Last night while talking to students of my upcoming Leadership Evolution Masterclass Series #LEMS, one of them shared that, before investing in my group coaching program, she and her husband "investigated" me online.
Fortunately, I have invested time and energy in developing an online brand that is consistent with and reflects who I am and how I serve. Through this process, she found the comfort she needed to click on a button and sign up for my group coaching program.
In another example, I was recently asked via a LinkedIn post to share advice to a job seeker, who was feeling despondent after numerous rejections and years without a job and who was seeking guidance and advice. The first thing I did was head across to their LinkedIn profile and on their profile, I found an uncompelling summary, an activity list that did not highlight the individuals interests and passions, and no detail regarding past work experience, learning and development. An online brand that would not attract a second glance from any potential employer.
As employees, job seekers, small business owners, entrepreneurs or future entrepreneurs, we often don't understand or recognise the importance of developing our personal brands.
You are reading this post on an online or social platform, and while reading it, you are connecting with my personal brand. You are getting to know me and how I think. You are subconsciously deciding whether I am someone you would like to get to know better, someone you would want in your network, someone you would want to connect with and support.
Did you know, all of this is happening when someone connects with an aspect of your personal brand too? There are numerous opportunities to develop, sustain and grow your personal brand online and while the benefits of doing so may not be immediately apparent, there will come a day when you find out that you too were “investigated” and that the personal brand you have taken the time to develop is what allowed you to pass the test.
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Here Are 5 Simple Strategies To Develop Your Personal Brand Online:
- Everything begins with knowing yourself – Understand who you are, what you believe in, what you support, what you are passionate about, your long term and short-term goals. And then ensure that this is reflected all through your online personal brand.
- Reflect your attitude – positive messaging, comments, posts will reflect your positive attitude. If you don’t feel positive, then start spending more time with positive people, switch off the negative news feeds, read and listen to motivational mentors and leaders, do all of this until your mind feels positive. When your mind feels positive, reflect this in how you comment online and in what you share.
- Convey your aspirations – if you aspire to be employed into a strategic position in a large corporate, then ensure that your profile image reflects this future position, that the skills you develop are aligned to these aspirations and that the content you engage with is aligned to this position.
- Connect with the right people – know your goals and seek out people who can support you in achieving those goals. Connect with them. Get noticed by them; comment, like, share their online content. As they notice you and start engaging with you, work on developing that relationship. Investing time and energy in developing true relationships will help you unlock the opportunities you are seeking.
- Start now – You may be reading this and thinking that you have a comfortable job, or that investing in a personal brand does not apply to you. And while that may be true for now, if you look around, you will see that the world shifts and changes in the blink of an eye. You also transform as you go through life.
There will come a day when your personal brand will either be the reason an opportunity unfolds for you or the lack thereof will be the reason you never knew that the opportunity ever existed in the first place.
Right now, you have a choice. You could either go away and do nothing or you could think about some of the strong personal brands you’ve been noticing, following and maybe even admiring. Think about people who are just like you, but who are standing out through their online brands. Think about how replacing 20-30 minutes of wasteful activities (mindless social media surfing, watching TV, idle time) each day with personal brand building activities could potentially change your life.
Now, all that is left is for you to get out there and make it happen. Make your personal brand stand out and show off the real you and all of your magnificent potential!
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Recognize the power and potential of your personal brand.
YOU CAN DO, AND BE, EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO BE AND MORE
About the author:
Usha Maharaj CA(SA) is an Executive and Leadership Coach in South Africa who went from small town trainee accountant to Director in a Big-4 audit firm. Her 16+ year corporate career had all of the highs and lows of a high performing workplace where she shattered setbacks, crushed challenges and conquered fears to enjoy a highly successful career. She now inspires ambitious individuals and executives to reach their own highest level of influence in corporate South Africa.
Find out more at www.ushamaharaj.com.