Your personal brand is unique to you. It’s how employers and those in your network perceive you, sometimes before you’ve even met. It is your first impression to everyone. However, so many people leave it to chance and don’t have the time to shape it into what they need.

Due to COVID-19, many workers are finding themselves at home with a lot more time on their hands, so now couldn’t be a more perfect time to start re-focusing on your online brand. Here are our top 5 tips to help get you started:

1. Be selective about your social platforms

Our first tip is to be selective about which social media platforms you have a presence on. The digital world we live in provides endless brand-building and networking opportunities, but it can also be hugely overwhelming to manage and for your followers to keep track of.

Managing multiple social media accounts whilst trying to devote yourself to developing and growing your career can be an impossible task. You, therefore, need to focus your efforts on mastering two or three channels, otherwise, you’re sure to find your efforts spread far too thinly and much less effective.

We would say the most important network from a personal branding from a career point of view is LinkedIn, where you’ll find huge competition – but also many of the most relevant and interesting people, leads and professional opportunities. Once this is at it’s best, focus on 2 more platforms that you enjoy using and feel would benefit you the most.

2. Ensure you have a (professional) profile picture

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is one of the simplest and quickest ways to start building your online presence.

For an ideal profile photo for LinkedIn, the image should roughly be 60% your face and 40% a distraction-free background. If you don’t have a picture at all, some viewers may even question this and could immediately make a false assumption of you right there and then. If you don’t think your picture is currently up to scratch, use this time to get snapping!

3. Effectively share content

The more you share relevant content, posts or industry articles on your social media accounts, the more powerful your personal brand will become. The good news is that if you’re smart about it, it doesn’t need to take up too much of your time.

How to find relevant content? Try to research and source interesting pieces that are relevant to you, and potentially your networks – this will help position you as a well-read expert.

To find engaging content, try some of these tips:

  • Sign up to email newsletters of relevant websites for the latest content
  • Follow hashtags, companies, and influencers on LinkedIn – when you do, you’ll start to see relevant content in your news feed which you can then share
  • Based on the information on your profile and your viewing history, stories of interest to you and your connections will be suggested as part of your newsfeed. Simply scroll, read and share.

4. Comment, like and share

When scrolling through your news feed, it’s important to engage with other people in your network – every ‘like’, share or comment will prove that you are active and position you as an expert in your field. This will also help to increase the visibility of your profile to those inside and outside of your immediate network. These quick actions only take a few seconds to do but can ultimately have a huge impact over time.

It also might sound obvious, but we highly recommend having all the relevant social media apps on your phone – that way you can interact if a ‘real-time’ conversation pops up that you want to input in to or to engage with your community when you have a quick 5 minutes to spare.

5. Make it a habit – and enjoy it!

We’ve established that consistent activity is key to building your personal brand online, and there are lots of tricks and tools out there which can help you do so in a way that isn’t going to take up too much of your time.

The key to managing your personal brand online is making it feel more like a habit, rather than a chore to complete. It’s important that you feel like you are getting some sense of enjoyment, gratification, and value from doing it – whether that be through making personal connections with key members of your network or by making lots of new followers!

Whatever your goal, now couldn’t be a better time to enhance your personal network and get yourself seen to a wider audience.