Joanne Martin

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Personal Branding in the Digital Age

How do we create, maintain and promote our Personal Branding in the Digital Age?

When we think of branding, it’s often business branding we imagine in our minds eye and how to build a brand to achieve recognition and results.  However, personal branding goes much deeper than that.  At the core of any business brand there are layers of branding.  In large organisations, that extends from the Board, right through to the people who work there.  So essentially our perception of a brand is a mix of what marketing tells us and what our personal experiences, emotions and feelings tell us.

Personal Branding has many elements, both tangible and intangible, yet it really influences who buys from us, who resonates with what we’re saying and how we’re perceived.  It can encompass everything from what we wear, our personal presentation, the way we articulate ourselves to our CV, the persona we present online and how we interact with social media.  All those things impact our personal brand and how others perceive us.

So what can you do to get ahead of the game and really consolidate your Personal Branding?

The first thing to think about is how you present yourself.  Are you trying to fit the corporate mould in a black suit with polished shoes? Or are you more creative, where having your own individual fashion sense and style is more highly regarded?  Do you take pride in your appearance each and everyday? Are you more laid back and just go with the flow? Are you time poor and truly just grab the first thing you see in the wardrobe?  There’s no right or wrong.  However, when it comes to giving yourself an edge in the personal branding space you really need to know ‘your client, tribe and market’.  This will help you to build a personal brand that will resonate with who you are and help bring your audience along on the journey too.

What about your CV?

Now let’s think about your CV.  It’s the first thing employers see when you apply for a role or express interest in a project or other piece of work.  As such it is absolutely critical that your CV tells your story, highlights your experience and achievements and sells you into the work you’re hoping to do.  If you find you’re not getting through to the interview or initial discussion phase, then it’s time to overhaul this document to ensure you are on brand.

Remember to contextualise your CV for each job you apply for, include key words from the job description or advertisement and highlight your skills that match what the recruiter is seeking.  I’ve written hundreds of CVs for people at all stages of their career development and the one thing I tell all my clients is that they need to use language that ‘speaks to the person recruiting for the role’.  My other hot tip is ensuring your LinkedIn profile reflects what you put into your CV.

Personal branding and your digital presence

Digital presence and social media are critical pieces of your personal branding.  Most of us use social media for a variety of different purposes, so it’s time to work out the channels you use for personal communication and the ones you use for business or professional communication.  Remember your potential clients, employers and other influencers in your life will look at your digital presence to decide if they’d like to work with you!  So it’s important to be on brand on every platform you use for your entrepreneurial or job hunting pursuits.

LinkedIn is great for business and professional networking.  Facebook is fab for keeping in touch with friends and also has great reach for businesses.  Then there’s Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and a plethora of other platforms where you can establish strong personal and professional branding.

Part of building your personal brand is working out how transparent or real you are on social media and how you manage your personal and business affairs.  As we all know people ‘check out’ potential clients, employees and business partners online before having an initial discussion, so you really do need to think about what information you’re prepared to share.

What is your own unique personal branding?

Think about your own Personal Branding and how it sets you apart from your business competitors, colleagues and friends.  Every person on the planet has their own personal style, personality, characteristics and traits that are unique to them.  It’s this difference that helps form the essence of your personal branding.  In turn this determines how your raving fans, tribe and clients respond to you.  Harness your inner essence, energy and truth to ensure you’ve got a wonderful starting point for building your own unique, powerful and awesome personal brand!

Take time to think about how you want or need to be perceived in the business world and start working towards creating personal branding that help you achieve your dreams.  If you’re running your own small business then you really are part of your business brand and that makes your personal branding critical to your success.

Jo Martin is an accomplished communication, marketing specialist and strategist. Having had extensive local and global experience, she has the expertise when it comes to ‘branding; marketing and strategic communications.’ Jo is also a professional speaker and coach with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share at your next retreat, workshop, conference or event.  Jo is someone that is always looking at new ways to create business solutions that provide impact by transforming businesses. Jo works with you as a collaborative partner, by raising profiles, building your branding and bringing out your true essence ‘authenticity’ of your business.

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