In today’s digital world, your personal brand is defined by far more than what you wear to the office and how you behave during meetings. Your presence on the web, your social media profiles, and your email communications all tell a story. Plenty of people are reading that story every day. So, whether you’re content at your current job or actively on the market for a new one, you want to make sure that your digital footprint is in alignment with the personal brand you’ve worked so hard to create.
Take Control of Your Digital Footprint
Social media platforms provide excellent opportunities to build influence, network, and develop a following in your industry. When you use them, make sure to remember that the internet isn’t going anywhere, and neither are your pictures, comments, or blog posts. Your digital footprint will be with you for your entire career, so take control of it by following these essential rules:
- Twitter: Choose your words carefully. The Twitter format makes it easy for people to share what you’ve said and take your words out of context. A good rule of thumb is to avoid complaining about work on Twitter. Whatever you say will eventually get back to someone in your company.
- LinkedIn: Your LinkedIn profile should paint a clear picture of who you are, where you’ve been, and what you’re currently doing. Make sure that all of your job information is correct and up-to-date. Solicit recommendations from co-workers and former colleagues. Most importantly, make sure you have a current headshot. Please get a new photo every 3-5 years and pay a professional photographer to take it for you.
- Websites: If you’re a solopreneur or run a small business, your website should communicate your brand. Make sure the design, color palette, and fonts are consistent on every page. When people look at your website, they want to see that you know what you’re doing – a professionally designed website that is full of valuable content can go a long way to attract and retain clients.
- Email: Watch your language in email communication. Even if you’re sending an email to a colleague who you also consider a friend, keep it professional. Don’t bad-mouth your boss, don’t complain about the job. Remember, all it takes is one person to say something about what you wrote, or take your words out of context before you end up on probation, or worse, fired.
Align Your Digital Footprint with Your Offline Personal Brand
The key to creating a stellar personal brand is consistency. Your digital footprint should be congruent with who you are in the real world. When it’s not, you run the risk of coming off as inauthentic or unprofessional. If you’re a recent college graduate or anyone on the job market, do a social media audit of your online profiles. Ask yourself, “Would I want a prospective employer to see this?” If the answer is no, then take your profile down or clean it up. Employers, hiring managers, and potential clients, will Google you. If what they find doesn’t resonate with them, you likely won’t get an interview, let alone a job.
Remember, your first impression is your last impression. In today’s market, people are forming opinions about you before you’ve even walked in the door based on your digital footprint. So make sure that what they’re seeing represents who you are, what you can do, and where you want to go in your career.
If you need a little help to build a personal brand in a digital world or want feedback on how your digital footprint could be affecting your career, I’m here to help. Contact me today, and together, we will find a solution to the issue you are facing.