Originally published on September 5, 2016

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A friend asked me to help him improve his personal digital brand. Here are 10 lists of helpful ideas and resources. You don’t have to attempt to use all of these; start with one or two, and move on to others only when you are ready to do so.

1. Personal Digital Brand: The 5 Cs

  1. Content — ideas, information, insights, tips, opinions, compilations, curation, synthesis, and compiled search results
  2. Channels — platforms for publishing and interacting
  3. Contacts — audience who pays attention to what you communicate
  4. Communication — interacting with your audience by sharing and responding
  5. Cadence — predictable schedule of communication

2. Personal Digital Brand: The 3 Basics

  1. Expand your network of contacts and followers
  2. Provide content to your network, communities, and other channels
  3. Respond to others in your network, in communities, and through social media

3. Personal Digital Brand: 5 Actions to Take

1. Join and participate

  1. Social networks
  2. Communities
  3. Groups

2. Ask questions, for help, and for advice

  1. Contacts
  2. Communities
  3. Social media

3. Answer questions and respond to request

  1. Communities
  2. Social media
  3. Quora

4. Post, publish, and be interviewed

  1. Articles
  2. Blogs
  3. Social media

5. Lead, help lead, and present

  1. Communities
  2. Groups
  3. Chats, webinar, and video hangouts

4. Personal Digital Brand: 10 Ways to Build Yours

1. Assess yourself against the specialties in your field

  1. You need to be perceived as having expertise and useful information about a specialty
  2. If you were asked to meet with a client, present at a conference, or be interviewed for a publication as an expert in the specialty, would you be comfortable doing so, and would the client, audience, or interviewer be pleased with you?
  3. Choose one or more specialties in which you are an expert, you would like to become an expert
  4. Focus your personal development on those specialties
  5. Follow the suggestions below for increasing your expertise in those specialties

2. Read books, blogs, periodicals, and sites to increase your knowledge about your specialty, and review, write about, or link to the ones that you like

3. Join, participate in, and help lead communities to increase your knowledge about your specialty and to connect with others in the specialty

  • Subscribe: Get email or notifications and regularly read the threaded discussion
  • Post: Start a new thread or reply in the threaded discussion
  • Attend: Participate in community events
  • Contribute: Submit content to the community newsletter, blog, wiki, or site
  • Engage: Ask or answer a question, make a comment, give a presentation, and/or help lead

4. Attend conferences, webinars, community calls, and relevant meetings to increase your knowledge about your specialty and to connect with others in the specialty, and live tweet and recap the best sessions

5. Tweet, retweet, and follow

  1. Follow thought leaders in Twitter, and like, reply, and retweet when you are moved to do so
  2. Participate in Twitter chats using schedules (Tweet Reports, Twubs) and tools (Tchat.io, Twubs)
  3. Search Twitter using hashtags relevant to your specialty
  4. Ask questions on Twitter using relevant hashtags
  5. Use daily themes (see list below); having daily themes helps answer these questions:
  • Why should I post?
  • When should I post?
  • What should I post about?
  • Which content should I save for future posts?

6. Present, speak, lead discussions, and deliver training

  • Present regularly within your organization, to other firms, at industry conferences, on con calls, in community meetings, and in client meetings
  • Benchmark your efforts, incorporate the good ideas of others, and evolve your thinking
  • Ask an established expert to allow you to co-present
  • Offer to help facilitate a panel discussion
  • Develop and conduct training
  • Offer to present on a webinar sponsored by a company or organization relevant to your specialty
  • Upload videos of presentations, tips, and training to YouTube
  • Start a podcast

7. Post, write, and publish

  • Post to a community threaded discussion, solicit feedback, ask questions, and reply to the questions and comments of others
  • Write a blog post, for example, using LinkedIn
  • Publish a document, for example, using Google Docs
  • Upload a presentation to SlideShare
  • Create a website, for example, using Google Sites
  • Write an article for a publication
  • Use writing to test your ideas, solicit comments, and refine your thinking about a topic
  • Publish a book about your experiences, philosophies, and insights

8. Attend training to increase your knowledge about your specialty and to connect with others in the specialty

  • Online
  • At a university
  • Before or after a conference
  • From a specialized vendor

9. Learn by doing to increase your knowledge about your specialty and to connect with others in the specialty

  • Try things out
  • Interact with others
  • Attend different events to see which ones are the most useful
  • Use the tools of your profession, including new ones
  • Write about your experiences, both the good and the bad

10. Find a mentor and/or serve as a mentor to increase your knowledge about your specialty and to connect with others in the specialty

  • Post in a community to request one or to offer to be one
  • Contact a blogger
  • Reply to a tweeter
  • At a conference, ask a presenter to be one, or offer to be one
  • Visit the site of a thought leader and send an email message
  • Ask a LinkedIn contact or request a referral

5. Personal Digital Brand: 10 Types of Content to Share

(with links to examples of each)

  1. Compile useful links
  2. Rebroadcast and comment on the posts of others
  3. Do a search and curate the results
  4. Ask others to weigh in and summarize the responses
  5. Express your opinion
  6. Narrate your experience
  7. Inform about what you are planning to do or what you are working on
  8. Analyze empirical data
  9. Start a discussion
  10. Take notes during a call, meeting, or conference, and summarize them

6. Personal Digital Brand: 5 Types of Tools to Use

  1. Profile: LinkedIn, About.me
  2. Connection: Social Network — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter; Community
  3. Publication: Periodical; Book; Blog — LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Tumblr, Blogger, Typepad, WordPress
  4. Event: Chat — Tchat.io, Wakelet; Podcast; Video; Webinar; Conference
  5. Content: Pin board — Pinterest; File share — SlideShare; Q&A — Quora; Subscription — Blogtrottr

7. Personal Digital Brand: 10 Tools to Use

  1. Let others check you out
  2. Search for people (e.g., colleagues in a city you will be visiting) and send messages to them
  3. Participate in and monitor group discussions
  4. Blog, tweet, and post SlideShare documents
  5. Receive comments on status updates
  6. Provide links to other personal sites
  7. Achieve 100% profile completeness
  8. Add skills
  9. Link to your resume, blog, website, etc.
  10. Integrate with Twitter and share updates with Public + Twitter
  11. Make your profile public with a simple URL
  12. Connect with everyone you meet
  13. Join 50 groups
  14. Ask for recommendations and reciprocate
  15. Endorse others if you can actually vouch for a specific skill
  1. Start by following just 10 people
  2. Create lists to sort people you follow into categories
  3. Set notifications for email when: My Tweets are marked as favorites or Tweets I’m mentioned in are marked as favorites; My Tweets are retweeted or Tweets I’m mentioned in are retweeted; My Tweets get a reply or I’m mentioned in a Tweet; I’m sent a direct message; Someone shares a Tweet with me
  4. Add your Twitter ID to your LinkedIn profile
  5. Tweet about topics about which you are passionate on a regular schedule, either daily (using theme of the day) or weekly
  6. Search on a few hashtags to see which ones are most popular and view trends
  7. Always include a popular hashtag to allow others to discover you
  8. Retweet those tweets which you especially like
  9. Reply to others to agree, ask a question, or answer a question
  10. Observe a regular chat and then join in
  • Tchat.io — follow and participate in Twitter chats
  • Storify — post the transcripts of Twitter chats
  • Facebook
  1. Profile — promote yourself
  2. Post — share and comment
  3. Group — community
  4. Page — publish content to followers
  5. Live — group video conversations with followers
  • Google
  1. Google Docs — publish documents and collaborate on editing them
  2. Google Sites — create and maintain your own web site
  3. Google Hangouts — group video chat
  4. YouTube — follow and publish videos
  • About.me — promote yourself, your expertise, and your social channels
  • Quora — ask and answer questions
  • Medium — blog

8. Personal Digital Brand: 10 Ways to Start

  1. Live tweet during an event using a chat tool such as Tchat.io or Twubs
  2. Enhance your profile: LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, About.me
  3. Connect: LinkedIn to Twitter
  4. Post: LinkedIn (brief update or longer post), Twitter
  5. Join: Facebook Group, LinkedIn Group
  6. Post to a community: share, ask, find, answer, recognize, inform, suggest — or start a discussion
  7. Subscribe to a blog using Blogtrottr
  8. Create: Twitter list of your favorite tweeters, Facebook list
  9. Ask or answer a question or follow a topic in Quora
  10. Upload or favorite a presentation in SlideShare

9. Personal Digital Brand: 30 Daily Themes

Monday #MM

  • 1. Meeting: Promote events, conferences, community meetings, calls, and Twitter chats which are upcoming in the week
  • 2. Meet Me: Inform about an upcoming meeting, event, call, or location where you will be or in which you will participate in the coming week
  • 3. Metrics: Share useful analytics
  • 4. Marcom: Post about marketing and communications
  • 5. Methods: Link to proven methodologies
  • 6. Mention: Give a plug or a shout-out to a cause or a colleague
  • 7. Maxim: Share an insight or principle

Tuesday #TT

  • 8. Trackback Tuesday: Link to blog posts
  • 9. Tuesday Tip: Share a tip, trick, or proven practice
  • 10. Training: Link to a course
  • 11. Talk: Start a chat
  • 12. Technique: Share a useful technique

Wednesday #WW

  • 13. Website Wednesday: Link to a good web site or other web content
  • 14. Wednesday Words: Share word usage examples
  • 15. Wish: Suggest an idea, request an enhancement, or let others know what you are wishing for
  • 16. Wisdom: Share a quote or piece of advice
  • 17. Win: Promote a success story
  • 18. Writer: Publicize an author you like


  • 19. #TiTh Title Thursday: Recommend books
  • 20. #ThTh Thankful Thursday: Recognize a colleague, show appreciation for an accomplishment, or let others know what you are thankful for
  • 21. #ThTh Thoughtful Thursday: Share a deep thought or insight
  • 22. #ThTh Thursday Thought: Share an idea or suggestion
  • 23. #TTL Thursday Thought Leader: Thursday: Link to a thought leader
  • 24. #ThTh Thursday Throwdown: Challenge a colleague to respond to a suggestion, insight, or question
  • 25. #TTTA Thursday Things To Avoid: Warn others of a common problem
  • 26. #TBT Throwback Thursday: Remember a moment from the past

Friday #FF

  • 27. Follow Friday: Recommend people to follow
  • 28. Feedback: Provide or request feedback
  • 29. Find: Ask for help in locating a needed resource, or share something you found
  • 30. Fun: Share a joke, pun, or humorous link

10. Personal Digital Brand: 15 Resources

  1. Seth Godin’s 7-Point Guide to Bootstrap Your Personal Brand by Pete Kistler
  2. The Personal Branding Post Seth Godin Should Have Written by John Doherty
  3. Personal Branding with Seth Godin — Doing work that Matters interviewed by Bernard Kelvin Clive
  4. The Brand Called You and Brand You posts by Tom Peters
  5. Create an Unstoppable Personal Online Brand by Digital Marketing Institute
  6. The 10 Pillars To Creating a Personal Brand in a Digital World by Jeff Bullas
  7. 5 Do’s For Building Your Personal Brand by Laura Armbruster
  8. Brand Reputation: Why Your Personal Digital Brand is Not the Same as You by Allison Boyer
  9. Why Looking After Your Personal Brand in the Social Era Still Matters by Luis Suarez
  10. 7 Rules for Building a Distinctive Personal Brand (and a Bonus to Get You Started) by Deep Patel
  11. The Personal Branding Blog by William Arruda
  12. Developing your personal digital brand by Diana O’Brien
  13. 101 Guide for Beginners to Build their ‘Personal Digital Brand’ and How to Build your Personal Digital Brand by Kanika Agarwal
  14. 7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand by Shama Hyder
  15. The 7 Secrets Of Successful Personal Brands by Jayson DeMers


Presentation Version

What other tips and resources can you share?

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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