It’s time of the year when every business leader and professional is excited to know the predictions in their respective fields for the next year. A CIO wants to know other CIO’s top priorities, a marketing technologist wants to know what’s in for them in 2016 etc so that everyone can plan out their company brand strategy accordingly. But don’t forget there is another brand- Your personal brand that needs to be built and strengthened as well in the coming year.
Recently I wrote about the importance of having a remarkable and recommendable Personal Digital brand and how to build it. In this post I wanted to talk about some simple things we can do to accelerate our personal digital brand in 2016 and get ourselves ready for the New Year because your brand is in your hands!
Here are five(5) must do’s to strengthen your personal brand in the coming year –
- Rise with a specific niche: If I call myself a marketer, you would ask me what’s my area of expertise in marketing? If I call myself a product person, one would ask me what exactly is my role. With the advent of technology, personal and professional lives are blurring and so are the job titles and thus it’s becoming more important to define and crystallize your area of expertise and make yourself recognizable as a go to expert in a defined area in your industry.
Keep it consistent across all platforms and ensure it’s sharp, crisp and simple to understand by the audience who matters to you.
- Pick your platform and join the emerging ones fast: There is no dearth of social networks and platforms that one can be present on, but remember your niche area would require you to concentrate on a handful. While Facebook and LinkedIn are always good ones to be active on, besides that find the top ones where your target audience is hanging out and put extra efforts in winning on those platforms. g. if you are starting with a career in professional videography- Periscope, Vine, Youtube should be your top 3 picks.
Simultaneously be an early adopter of the platforms that will complement your brand building. If you are a photographer, besides Flickr, it’s recommendable for you to become an Instagram expert. If you are youth trainer, you wouldn’t want to miss Snapchat.
- What’s your #hashtag? What an elevator pitch is to the physical world, a hashtag is to the online world. In 2015, there has been an increasing trend among social media influencers of having their own personal hashtag that defines their expertise. I have a friend named Jane, who happens to be a food critic and whenever she writes about food she uses #JaneBites. In 2016, this hashtag wave is going to get even bigger. With majority platforms supporting hashtags now and making your content more searchable, pen down a few quirky hashtags that are exclusive to you. This will also allow your audience to find and follow you easily.
- Commit time to Content creation: Undoubtedly content marketing is playing a vital role in the digital world. If you have been light on it in 2015, gear up for 2016. Sharing your own content, gives you the opportunity to authentically reach out to potential recruiters and relevant stakeholders. It makes you stand out. Many of my trainees always say that we cannot express our work and thoughts in writing well and hence they avoid blogging, but is that the only way to share content? If you can’t write, shoot short video interviews of yourself. If you are camera shy, make presentations on Slideshare and grow your channel. There are plethora of content marketing channels that are available to us now. One that you should definitely tap on in 2016 is Podcasts.
- Give love to get love: When was the last time you complimented someone’s work on social media, helped someone to promote their work and gave them kudos! Share and embrace the power of shareconomy. Trust me, the favour will be returned. This will be your first step in building your brand advocacy!
Finally, since your personal brand is about you, always be authentic. Be real and let your passion speak for you. I am sure the coming year is going to be an exciting one, so be ready to shine bright in 2016! Build a brand that you’ll be proud of and will set an example for the community as well.
If you have any comments or questions, I am always happy to answer.
This article is part of the #2016defynd series where we have experts from the industry talk about what digital marketers need to do to keep up with Digital Marketing in 2016. You can check out the entire series here.