How to build your personal brand online

Making your social media account ‘private’ is hindering your career: How to build your personal brand online.

I have news for you – your CV does not hold much weight anymore. There’s more, in our ruthlessly competitive market, it is important to know that you are hindering potential career and business prospects by trying to hide from Google.

As an employee, having a strong online presence could make you more desirable to work with when a new project arises. As a CEO, having a positive online perception will make you more desirable to work with when looking to attract new business, and if you’re looking for a new job it almost goes without saying that developing your personal brand online gives you a better chance of competing for a role. The bottom line is, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t all be working on our online personas.

Here are a few things to consider when developing your personal brand online:

Build your persona online to mirror your personality offline.

The experience of presenting yourself to an audience online could be compared to using a dating app. You’ve created a profile and successfully persuaded others to take an interest – at this point the last thing you want is to not meet their expectations in person. This is why authenticity is crucial.

To be authentic online you need to communicate your values and purpose through your story, giving viewers a way of identifying you. They can understand why you hold the values that you do and establish trust on this premise, and trust is one of the foundations for loyalty in any relationship.

Write this on paper before uploading it online, because your brand story will not just be used for the ‘about me’ section of your website, it will be subtly incorporated into everything you choose to associate with your brand. From the colour scheme of your website to the content you execute on your social media platforms, always draw people back to those values and emotions expressed in your story to build on your identity, and continue to live in such a way that reflects this message.

Make me remember you.

Who are you, and why should anyone care? It’s a tough question that is very rarely asked directly, but everyone who comes across your profile online will want to know what you can do for them.

Ask yourself who you follow online and why. It could be that you aspire to live a particular lifestyle, or maybe you follow someone with an expertise in a specific field of knowledge.

Communicate your contribution in a short and specific message. In other words, write your anchor statement. Brand Strategist Phil Pallen encapsulates his offering with the description “Brand strategist for TV personalities, experts and businesses”, and this statement is used across all of his social media platforms.

Channel your inner artist.

First impressions count, and in the same way, you would take pride in your appearance when going to a job interview, you need to take pride in the content you choose to associate with your personal brand online.

Earlier this year The New York Times reported that our attention span is now shorter than a Goldfish at an average of just eight seconds. If you want to stand out, attention to detail will be the defining difference in getting noticed. Your imagery needs to be of high quality and there should be a consistent aesthetic across your platforms.

This goes against the general advice you have seen or heard, telling you to make every social media profile ‘private’ to avoid being seen in ‘saturday night fever’ mode, but there is a method to this madness. According to The Hiring Site 60% of employers use social media to consider interviewing a candidate, so if you do not make your personal brand transparent they will come to their own conclusions. Controlling your perception online will give you a definite advantage, so why not use this as an opportunity to be noticed in the crowd?