Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand that you’re cultivating every day through your online presence. Trust me, I get it—it doesn’t feel natural to tell people “I’m building my personal brand.” It might even feel a bit vain.
The reality is, social media and our online footprints aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Your story and who you are is your personal brand.
I respect those who build their following to step into the influencer space and monetize their following. But right now I’m talking to all of you ladies who are hustling hard in the corporate world, starting businesses, transitioning back into the workforce, growing in their careers and looking to take the next step. There are ways you can be more intentional about how you utilize social media and your presence online to position yourself for your ideal opportunities.
Where should you start? Here are 5 steps for you to start building your personal brand today:
STEP 1: Let’s do a quick social media audit of your channels: 1) Do you have a professional looking headshot & is it updated across all your social accounts? 2) Do you have a consistent username/URL across all your accounts? 3) Do your social bios have your updated work info and link out to a personal website/portfolio or LinkedIn? 4) Is your LinkedIn up to date with current work info, cover image, profile image, and bio? If you answered no to any of these, let’s get them updated now!
STEP 2: Before we dive into strategy, you need to answer this question: Where do you want to be this time next year? Do you want to be at the same company, but in a higher position? Do you want to transition industries? Do you want to start a new job? Or maybe you simply want to grow your network? Whatever the answer may be, focus on that goal when building your personal brand. Identify key topics that relate to your goal and create a plan to regularly provide commentary on them online.
STEP 3: Choose two platforms to focus on at a time! Don’t try to do the same thing on all the platforms at the same time. Identify the two platforms that make the most sense for your industry and make a goal to focus on building up those accounts.
STEP 4: Identify key people to follow—industry leaders or people you’d like to be your mentor. When I first joined Twitter back in the day, I was in awe of the fact that I could follow all the people I look up to and learn from them firsthand. You have that same opportunity now, but with even more platforms. Just make sure you don’t clutter your feed—research your current field and dig deeper than the obvious people you should follow. Then build up a genuine relationship through conversations around topics and posts that feel natural (don’t force it).
STEP 5: Create a content calendar and plan ahead! Identify key dates within your industry/desired industry. For example, if you work in fashion, you better be posting/talking about/engaging in the conversation around Fashion Week. If you work in tech, then Apple’s Keynote announcements are important moments for you to be sharing your thoughts and opinions. When you plan ahead, you’ll be able to show up consistently and build your profile within your community.
I launched Be Digable with the hopes that I could help more female professionals and executives build their personal brands, position themselves as thought leaders, and raise their visibility. I believe more women should be moving into those corner offices! You don’t have to be an influencer to build a personal brand—it’s all about being authentic, sharing your story, and engaging with your community to connect and grow.
For more personal branding tips, you can follow Be Digable on Instagram and sign up for our free email course: 3 Days to a Standout Personal Brand.
Lindsay Williams is the Founder of Be Digable, a personal brand strategy firm dedicated to inspiring female executives to discover and be confident with their voice in order to authentically share their personal narrative. Lindsay is committed to motivating professionals to step into their own greatness, helping clients position themselves as thought leaders in their field, network within and out of their industries, and share their unique story to leverage greater opportunities.