The social web is an opportunity for you to lift off and develop a highly effective personal digital brand – your personal brand should emphasise who you are, what you do and, when you get it right, what you are going to do next.
At present we have access to an ever evolving rich web ecosystem which provides a fantastic opportunity to greatly enhance your accessibility and visibility. And the nature of much of the technology means that achieving this is very much within your gift.
If you can take the time to understand how this works and identity how this will work for you there are considerable benefits available and value to create.
The benefits an effective personal brand will achieve will include:
- A rich seem of clients you want
- Improved partnerships and networks
- Points of difference and market niche
- Recognition and prestige
- Higher perceived value
- Stronger reputation
Where to start
The challenge is that the social web provides a vast range of opportunities. Your challenge is to identify what you want to achieve and let your objectives define the channels you optimise for.
When considering your personal brand and how you manage this online it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I try to achieve?
- How am I perceived?
- How do I want to be perceived?
- What do I want to be associated with?
- Who do I wish to engage and why?
- How much effort can I dedicate to this?
- Who am I trying to influence?
- What are they looking for and how can I help them?
- How much time and money do I want to invest?
- What benefit to me will it deliver?
Once you have answered these ten questions you should have a useful framework to develop your personal digital brand.
What to start with
A useful place to start is a personal website or blog (often these terms can be interchangeable so don’t get hung up on terminology) as whatever else you are going to do this is likely to provide framework to support your other activity. Other key recommendations for getting started include:
- Content – valuable content allows you to earn trust and if you understand how it is being used allows you to evolve moving forward
- Make sure your content is focused on your readers
- Don’t forget email – it is still the default tool of business
- Focus on points of difference and a niche offering
- A bad design or lack of attention to detail will undermine your proposition
- Become part of the conversation, listen, contribute and help others
- Share your insights and opinion
- Remember the importance of Googling and being found by search engines
- Target terms and services that you want to be found for and from where
- Think mobile – make sure your solution doesn’t present barriers to mobiles & other devices
- LinkedIn – make the most of it
- Follow others, connect, contribute and help
- Measure your progress and channel your learning back to help you improve
Hopefully the hints and tips above are a useful starting point but please get in touch if you require further information. Over the next quarter I hope to follow up this blog with some options on what can be achieved for different budget levels. Please follow the Sproul-Digital blog for more information.
And some additional contextual advice and guidance on personal branding can be found via the following links:
- 5 key ways to building your personal brand, Huffington Post
- Building your personal brand, PWC
- The definitive guide to building your personal brand, Forbes