VOL. 133 | NO. 168 | Friday, August 24, 2018
Align Physical, Digital Self to Broaden Horizons
When you hear the term “personal branding,” you probably think of celebrities, business leaders or politicians. While each of those people have carefully crafted a personal brand, if you participate in social media in any way, you too have a digital personal brand.
A personal brand is a simple concept – it’s the way that you present your life to the world. Before technology, your face-to-face interactions determined your personal brand. Now you have nearly limitless opportunities to connect across the globe in the palm of your hand.
Think about your goals, either personal or professional. Now, imagine how much easier it will be to pitch your ideas to future backers or employers if you already have 20,000 followers who are invested in what you do. That’s enormous leverage! Seize this timely opportunity to become a better you by putting conscious effort into developing your digital brand.
Now that you’re convinced your social pages should be more than a place to share cute cat photos, you can start planning how you’ll develop your brand. Start by thinking of your social media platforms as a place to tell your life story. Is your story a mystery novel or a self-help book? Define who you are, what your life story looks like and the purpose behind your content. This is the essence of your brand and should drive all of your content.
You’ll then need to set your audience. If your goal is to eventually publish a vegan cookbook, you need to create content that fits your brand AND is enticing to those living a plant-based life. If you’re looking to help new moms acclimate to life as a parent, flirty posts that reflect who you are and make mommas laugh will fall within your brand.
With your goals, brand feel and audience defined, you’re ready to create content. While I could try to tell you exactly what will garner engagement, in reality, it’s going to be a personal trial-and-error process. As you create, closely monitor social analytics to determine how your content is being received. Pay special attention to engagement metrics (comments, reactions and shares), and replicate what works well for you.
All of this is for naught if you don’t follow the most important guideline of all – your personal brand needs to be a digital reflection of who you are as a person. Personal pages that are inauthentic rarely attract followers. So, you could set out on this incredible journey to unify and share your personal brand without breaking through the clutter. What is true in the physical world carries over to the digital one – people want to connect with other people who are vulnerable and self-defined. To find true success in creating a digital personal brand, you must unify your physical and digital self.
Your digital brand has the capacity to reach further than you can physically. While you’re sitting at your desk in Memphis, you could chat with someone in Germany or Colombia, no passport required. The implications for business and personal growth are enormous - you can find opportunities and pursue your dreams in ways that were inconceivable even 15 years ago. So, get out there and create!
Taylor Jolley, an account specialist at Obsidian Public Relations, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.