For some professionals, personal branding is a must—while for others it seems like a distraction in this social age. But we can assure you that it’s not. Being visible in this digital era no matter what industry you work in or your level of expertise is extremely critical for your professional and personal brand. In other words, if you want to shine where you are or want to level up, you have to position yourself to be seen on and offline.
Jacqueline Jones, head of Strategic Partnerships at LinkedIn; Rita Mitjans, chief diversity & corporate social responsibility officer at ADP; Monica W. Peterson, director of Affiliate Vehicle Planning and Pricing Product Planning & Strategy at Toyota Motor North America Inc.; and Yolanda Murphy, vice president of Communications at Northrop Grumman Technology Services dived deeply into how women can present their best-selves during the 14th Annual Women of Power Summit.
First things first, your online portfolio whether it’s your personal website or LinkedIn holds more value than you think.
“Make sure that you are able to articulate and present the brand that you want others to see. Social media gives you the power to represent yourself the way you want to be,” said Mitjans.
To that point, Peterson said, “be intentional about what your LinkedIn profile has in there.”
Use Social Platforms to Your Advantage:
- Update your profile picture
- Be clear about who you are, what you do, and the value you add in your biography
- Make sure that your information is accurate and up to date
- Share your expertise by blogging, engaging with other thought leaders, and sharing articles
It’s been said that the best time to look for a new job is on the first day of your new job, but, when it comes to personal branding and job searching that same logic does not apply. “You don’t just update LinkedIn when you’re looking for new jobs,” Peterson added.
And Jones couldn’t agree more as a leader at LinkedIn. She believes that social platforms give people of color the opportunity to tap into economic power.
Consistency is also key
“If your employers can see your profile and it represents a different person than you bring to work every day, you need to re-evaluate what you’re posting,” said Peterson.
Murphy got serious about personal branding in 2014 when she realized how important it was to tell her story.
“What I’ve come to learn is that it’s a form of currency. For example, look at your savings account…you’re investing so that you can get something back in return – a return on your investment. Your personal brand is no different. It’s something that is returning dividends to you and your company or those who you choose to do business with.”
Another tactic Murphy uses to manage her brand is to be selective about what she shares publicly. This allows her to engage in topics she wants to be a part of and those that serve her personal brand.
“I’ll talk about my kids, I’ll talk about communications. I don’t talk about money, faith, or politics. I set boundaries for what I will and will not talk about,” she added.
Personal branding in the social age also lends itself to the opportunity to build relationships offline so that you can land different opportunities.
“Partner with corporate communications. Pitch corporate comms your story and why you would be a great representative and how your story exemplifies what they are trying to say,” said Jones.
The general consensus when it comes to personal branding is to craft your narrative, share it, and shine! Finding the right strategy for your personal brand online comes with time but you can get started today with this expert advice.