Now that we have bid our farewells to 2016 and began the new year, are you one of the many who have listed their resolutions for 2017? What would you be doing more of or better for this new year? Or have you identified those that you will cut down probably? Resolutions are about finding ways to improve yourself, which you can say, touches on your personal brand. So, why not make 2017 the year when you focus on building or refining your personal brand online?
At some point in the past year, did you ever have that impulse of wanting to work on your LinkedIn profile, change up you profile photo or create a personal website? Maybe you finally should get on that social media platform you’ve been avoiding? You may not have thought to yourself that you need to improve your personal brand online, but these incremental changes you wanted to do are essentially about building your brand and improving your reputation. I often work with busy bees and high achievers like yourselves and one of the main hurdles I see my clients encounter is the lack of time and being uncertain of where to start. So here are a few of my top tips for creating a reputable personal brand online for 2017.
Start with Your Elevator Pitch First
Start by defining who you are in a short sentence, and who your target audience is. Without a clear brand positioning, people will not understand what you do, and therefore it would be hard to attract good opportunities.
An important thing to remember is, whatever you come up with, make sure it is authentic. As Thomas Smale emphasized in his article published in Entrepreneur: people connect with people. Thus, it is a must that you keep it real. You want people to trust you and not doubt you.
Clearly Define Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with a great online brand? Do you want to find a job or attract new freelance opportunities? Perhaps you want to get more publicity for your business or sell more products? Once you have this figured out, write it down on paper. This will help increase the chances of success.
Join the Right Social Media Platforms and Forget the Rest
It’s important to prioritize your energy so only use the social media platforms that are relevant to your ideal audience. This is where knowing your audience comes in. You need to know their mindset, what they like, where they spend most of their time in, which site they visit often, etc.
Facebook still tops all the social media platforms. It targets people of all demographics, even extending to those who are 65 years old and up. Although it is a good channel for you, it’s like reaching out to the whole world and hoping it gets to your market. So why not make it more efficient? Example, if you’re targeting the younger market, statistics have shown that Instagram is the most visited social media site for the audience from 18 to 29 years old, followed by Snapchat (We are Flint 2017).
If you’re looking for career opportunities, your audience will be those who are somewhere above 25 years old who are also at the executive level. LinkedIn will be one platform to explore. Usage is high for those who are aged 18 to 29 years old as well as those who are 30 to 49 years of old (We are Flint 2017).
Network with the Right People and Forget the Rest
To add a little push to your personal brand, connect with the right people! Who will be influential to your brand? Who can endorse you? This year, make sure that you include networking in your resolution. Be more present where possible influencers and try to score some endorsements. The company you associate yourself also builds your brand.
Selena Soo, business and publicity strategist, shares this personal brand tip, “The #1 way to do this is through having endorsements from influencers in your industry.” She adds, “This immediately puts you in a category with those influencers” (Moazzez 2017).
Schedule a Block of Time during the Year
It could be a few hours, a few days or even a few weeks. Schedule a block of time during anytime in 2017 to work on your brand. For example, one of the things I want to do this year is to shoot an introduction video to showcase about who I am and how I can help my clients. And I am planning to block out a week or so in the Spring to do shoot it. Actually, it is better to plan something for the right time of the year, than to do it arbitrarily in January just because it’s the start of the new year.
Better To Do Something than Nothing
Even small changes can make a huge difference. For example, having a professional quality profile photo across all your online presence can immediately change the first impression you are creating.
In fact, in an article published in Forbes, it described that headshots is more than just a profile photo. The article describes, “In a world that’s becoming more and more virtual, your headshot is the ultimate way to communicate your traits on a human level. It makes you real to those who connect with you virtually. And the bar is raised” (Arruda 2017).
Be Consistent and Be Patient
A successful personal brand is not built in one day. You have to be consistent in your brand message and consistent in the way you communicate it. And also be patient. Many of the changes you would implement would take a Google a few weeks to index it and make the changes live. Search engine optimization requires patience.
Attend a Personal Branding Workshop
Depending on which areas of personal branding you want to improve, you can look up workshop, classes or seminars in your area. Some places to look include Meetup, Eventbrite, or local university short courses. If you are around the London area, you are more than welcome to attend one of my free personal branding workshops.
Keep Learning and Get Support
Some of the things you can do to improve your brand may be a bit more difficult. For example, creating a personal website might be daunting to anyone who is unfamiliar with web design. But don’t worry, you can also get support and gain new skills along the way.
When it comes to resolutions, the key and the challenge is to be able to stick to it and actually make it happen. Behavioral psychologist, Dr. Paul Marciano, in an interview shared the following as tips to stick to your resolutions: define your goals clearly; make sure you track your progress; share your goals with your friends and family to gain support; add them in your to-do and schedule to ensure you find the time to work on them; and set realistic goals and be patient and resilient until you achieve them (Kruse 2017).
Arruda, William. “2017 Personal Branding Trends Part 1: The Death Of Text.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 21 Dec. 2016. http://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2016/12/18/2017-personal-branding-trends-part-1-the-death-of-text/#30af049a24e4. 04 Jan. 2017.
Clemett, Lauren. “3 Personal Branding Predictions For 2017.” Ultimate Business Propellor. N.p., 03 Jan. 2017. http://ultimatebusinesspropellor.com/personal-branding-predictions-2017/. 04 Jan. 2017.
Editorial. “5 Tips for a New Year and a New You.” Healthable. N.p., 21 Dec. 2016. https://www.healthable.org/5-tips-for-a-new-year-and-a-new-you/. 03 Jan. 2017.
Kruse, Kevin. “A Psychologist’s Secrets To Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 3 Jan. 2016. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2016/01/03/making-new-years-resolutions-stick/#31bdc0591807. 3 Jan. 2017.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw.” Quotes. N.p., n.d. http://thequotes.in/life-isnt-about-finding-yourself-life-is-about-creating-yourself-george-bernard-shaw/. 04 Jan. 2017.
“Main Findings – UK Social Media Demographics 2016.” We are Flint. N.p., n.d. https://weareflint.co.uk/uk-social-media-demographics-2016-main-findings. 03 Jan. 2017.
Moazzez, Navid. “37 Experts Share Their Best Personal Branding Tips For Entrepreneurs.” Navid Moazzez. N.p., 29 Nov. 2016. http://www.navidmoazzez.com/personal-branding-tips/. 03 Jan. 2017.
Papagni, Liz. “4 Branding Resolutions for the New Year.” Marketing Initiative Worx. N.p., 18 Dec. 2014. http://marketingiw.com/4-branding-resolutions-new-year. 03 Jan. 2017.
“Personal Branding: Building Your Online Platform.” Social Media Agency | Ghost Tweeting. N.p., 15 Sept. 2016. https://ghosttweeting.com/personal-branding-building-your-online-platform/. 03 Jan. 2017.
Smale, Thomas. “5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand.” Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur Magazine, 23 Sept. 2015. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250924. 03 Jan. 2017.
Todorovski, Dane. “Personal Brand Development – The Guide for Young People.” LinkedIn. N.p., 15 Sept. 2915. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/personal-brand-development-guide-young-people-dane-todorovski. 3 Jan. 2017.
“Turn Your New Year’s Resolutions into Personal Branding.” Network9. N.p., 03 Jan. 2015. http://network9.biz/brand-design/turn-your-new-years-resolutions-into-personal-branding/. 3 Jan. 2017.
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