Written by Sara Robards
So you’re a PR pro, carefully managing the reputation of others for a living, but chances are you’ve been so busy you forgot to establish or keep up with your own online reputation (hello headshots from 2003). Let’s be honest, a quick Google search and a scroll through LinkedIn are the first thing agency hiring managers and new clients look at before deciding whether or not to consider bringing you on board.
Dusting off that digital resume and updating your website and business socials are critical, but often overlooked steps of furthering your professional career and growing that client list. With experience in content creation, SEO, analytics, media outreach and promotion to name but a few, communication mavens such as yourself already have all the tools to successfully create a bangin’ personal brand. So put those tools to work and pair them with a few lessons from the true personal branding experts- media influencers.
Influencer marketing ecompasses all of the elements of current self-branding practice. The influencer economy is a phenomenon that has grown dramatically in the last couple of years as influencers become successful for their capacity to create a personal brand- constructing and promoting their unique attributes in order to a following and become a marketable commodity.
Style influencers such as Negin Mirsalehi, Chiara Ferrangi and Camila Coelho are all household names and front row regulars, thanks to their ability to self-brand. Each influencer uses a range of PR techniques to promote him/herself and gain followers. So, take lessons from your favorite it-girl and consider self-promotion your most important role. Here are three key rules when beginning to curate your own personal marketing campaign:
1. Identify your individualism
You’d be shocked to find a luxury fashion influencer with a killer food blog and a penchant for interior design and DIY macrame hangings. You wouldn’t trust one single person to be the very best at all of these, would you? So why is it that every agency website boasts “full-service” capability and an array of PR/marketing/social capabilities, and every publicist’s Linkedin lists a gamut of similar skills?
You do it all. We get it. But what do you do really, really well?
While a basic list of your capabilities should be listed and called out in any relevant case studies, the thing you do the absolute best and can show the most results for should be your main calling card.
2. Authenticity is key
The influencers that stand out the most are the ones who seem to have a genuine personality and a true obsession for whatever niche they fall in. If you’re an agency owner- think of why you decided to break out on your own. What is your agency’s personality and how is it different from all the others? If not, what is your own professional personality? Be yourself and be interesting. People veer away from a dry agency website or professional portfolio faster than they hit the unfollow button after seeing a plug for skinny tea.
3. Remain consistent
Like a commitment to wearing neutrals for three weeks for the sake of IG grid cohesion, a long-term strategy and commitment are essential to creating a killer personal brand for yourself or your agency. Building a social following is useless for an influencer if they neglect to update and keep them interested.
The same is true for clients and hiring managers. Keep a consistent schedule in uploading and updating content across all platforms to boost your level of professionalism. The last thing you want is to spend hours creating a buttoned-up LinkedIn just for a client/employer to check your Facebook and find that you have been “actively employed” as a retail associate at Macy’s since 2001 and have been dormant aside from Buzzfeed personality quizzes that accidentally posted to your timeline.