Perhaps one day the traditional resume will disappear as we know it today.  Maybe LinkedIn or Google will replace it.  Currently however, social media and Google mostly supplement resumes for some organizations.  An online personal brand can either help or hurt a person’s chances of getting hired, landing a contract or sale, getting that book deal, being booked for a speaking gig and even getting into college.  It doesn’t matter if you like it or not – it’s the world we live in today.  Because of this you should actively sculpt your own brand so that it gives you the best chances for professional success.

  1. Engage – Engagement is a two-way street. When you engage with people in an online community, they will engage with you too. Good engagement will allow you to build the image and brand perception you want. Direct communication allows you to build real relationships with people.
  2. Listen – No matter what industry you’re in someone, somewhere is talking about you, your company, industry, brand, product or service. Usually these discussions are on one or more social media platforms. Most people and organizations don’t even know these conversations are taking place because they’re not listening. You should make active listening an important personal branding priority.  That way, when you engage you can engage intelligently.
  3. Educate – People only go to the web for two reasons: to be entertained and/or to solve a problem. By presenting yourself as an expert in your field, someone will find your content compelling enough to listen to you more often because you can help solve their problems.
  4. Entertain – Entertainment is one of two reasons people go online. You don’t necessarily have to be funny to be entertaining, although it doesn’t hurt.  Iconic88 entertains thousands of people a day on Twitter by simply posting famous and not‐so‐famous quotes. Most people find video blog posts entertaining and educational at the same time. If you are successful at entertaining people on social media your personal brand will flourish.
  5. Create Content – Whether you blog, create slide presentations, make cool widgets, videos, podcasts or the myriad of other digital assets that can be produced make sure you create something to share with people on social media.  Your personal brand equity will be much more valuable.
  6. Have Personality – Nobody wants to hang out with the boring guy offline.  Why would they want to hang out with someone lacking personality online? Don’t be afraid of being human online.  Just because you’re not in front of the person you’re engaging with doesn’t mean you have to act like a robot.
  7. Be Active – The quickest way to ruin your personal brand is to go on a six month hiatus from social media.  Either commit or don’t do it.
  8. Have Fun – It is called SOCIAL media for a reason.  Being social is supposed to be fun.  If you’re not having fun then you’re doing something wrong.

Although the steps above are well known personal branding best practices, there are others left to be discovered. What techniques do you use?