If the 21st century was a human being, it would be entering the early adulthood stage as the year 2019 comes to an end and the third decade of this New Millennium begins. If global society was a single individual, it would be striving to find emotional independence in 2020, to become comfortable and peaceful with others, and to learn more about life in general. Granted, there is no guarantee that any of this will happen in 2020 or beyond, but there is something we will definitely continue to see, and that is the rise of online personal branding.
The days of company founders or key executives hiding behind their company brands are over. The problem with this approach is that it is counter-intuitive at a time when consumers and audiences are demanding greater transparency and a more personal touch from brands. According to a 2019 report from the Impact Learning Center, more than 80% of consumers who feel some loyalty to specific brands state that following CEOs on social networks is intrinsic to their purchasing decisions.
When Apple CEO Tim Cook personally attended the reopening of the Apple Store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, he was not only cheered by shoppers but also hounded for selfies, which in the 21st century have come to replace autographs. Cook is a celebrity CEO; he is not mythological like the late Steve Jobs, but he has cultivated a personal brand that many consumers of Apple products feel comfortable with. As befits the CEO of a major personal computing brand, Cook also knows about the power of established media, and he is not shy to appear in outlets such as CNN, Time, Bloomberg, and others.
Of all the New Year’s resolutions you could make for 2020, being featured in a prominent publication is one that should give priority to. To this end, you do not have to be Tim Cook for journalists and editors to pay attention to what you may have to say; all you have to do is make yourself available. Platforms such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO) are connected to major publications such as The New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, the Chicago Tribune, and many others. You do not have to be a pundit or a market leader; all you have to do is register as a HARO source who is willing to provide information about a topic relevant to your industry.
Getting your name mentioned in a major publication will not only boost your personal brand but may also help your enterprise in terms of search engine optimization. Let’s say you are a documentary film producer registered on HARO; when a Los Angeles Times journalists contacts you about an upcoming project, she may include a link to your company’s website, thus providing what is known as a quality contextual backlink from a high-authority web property. This will in turn help your website obtain a higher rank on the Google search engine results page, thus making your business and personal brand more visible to online audiences.