With nearly 50% of a company’s value reputation attributable to their core executives, how you are personally perceived online is now directly tied to your company’s bottom line (Source: Weber Shandwick).
In today’s golden digital age where you can effectively decide on your narrative, controlling your online reputation matters more than ever and needs to be managed, cultivated and shared.
What is a personal online brand?
Your personal online brand is how you are seen online, for example via a Google search. It should convey your unique combination of skills, experience and the personality that you want to be showcased at the forefront.
‘it will reinforce your credibility and open more opportunities.’
Having a personal branding strategy in place is crucial – just as you would if you were branding a business or product. Start with strong foundations and platforms that support your objectives and long term goals.
An analysis of your current position is also paramount. For example, do your posts and comments on Twitter from 10 years ago reflect your current position and employment? We are not talking about rewriting the past, just making sure that the most relevant details are foremost and have prominence, and that you are ready to defend positions that you may have held but now changed through education and growth.
Also, define where your boundaries lie right from the off. Family photos on Facebook may need to be locked down via your privacy settings. Are the posts you have been tagged in appropriate? All these things need to be reviewed along with other digital platforms.
What content you share and create is crucial along with what platform is best suited and how often to post, you want to come across as a considered thought leader rather than a spammer.
Here’s a general rule of thumb on how to spend your time online and what to post:
- 25% new posts about you, your opinions, what you feel is important
- 25% sharing or reposting posts, blogs, websites, and similar that are not your original content, but are relevant to your audience
- 40% interacting with other people, engaging in conversations on important, relevant topics
- 10% advertising products you love, your own business brand, and/or self-promotional content
A good initial strategy is to build a detailed social media plan. This ensures you don’t alienate your followers and helps establish you as an important influencer.
With personal websites and domain names becoming de rigueur, you may already have your own website. If so, great, you’ve got somewhere else to establish your brand and host your online profile and to contain all your thought-provoking articles and white papers. If not, it may be worth seriously considering getting one or setting up a cost effective microsite.
‘working on publishing your own newsworthy relevant content’
How important is Google?
Did you hear about the article or business that appeared on page three of a Google search? No, neither did we. But page one or two, now that’s a different matter. There are lots of things you can do to get your name to appear in a flattering and positive light on that prime location. Don’t sweat the things that you can’t change, but you can get nefarious articles pushed down the content tunnel by working on publishing your own newsworthy and relevant content.
Monitoring and listening
Make sure you keep ahead of the game by using real-time online monitoring for any mentions of you with software such as Brand 24 and Mention. Plus these can also be setup to listen out for useful conversations for you to join in on, helping build influential connections, expanding your network and elevating your personal brand.
‘…branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos
Make sure you take control over what is being said. We appreciate that putting together an online digital brand is time-consuming and probably not in your core skill set. Here at Walker & Davies, our consultants specialise in bespoke online strategies that support executives and business growth.
Contact us at personal firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on developing your online brand.