In-person presentations and handshakes are considered “old branding.” Your brand has evolved over time to be online. You are now digital.
Personal branding was alive and well 30 years ago. You created your brand with a handshake and in-person presentation. Your brand has evolved over time to be online. You are now digital.
LinkedIn’s 2003 launch was one of the key factors behind this shift. You share professional achievements and activities with LinkedIn. With the advent of social media platforms and technology for online meetings, forums, groups, and associations, there’s been a gradual evolution from virtual to real.
Then Covid happened. The transition to digital personal branding was complete and immediate as if it were a flip of a switch.
The multi-dimensional elements of personal branding that were used in person and online changed to thinner replicas. Meetings that could be normally scheduled in Conference Room A (for Zoom) have been moved to Conference Room Z. Online pitches were made by clients. And first impressions – including the new hire who has never physically visited the office – yep, all online.
If you want to improve your work success and happiness, digital branding is essential. The good news is that these three core principles of personal branding are equally relevant online and offline. Erasing uncertainty.
- Authenticity: What’s real, authentic, and true.
- Differentiation: Standing out from others who do what you do.
- Value: Delivering extraordinary content that makes you valuable and persuasive to those who make decisions about you.
These are the things you should know and do to make sure the bits-and bytes version of you aligns with the flesh-and-bones version of you.
Master Your Digital First Impression
Your first impressions are online. You need to make sure your profile is consistent with who you really are.
It’s time to update your LinkedIn profile. This is often where people go to find out more about you. Even if people start their search with Google, they will find your profile high in the results. This will allow you to send decision-makers directly to it. Your Headshot, Headline, and About should be your main focus.
Your LinkedIn About will be the most read version of your bio. Make sure it shows you are credible and likable.
You can also use the Featured section of your profile to show off your video. This section allows people to get to know you more personally and emotionally.
Build Your Digital Network
You can increase your personal relationships online to make you more visible and valuable to those who are most important in your professional life.
You can reverse-sort your email and add your social media contacts to those you have lost touch with. After you’ve updated your digital Rolodex, you can start adding people to your online network every time you meet them. This will allow you to keep all of your human connections digital.
Showcase Your Brand Online
It is time to master online presentations and meetings.
They’re here to stay, even in a post-Covid world. They give you the best chance to show your brand value. You’ll be able to make a significant deposit in your personal brand bank if you use conferencing technology as a way to improve what you do and demonstrate that you can handle virtual interactions.
Online meetings shouldn’t be dismissed. These meetings should be treated with the same respect as brand-enhancing events that were held in person.
Keep On Top of It
Your online reputation will impact your real-world success. You need to be visible and available to your target audience to make your brand a success.
You should establish a schedule for posting content that is helpful to those you are trying to influence. To stay at the forefront of your stakeholders, create a plan.
Create a Google alert to track your brand’s street cred. You’ll be the first to learn if your name appears in digital content.
Video is the next best thing to being there. You won’t be there as often as you would like, so create a two-dimensional enhanced version of yourself.
In a SuperBowl advertisement, Matthew McConaughey used video to make an ad for Doritos.
To use video effectively:
- Make your LinkedIn cover story. Your Cover Story is a short, 30-second video that you place behind your headshot. This allows you to introduce yourself to others through rich media (a.k.a. video).
- Upload YouTube videos that demonstrate thought leadership.
- Include video “proof” to your LinkedIn Featured Section, including clips from your presentations.
- Use videos to create a more human-like and connected experience in meetings, messages to your team, and pitches to your boss.
Remember to reinforce your brand’s traits throughout the process!