4 Ways Digital Media has Changed Personal Branding

… and how you can build an impressive online presence!

We live in an interesting era, digitally speaking.

Editor’s Note: this article was first published on The Set Magazine.

There’s been a lot of chatter about the subject of personal branding in recent times. Some people expressing views that it’s peculiar for a human being to consider themselves a brand. Others, advocates of the subject, claim it’s one of the most important assets an individual can have at their disposal when navigating the world of work and business.

But how have social communications changed how you build a valuable brand on its head?

1. You can now tap into the global brain

Consider this, when you post a Tweet or Facebook post, it is spread throughout the world in a matter of seconds. In previous years, a leader had to stand on a rock and bellow. Now, they send a tweet. The dynamics of influence therefore, and who can wield it, have changed.

TIP: You can now tap into the global brain with the tools and networks available. Use this connectivity to advance yourself in your field. I connect with mentors and build relationships with people I wouldn’t have the privilege of connecting with without online media.

2. Growth of the knowledge-based economy

The advent of digital platforms and the economics they facilitate have increased the importance of one being savvy online. Information is at the heart of the world economy. And most of it is stored in computer systems, and a growing amount of it comes from or is kept online.

TIP: Build an online presence that shows off your abilities and the value you can contribute. Think of it this way: in online social circles, a majority of people consume what others create. The challenge for you is to be part of the 1% that creates. Be authentic, and let your creation flow from there. Inasmuch as Apple have with iTunes, create a platform — even if it’s a blog — where you can practice your trade and offer knowledge and skills to the digital economy.

3. The internet as a place for self-expression is no longer novel

The internet has become a second home for many a person with a mobile device.

TIP: Stop separating what you do offline and how you behave online. Virtual connections and behaviour have proven to have real-life value. Start asking yourself: Who am I; what do I want to represent and how do I extend that using social media? Start seeing social media as a way of life and a way of doing business.

4. Guaranteed, people will Google you!

A talented girl — let’s call her Mary — lost a great opportunity for a junior role at a reputable PR firm based in New York which represents a fair number of NBA basketball athletes. She’s sharp and they liked her. When Googled, semi-naked, drunk photos and other stuff of her on Facebook surfaced and the decision to hire her was overturned.

TIP: Be careful about what you put out into the world. You’re less likely to lower your sleek pair of jeans and relieve yourself in full view of the world. So why would you do it on social media platforms? When people want to know about you, they Google you!

We’re living in a transitional world world. The systems which gatekeepers built during the last century are becoming obselete. Now, you can be as creative as you want to be to get yourself and your work seen and bought by the world.

On the one hand it is intimidating. On the other, it is liberating.


THEMBA JAY,

Communicate Your Genius