For a long time, I think I was rather confused by what, exactly, this means. At least in the practical sense.
The two words together somehow just seem to conjure rather awful Kardashian-levels of vanity and self-involvement. Not something I would normally be interested in pursuing.
But as I took lessons from my “big scare” of last week; the realisation that I’ve not been putting nearly enough effort into my career beyond the 9-5 that I should be in order to advance it, I realised that “brand you” is precisely one of the areas I’ve been neglecting.
But what can I do to increase my online brand? As someone working in social media I imagine it’s more or less expected that you’ll have a fantastic presence online. Although that is a little like working in sewage disposal and being required to have a never-ending fascination with faeces. Just because it’s what you do doesn’t mean it’s who you are.
So over the weekend I came up with my plan of attack.
LinkedIn. Share industry news and developments. Pen my own Pulse pieces developed from attending industry seminars and events. Read industry books by influencers and experts and write reviews.
My own blog. I love updating this journal with my own thoughts and feelings, but I’ve been severely neglecting my own blog this past year. Too busy and, truth be told, I didn’t have a direction for it – fashion? travel? art? I was creatively at sea. I know now that social media and creative content strategy are my industries and the direction for my career, so I need to focus in on that.
I need to find influencers, creatives and digital entrepreneurs to interview. I need to author opinion columns after the style of my favourite journalists to show my grasp of culture, current events and creative writing. This is also a chance to write on areas and industries I’m considering as moves later in my career, such as gaming and technology.
Read. I like to think of myself as an expert in my field, but the truth is I’m not. I get so bogged down in the day to day duties of my job that I forget to step back and look at the bigger picture. The wider landscape of social media, digital and PR. I need to be reading the daily trade news and constantly educating myself, something I have let fall by the wayside.
Communities. Be active online in forums and communities related to my field, in order to build up knowledge.
Podcast. If I can, I would love to look into starting my own podcast. Interviewing the aforemtioned people but editing the content together as a found file as opposed to a written interview would be an exciting project and show off another set of skills. I mean, I would have to learn how to edit a podcast together first, but I think the knowledge of how to do so would be pretty valuable.
Now, I just have to do it.