It’s virtually impossible to overstate the importance of your personal brand.
Your personal brand is “a personal — and private — exercise in establishing confidence, credibility and courage as well as help you define priorities and focus on those aspects of your life you enjoy most,” writes business branding expert Peter Gasca.
Using a successful (and successfully branded) acquaintance as an example, Gasca notes that personal branding isn’t all about raising one’s professional profile — even if that’s a key part of the exercise.
Of course, personal branding does require some public collateral, or else who’s to know about your new-and-improved brand? These four high visibility resources are particularly effective for getting the word out and framing the terms of the discussion just right.
For most rank-and-file professionals, LinkedIn is the personal branding platform.
Sadly, most users only scratch the surface of LinkedIn’s potential. It goes without saying that every LinkedIn user should fully build out their CVs, connect with colleagues and industry peers, and network with influencers on LinkedIn — but it’s just as important, if not more so, to exploit LinkedIn’s power as a publishing platform.
Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk’s LinkedIn blog is a great example: it’s separate from “Elon Musk news” and Elon Musk’s personal page, with little topical overlap. Even if you lack the resources to create an entirely separate personal blog on LinkedIn, you’re missing a major opportunity by not regularly publishing fresh content here.
Crunchbase is a data-rich branding platform for entrepreneurs, funders, and companies. Even if you’re not a household name, a Crunchbase profile conveys a degree of professional legitimacy — of membership in a rarefied club of high achievers — that no other platform on this list can. The Crunchbase profile for Mimran Schur Pictures co-founder David Mimran is a great example of this platform’s structure and format: nothing fancy, just the facts.
Medium is an interactive publishing platform — basically, a high visibility blog tool that’s tailor-made to drive engagement. Use it to lay out your ideas — and build your brand as an influencer — for all the world to see.
It’s absolutely crucial that you keep your Medium portal up to date, however. On a platform whose sole purpose is to distribute and drive discussion around original content, intermittent publishing reflects poorly on creators. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s otherwise illuminating Medium page is a case in point: its most recent post dropped in February 2017.
About.me is a more laid-back branding platform — a place where the personal and professional merge, and where you can feel free to talk about projects and initiatives you’re working on outside the constraints of a LinkedIn-style CV. Not surprisingly, About.me is a formidable lead-gen platform for freelancers and independent professionals.
Where Does Your Brand Live?
If you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you’d do well to build out all six of these high visibility personal branding resources. Each has its own strengths and drawbacks, to be sure, but all are immensely valuable for individuals and early-stage businesses seeking to set themselves apart — and increase their visibility — in an ever busier digital landscape.
Your brand should live in all four of these domains, and then some. Are you ready to do what it takes to make that happen?