The personal branding landscape is always changing. Nothing could inhibit your professional growth like posting tone-deaf self-promotional content online. So, as you carefully grow and curate your persona, check in regularly to make sure you are keeping up with global trends that could impact your career success. The digital bar is raising in 2017; step it up a notch in the multimedia department, keep it socially savvy, and don’t be afraid to take the wheel.
A picture is worth a thousand words and the undeniable success of image-based social media platforms means that billions of these visual “words” are being posted every second. Text is rapidly being replaced by images in the form of photos, videos, and gifs. Your brand could similarly benefit from a glossy visual upgrade. In 2017, it’s expected that you provide a rich graphic experience for your brand’s online community by incorporating multimedia into your digital communications. A good way to start is by incorporating Instagram into your social media roster. Instagram is currently the leading picture platform. According to eMarketer, in the United States, 51.8% of social network users will be using Instagram in 2017. As of now, 89.4 million Americans access Instagram monthly.
If you do nothing else to improve your image, at least remove that profile picture of yourself on vacation with your friend mostly cropped out. If you have been waiting for the right time to upgrade your headshot, now, 2017, is that time. In a market that is increasingly virtual, your headshot is the humanizing calling card that you leave on the doorstep of every person in your network. It’s the face that goes with your name. It’s what makes you a real, engaging person that clients and colleagues can connect with online. And the bar is definitely getting higher all the time. It isn’t enough to have one mediocre headshot. You are on your company website. Maybe you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or your own blog. As a career-minded professional, it is essential that you have a portfolio of several high-quality images that show the authentic you with which your network can engage on a daily basis.
And engaging on a daily basis is key; 2017 is the year of the socially savvy employee. In 2010, roughly half of companies blocked access to social media. Every year sees on average a 10% drop in companies blocking social media access for employees. Progressive organizations know that individual employees can reach roughly 10 times more people with their personal brands than the company can with its corporate brand.
Leading the pack for professional networking is LinkedIn which continues to expand as the standard for career management. The professional development platform has been enhancing its customization options and the changes contribute to the platform’s value as a career management tool. You can now incorporate multimedia content in your profile, customize the appearance and background, and rearrange sections of text.
2017 is the year to claim your virtual turf, engage your community with multimedia and improved visuals, and take control of your career. Gone are the days of being a corporate drone. This is the age of employees as free agents. Take responsibility for building new skills, advancing your own career and, yes, keeping up with emerging trends.