Boost your online presence with a STRONG personal brand ๐Ÿš€

Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

Hola amigos! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป Welcome to another one of my blogs! I'm delighted to have you here! ๐Ÿคฉ

Disclaimer: Who is this post for? Anyone! But especially for anyone looking to:

  • build an effective personal brand,
  • boost their online presence,
  • read a fun, light-hearted yet informative post

Grab your favorite drink, get comfortable and let us look at how to build a STRONG personal brand! Shall we? โ˜•

Brief intro โœ๐Ÿป

Last week I attended another session of the Hashnode Bootcamp III. As I mentioned in a previous post (which you can find here), the goal of said "bootcamp" is to help developers build a strong online presence and personal brand. Awesome, right?

The third talk was given by Colby Fayock, DevRel and Astrocoder at Applitools. Colby's talk was titled: "Stand Out by Building a Personal Brand". If you'd like to check out the slides for this talk, you can find them here. Today, I'd like to share with you what I have learned form Colby's talk.

So, without further ado, let's dive right into it! ๐Ÿคฟ

A personal brand you say? ๐Ÿค”

Yep! That's right. Brands are not just for companies and their products; people can have them too. But a personal brand and a product brand, are two different things.

So, what's a personal brand? According to Colby, a personal brand consists of the following elements:

  • A consistent photo of yourself, meaning: have the same profile photo on ALL your socials.
  • A consistent message: make sure you tell the same story wherever you are, be it Twitter or your personal blog.
  • A consistent voice: stay true to your style and what characterizes you. In other words, show your personality in a fitting way.

TL;DR: your personal brand is how you consistently present yourself online to others. Lots of emphasis on CONSISTENCY, which is key in anything you do, really.

Need a more refined definition? I got you, fam! Check this definition that I found on ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป (yep, there's a site like that!):

A personal brand is a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.

So, with that stuff out of the way, let us look at what makes consistency.

Consistency is key ๐Ÿ”‘

But how do you achieve consistency in your personal brand? Here, Colby proceeds to tell the audience how to accomplish this. Note, that what comes next, builds upon what we discussed in the previous section. A consistent personal brand is made off:

A photo of YOU.

Make sure that: a) you LOVE the photo and b) you are the only person on the photo. We know you love your boo (whoever that may be to you ๐Ÿ˜Š), but your personal brand is about YOU and only YOU. (Unless, well, you and your boo are building a brand together. Otherwise, it's a solo mission). You may consider doing a professional photo shoot for this one (if you can afford one). Else, grab that Insta-famous friend of yours by the hand and beg them to please help you. ๐Ÿ˜‚

A high quality banner.

Many social platforms and the like, offer the possibility to add a banner to your profile. That's usually one of the first things that people notice when visiting your profile too. This photo, should also be consistent across platforms. Additionally, you can add your motto or tagline to this image. That makes it more personal and more memorable. And remember, a banner image is better than none at all!

A short bio.

You can get wild with this one if you like, but make sure you use a similar (or identical) format across platforms. Here you can state things like where you work, what's your job title, what tech you focus on and the like. You can also add links to your sites and social profiles. Up to you. PRO tip ๐Ÿ’ก: if you have too many social links that just won't fit in a bio, you can use a service like Linktree to create a so-called link-in-profile. So, you'll wind up with a single link, that holds all your other links. Pretty neat, right?

Author's note: this is NOT a sponsored post.

With these 3 guidelines, you can go ahead and overhaul your social platforms. Go get em, tiger! ๐Ÿฏ

The impact of personal brands ๐ŸŽ‰

Now, you may be thinking: "This is all nice and dandy, Amelia. But how can a personal brand have any impact?". In his talk, Colby introduced the audience to an acronym he came up with to describe how a personal brand can have impact: ACE. (he thinks the acronym is not so cool, by the way ๐Ÿ˜‚). In this context, ACE is what a personal brand enables you to build.

Let's zoom in a little. ACE stands for:

  • (A)uthority,
  • (C)ommunities and
  • (E)xpertise

You can build authority by, for example, blogging or creating content around a certain topic. Colby used his boss, Angie Jones, as an example. Angie has been working with Java for a really long time. She's so good at it, that she was even recognized as a Java Champion (yep, that's a thing!). By producing content around Java, Angie was able to build a sense of authority around her personal brand. The good news? You can do the same too! Choose a topic you'd like to be recognized as an authority in, and start creating content around it along side your personal brand. With hard work and consistency, you are guaranteed to succeed!

You can also build communities around your personal brand. An example given by Colby, is Black Tech Pipeline, by Pariss Athena. Pariss launched Black Tech Pipeline to help connect black technologists to great companies. In addition to that, Pariss also kickstarted #BlackTechTwitter. So, in short, through her personal brand, she's come to build a community where black technologists can find a place in tech (where they are usually underrepresented, by the way).

This brings us to the last point, which is expertise. Similar to authority, expertise is something others can recognize in you. Let's say you have a long record of published mobile applications (Android and iOS) and years of expertise in the area of native mobile development. You may well be seen as an expert in this field (and perhaps even get recognized as an authority), given all the tangible experience you possess.

That basically sums it up. But, how does one accomplish all this? The answer is simple: by building VALUE. Value, as previously mentioned, can be in the form of content. You could start a YouTube channel and teach others about Cybersecurity. Or you could start a blog about your adventures with Ruby on Rails. Anything counts! As long as your personal brand is cohesive and memorable, the value you bring will not go unnoticed! ๐Ÿ˜Š

BONUS tips ๐Ÿ’ก

Before you go, let me give you a few more tips as a parting gift. ๐ŸŽ

Use Canva for making your banner

Canva is a online tool that you can create any kind of visuals, such as slides, holiday cards, posters, flyers, logos... you name it! You can also use this to make your banner for your social platforms. Before getting started, however, be sure to check the required dimensions by the platform you are targeting (it would be a shame if you create a design that doesn't fit ๐Ÿ˜ข). Be mindful of photo quality too and the format of the photo. Some platforms support limited photo formats. Forewarned is forearmed!

And in case you have no idea how to get started with a banner, just use a template provided by Canva and tweak it to your liking. Have fun! ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽจ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽจ

Start blogging or creating content

Not because I say so, but because it works! If you are down for it, start a blog wherever you feel comfortable and put your content out there. Don't like writing? Maybe make a YouTube channel. Don't like that either? Maybe start a podcast. When it comes to content creation, I believe there is a medium for everyone. You just gotta go out of your way to find the one that best suits YOU. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Engage with others

One other super easy way of making yourself more visible is to engage with others. Be it on social media or on their blogs. Leaving meaningful comments wherever you can, will definitely attract some people to your own profile. Who knows, you may be able to make a friend or two while at it! ๐Ÿ˜

Wrapping up

That's it for today's post! If you found it helpful, let me know in the comments below. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป How did you (or how are you) building your personal brand? Any tips you can share? I'd love to hear from you!

Happy hacking on that personal brand! ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป See you next time!


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