Are you a detail-oriented person?
Do you take pains to put your best foot forward at all times, even when the stakes don’t seem to demand it?
Are you known professionally and personally as a stickler for “getting it right”?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you’ve probably given some thought to your digital brand: how well it’s defined, how it’s perceived by those around you, and what you can do to improve it.
And as a detail-oriented person, you’ll be delighted to learn that some of the easiest things you can do to burnish your digital brand aren’t the sorts of “big picture” investments that take months or even years to realize. You can take care of many of these items in a single sitting and work on the others in your spare time.
Build Out Your Business Directory Profiles
In the course of your work, you’ve probably visited a business directory like Bloomberg’s company profiles or Crunchbase’s founder database during the past six months.
Perhaps you were checking on your own listing, or your company’s. If not, item number one for your digital brand development campaign is to create or claim your profiles on these high-authority websites.
Doing so ensures you a near-guaranteed spot on the first or second page of Google SERPs for your name (or, again, your company’s) unless you’re already very notable. (In which case the tips on this list will have limited utility for you.)
Claim Your Business Listings on Yelp & Google My Business
Don’t stop claiming just yet. If you’re developing a business brand, you’ve got more all-but-free search authority at your fingertips thanks to engines like Yelp and Google My Business.
And search authority is almost beside the point here — the real benefit of claiming your Google and Yelp listings (and Bing, and others) is to exert more control over the user-generated content your brand cultivates. Yelp doesn’t allow you to delete negative reviews, of course, but if you don’t claim your business listing, you can’t even respond to them.
Help Your Employees Develop Their Own Personal Brands
Like passive income and passive marketing, passive branding accrues benefits without a lot of heavy lifting.
Double down on passive branding by helping your employees develop and manage their own personal brands. “What’s in it for them” is of course better visibility in the talent marketplace; Sure, you might have to work harder to retain them down the line, but the medium-term benefits of having several (or dozens of) highly visible rockstars far outweigh the cost of losing any single employee.
Master the Art of the Twitter Thread
You’ve seen mundane Twitter threads get absolutely bonkers engagement. How do you replicate that for yourself?
A lot of it comes down to luck, but there’s also a lot you can do to skew the odds in your favor.
The more you know about a topic, the more naturally and authoritatively you’ll explain it.
Humor works well, in reasonable doses, and as long as it’s not too controversial.
Emojis are key — at minimum, the thread-spool emoji signalizing that you’re about to embark on an epic rant.
And links out to content you’ve produced on the topic — and from which your thread might be adapted, if you’re working smart — will increase ROI.
Don’t expect your first thread to get thousands of likes and retweets. Keep practicing and you’ll get better at it.
Be a LinkedIn Cheerleader (Without Going Overboard)
The line between boosterism and brown-nosing is thin. You don’t want to develop a reputation as the always-everywhere LinkedIn user who likes and comments on the most trivial updates.
But when people who matter to you professionally post stuff, don’t be shy about engaging. Your digital brand will be stronger if you’re seen as a champion for others.
Build Out Your Alt-Wikis
Finally, maximize your mentions — and your SERPs — by building out your alt-wiki listings. These are alternatives to Wikipedia with less strict deletion policies; basically, you don’t have to be a minor celebrity to get and keep a listing there, and you can create and edit your own listings (unlike Wikipedia).
Start with Wikialpha, which describes itself as “a near-indiscriminate collection of information in the form of articles on any topic.”
Sweat the Little Stuff, Reap the Rewards
Sweating the little stuff might not always endear you to others, especially those being asked to take care of them for you.
But don’t listen to the naysayers. You’ve made it this far, and you’re not about to change course. Besides, it’s clear as day that doing the little things right can have big benefits for your personal and/or corporate brand.
So keep sweating the little stuff. Start with these brand-building to-dos and see where they take you.