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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