What Is “Smart Digital Branding” For Grade Schoolers, Middle Schoolers, & High Schoolers
Everything that you do online, post on social media networks, comment on when it comes to others’ posts, or share online all adds into your personal Digital Brand. If you have a device that is connected to the internet, you HAVE a personal, digital brand. For businesses, digital branding consists of building a brand story; using creativity in digital media and marketing; and creating digital relationships. But what does this mean for individuals? Basically, a personal brand says who you are, what you are known for, or should be known for, and what you have to offer the world at large.
What Is Smart Digital Branding?
Smart Digital Branding for individuals is important for future career prospects, future educational prospects, and future relationships. It isn’t a one-time effort or clean-up, either. Keeping Smart Digital Branding in mind every time you’re online will help keep this monumental task manageable. Smart Digital Branding is a lifelong effort, but pays off huge dividends in the long run. Just like companies who are looking to build their brands online, personal brands need to build over time, noting their strengths, and ultimately becoming a clear, powerful brand that stands out from “the competition.”
How Can A Person Get Started With Smart Digital Branding?
At Smart Girl Society, we promote “Being On Brand” with three main concepts: (1) Be Safe; (2) Be Genuine; and (3) Be Smart. (Get it? SGS - Safe, Genuine, Smart!)
Concrete steps to take:
- Become intentional.
It’s important to get started in an intentional way when it comes to digital branding. Start by defining yourself. What do you do well? What do you love to do? What is your vision for your life? Take all these questions and combine them to create your identity. Then, own it.
- Identify your uniqueness, your competitive advantage.
Can you tell other people why you’re a worthy investment? For a new friendship, a new job, or a college scholarship? Why should other people hire you? What’s your value?
- Stay “on brand.”
Make sure you’re maintaining a consistent voice across all of your digital channels: Facebook, your personal blog, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn. Make sure your profiles are up-to-date, positive, and in harmony.
- Be self-aware.
Seek feedback from trusted people in your life: your parents, a mentor, and close friends. Ensure your personal brand is clearly articulated, being delivered effectively, and you’re making it grow.
- Create a powerful digital presence.
The digital footprint one leaves across the internet and all social media profiles is the encapsulation of your personal brand.
- Think of yourself as “the product” and be authentic.
What Does Smart Digital Branding Look Like For Grade Schoolers?
It’s never too soon to start with smart digital branding. Lots of schools are becoming Google-centric with their curriculum. As soon as they have an email address, kids are starting to build their digital brand. At this age, make sure everything is monitored and start encouraging them to be kind, be smart, and be genuine.
What Does Smart Digital Branding Look Like For Middle Schoolers?
- No school listing on your account (don’t let people know where to find you!).
- Modest pictures to fit in with your personal brand.
- Avoid swearing or questionable posting.
- No “secret” accounts like your Sinsta. Make sure your parents have access to and are regularly reviewing your account for hidden dangers.
What Does Smart Digital Branding Look Like For High Schoolers?
- Use a clear, modest photo of yourself for your profile picture.
- Complete your bio and description fields, without using too much personal data (like your address, phone number, name of your high school, etc.).
- Highlight your educational accomplishments.
- Highlight your extracurricular accomplishments.
- Highlight your volunteering experience.
- Highlight any career achievements you have (It may just be a small promotion or raise at your part-time job, but it’s still great news!).
- Highlight causes you believe in.
What Are Some Important Things To Keep In Mind About Smart Digital Branding?
- Once something is online, it is permanent. Think before you comment or post.
- Whatever you post online creates an image of what you are all about. This includes not only photos and the comments you leave, but also your spelling and grammar.
- Be prepared to stand behind everything you publish online.
- Don’t rant about bosses, teachers, or friends/frienemies online.
Smart Girl Society, Inc., is an Omaha-based nonprofit working to educate and inspire smart & confident girls, women, & families. Through educational workshops, civil outreach programs, and technology & social media research, we work with girls, parents, & educators to authenticity on social media and in real life. We educate how to remain safe on social media and how to avoid becoming a target of sextortion. We also inspire action for students to focus on their personal brand development, leadership, educational opportunities, and healthy social skills. Interested in learning more? Check us out!