DIGITAL YOU: Real Personal Branding in the Virtual Age Book Summary



Summary Introduction


Digital You: Real Personal Branding in the Virtual Age is a book written by William Arruda. The book has been divided into four parts and each part has a unique way of giving readers a space for self-reflection. In his first part Real You, William talks about personal branding and also mentions ways through which readers can define themselves and understand other perception. Towards the end of the part the author helps to show your story. Similarly in part two the author talks about digital impression and the bridge between the real you and the similar you. Part three talks about Visual You where the author mentions how to come into limelight in multimedia and build your brand accordingly. The last part, part 4 is about Social You where the author shifts his focus towards digital brand development, network and leadership.


Overall, branding authority is discussed in Digital You: Real Personal Branding in the Virtual Age. Personal branding in the twenty-first century is described by William Arruda, who shows readers how to define, express, and grow their personal brand for the virtual world. Arruda says that branding isn't about being famous; it's about being famous selectively. It's much more than just overuse of social media. We may use personal branding as a serious professional development approach if we comprehend its genuine benefits. Understanding and establishing your distinctive promise of value making a strong first impression, mastering multimedia, and, eventually, developing your network and encouraging thought leadership is covered in depth in Digital You. Throughout the ups and downs of any profession, you'll learn how to create, establish, and maintain a personal brand.



Part 1: Real You


Chapter 1: Uncover Your Brand


Key takeaways:


  • Visibility without clarity is what the author has defined the situation of personal branding today. Since personal branding was more focused in today’s digital era that we often forget to extract the traits we have within which makes expressing and expanding our brand in digital world seem important.


  • The author has defined personal branding as “the habit of demonstrating and communicating your unique, valuable traits to communities where you can thrive”. Along with this the author mentions the importance of personal branding as to being a medium that enhances personal fulfillment.


  • Six laws of successful personal branding are individuals potential in building strong and desirable brand, personal brand is based on authenticity, being in position for what’s next, what other’s think is important, giving value instead of taking and personal branding being a onetime event.


  • There are three stages in building a powerful brand stating each three stages undifferentiated, distinguished and demanded. Building a personal brand in any digital platform is impossible without fully understanding who you are as a person in your real life. One needs to be transparent regarding what makes them stand out and their real self. “You need to know yourself in order to grow yourself”.


  • There are a lot of people who have similar jobs as we do, similar aims as we do and similar skills as we do however, while building personal brand we need to think about what makes you and what is unique and different about you.


Chapter 2: Understand Perception

Key takeaways:

  • Personal branding encourages being selectively famous rather than just famous. We should only tell people our goals and visions to selective people and only be famous towards that community of people as brand community.


  • Brand community consists of people such as decision makers (hiring managers and senior leaders), disciplines (employees), discoursers (traditional media, authors, podcast host, blog owners and social media leaders), doyens (thought leaders) and defenders (mentors).


  • There 3Ps formula of successful branding which are purpose, performance and perception. Purpose shows who you are as a person and what drives you, what do you do and how you do it. Performance is how your values are delivered at your work such as your skills. And lastly perceptions as to what people think about you.


  • Asking for feedback from people is crucial as it builds a baseline understanding of external perceptions. Surveys and once a year evaluation helps in narrow showing the need of full circle 5 D communities.


Chapter 3: Deliver Your Brand Daily



Key takeaways:

  • Personal narrative has become more urgent as we are our stories and we compress years of experience, thought, and emotion into a few compact narratives that we convey to others and tell ourselves. Communication is the foundational skill that is needed to tell our story.


  • Finding communication skills that we need to work on is a crucial part of working towards making an improvement. You have nothing to lose and much to gain by strengthening this fundamental skill. Just like all other brands telling your story helps to create a stronger brand. The six content buckets to help in telling your story is:

  1. Accomplishment

  2. Values and passion

  3. Superpowers

  4. Differentiation

  5. Quantifiable Facts

  6. Validation

  • Taglines are also useful in telling your story as they show an entire picture in just few simple phrases. Another is elevator pitch which is while meeting any new people we need to let them understand our thoughts and ideas by doing the elevator pitch. All the elevator pitch should share these 3 qualities: brief, relevant, and intriguing. While starting any elevator pitch it is necessary to introduce yourself by stating something that sets you apart for it to be engaging and not boring.


  • Branded bio is another important factor and is considered the career document in our career. The most important the most valuable branding document is the 3D brand bio which is basically you in 3D. Making your mark in the meeting is another aspect of sharing your story.


Part 2: Virtual You

Chapter 4: Understand the Digital-First Phenomenon


Key takeaways:

  • Creating authentic, relevant and enchanting first impression. First impressions now are more virtual based while person in was more in person. When someone hears your name they usually tend to search your name in any digital platforms. Since digital platforms now hold such power to create someone’s first impression it is important to make the real you congruent with the virtual you. Primacy, confirmation and anchoring are the three cognitive biases when it comes to mastering first impressions.


  • William says “The digital branding process is not a separate branding activity; it’s an exercise in translation” as he argues that building a powerful digital brand is impossible unless you have a clear understanding about yourself in real. After having a clear understanding regarding why digital branding is essential to success you can start creating your strategy for building virtual brand.


  • Another important aspect is giving Google quotient and online ID. There are five majors to master your online brand. They are; volume, relevance, purity, diversity, and, validation. William also shares some of his insights that he gained from different data points especially insights from online ID calculator.


  • Another step is getting your quotient. Where you search yourself up in Google and determine your quotient. Another is to ditch the digital dirt where there are two ways to clean it up:

  1. Vacuum it up

  2. Sweep it under the rug


  • After that comes another aspect which is name, there people search up your name on Google to search you up. Another step is to know your keywords and the four ways to identify it are; reviewing the message, putting yourself in stakeholder’s shoes, researching job listings and looking up the colleagues. Lastly, setting up linked in profile is another necessity and linking all your Google links towards your LinkedIn profile.


Chapter 5: Use LinkedIn as Your First Impression

Key takeaways:

  • LinkedIn is a platform where people can truly find one’s professional capacity. When people search up your name in Google its algorithm often bumps sites to the top and that is where most of the clicks happen. Bosses today encourage linked in user to setup their profile on LinkedIn in since they know they can help individual to advance their career.


  • It isn't simply about being discovered. When it comes to online branding, LinkedIn also checks all the criteria. When it comes to showing your skills, improving awareness, and cultivating your network, there's not much you can't accomplish with LinkedIn. LinkedIn has evolved into a robust, flexible, and multidimensional tool for personal branding. In terms of long-term branding and career management, LinkedIn may be an invaluable resource.


  • Another important aspect is credibility score. You're disposable if you're not believable. As you demonstrate that you are who you say you are and that you accomplish what you say you will do, your credibility grows. And you may really improve your credibility if you can brag about the recognition and respect you've received from others, especially those who are respected in your field.


  • Just like credibility, likeability is also a major factor. Your ability to demonstrate your likability begins with your first interaction with someone. And that first interaction is likely to happen online, so take time to consider how you look and act online.


Chapter 6: Build a Dazzling LinkedIn Profile

Key takeaways:

  • LinkedIn gives you a percentage score for your profile. Lots of lackluster profiles that have scored 100 percent. Focus on the quality of your profile, not the number of your full buckets. In the digital world, the big three allows you to come alive. Surprisingly, many LinkedIn users skip through the summary (now referred to as "about") portion.


  • Since people meet us more online than in person headshot is something that makes us real in this digitalised world. While uploading your headshot you need to make that the photo you’re posting is professional as says “It’s not about having a photo. It’s about having the right one”. Crop so that your face captures about 70-80 percent of the space. Remember that the shot will be used as a thumbnail when you participate in other features on LinkedIn, appearing far beyond the top of your listing. Face forward. Look into the eyes of the person who`s checking you out.


  • Now comes the headline, which purpose is to make your targeted audience want to read on you. Yet most LinkedIn members think “headline = job title. ” If you don`t write a headline, LinkedIn uses your current job title as a default, and that`s a total bore. When you limit your headline to your job title, like “Senior Manager, Risk and Compliance,” you`re making yourself a commodity interchangeable with anyone else who shares that job title. To have your headline work for you, it should say what you do and entice people to learn more about your services.


  • After seeing your headshot and reading your headline, viewers of your profile check out your summary (titled “About” on the platform). Your summary is a story not only a story it’s your story. As your first impression, your LinkedIn summary has to do a lot more heavy lifting. When someone looks at your LinkedIn profile, only the first three lines of your summary are visible. If those first few lines aren`t intriguing, viewers may not take action to see the rest.


  • Your summary has the most potential to connect you emotionally with viewers of your profile. Just like people words can make first impressions as well. He has also mentioned 6 tips to writing an attractive yet informative summary:

  1. Purpose

  2. Promise

  3. Punctuated list

  4. Point in time

  5. Passion

  6. Provocative Phrase


  • The next step is to apply what you've learned about your digital first impression and LinkedIn to other social media platforms where you're planning to establish your brand. Twitter, YouTube, Slide Share, Instagram, and Facebook are a few technologies that I believe are particularly useful to most career-minded workers. Of course, there are a slew of additional platforms to investigate. Finally, pick the ones that will assist you in communicating your message to the individuals that matter.


Part 3: Visual You

Chapter 7: Leverage the Power of Pictures

Key takeaways:

  • But in a world that’s becoming more and more virtual, in-person communication is less and less feasible. When it comes to helping people get to know you in the digital world, pictures and videos are potent communications vehicles. Your headshot makes you real in the virtual world the weird and nebulous place that’s often met with incredulity. People are more likely to believe what you say about yourself or the content you share if there’s a photograph of you to make it real.


  • Photox is the word for minor photo retouching. It’s OK if you remove the shine from your face and edit out an errant hair just make sure the photo still looks like you. Remember, unlike the headshots of models or actors that end up as 8x10 glossies, the final version of your headshot will be more like the size of a postage stamp and for most social profiles it will appear in a square or a circle.


  • It will end up online as part of a social media profile, often being viewed on a small mobile screen. So upload photos to: If your company doesn’t allow you to do this, add it to your personal email signature in Gmail or Apple mail, for example.


  • The most powerful ways to use visuals to get your message to the people who need to know you are; slide Share, info graphics and Instagram.


Chapter 8: Build Your Personal Brand Identity System


Key takeaways:

  • Your brand's visual vernacular is your PBID. It also includes all rich-media features that help you strengthen your own brand qualities, owing to the shift to digital. This rich-media design system consists of the graphics, music, motion, and other aspects that you will utilise as a wrapper for all of your messages. This wrapper aids in the reinforcement and awareness of your brand's features.


  • There are three components to your PBID: visual, audio, and video. Colour, typography, textures, and photographs are among the visual aspects. Scripts, intro tracks, and microphones are among the audio aspects. While choosing visual components colour is a significant one. Because colour emanates brand qualities, provokes emotion, and promotes recognition and memorability, it's a good idea to employ it in your marketing.


  • Colour can be extremely powerful especially on the web, or in all those situations that require you to convey your brand without the benefit of being there in person. When you develop a strategy for using colour on all your communications and apply it consistently, you’ll become memorable, and you’ll stand out from others who do what you do. When I say apply colour to all your communications, the author suggests to select one colour and use it consistently.


  • As per fonts, there are two primary types of font’s serif fonts (they’re the ones with the little tails) and sans serif, without the tails (“sans” means “without” in French). Times New Roman and Georgia are examples of serif fonts. Serif fonts have a long history. Along with colour and fonts, brand images, and packaging the real you is also crucial, which can be done in three steps: relevant, authentic and polished.


Chapter 9: Use Rich Media to Engage and Connect


Key takeaways:

  • Using videos and other Medias can be a good way to engage and connect with your targeted audiences. There are different ways to use through which we can incorporate videos into our communications strategy to make it sound cleaver and interesting. They are:

  1. Team update

  2. Community welcome

  3. Invitation

  4. Thought leadership

  5. Video bio

  6. Vlog

  7. Pitches or proposals

  8. Recommendations

  9. Live videos

  10. Meetings

  11. Follow up to the meetings

  12. Acknowledgment

  • Spend time crafting a video bio or a series of thought-leadership films or video interviews with thought leaders in your field of expertise instead of focusing on blogs, articles, and whitepapers. This is your finest chance to distinguish yourself from the crowd and expand your network and impact. When it comes to creating your online brand, appearing on the first page of a Google search is crucial.


  • Seven tips to consider while adding videos to the web.

  1. It is all in the name

  2. Brevity speaks louder

  3. Quality trumps quantity

  4. YouTube is the best place to start

  5. Keywords are key

  6. Repurposing amps up visibility

  7. The 80/20 rule

  • Seven thoughts for leading the vanguard.

  1. Start with a bang

  2. Know your message and take a stand

  3. Keep it short and sweet

  4. Dress for the occasion

  5. Choose what surrounds you

  6. Hires the professionals

  7. Maximise distribution


Part 4: Social You

Chapter 10: Assess Your Current On- and Offline Networks


Key takeaways:

  • An added plus, "being promiscuous" can help you diversify your network, which is especially beneficial on LinkedIn. This is why. When LinkedIn displays the results of a keyword search, the results are based in part on the degree of relationship between the person conducting the search and the individuals who appear in the results. As a consequence, the more connections you have, the more times you'll appear in search results, and the higher you'll rank in those results, giving individuals the greatest possibilities to interact with you.


  • To create an open network you first need to start with your past, broaden with the present, play with LIONs, plan for the future, make meetings matter and put others to work. Joining groups on LinkedIn is the quickest method to locate "your people." When you participate in groups, you might begin to identify the people with whom you'd like to maintain contact. Online groups are similar to professional organisations, with three major advantages. You may join up to 100 groups on LinkedIn. Join organisations that are relevant to various elements of your life.


  • To assist you promote your own brand, you'll need the perfect mix of organisations. The organisations you join not only help you get awareness and create relationships with others, but they also reveal something about who you are and what you value. When others look at the groups you've joined, they might get a sense of who you are based on who you hang out with.


  • Getting to know people is another fantastic benefit of networking. You may look up people you haven't met on a meeting attendee list, learn about potential clients, investigate rivals, and find and hire the best applicants for available positions. Before meetings, use it to receive the 4-1-1 on the persons you'll be meeting. Start by identifying mutual interests and connections, and then work on strengthening your bonds.


Chapter 11: Nourish and Mobilise Your Network


Key takeaways:

  • Grooming your promoters can simply happen by giving. This is known as content marketing in the branding world. "A style of marketing that involves the creation and distribution of online material (such as films, blogs, and social media postings) that does not directly promote a brand but is meant to inspire interest in its services," according to dictionary.com. The "service" in this scenario is you.


  • The purpose of content marketing is to get people to interact with your content. It's pointless to invest time and money on development and duration if the individuals you're trying to influence aren't affected. Because there is so much noise, creating this engagement is difficult. We are inundated with an ever-increasing amount of information to process.


  • While building a brand, communication plays a vital role and there are a few series of action as Five Ate Plates which are; Update, Create, Curate, Restate and Evaluate. To establish interaction with your target audience, the optimal communications plan employs a well-balanced blend of these tactics. The amount and categories of individuals in your brand community are calculated using social media people data. This contains both followers and connections. Your network should be increasing if you're engaged in your field and associated internet groups.


  • You can have up to 30,000 contacts on LinkedIn. So, when you meet new individuals, remember to add them to your LinkedIn network. Also, make contact with LinkedIn users you'd like to add to your network. Keep track of your relationships over time to make sure they're increasing. Building up LinkedIn visibility, engagement and opportunity are another important aspect. This is a crucial figure to keep track of over time.


  • The more active you are on LinkedIn, the higher this figure will be. Find this number (it's the first number you see when you look in the left column on the main page) if you haven't already. Then make a weekly or monthly commitment to check it out to see whether your LinkedIn actions are resulting in more people checking you out.


  • Tips for Mastering Your Content Marketing

  1. Be authentic

  2. Be professional

  3. Be engaged

  4. Be appreciative


Chapter 12: Lead the Way


Key takeaways:

  • First step towards leading the way comes from finding your path to selective fame.


  • Determine one brand-building initiative to undertake this year before you begin.


  • You must become a digital brand ambassador for your organisation to actually become a leader as part of your internal brand and exhibit your social awareness. Your company is counting on you to show off your digital prowess. When you do, you'll come across as a socially conscious imaginative superstar. If you're a team leader or a team member wishing to make an impact, running a socially conscious effort can help you engage your team members and generate new energy and ideas. Establishing a friendly team competition is a terrific idea.


  • Integrate LinkedIn modules into all relevant talent development programs, from orientation to high-potential initiatives and executive coaching programs, to make the campaign more prevalent. Make sure you incorporate a continuous LinkedIn session into your onboarding routine for new recruits to learn the basics. Include information that demonstrates why LinkedIn is vital and what your firm can do to help. Employees who have previously worked for a firm that has banned LinkedIn would appreciate your approach and understand the value in combining their personal branding efforts with your corporate branding plan.