one? (If not, check out this post on how to create one, which includes a free template to make it easy!)
- Your photo templates. Are they well branded? Do they include the same fonts, colors, etc. that are in your style guide?
- Your photos for your website and blog posts. Are they profession looking? Well branded? Consistent in style? High resolution? (Nothing is worse than slightly blurry, pixelated photos on professional websites!)
- Social media accounts. Do your URLS and hanldes match across all your platforms for the most part? Are you using the same suh-weet photo in every profile? Does each social media account include a tagline for your blog/business? Are the images you pin and display on Instagram and Pinterest relevant to your brand? Is everything professional?
- Your e-mail opt-in. Do you have one? (Because you definitely need one!) Is it clean? Does it look professional? Is it easy to find? Does it include a FREE offer that's inline with your brand for when people sign up?
8. Alright, you've made it to the last step!!! Scheduling.
You've answered some questions to gain clarity about the vision you have for your brand and it's goals. Then you completed a brand checklist of what you already have and another for what you still need/want to change. Then you looked at each and every little thing that makes up your brand's presence to see if you need to change anything to get inline with those visions/goals!
(Whew, I'm getting tired just thinking about it. Good job!)
If you didn't already schedule WHEN you're going to actually take care of things in step 6 then you're gonna do it right now!
(As Marie Forleo says, if it's not scheduled then it's not real!)
Yep, schedule exactly WHEN you will take care of everything.
(And if you need a quirky, colorful planner for your scheduling, I've created two different planners which you can check out right here!)
It's time to take action so that you can make the less-than-stellar stuff that you might have super great!!! No brand shame here, people.
Make a list of all the things you either need to get or change to elevate your brand to the next level and in WHAT time frame you plan to do it in.
Don't forget to refer back to this checklist frequently, and if you have a planner that you use, schedule all of these tasks inside of your planner!
Did you find this post handy? If so then share it on Pinterest pretty please! :-)
I would be super, duper honored and delighted if you did that. :-)
To share it on Pinterest, just hover over the delightful image below and click the "P!"
Once you've strengthened your brand don't forget to ...
And that's it for today lovelies. Give yourself a pat on the back!