Want to Smash Your 2018 Career Goals? Build Your Digital Brand
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Thinking of ways to position yourself for career success in the new year? Start by making sure your digital brand is working hard for you.

“As you begin to contemplate how you want to do better and be better in 2018, don’t neglect to also devote attention to your personal digital brand,” says corporate communications professional and social media marketing instructor Kristina B. Hill.

“Your digital brand—or how and what people feel and think when they encounter information about you online—is directly connected to your career and professional advancement in today’s Internet-driven society.”

Hill shares three steps for making sure that the personal brand you’ve worked so hard to cultivate is translating online as well:

 

Polish your LinkedIn profile.

Strengthen your digital brand by adding a relevant headline to your profile, using keywords in your profile that make you searchable by recruiters, and refreshing your profile bio.

“When it comes to crafting a LinkedIn headline, think like a marketer and write with your end-user in mind. Is your target audience a recruiter or potential client? What do they need? Craft a headline that speaks to this void,” Hill says. “Remember that you aren’t married to your LinkedIn headline. Refine it until you discover what works.”

As you’re focusing on words, make sure you’re using the appropriate keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile. “Each industry has its own unique language. If you aren’t sure where to get started, read trade publications, industry and influencer blogs, or even relevant job postings for inspiration.”

 

Update your head shot.

The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” couldn’t be truer in the digital space. Update your head shots on your social media and other online accounts. Hill advises that securing a photographer to capture your professional head shots is a small investment that will yield big returns in the long run.

“Your profile photos are the first impression that people have of you. Like it or not, people use pictures to make assumptions about likeability, intelligence, and other key character traits,” Hill says.

 

Conduct a social media audit.

“Social media networks are like a digital file cabinet that catalogs our opinions, likes, and dislikes for the world to discover. Do your profiles on social media reflect who you are today, and support where you want to be tomorrow?” Hill asks.

The end of the year is an opportune time to review the content on your social media profiles and other online accounts. Delete content that no longer reflects your current personal brand, and then get busy sharing content that does.

“Remember that the Internet never sleeps. It’s churning 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 365 days a year,” Hill says. “Your personal digital brand is broadcasting in this ecosystem, even if you don’t take the time to script what it’s saying.”

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Alisa Gumbs

Alisa Gumbs is the executive managing editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE, planning and executing content across the company's print, digital, events, and broadcast platforms, and writing features when she finds a story she's passionate about--including the November 2011, December 2010, and September 2006 cover stories.


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