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8 Ways To Get Your Personal Brand Ready For 2021

To truly hit the ground running in 2021, you need to take stock of your personal brand right now. Follow these easy steps to upgrade up your online presence and prepare for your outreach, so when you start networking in 2021, you're looking fresh as a daisy.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s year-end, and it’s time to relax from the hideous year that was 2020. You have a lot to do in 2021, but you’ll do that heavy lifting in January! Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I am assigning you some homework due on January 1st. To truly hit the ground running in 2021, you need to take stock of your personal brand right now. Follow these easy steps to upgrade up your online presence and prepare for your outreach, so when you start networking in 2021, you’re looking fresh as a daisy.

YOUR LINKEDIN PAGE NEEDS SOME LOVE:

With over 700 million users, LinkedIn has had a stellar 2020 and is still the go-to resource for recruiters. If you think of yourself as a brand, your LinkedIn profile is your flagship store window. When is the last time you read your bio? How old is your profile picture? Are your skills up to date? This page needs to be updated regularly. Want to be a thought leader in your industry? Start writing and sharing relevant articles on LinkedIn. LinkedIn loves when you share interesting content, and unlike some other platforms we know, it helps people in your network see it. Here’s a reminder on How to Be a LinkedIn Master.

ARE YOU WASTING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA BIO?

What do you want to be known for? What do your bios on Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms say? Are they even the same? Remember that you need to hand people who you are on a silver platter. If your bio lists you as a “Netflix addict and wine connoisseur,” you’re taking valuable digital real estate and wasting it. Every platform you are on needs to support your professional goals. Please don’t make us guess what it is you do or want to do.

WHAT’S THE STATE OF YOUR UNION?

When’s the last time you told your network what you’re up to or trying to do? Write a state of your union address and email it to people you want to stay connected to. Ask them to tell you what they are working on, and perhaps there’s a way to collaborate on something. If you’re feeling communicative, email the most important people in your network directly. If you would rather bcc the list of emails, that’s fine too. The point here is to pop into people’s inboxes and share what you’re working on. Put a bug in their ears. It’s also a great place to put an ask out if you’re looking for support. Prepare this communication now, draft your list of targets, and send this out the first week in January.

YOU NEED A DIGITAL DUMPSTER:

Take a stroll through your online presence and delete posts that no longer fit the image you want to portray. What we post one day sometimes isn’t what we stand behind the next. Do this clean up before you reach out to anyone and especially if you are applying for jobs.

TRAIN FOR NETWORKING:

Think of networking as an Olympic sport. Train before you play. Research the people you want to reach out to, write thoughtful and tailored pitches. Make them see that you’ve done your homework and know what they do. But before you hit send on that email, read below.

DON’T MAKE THE ASK WITHOUT OFFERING THE GIVE:

The best way to ask for help is to be direct with what you need. But that sentence should be followed by what you can offer. I had someone reach out to me recently who wanted to learn how to produce a podcast. She asked me for help but offered a trade in writing services. When you feel that you are getting something in return, you are way happier to give.

ASK FOR WARM INTRODUCTIONS:

It’s hard to email people that you don’t know. If possible, figure out who you might know in common and ask for a warm introduction. It’s worth doing this digging, trust! If you find that you have no one in common, please refer back to the above point.

CONTACT TRACING IS NOT JUST FOR COVID:

Start keeping track of your efforts, networking, and all connections made in a document. Who did you email? Who introduced you? When did this happen? When do you need to follow-up? Being mindful of these details will help you strategically build your network.

If you do all of the above before the New Year, I promise you will hit the ground running in January. But better than that, you will feel so much more confident with a clear understanding of who you are and what you have to offer. Remember that your personal brand is one thing that you actually can control. So seize the moment to tell people who you are in a compelling way. Every outreach you make results in that person checking out a profile of yours. Your online presence matters, it doesn’t have to be big, but it needs to be good. So start making it work for you and your professional goals.

By Aliza Licht, ForbesWomen, first published on https://www.forbes.com/ December 20, 2020