Why you need outstanding personal branding

In Reputation Managementby Marius Badenhorst

Why do you need to know about online personal branding? Well, because Imogen Heap wore a Twitter dress to the Grammys last night, obviously.

Heap’s outfit demonstrated once again that the internet and social media continue to penetrate popular culture and our lifestyles at a rapid rate. While most stars opted for designer couture on the red carpet, the British singer wore a neck piece with a wireless router embedded into it which enabled a live Twitter feed, and her bag was a small television set.

Throughout the Grammys the outfit displayed pictures and videos sent in by Heap’s Twitter followers, enabling them to join their favourite artist at the awards show in a unique way. Despite being deemed a fashion fail, the ‘Twitdress’ is an interesting landmark as it hints at the possible movement of internet technology from our desks and briefcases to our actual clothing.

Heap’s Grammy get up is yet another piece of evidence indicating that our digital and real life personas are growing closer and that it may be only a matter of time before they are entirely one and the same.

And with this insight comes the realisation that online personal branding has never been more important. Who you are and how people see you on the internet has direct consequences for your relationships, both professional and personal. For this reason it is important to know how best to maintain and enhance your personal brand.

The following general tips are a starting point, but do some independent research to find out which methods best suit your particular brand.

1. Before you do anything you must establish the essence of your personal brand. Take time to think about what you want out of life and then do some research on how best to achieve it. Decide what kind of person you want and need to be, find your niche and set some goals. This process should be well thought-out, and may take some time.

2. Once you’ve discovered and developed your brand start marketing it online. Put your resume online and optimise it for social media by integrating it with your social network profiles and incorporating elements of multimedia where you can. This will make your resume both accessible and shareable.

3. Maintain a blog which you regularly update with content relevant to your personal brand. If you’re trying to establish yourself as a search marketing specialist, for example, then write about search marketing topics. If you do this well you will gain respect in your field over time. Also get recognised by posting insightful comments on other blogs in your industry.

Give it some thought, and put the thought into action so you can stay with the times in preparation for the day when we all step out of our Twitcars wearing our Twitsuits.

About the Author

Marius Badenhorst