Boss Lady

How to build an impactful digital personal brand


The résumé is a tool of the past; for many modern businesses a CV alone doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to be promoting yourself in the digital space. So how do you build an impactful digital personal brand?

While there is still a place for acknowledging your quantifiable achievements and qualifications (LinkedIn), today’s savvy business leaders know that recruitment and co-operation is not about picking the ‘best’ – in the traditional, competitive sense – but in picking the ‘right’ woman with whom to work.

When looking for collaborators, their mindset, potential, and even humor and personal chemistry can have far better long-term results than choosing the person with the best stats. For the businesswoman who is looking to advance, the message is clear: personal online branding is invaluable to expressing who you are and where you want to go, to those who want to hear it.

This is great news if you’re tired of the old ways of doing business and making connections, but for many the idea of personal branding may be technically or creatively intimidating. But the reality is that if you’ve ever been online, your personal brand already exists.

It is, of course, a big job and once your personal brand is established it requires continuous attention and work. For these reasons, it can be reassuring and practical to break down the process of developing a great brand online into just a few achievable steps – some of which are one-offs, and others which will need to be revisited at different intervals across the months and years as your career blooms.

Developing the story of you

You already know who you are, but for those around you in the online environment you may need to clarify and embolden your character. Pick three to five elements about your skills, history and personality that make you unique and which you would like to express, and keep these as a list of approved topics and tones that you will refer to whenever making a decision about an online manifestation. It may help to think ahead to where you want to be in a few years time: which version of yourself do you need to be, which traits will you look back on as the ones that got you to that ideal position?

Getting your social profiles in sync

The boldness that you express through your online personality should be reflected in the more technical branding decisions you make. Choose a handle that works for all of your online profiles –usernames and URLs that will match on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles as well as your homepage URL. If you’re a good presenter or public speaker, get your YouTube up-and-going with a personal statement (keep it brief!), which you can also share on your LinkedIn profile.

The level of maintenance you apply to your brand, once revamped, depends on your personality, your routine and your goals. At the very least, you need to establish and keep to a level of email etiquette and response time, and a set of principles regarding how you communicate online. For a brand that really reaches out, you’ll need to factor anything from regular Facebook and Twitter posts, to blog entries and videos, into you daily routine. Remember, it’s an investment.

So now you’re ready to launch – but for a more detailed look at eleven precise steps you can take for the best results, have a read at this infographic to help guide you through every stage of the way.

digital personal brand

About Marilyn Vinchy

Marilyn Vinchy is a freelance writer and HR specialist. She works for several marketing and public relations agencies, supporting their content teams. She writes about leadership, careers and personal development, and has a knack for productivity and time management techniques. You’ll find her on Twitter here, and you can also visit her blog.

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