Personal branding should be an essential aspect of any career strategy and management plan. Young tech-savvy professionals have learned to spread their relevance through social media, video, and to some extent, digital marketing. However, when it comes to my middle aged counterparts, we continue to rely on their referrals, word of mouth or their experience as a form of marketing.
Self-promotion is not something that comes naturally to this population. This is especially true for women, as many are not comfortable or used to advertising their excellence. Personal branding, however, is not about arrogance or boastfulness. It is about knowing how to express oneself in an authentic way, to have confidence in what one has to offer to the world and to create a bond with the others.
Whether you are a happy employee or considering a career turning point or transition, educating yourself on the importance of building your personal brand is essential. The rules of the game have changed. To boost your visibility, credibility and authority, you need to learn how to position yourself well in the digital landscape.
Here are three quick tips on how to give your personal brand a digital boost.
1. Improve your LinkedIn
One of the first things we do when we meet a new person is their name on Google. Unless you have a website, the first search result they’ll find is probably your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn remains one of the most powerful professional digital networking platforms, which is why you’ll want to make a solid first impression. There are three key areas you want to master:
• Branding photos: Add a professional, up-to-date photo first. If you’re still using your favorite photo from 15 years ago, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Your photo represents your professional brand and communicates who you are and how you want others to see you. If you want to show you’re digitally savvy, create a video coverage story and personalize your first connections with those who land on your profile. Video is a powerful medium and helps you connect with people on a much more personal level.
• Brand Title: Use your title to communicate more than your title. Choose compelling words and details that showcase your expertise and leadership in your industry. When your LinkedIn profile appears in a Google search, your entire title will be displayed. It takes less than three seconds to make a great impression in the digital space, and a powerful headline can give you a definite edge. Remember to include your personal pronouns. LinkedIn has provided you with additional space to do so without removing real estate from your title.
• Branded Bio: Use strategic storytelling in your “about” section. You don’t have to write in the third person (which goes against what most midlife professionals have learned to believe) because you want to engage the reader and communicate sympathy and credibility. . When crafting your story, be sure to grab the reader with a catchy statement; provide insight into who you are; make them discover what you are, differentiate yourself by your knowledge and your expertise; then get them to take action when they’re done. Using this “4D” approach will put you above your competition.
2. Publish or perish
Positioning your thought leadership in the digital space is essential. Ageism remains one of the last bastions in the employment space; however, you can demonstrate your relevance and viability by publishing the knowledge, expertise and exceptional results you have achieved over the years. A good place to start is posting on LinkedIn. You can also write for your organization’s newsletter or your local business newspaper, or you can submit an article for a major publication. Make sure you take advantage of the creator mode on LinkedIn as it allows you to identify hashtags in your field and share your thoughts on what’s going on in the world.
Again, if you want to showcase your digital prowess, get to know video. Using video to share your knowledge with the next generation or give ‘behind the scenes’ tutorials destroys any ideas that as a midlife professional over 45 or 50 you are either afraid of technology or ill-equipped. to use it.
3. Stop hiding
Now that you’ve created an exceptional LinkedIn profile and posted a few articles, videos, or blogs, don’t stop there. Take the time to post and comment on other people’s posts. By presenting themselves this way on social media, people get to know you personally and authentically. Your reader will learn what you are for and against, and it will expand your platform. Since many midlife professionals believe that branding is unnecessary, posting to social media channels like LinkedIn will increase your visibility and value to your target audience. You’ll want to spend time identifying the community you want to be known in, and then crafting a plan to deliver value to future fans. They will not only thank you for it, but they will also spread the word.
You have worked hard to reach the peak of your career, and your years of experience and knowledge are unique and valuable. Use these simple strategies to improve your online presence, captivate your market, and energize your personal brand in the digital space.