Gamification. The power of play. It’s everywhere, whether we recognize it or not. Do you know what’s also everywhere? Personal branding. On the surface, the two things may not seem connected in the slightest, however, not only can they be, but they can be a powerful force when used together. An unexpected team-up, a crossover – whatever gets you excited. Digital marketing agency, Good Signals is here to tell you how.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is about applying gaming mechanics to non-gaming environments. It’s usually used to promote engagement, happiness or simply make difficult things easier. You come across it all the time, from loyalty programs and reward points to maintaining a login streak. Platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, Duolingo and Snapchat are just a few examples that integrate gamification into everything they do. Points, levels, awards, leader boards – these all help make boring tasks more fun in almost any context.
But how does that help your personal brand?
What does gamifying your personal brand say about you?
Personal branding isn’t just for influencers and business owners, it’s for anyone who has a story to tell (and that’s everyone). Everyone has a personal brand, whether you’ve created and cultivated it or not. For most of us, it’s a combination of our professional profiles, social media and blogs, if we have them. Building a professional profile should be about conveying why we are unique and what better way to get people to engage with you than to make it fun. No, we’re not suggesting you set up a loyalty program for your friends or recommending you savagely rank them MySpace-style.
Gamifying how you’re presented online not only makes you seem like a forward-thinker or trendsetter, it also projects that you’re not afraid to be yourself and take risks. Uniqueness is the key to a powerful personal brand, but authenticity isn’t far behind with its ability to build trust. Identify your personality – have you always been a gamer and never thought that side of yourself had its place in a business context? Things have changed, and the gaming industry is now one of the most successful. Embrace that part of you, and let it speak for itself: your determination, problem-solving skills and strategic mindset. Of course, you don’t have to be a self-proclaimed gamer to gamify your life, you only need to recognize its value.
Play to win LinkedIn
Hardly anyone would describe LinkedIn as a “fun” concept, but the seemingly “all business” social platform does have several ways of integrating game mechanics: its profile strength ranking, endorsements and, of course, profile views. These are designed to get you to create the best possible professional profile you possibly can so you can achieve All Star status. This includes your profile picture, experience, skills, summary, industry & location, education and connections. Add these all together and you should have the basis for an epic personal brand to build upon. And guess what: more engagement with LinkedIn usually means more networking opportunities for you.
Competition is undeniably a huge motivator and a common trait in many professionals alongside ambition. Use it to your advantage. Even if it’s just you and your coworker competing to get the most likes or followers, it’s the incentive you need to really increase your presence online, whether that’s social media, community engagement or blog posts.
As a larger-scale example, back in late 2018, YouTube influencers PewDiePie (love him or hate him) and T-Series competed for months to see who could get to 100 million subscribers first and become the most-subscribed channel ever. It generated massive levels of engagement – granted, not all of it good – and kept both parties relevant online. For you, it could be as simple as taking the results of your office bake-offs online for everyone to vote and get to know you and your workplace persona better.
Create a playable portfolio or CV
If there’s one thing, building a personal brand is useful for its job applications and creating opportunities. Resumes are boring, there’s no denying that. Even recruiters and hiring managers know it. But make it less than boring, and you’re bound to stand out. Playable online resumes and portfolios are designed to wow and engage. At the least, you may turn the average HR manager into a player, transforming just a small part of their day into something distinct and memorable. Or, instead, you might attract someone similar-minded with the same goals and values as you, finding the perfect opportunity for you as an individual.
As an example, check out creative developer, Bruno Simon’s portfolio. Have you ever seen anything like it? Now, not everyone is going to be able to create a fully-playable portfolio of this scale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the principles behind it. You may want to think of the different sections of your resume or portfolio as levels to be explored. You could transform the challenges you’ve overcome into virtual obstacles. Even without coding skills, you could create your own text-based adventure game, making your personal story interactive.
These are just a handful of ideas, but we challenge you to think beyond this. Be yourself. Or be your badass alter ego. Just whatever you do, get your story out there.