Last year, as March rolled around, companies started moving their workforce home. And some of them will continue to work from home, at least temporarily. A recent Gartner survey of corporate executives found that 80% allow employees to work remotely for at least part of the post-pandemic time, and 47% allow employees to work full-time at WFH. That means your meat and bone brand has been replaced with the bit-and-bytes version of you. And it means you need to be more conscious, competent, and steadfast in managing your digital personal brand to ensure it stays authentic and compelling. The good news is that there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you make a meaningful first impression, connect with the people who matter most, keep you updated on what is being said about you online, and your relevance as well Being able to demonstrate brilliance in the new digital workplace.
1. Video tools
I’ve spent the past year buying large amounts of video equipment – but that’s because I’m a public speaker. So video is the core of my job and not just part of it. For you, video is likely a part of your job – a big part if all of your meetings became Zoom meetings. Did you add up how many hours you spent using Zoom in the last year? It’s not something to be upset about. A PwC survey of 669 CEOs found that 78% believe remote collaboration will last over the long term. Spending more time outside of work areas can help make these interactions as extensive and robust as possible. This means that you acquire a small number of video tools to project your brand. These three investments are the most important: a light to make sure your face is properly lit, a portable green screen that lets you project an in-brand background without worrying about the shaky halo effect, and a great microphone . Your laptop or cell phone camera is the quality you need, but with these three accessories you are really ready for your close-up.
2. Brand awareness tools
Now that your brand is online, you need to keep abreast of what you are saying and what is being said about you on the web. Notification is a LinkedIn feature that lets you know when you are mentioned in the messages. Google Alerts will notify you via email every time your name appears in content on the web. BrandMentions allows you to view the content that you’ve posted online and gives you insight into where that content has been shared and what other locations it’s showing up. This helpful tool is also a great way to monitor the top hashtags that you follow so you can stay up to date with the latest thoughts on topics that are important to your brand. With these tools, you don’t have to actively track what’s happening. You can sit back and be notified.
Rebrandly is a tool that gives your communication efficiency and branding. It is a link management platform that allows you to shorten and brand the links you have shared. You can also track them. As you increasingly interact with your network contacts through social media, leveraging your links is a smart move.
It’s also important to be visible and valuable on all of the websites that your branding community lives on. Namecheck.com allows you to identify the social media platform names that are available to you. It is a good habit to reserve your name on all relevant social media platforms, even if you are not ready to participate. It’s like securing vacant real estate, the value of which increases as you prepare to build the home.
This rich media social media platform offers some powerful benefits for those looking to build their authentic brands. First, the medium of video allows you to have full communication that is far more persuasive to those who want to learn more about you. Second, video content is more likely to display on page 1 of a Google search than similar text-based content. This is thanks to the universal search, which creates a multimedia summary of the searched topic, which is displayed on page 1 of the search results. YouTube also ranks second (behind Google, of course) in popularity as a search engine, as it conducts more searches than Yahoo and Bing combined. For all of these reasons, YouTube is a great place to get your brilliant content visible and grow your brand.
4. Your LinkedIn About
The main tool for managing your online brand is LinkedIn. That’s because someone who is checking you out for work visits your LinkedIn profile. And even if they start their search on Google, they will be redirected to your LinkedIn profile as it will appear at the top – or at least one of the top three. Your LinkedIn About serves as a first impression and is the most-read version of your bio. So take the time to turn it into a virtual replica of your real you. And don’t make everything a business. Make sure it’s at the intersection of sympathy and credibility so that people want to get to know you.
Your brand went online. And that’s good news when you’re ready to use these tools to showcase your brilliance, stay connected, and manage the branding strategies that are essential to achieving your career goals.
William Arruda is the founder of CareerBlast and co-developer of BrandBoost – a video-based experience for developing personal branding talent.