Personal Branding In The Digital Age And What It Means For Your Career?
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Personal branding has long been on the agenda for many would-be corporate leaders, but what value does this kind of personal investment hold for those working behind-the-scenes? With networking events few and far between for the foreseeable future as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are jumping at the opportunity to develop and present a strong and differentiated personal brand online.
Companies prioritise brand building because it helps to build recognition and trust among customers. Similarly, strong personal branding will differentiate you from competitors and allow you to build trust with prospective employers and clients.
Here’s what you need to know and what you need to do so that the bits-and-bytes version of yourself aligns with the flesh-and-bones You, putting your best brand forward online:
Master Your Digital First impression
First impressions have moved online, so you need to create one that’s aligned with who you are. That means it’s time to upgrade your LinkedIn profile. It’s often the place people visit when they want to check you out in a professional capacity. And even if they start with a Google search, your profile will rank highly in the results—sending decision makers directly to your profile. Focus on your Headshot, Headline and About.
Grow Your Online Network
Boost your real-world relationships with an online component so you can remain visible and valuable to the people who matter most in your career. Reverse sort your email and make sure to add to your online social media connections to all those contacts you’ve lost touch with. Once you’ve updated your digital Rolodex, create a habit of adding new people to your online network as soon as you meet them. This will help you keep all your human connections digital.
People are googling you at every stage of your career
Demonstrate Your Brand Online
It’s time to master online meetings and presentations. Even in a post-Covid world, they’re here to stay. The good news is that they give you the best opportunity to showcase your brand value. When you use conferencing technology to enhance what you do and show that you’ve mastered the world of virtual interactions, you’ll make a major deposit in your personal brand bank. Don’t be cavalier about online meetings. Treat them with the same importance as those brand-enhancing events that used to take place in person.
Video is the next best thing to being there. And since you likely won’t “be there” a lot of the time, use an enhanced two-dimensional version of yourself. Consider using video as your Doritos in this SuperBowl ad featuring Matthew McConaughey. To use video effectively:
- Create your LinkedIn Cover Story (if this feature isn’t available to you yet, it will be). Your Cover Story is a quick, 30-second video bio that sits behind your headshot. It lets you introduce yourself to others using rich media (a.k.a. video).
- Publish YouTube videos that help you showcase your thought leadership.
- Include video “proof” in your LinkedIn Featured section, with clips from your presentations.
- To create a more human and connected experience, use video in important meetings, in messages to your team and when making pitches to your boss.
The whole purpose of personal branding is to build relationships and trust. That can’t happen if people don’t trust in the authenticity of your online persona.
The best way to maintain authenticity in online personal brand building is quite simple – just be yourself. Failing that, have a clearly defined strategy for how you’d like to present yourself online, and stick to that in all your interactions.
According to Forbes
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