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Developing your digital brand

by Ali Cain | 16 Nov 2017

In a technology-obsessed world, it’s more important than ever for professionals to develop a strong digital identity. In fact, investing in an authentic digital brand is an important part of being a professional in the new digital world. Developing your digital brand - InFinance - FINSIA

Dani Matthews, founder of LaunchPad Media is a digital personal branding coach. She says it’s extremely valuable for professionals to invest in an authentic digital personal brand. She says creating an effective digital personal brand is essential when engaging with customers, colleagues, suppliers, mentors and others online and in social media.

“It supports direct interaction and ongoing dialogue. By being authentic and showing elements of ourselves we are able to connect with people at a deeper level,” she says.

A great digital personal brand also offers other benefits. For instance, Matthews argues is opens career doors.

“An authentic digital personal brand supports new career opportunities. It opens up new connection opportunities to build meaningful relationships.

“It can also generate new business opportunities. Good original content on social media really extends face-to-face brand positioning, putting you at the front of potential client's minds,” she says.

Matthews runs workshops and coaches senior executives including young professionals one-on-one to help them improve their digital brand. This involves reviewing and helping to revive their CVs, accelerate the impact of social media and curate meaningful content.

“I’m a personal trainer for your digital presence. We measure what matters most when we start, build realistic goals and hold you to account to get meaningful results.”

Top tips

Matthews has some great tips for building an authentic personal narrative that can be projected through social media and beyond.

The first step is to develop a ‘hero’ line you can use on social media that clearly states what you do. “For me, this is a digital personal branding specialist. Test what you come up with with your network,” she suggests.

Next, translate your hero line into a meaningful header image you can build an authentic personal narrative around and use consistently across your digital platforms.

It’s also essential to have an authentic profile summary. This should include your personal or work purpose including your value proposition which explains how you help people and also includes a fun fact about yourself.

“Havng such a clear idea of your why, what and how gives us self assurance and can be translated into our face to face elevator pitch,” Matthews explains.

Once you’ve done that identify your target audience? A useful resource is social media demographic information that can be accessed through social media management software Sprout Social.

“As an example, based on Sprout Social’s data for organisational coaches, we recommend LinkedIn as their primary social media channel. The LinkedIn demographic information shows an older average demographic than Twitter and Facebook with a higher education level and net worth,” she explains.

However, Matthews says rethinking Twitter, whose audience has failed to grow significantly in 2017. On the other hand, Instagram stories are becoming increasingly popular, with more users now than Snapchat. She also recommends watching for the rise of augmented reality in 2018.

“Once you’ve discovered the platforms your target audience uses, focus on two or three of them and do them well rather than spread yourself too thin.

“Also, some platforms will feel more authentic than others. For example my husband is a competitive age group triathlete and Instagram suits his brand and sponsors. For me, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the platforms I focus on professionally.”

Above all, Matthews says it’s essential to back yourself. “Earlier this year when I was building LaunchPad Media a mentor said to me, ‘At some point, Dani, you’ve just got to back yourself’. This was a pivotal moment for me. Because if you don’t back yourself, no-one else will.”


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