"Men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on accomplishments."
- Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In
Women often still feel like doing a good job is enough for a promotion, whereas men are more likely to be outspoken and proactive. The study Women in the Workplace 2016 by McKinsey and LeanIn.Org found that women who lobby for a promotion are 54% more likely to get one than those who don't, but these women are 30% more likely to be seen as "intimidating", "aggressive", or "bossy".
While many companies are committed to gender diversity, they have problems putting this commitment to practice. There still are fewer women in senior positions than men, therefore, it is essential for women to have a personal brand and to get noticed. For a woman in business, communicating one's brand can be challenging, but more women are overcoming the reluctance to market themselves and the feeling that they are bragging about their achievements.
Building your brand has got to be intentional, and whether you are just starting your career, or you are looking to advance, here are 5 important questions we have identified:
1. What do you stand for?
When it comes to building your personal brand, there is no other person to be than yourself. Find your style, do what works for you, don’t just do what others are doing, stand out of the crowd and project your uniqueness to those you relate with. Ensure you always operate from the place of your strength and create your footprint. Every update should be intentional yet authentic. As Caroline McHugh put it in her Ted Talk The art of being yourself
"When you look at remarkable individuals you find that the thing they have in common is that they have nothing in common."
2. Are you consistent?
Nothing can hurt building your brand like inconsistency. Let your online platforms; be it your website, or social media handle, updates or article consistently reflect your core values and personality. Once you are consistent, you will earn the trust of those you relate with daily.
3. Are you building meaningful relationships?
You cannot build your brand in isolation, there is need to engage with people especially women in your industry. Whether through online communities or by attending networking events. Networking doesn’t only boost your own brand but also your career.
4. What are you passionate about?
Without passion, it will be impossible to build a successful personal brand. People can spot when you are not real far off; in that case, put your heart into whatever you are doing. Let the projection of your brand resonate with areas of your passion - greatness can only be achieved where genuine passion lies.
5. Are you making your words count?
Building a personal brand goes beyond your website, social media handles, updates or articles, it is about what you do daily – your real life interactions. It is about the impression you leave in the minds of people as you relate with them and how you respond to situations. So, beyond your social media profile and personal website, be a woman of your words, your profile may give you a head start, but your daily interaction with people will determine the success of your brand.
Thanks to social and mobile technology, you can now own and drive how everyone perceives you. Everything you do; whether a tweet, a blog post, a like, a photo or an update on any of your platform is shaping your image. Personal branding doesn't happen overnight and as you are working on your brand, the right opportunities will start coming along.
What is your most important branding tip? We'd love to hear your opinion in the comments below...
If you've just joined the conversation and are wondering why all this matters, read our previous blog 5 steps to power-up your personal brand.
#leanin #branding #marketing #personalbrand #digital #personaldevelopment #women #socialmedia #leadership #empoweringwomen #femalebranding #femaleentrepreneurs
Digital marketing and branding have completely revolutionised the way of marketing for various levels of enterprises be it small or large scale. It's 2017 - we now see an increased interest and engagement in social media across diverse age groups, digital transactions, online malls and marketplaces, even online banking is now an entirely different ball game as it's gotten to a point where people are more inclined towards the cashless trend.
With all of these rising trends in digital in 2017, it comes as no surprise that companies and organizations have recognized the effectiveness of online marketing and have taken advantage of digital marketing and branding to expand and market their businesses across the globe reaching out to people that probably would have been impossible to reach before.
Together with Katie Chung, Belinda Esterhammer identified the top 4 digital branding and marketing trends in 2017.
1. Another Matrix movie or is this Artificial Intelligence (AI) thing the future?
The rise in online and digital marketing shed light on various tools proofing that digital marketing has come to stay for good. We now have algorithms that can help publishers generate content. How about good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and bad SEO? AI has helped marketers balance SEO, SMM (Social Media Marketing) and even UX (User Experience) to reach out to targeted potential clients.
It doesn’t stop there - we now have AI to determine user search experience and even provide them with GPS based SEO content. This way, as a publisher, you can target an audience and know that you're targeting the right people.
2. I am on social media, therefore I am.
The biggest game changer in the marketing world is no doubt social media. Every passing day, the results marketers and publishers receive from social media is overwhelming. We’ve seen the emergence of the big guns such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. Investing in social media so as to make the most out of these powerful networking sites is vital for every marketer.
You want to promote a hair product or a newly launched gaming gear? If you are not already doing it, use social media to engage and reach out to people interested in what you’re offering. With paid ads, you can reach out to more people, target a particular audience and increase your sales.
3. No one is watching cute cat videos anymore, its business now!
Nothing against cute cat videos, but it’s 2017!
There is a big shift from articles and tabloids to videos. We're in the visual marketing era. People are moved faster by what they can see. That viral video you watched yesterday, what made it ‘viral?’ It’s clearly because of it’s a video. In fact, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that by 2020 Internet video streaming and downloads will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
YouTube is one of the biggest video platforms. Publishers and marketers create compelling brand videos that are engaging to users and help to inform them of the products and services that are offered. People want to connect with your brand, and one of the ways of building that trust is by giving them a visual representation of your brand and something that they can relate with. Combining these high quality videos with some ads could just be the breakthrough your business needs. A funny example with over 24 Million YouTube views is this video from the Dollar Shave Club.
4. The Internet knows it all.
If you are familiar with the latest developments and trends in the digital world, you know all about big data and real-time analytics. These are tools to help marketers see, understand and predict the digital behaviour.
Previously, it was difficult to know the data of people who are interested in a product or service. Now, marketers can gather data and understand the behaviour, search patterns of their clients, determine and predict the market and use this information to better structure their marketing methods. Using this data helps marketers and publishers to become responsive to client's needs and helps them to be one step ahead of the competition by being dynamic and knowing what their customers want.
Today’s digital and marketing world is run by marketers and publishers who are ready to adapt to the various changes and trends.
Is there any other current top trend that you think should be mentioned? Please drop a comment below and let us know.
Interested in more? Here's the latest article on how you can kickstart your personal brand.
#digital #branding #markting #seo #ux #socialmedia #bigdata #ai #video #analytics
We are often asked to help build social media profiles for senior leaders as they have connected with how powerful a digital personal brand can be for building engagement and trust. In this second blog we'll give 5 simple kickstarter steps to build your online brand.
Step 1: Develop your personal ‘why’ statement.
In the words of Simon Sinek it starts with why - ‘why you get up in the morning, what is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.’ And this is the first part of the story that your brand -online or offline - should tell. There’s a great video on his site to help you get your personal 'why' statement together. This will be at the core of building your summary information.
Step 2: Update information regularly.
Your online brand should reflect more than just your current role. It represents the whole you – past, present, future, at work, at home and at play. If you are new to a company make sure you list your new role quickly on your LinkedIn profile as new colleagues will be looking to learn about you and connect. Smart companies will use social media to onboard you too. Include your previous roles, interests, hobbies, education, achievements and causes you support.
Step 3: List your skills.
Don’t underplay this part of your profile on LinkedIn. Did you know you can list up to 50 on your profile? The skills list can help recruiters or contacts find you more easily. They also help push your Google ranking – your personal SEO – higher.
Step 4: Share your point of view or stories.
Align your digital brand with what you think and know – as a thought leader. You might already be contributing to articles or white papers and you can share them with your networks on LinkedIn and Twitter. How about taking the next step and writing a 400 word article on a topic and sharing your personal views and expertise? This will improve your score on the Social Selling Index. Automation in social media is well established and we’ve all seen the corporate posts where several executives from the same company share the same ‘personal’ tweet. Cut through the clutter with authenticity. If you have time, advocate for your company in a way that's true to you. And remember, it’s not just your professional expertise you can share views on, contribute to dialogue on the things that matter to you - your interests, hobbies and your purpose.
Step 5: Refine your verbal and visual identity.
For some, the profile picture is the first thing they put online and it’s often the first thing the profile builders want you to insert. Don’t quickly upload a cropped shot taken from a recent event, social engagement or holiday – unless that fits with your role and purpose. For most professionals on LinkedIn a quality headshot straight to camera is best. Your verbal identity is important too, write as you speak, use the language and colloquialisms that are authentic to you.
Lastly – and it’s not a step but a necessity – check your settings. Can your profile summary be seen by everyone?
If you follow these steps then new contacts or people researching you before you meet are getting a pretty good picture of who you are.
They’re starting to form a first impression long before they shake your hand, and now they know enough about you to have a conversation at a level beyond business. You’re starting to build the ultimate social currency – trust.
We'd love to hear some more great social media profile tips, so do please comment below.
If you've just joined the conversation and are wondering why all this matters, read our previous blog Is your digital brand fit for purpose?
The views represented in this article are our own.
Keywords: Digital, Branding, Marketing, Personal Brand, Personal Development, Communications, Social Media, SEO, Leadership
Just as every successful company has a strategy to build, protect and grow its brand, you too must build a plan for your online reputation. We identified some simple actions that can enhance your digital brand along your career milestones.
And while we’ve mapped these to careers, it’s important to think of your digital brand as a long-term commitment - it’s something you’re always building. Engaging in social media is something you should be spending time on daily, as little as 15 minutes can make a real difference.
Firstly, as in any strategy, it’s important to know what base you are starting from. Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people to connect with and developing engaging insights. You can track it daily. Right now I’m at 68 out of 100 and in the top 1% of my industry.
So now you know where you are, let's think about where you want to be along your journey...
If you’re making your first moves into the job market and getting engaged with recruiters it’s probably time to look at your existing channels and make sure they are cleaned up. Recruiters are social stalkers and if Facebook and Twitter is where you have been sharing your college and other personal exploits think about what’s visible in your feed and look at your security settings. Almost half of recruiters believe seeing a picture of a candidate before meeting them influences their first impression. If you haven’t already done so its probably time to move to LinkedIn which 87% of recruiters find most effective for vetting candidates.
When you’re starting up a new venture you’re likely to be juggling planning, product development and raising capital, which can leave your personal brand at the bottom of a long list. But as a startup CEO, you and your personal brand are among the most valuable assets your company will ever have. Early stage investors will determine your valuation on a number of factors including a founder’s passion and purpose. Make public relations and your personal brand a priority and use social media to share news, ideas and network. The stronger your online presence is the easier it will be for investors to find you and your growth story.
Your personal brand is not only your own biggest asset, but is fast becoming your company’s too. More and more companies have started to understand the power of employee advocacy in helping them grow their brands and retain and recruit talent. In today's socially connected world building, maintaining and evolving your digital brand will be critical – some even suggest that social advocacy measurement might be the next performance metric for employees. You can start by sharing your company's content, but keep it authentic, share the content that you connect with and add your own comment, question or point of view to keep engagements going.
Evolving your digital presence can help your company's top line growth too. IDC research shows 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives now use social media to research vendors, so sharing your points of view and insights will help shape a buyer’s consideration of you and your company. So take a fresh look at your profile - does it reflect not only your professional skills but also a sense of your purpose?
Today’s CEO is social
If your ambition is the C-Suite then social media mastery is a great skill to pick up on your journey. The rise of social CEO’s like LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner and Richard Branson are great benchmarks – authentic, engaged and focused on their passions, purpose and legacy, not just their company's results. They are best practice examples of how CEO’s use social media to interact with and learn from their customers. But social media can be both friend and foe and if you are a CEO already - and with many live examples in the press right now - understanding where you and your social media strategy aligns with your company’s reputation and crisis management strategy is critical.
Portfolio careers, the gig economy, the talent economy – the workforce of the future certainly seems fluid and your digital brand needs to evolve too. Learning new skills and improving those that you already have will be critical in developing your career. Perhaps you are well known for being an expert in a sector and you want to showcase your new capability. It’s time to audit your reputation, looking at the search engine results and putting in place a plan to dial up your new competency. Create a pipeline of content related to your new capability and plan to atomize across the major channels. YouTube for example is considered the second largest search engine, so maybe it’s time to focus your efforts on video blogging. It’s sure to impact your search engine profile and in turn what you are known for.
The end of your career isn’t the end of your digital brand. And with an increasing life expectancy you may have many more years of work and social connections to be made after you leave your final company role. Keep plugged in to digital communities. Online alumni programs can often lead to face to face networking opportunities and monitoring social media is a great way to stay connected with issues that interest you, the careers of colleagues and mentees and businesses you interacted with. Join groups and forums too, with your many years of experience they’ll always be someone who needs advice.
Your personal brand is one of your most valuable assets throughout your career, you need to make sure it’s fit for purpose. In our next article, we’ll be sharing a framework for developing a powerful digital brand.
We love to talk branding so go ahead and reach out to us, or how about sharing your SSI score?
Katie Chung and Belinda Esterhammer
The views represented in this article are our own.
Keywords: Digital, Branding, Marketing, Personal Brand, Business Development, CEO, Communications, Social Media