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By Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia

We were talking to a prospective licensee the other day. They are a sales and management training company, and during the conversation they cited some research which shocked me. I mean, it shouldn’t have done because we can all see that the world is moving in this direction, but it certainly was a surprise. It said that,“in North America 50% of those working will be on contract by 2019.”

Yes, that’s right. Half of the workforce will be on a contract or freelance in two years!

This got me to thinking, now more than ever, the importance of having an impressive and appropriate digital personal brand. This probably matters more than anything else you can do in terms of securing work.

Whenever we train individuals on producing a great personal brand we always talk about the fact that people who visit your brand to conclusions. Whether that’s because they see your profile shot shows you on holiday holding a glass of wine (and therefore you have a drink problem) or your profile shot shows you standing on stage in a suit (and therefore you’re a dull but arrogant self-promoter).  Whatever it is, the visitor to your profile will see a little and assume a lot.

This is more important now than ever. If the stats are right, the job for which you are competing (in North America) could have half of the entire workforce as your competition. That’s half of the 156,000,000 people who work potentially going for the same job as you.

What does that mean?

Well, it means that you need to “look” pretty special in order to stand-out from the crowd.

So our advice, always, is to tell a story with your profile, make it as interesting a narrative as possible and give the visitor lots of information. It doesn’t mean that they necessarily will read it all. But you must give them the option to read more if they are so minded.

Oh, and make sure you never say or do anything which might bite you. Never tweet, post, share or comment in any way, anywhere, ever if you wouldn’t be prepared to stand by those comments when taken out of context. Time and again we see celebrities being embarrassed by things that they’ve said in response to an emotive issue when they are recounted without the original statement. Basically, if you are not prepared to write it on a t-shirt and stand in the lobby of your prospective employer, don’t write it. Irrespective of your security settings.

But most of all, your personal digital brand needs to reflect who you are and what you’re passionate about. Because who you are is the ONLY USP that you have. If you’re not passionate about what you do, why should I, your employer, client or colleague be passionate about it either?

Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

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