Your digital personal brand is the sum total of your online interactions. This can include:
- your website and social media accounts
- social media accounts of other users’ who mention you in a post
- online publications such as news or specialty sites and blogs, in which you’re referenced or which featured your work in the form of syndication or guest post
- organizations or affiliations with web-based membership listings
In the professional world, creating a positive personal brand helps position you to land a job, accept a promotion or showcase credibility to prospects and customers. In the same manner, a less favorable personal brand can disqualify you as a job candidate, terminate your present employment and eliminate your company as a service or product provider.
Curious about your online brand? Google yourself. Also try entering your name in the search functions of popular social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Did your query reflect the image you expected?
Personal brand management
It’s time to own your personal brand. Here’s how to start:
Audit your social media profiles! Determine what needs spring cleaning and what can get pitched all together. A few things to include in your review: a recent photo, accuracy of your current occupation and title, profile completion (to your comfort level), current contact information, check that all links work.
Connect authentically. When was the last time you connected with people in your community? Do you even have a community? After you attend a professional event, take some time to follow-up with everyone you meet by sending a personalized connection request.
Offer value. Prove that you can bring value to your community and connect with your audience in a meaningful way. For example, perhaps you offer to meet for coffee with your newly-established LinkedIn contact? As far as sharing content on professional social sites, I have a simple rule: Offer useful information that can help to enrich the lives of your community.
Respond to comments. When people leave a comment or send a message, take the time respond to them! Otherwise, it sends the message that you don’t care, which is potentially damaging to your personal brand. It’s equally important to have a system in place for negative feedback, because it’s probable that you’re not perfect! How you handle this feedback demonstrates an excellent opportunity to showcase a positive brand image.
Monitor your brand. Sign-up for Google alerts (google.com/alerts) to know when you're mentioned on the search engine. Also, select a tool that will notify you when you are mentioned online.
We have a personal brand and, which directly and indirectly influences our career trajectory. Consider what your digital footprint says about you!
Ladies who live in Central PA… be sure to join me at the Business Women’s Forum on May 25th where I’ll be speaking on the topic: Your Online Presence: Putting Your Best Foot Forward!