Personal Brand Case Study: Arianna Huffington
Arianna is arguably one of the most well-known individuals in the business-world. And in the world of ‘personal brands’ – she may have one of the most solid.
So who is Arianna Huffington and what can we learn from her? Well, a quick google search will give you the results on the right. From that initial search, what can we assume? Arianna’s, age, place of birth AND a general career outline (publishing industry).
Let’s dig a little deeper into the results.
For example, the quotes that google has picked up (most likely her most popular ones), indicate Arianna is brave, hard-working and a mother.
Articles that have been written on Arianna are included in the first page of the google search, for example:
>> In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.
So a pretty tame google search right? Bear in mind that the information we gathered from this google search (because Arianna is a public figure), is less information Arianna has curated herself and more what google/wiki has generated.
So what happens when we search for Arianna outside of Google? On a platform where Arianna is able to control her online personal brand? Like, LinkedIn?
Her brand. stays. consistent.
Here is how Arianna describes herself in her LinkedIn bio: “Founder and CEO of Thrive Global. Founder of The Huffington Post. Mother. Sister. Flat-shoe advocate.”
Arianna is the face of her brand “Thrive Global” – her LinkedIn profile reflects that. Regardless that she no longer owns The Huffington Post – founding the Company is a HUGE part of Arianna’s personal brand, so she’s chosen to include this in her bio. Whilst the keywords “Mother. Sister.” maintains her family-orientated persona.
The types of articles Arianna shares are also in line with her own beliefs, company values and personal brand. For example:
>> “Resilience: Option A for when life inevitably throws Option B at you.”
>> “This is the biggest parenting mistake I’ve ever made, according to my son.”
>> “Selfies could be seriously harming our mental health.”
What can we learn from Arianna?
Good question. There’s heaps so buckle up and get ready to take some notes.
First of all – what did we learn from the initial google search of Arianna? That sometimes no matter how hard we curate our own personal brands, (sometimes) Google may paint a completely different picture!!
No, that wasn’t the case with Arianna – but don’t forget she has had years to build up her personal brand. What you put out now may or may not follow you through your career path – but why risk it?
Run an online personal brand audit of yourself … getting your online persona isn’t simply about what to remove from social media, it’s about building an authentic picture of YOU – your experience, opinions, interests and aspirations.
Arianna’s search included a prompt of people who you may ALSO be searching for. People who are in Arianna’s network or who are associated with her. This is a HUGE indicator of how important building and growing your network is!!!!
The connections you form, the comments you leave on posts, the interactions you have with other people on any social media site are visible to everyone.
In our digital age, you should be aiming for your online persona to positively reflect upon who you are in real life. So if you wouldn’t want that tweet read aloud to an audience of potential employers – don’t post it.
Finally – let’s touch on consistency. Because although Arianna didn’t write her own Wikipedia page (well, probably not), the information is still consistent with the personal brand that she has curated for herself.
How can you achieve this? By maintaining consistency with your own personal brand. Does your bio on Instagram, LinkedIn, your Company “About Me” page say relatively the same thing? Obviously they’re all different mediums so the tone may be different – but are they still “you”?
The content that you create yourself or that you share, is it industry-related? Does it align with your current or future career path? You’d be surprised where content you create or share may end up … so make sure it is the right kind!
I hope you picked up some useful tips from this case study. It’s probably been one of my favourite articles to write! You can apply this process to literally anyone you look up to – whether that be a mentor, celebrity or local legend.
Suss out their Google search, LinkedIn or even Facebook Page … get some ideas and inspiration and then get to work!