By Felipe Fisher
In the age where anyone can gather myriads of information about you with a just quick Google search, digital profiles are now more important than ever before. How we present ourselves online is critical in the digital economy, as it gives an impression on our; lives, behaviours, and even professional capacity. Fortunately, the digital landscape also affords us control of individual branding or ‘self-marketing’. We can do this by tailoring our media posts to ultimately ensure we utilise our profiles to enhance our ‘personal’ brand and change the way the world perceives us for our goals.
Who are You?
The first step in creating a personal brand is is asking ‘Who are You’? What do you want the world to see when they search for you or someone in your profession? What are your goals and visions, and how do you go about achieving them? What you post, like and share will reflect your opinion, culture, and ultimately your professional identity. Who you are is out for the world to see, so it’s your job to create and filter content appropriately. Research your niche and find out how you can make your content unique and engaging. Experiment and find the workflow that best suits you. Exploring your opinions and ideas on news and events can give a good indication of where you want to go, and who to follow if you want to have contacts in the industry.
Platforms and Audience
Knowing your audience is crucial when branding yourself because it will dictate which social media platforms you use. Utilising these platforms effectively requires knowledge of each platform’s identity and information spread. When starting off, you should concentrate on utilising a platform that is easy to both maintain and grow. In staying true to your brand, be careful to only promote content that is relevant to you and be sure to use a platform that will help maximise your profile’s effectiveness. The culture of a platform should reflect your profession, so keep in mind that while platforms such as LinkedIn reflect a professional identity, others such Reddit and Twitch are largely informal and creative. Your platform also determines the demographic and scale of your potential audience. As a brand you should be active, so keep in mind that being active on platforms that compliment your style will generate a greater reach for your content. Also, remember not to spread yourself too thin when starting out. Saturating your profiles in content can dilute the audiences image of you, and also creates more work.
Networking is key in all industries, especially so in media where exclusives and limited information can capture a larger audience. These connections provide opportunities to collaborate with peers and industry to create unique content for the audience. Initially, networking may involve connecting with people you don’t know personally by joining communities that appreciate content similar to your own. Platforms have established communities for like minded individuals to share their content, so take advantage and join up to narrow down your audience and explore latest ideas of the community. Facebook for example; will have pages, communities, and further links to the subject giving a variety of information to those who investigate.
Keep It Clean
Your brand is YOURS. It should be obvious by now that your identity is your most important asset in the digital world. Your content, vision, and tone should reflect this. Keeping brand consistency is key, your opinions of your niche are appreciated. Drastically changing your opinion and position are damaging because you lose legitimacy and it asks questions if your opinion, was actually YOUR opinion. Communicating with your audience truthfully and voicing your likes and dislikes can allow you to dampen these crisis. Having your audience know whats going on and why your changing your opinions go a long way to keeping your image consistent. If you can maintain your vision and audience, you will be on track to thrive in the media environment.
[Header Image CC: via Digital Marketing Institute].