Monday, 25 February 2019
Hermione Way is a new media journalist, entrepreneur and brand consultant, who was named as one of the ‘100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter’ by Business Insider magazine. She has worked within the tech and new media space for over a decade, embracing myriad roles, ranging from private consultancy for start ups and businesses to Head of of European Communications for Tinder. She also previously co-hosted TNW conference in Amsterdam. We talk to her about just why you need to be doing your own energetic PR online…
Nobody else has time to do your PR and marketing for you. We live in an age where everybody has their own news outlet on social media, and it’s important that you insert yourself into that and celebrate your achievements. There is so much noise online that you have to put yourself out there and be consistent about shouting about the small wins to help build your brand and your audience.
Online self-promotion isn’t about “bragging”, in the traditional sense, because people just tune out of that energy; it’s about how you position your self-generated content – and importantly it has to have a context, other than just how great you are. And if you're not bragging about yourself online, you are invisible to the world, because everything is digital these days. If someone is looking for a new employee, the first thing they – or their recruiter - is going to do is look at LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
My brand revolves around technology, business and the future, with a little bit of quirkiness or fun thrown in. I've been sharing content and sparking debate for 10 years and its been relentless, but it’s a great way to get people interested in me. The people that follow me are mainly business people, CEOs and tech entrepreneurs, and once I've built up a rapport with them online they will often ask if I can help them grow their business if they're looking for someone to help them with their marketing or online brand. Every single job and client I've had in the past ten years has come through Facebook.
I'm fascinated and motivated by the ways in which technology is changing society – things such as bloc chain, which is going to turn business upside down and redefine how we live. Obviously, I love fun stuff as well – I like sharing silly videos of myself, photos (if you’re scrolling through a feed, a picture is the quickest thing to jump out) or just interesting things in the flow of life. I think people tune into me because they don’t know what they're going to get, to be honest. For a long time, people have separated ‘business’ from ‘life’ and one of the things I try to do is just be one person in both, and online and off. This kind of inclusive self is something Richard Branson does well; he blogs about Virgin one day, the next, about his grandchildren. I’d say 60 percent of my clients are fearful of sharing any part of their real personality online and anything that might not be related to their business. I tell them to relax - people ultimately want to connect with humans, not brands, and you need to post things that people can relate to in order to build your profile.