Building a personal brand today is not just limited to your business card or elevator pitch. To get in front of hiring managers and executive recruiters or to even be seen as an expert in your industry, you need to have a strong online presence that is thoughtful and consistent.
As a leading executive, your personal brand directly impacts the current organization's digital relevance. Along with social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, it's also important to leverage other online activity such as business forum posts, leadership articles, industry-relevant guest posts, press releases and more to build an all-round online persona.
In this post we'll cover three ways to digitize your personal executive brand and build a strong digital footprint:
1. Leverage Social Media Properly
It's just not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter handle and think that you're engaging on social media platforms. Real engagement means providing your audience with new, fresh content and always staying on top of your game. Beyond just making a post a day, or marketing a product or service, use social media to provide real, genuine value, which will elevate your personal brand and make you stand out to hiring authorities and industry leaders who often consort to these platforms for finding candidates and connections.
Here are two ways to promote your personal brand on popular social media platforms:
- Join a LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn Groups are an excellent place to meet key decision makers. Your main intention here is to establish your expert status by initiating a discussion, leaving thoughtful comments and contributing new and relevant content.
- Participate on Twitter
Twitter is a great place to convey the value of your personal brand and your position as a thought-leader and an authority in your niche. Leverage Twitter by posting original content, giving your take on industry-relevant topics and making sure to optimize your content so it's seen and read.
Remember though that your whole Twitter account is your personal brand, so posting irreverent, divisive, or inappropriate content will damage your brand and will come back to haunt you. Use common sense and post only what will put you in a positive light. Even engaging in strong ‘debates’ online can be damaging to your image. Be careful and thoughtful in how you interact online.
2. Create Your Own Website
It seems like everyone today has their own website or personal blogging site—and for good reason. This is an excellent way to build your expert status and leave your digital footprint on the web. If you don't have a website already, to start you'll need to purchase a domain name that reflects your personal brand. Your name would be the logical choice here. If that’s not available, find something that captures who you are and the image you’re building.
Next, do some research and choose a web hosting provider to host your website. These days there are easy ways to create a website quickly and stress-free. Squarespace is a simple, inexpensive, elegant platform that will get you up and running in a couple hours. If you don’t want to do it yourself, hiring a web designer will take longer and be costlier, but it’s another great option.
Once the site is ready, make sure to update it often. Blog regularly or hire a content writer to provide original content that is SEO-optimized with relevant keywords and tags to help it rank and attract traffic. You want your content to be relevant to your personal brand. If you’re blogging on your own site, remember to post it to LinkedIn as well! Utilizing the same content on more than one content helps you expand your reach and helps your SEO.
If building and maintaining your own website is not a viable option for you presently and you're not willing to make that commitment just yet, consider guest blogging on other relevant sites.
3. Get In The Media Eye
Attracting positive publicity and getting in the media's eye is always great for self-promotion. You can work with a media marketing contractor. There are a lot of independent marketing managers who work with individual clients and can help you build your personal brand by providing placements in different platforms such as radio, local newspapers, TV, magazines and online publications.
Also subscribe to HelpAReporter.com, a service that allows reporters to find industry experts in a wide range of topics. It’s an easy way to get your feet wet with the media.
Once you have truly digitized your executive brand, you'll differentiate yourself from other executives in your industry and stand out in front of industry leaders by conveying the value you'll bring to any organization looking to work with you.
An established personal brand doesn’t happen overnight, but consistent branded content and strategic interactions will help you gain a solid footing in your industry to be seen as an expert.