The Building of a Millennial Digital Brand

Millennials are the first to be raised with modern technologies such as cellphones and readily available internet. While millennials would not have it any other way, this does pose some unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to your digital personal brand.

Your Digital Brand Now Also Serves As Your Resume and/or Career Bio. That’s right, employers will definitely be checking our your online activity before making a decision to hire. Conduct your own digital audit. Google yourself, clean up any public social media profiles and switch your personal ones to private.

A Credible Brand Will Allow You to Connect With Others Who Share Your Passions and Interests.  If your digital brand portrays you in the right light, it will allow you  to explore new horizons when it comes to friendships and mentorships, thus enhancing your ability to collaborate and connect with people from all over the world.

The Right Digital Brand Can Put You In a Position to be Presented with Opportunities. You’d be surprised just how many opportunities find you when you have a strong digital personal brand. You don’t have to search for worthwhile opportunities  they will start to come to you so always make sure your contact information is up to date.

Though building a personal brand is vital to compete and make a professional impression, millennials should always remember to be authentic. Employers, partners and customers will be able to tell if you’re not being your true self.

The Opposite of Networking is Not Working

In Chapter 6 of The Millennial’s Playbook to Adulting, I give eight networking 101 tips. Even though I secretly hate going to networking events, I understand their value especially in a field like mine where I am independent consultant and a lot of opportunities for my firm are based on connections. Tonight, I attended a networking event, and after I got home I evaluated myself against my 8 tips. Here’s my score card:

Tip #1: Do some homework before the event.
Grade: F
Why: This was actually an event where they publish the name and titles of attendees before the event. Even though I registered last week, and I had every intention of looking up the attendees and “maybe” even reaching out to a few people, life/work got in the way and I didn’t get to it.

Tip#2: Create your own elevator speech
Grade: B+
Why: My firm is going through a rebrand and tonight’s event was my first time to give my new elevator speech. While I think I winged it well, I should have probably practiced it out loud a few times before the event.

Tip #3: Target the right arrival time
Grade: B
Why: The event was from 6-8pm. I planned to arrive at 6.30pm and needed to leave at 7.45pm. I arrived at 6.45pm which was a great time, but I had to slip out during the “thank you for coming” speech from the hosts and did not get to close out a convo.

Tip #4: Set a goal of meeting at least three new people at an event
Grade: A+
Why: Talked to 6 people, got 3 business cards and gave 4 people mine.

Tip #5: Step up to the singles
Grade: A+
Why: 2 of the 6 people I talked to had the desperate look of someone please talk to me. So I did.

Tip #6: Mix and mingle and mix some more.
Grade: A
Why: For an event I was only at for an hour, meeting 6 people means I was spending about 10 minutes with each person. Of the six only one was I at a loss for how to end the conversation, but luckily she eventually said she had to head out (sigh of relief).

Tip #7: Don’t be afraid to join a convo
Grade: C
Why: When I first walked into the event there was a group near the door who I wanted to join but I wasn’t “ready” just yet. Instead I headed to the bar, and naturally joined the conversation of the group standing in line for a drink. Sometimes alcohol is an easy ice breaker.

Tip #8: Exchange info with (almost) everyone you meet.
Grade: B-
Why: I got 3 cards of the 6 people I met. One women forgot her cards.  Another woman walked away before I could ask for her card. The last gentleman I was talking to we never got a chance to exchange info because the program started and I had to leave out.

Overall, I think I did good. Key info questions were, have you attended this event before and my go-to, what brings you here? Next step is to send an email to the 3 people I met tomorrow, and connect with them on LinkedIn.