Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

A Values-Based Approach to Your Digital Brand

Does the idea of branding yourself feel uncomfortable? Not natural? Too pushy/arrogant?
Let’s approach digital branding and reputation from a refreshing perspective. One that is rooted in what already comes naturally to you: your core values. Those tangible and intangible things that are priceless. Work ethic, family, financial security, service to others, etc. These make up you, they drive your decisions even down to your career path and who your friends are.
Digital Brand Quote - Josie Ahlquist
So how are your values found in your digital decisions and reputation online? Scroll through your Instagram and look for your values. Find how your interact in times of conflict or celebration on Facebook – or even your sign off message on email? Are you able to back up why you are or are not on a digital communication tool because it doesn’t align with your core values?
My research on senior executives on college campuses discovered that connecting offline values into online strategy fueled stronger relationships, alleviated digital decisions related to a purposeful digital reputation and quite frankly made the executives feel more relatable to students who they aimed to connect with. You can read more about this study in my latest co-edited book, Engaging the Digital Generation.
Any digital presence you have chosen to pursue is already concreting your reputationwhether you have been reflective about what you post or not. You may be thinking about your brand online for a job search, expanding your network or the nature of your senior level position in your organization. If you are being pushed into an online presence, it needs to come with more of strategy than creating a Twitter and tweeting once in a while. You will feel disappointed in social media. You’ll leave your accounts silent like a graveyard.

If you seek a successful long-term approach to building your digital brand, then infuse your values into your strategy then infuse your values into your strategy.

Aligning your values into your digital brand will humanize your approach to tech tools, the relationships built around them and elevate your presence as a leader in the digital space. I

If you had to pick your top three values – how have they and/or could they shine online?

This post is part of my monthly newsletter series, Digital Leadership Download. To receive the latest on Digital Leadership in Higher Ed, subscribe below!

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About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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