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Four personal branding trends to consider in 2015

If you think that personal branding is for celebs like George Clooney, or bigwigs like Bill Gates, you need to think again! You are a brand.
So, before you market your company in 2015, you need to market yourself. Whatever people say about you when you’re not in the room, that’s the start of your personal brand. And taking control of it is the most important thing you can do for yourself in 2015.The same strategies that make celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others can be implemented by you. And you can build brand equity just like them. So, be four steps take a quick look at four key trends to get you ahead from a career perspective:

1. Don’t use every single social media platform.Social media profiles are like a pre-interview, a modern-day CV, a ‘cultural-fit’ barometer. And the platform choices are exhaustive.

Between Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube, blogging, podcasts, vodcasts and webinars, it is hard to choose?

Many people don’t choose these days, taking on the burden to use most of these. But you really shouldn’t.

Decide which one or two or, at most, three will speak to your audiences. Where do your communities live? Go to them where they are. Invest there. Everywhere else is bound to be a time-waster.

2. LinkedIn only works when you take it super-seriously.

If LinkedIn is going to be one of your Top Three, you need to spend real time on it.

Start by leveraging your email inbox. If you’ve been using LinkedIn for a while now, chances are you’ve connected with most people you know/have worked with. That said, searching through your email contacts is a great way to find people who might have slipped your mind or who work in a different industry than they did before.
Keep your LinkedIn profile updated. It does seem obvious, but people tend to get busy and forget. Granted, you shouldn’t need to make major changes to the experience or education sections, but if you consistently update your work portfolio, you’ll keep connections clued up on what you’ve been doing.

Finally, use the LinkedIn applications that you can add to your profile to enhance it in different ways. You might want to add WordPress, which lets you sync blog posts with your LinkedIn profile. You could use the SlideShare or Box.net apps to embed presentations or videos. Or you could connect your LinkedIn account with Twitter, to either display tweets on your LinkedIn profile or share LinkedIn posts on Twitter.

Remember: you don’t need all of these. Pick one or two, and ignore the rest.

3. Come to terms with the fact that video is the new black.

About ten years ago you had to have a websites to be taken seriously. And you still do. But the game-changer these days is video. And putting them online.

The power of video is that it shows and tells. It allows you to deliver a complete communication that’s visual, relatable, and will build emotional connections with people who are making decisions about you.

A video bio projects your personal brand in a way that shows people who you are and what value you can deliver. It’s not a video version of your CV, in which you laboriously recite your credentials and experience, but a 3D portrait of you.

If you can get a colleague, a staff member or (ideally) a professional to video your next presentation or take a video of you sharing an anecdote, do it. If you’ve been interviewed on TV, get the producers to load the clip onto Youtube and share that. Use any decent-quality expression of yourself being a pro on film.

4. Decide, in advance, what you’ll say ‘No’ to next year.

Are you a chronic over-committer? This is not only bad for your health, your spirit, your productivity, but also for your personal branding. So, my advice is: in 2015, plan to say ‘No’ to things that sap your energy but don’t rejuvenate you. Here’s how:

If you’re asked to do something optional that you can’t commit to. Just say this: “I appreciate your thinking of me and I’m honoured by the request. But I don’t have time to give this my best attention right now. I think you would benefit from finding someone who can devote more time and energy to this project.”

Remember: By saying No to something, you’re saying Yes to something else.