Do me a favor and Google yourself. Seriously. Right now– Google your first and last name. What comes up? What is the first thing people see when they look you up online? This is your digital footprint. When people Google you – is it clear who you are, what you do, what your values are? If you’re happy with the results, keep up the great work and continue posting! If not- it’s time to start thinking about your personal leadership brand! In today’s evolving world, where technology continues to expand its reach, establishing a personal brand has become more crucial than ever. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the pervasive influence of social networking platforms, the digital landscape is constantly shifting and it seems like every other day there is a new platform to navigate.

Just this week Instagram released “Threads” in an attempt to compete with Twitter. Threads allows Instagram users to connect with their online communities through text conversations. But your personal brand doesn’t mean downloading every single new app or posting each hour. It’s about making sure people know who you are and what you stand for.  Getting the word out about you and your company is crucial.

Now, you might be asking, why are we talking about Your Brand?  We aren’t a marketing company, but when we work with clients we look at the whole person.  And we strongly believe that a part of that is your Presence.  Whether it is Executive Presence or Leadership Presence Online Presence.  It all says something about you whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or leader.

Shaping your online presence, connecting with others, and standing out amidst the ever-changing tech landscape are vital aspects of personal branding. Your digital footprint, which is how you and your business show up online, plays a significant role in shaping perceptions when someone Googles you. It’s crucial to ensure that people know who you are, what you do, and what value you bring.  For me, as a business owner, when I am recruiting I look at a candidate’s online profile.  If they don’t have a profile then it really gives me pause.  It really does matter!

Here are the top four things to consider as you build your online presence and personal brand:

  1. Defining Your Leadership Brand: This is the foundation of your personal brand. Clarifying your values, strengths, and unique selling points will help you establish a clear and compelling brand identity. Without a well-defined brand, it becomes challenging to differentiate yourself from competitors and create a consistent online presence.
  2. Providing Value Through Content: Creating and sharing high-quality content is essential for building credibility, showcasing expertise, and engaging your audience. Valuable content helps you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and attracts and retains your target audience. It’s an effective way to demonstrate your expertise, solve problems, and build trust with your audience.
  3. Using Your Passion: When you decide what to write about on LinkedIn, or speak about to the people you lead, find the topics that you are really passionate about – the ones you literally can’t not speak about. Passion is so important when creating a leadership brand because it’s contagious.  Don’t focus on who’s going to follow you or how what you say is going to land. Just focus on how what you’re saying lands with you. It needs to be true to you, otherwise it will fall flat.
  4. Engage and Interact: Actively engaging with your audience is crucial for building relationships and fostering community around your personal brand. Responding to comments, messages, and social media interactions show that you value your audience and are willing to engage with them. Genuine interactions help create a loyal following and increase brand loyalty.

These four points form the core of a strong personal brand: having a clear brand identity, providing value through content, and actively engaging with your audience. By focusing on these aspects, you can establish a compelling and distinct online presence that helps you stand out among your competitors.

Above all else, the most important key to building your personal brand is authenticity. Authenticity is the cornerstone of building your personal brand. Stay true to yourself, your audience, your customers, and your company’s mission and values. Focus on putting out useful and memorable content that aligns with your values and helps showcase the type of business leader you are. It’s not about chasing every trend but staying true to what matters to your personal brand.

One leader who exemplifies success is the entrepreneur Gary Vee. Known as a social media powerhouse and the founder of VaynerMedia, Gary Vee has mastered the art of building a powerful personal brand. His expertise and insights on personal branding are invaluable. I highly recommend checking out this video: How To Start A POWERFUL Personal Brand In 2023 – Gary Vaynerchuk Motivation where he dives into the profound impact and the  building of your personal brand. By learning from industry leaders like Gary Vee, we can gain valuable knowledge and inspiration to elevate our own personal brand and make a lasting impact in the digital landscape.

If you’re unsure where to start, I recently partnered with talented individuals to conduct an audit of Steople’s online presence, including our website and social media content. I highly encourage you to consider doing something similar to gain valuable insights. If you need recommendations, I’d be happy to share their names with you. Building a strong personal brand takes time and effort, but with the right strategy and authenticity, you can differentiate yourself in the competitive online landscape. Now go update your LinkedIn and start connecting!