Personal branding is all about selling yourself to entire world. It is the technique of self-marketing to make you recognized and accepted to the rest of the population. What better place to find “the rest of the population” than social networking sites. Every person from every corner of the world happens to be at least on more than one social media site. Social networking is immensely popular in this present world. This gives you a great opportunity to present your personal brand to the entire online world. Social sites have made the world an online “global village”.
Social media sites have enormous power to put you in front of thousands and thousands of people. In order to build your personal online brand, you need to know all the possibilities and how all of your activities are working together towards a desired goal. Once you have created your personal brand in social media sites, people will look up to you. You can gather high quality connections, which will further enhance the effect of your personal brand.
Most recruiters and hiring managers use internet to get some more information about you. When they Google your name, your social media profiles come up in the search results. If you’ve created an effective personal brand in your profile, you are sure to get that job. It may also happen that your business leads may search into your social media profile to see your work and to check your online presence. A good social media profile can definitely impress those leads and hence, can convert them into your customers. Thus, it is very important to create your personal brand in social media if you are looking to market yourself effectively.
Your online presence is basically determined by the number of fans/followers you have. The more fans and followers you have for your social media presence, the better brand it implies to your profile viewer. So, your first task is to generate a base of fans/followers to showcase your online presence.
Building an appreciative base is not an easy task. You may have your friends and families as your connections. But your profile viewer will search for those connections that relate to your market. A freelance fashion designer should have high expert fashion designers in his/her connection. It will make the viewer believe that you are a prominent member in your community and you have genuine interest in your niche. Here are a few techniques to improve your online social media presence:
Optimize your social presence:
Make sure that your profile is entirely complete and optimized. Your social media accounts should be filled with information that clearly describes who you are, what you do, your passion, interests and skills. Now that social media updates are included in search results, make sure to optimize your Tweets, Facebook posts and other updates by filling in your industry related keywords, which could help you get found in search results.
Promote your social media profiles everywhere; on your portfolio website, blogs, emails etc. Tell the world that you have a profile and invite them to become your friend. Implement the official “follow” buttons on your websites and blogs. You can even customize your own social media buttons and include it on your online real estate.
Share Valuable content:
The most attractive element that will lure in more fans/followers is the level of informative content that you post in your social media accounts. Give a reason to others to follow you by posting useful, valuable and engaging content. Post something that relates to your niche. An interior designer should provide some useful information about interior designing. Fill your social updates with educational content. People will want to follow you only if you provide valuable that will keep them updated.
Engage with present members:
Do not keep your entire focus on gaining new fans and followers. Take care of your existing ones or else they may unfriend you. Nobody likes to keep a fan that has nothing to offer. Monitor your online presence and interact with your fans and followers. Ask questions, be engaging and participate in discussions to create a presence worth following.
Mix up your posts:
Do not post the same updates on every single network in which you are present. Different social networks have different types of audiences. It may also happen that persons following you in Twitter may also follow you in LinkedIn. Do not bore them by repeating the same message again and again. The information that you want to convey should be consistent, but present it in a different manner so that audiences find you unique in each network.
Post in Multiple formats:
Many people commit a silly mistake of using a simple text format to post an update. They forget that an image is worth a thousand words. People like to grasp information visually than reading chunks of paragraph. Try creating an infographic, eBook, video or even a podcast and post it social media accounts.
Social networking is all about being genuine. You cannot create a personal brand by faking yourself. Never forge anything in your profile. This makes you highly unprofessional. You will lose the hard earned image within a few seconds.
Follow big influencers:
You will find big online influencers in each of the niche market. They have a large number of following. They are a celebrity in their market. Try to connect and engage with them. Become his/her fan or follower. People checking out your profile will definitely be impressed when they’ll see a big name in your friend list.
Create a Facebook Fan Page:
Create a personalized Facebook Fan Page to increase your online importance. People will start taking you and your brand seriously. This implies your employer that you are very much concerned about your online image. It makes him believe that you are doing everything possible to maximize it.
Yell out to the online world about your social media accounts. Create a huge following to spread your personal brand. Now that you’ve build your base, it’s time to start working on creating your personal brand.
Identify your brand:
Before getting on the bandwagon of social network sites for building your personal brand, it’s very important to identify yourself at first. Many people wishing to create a personal brand randomly fill out their profiles. They do not know their purpose of participation. They are simply unaware of their strengths upon which one has to build his/her brand. You need to have a clear idea of who you are, what you want to be known as your brand and the type of content that you consistently publish. Identify the qualities in you that make you unique in your competitors. Find your passion and the quality that you want to be expert in before starting your social media campaign for personal branding.
If you are really concerned about building your online personal brand, create multiple streams of you. Make use of other social media channels available to create opportunities. These include a YouTube for your videos, Flickr for your images, Slideshare for you presentations, Twitter for communication and immediacy, LinkedIn for corporate networking opportunities, and Facebook, of course. Mark your presence across all networks.
Build Association with brands:
Try to build association with high quality brands as quickly as possible. In the process, you gain credibility for working with high quality brands. Not only this enhances your visibility, but it also opens out new areas for your brand.
Be unique! Be Interesting:
People have become bored with the same old things. Give them something different, something fresh with which they can attach themselves to. The more you offer a fresh perspective or a brand new concept, the more people will be attracted to you. Create a distinct personality within your niche. Post some interesting videos, images and infographic that enhance your relation to your personal brand.
Don’t join every other social network:
It’s a very poor strategy to join in every other social network. You will not be able to scale up your brand in each one of them. Can you give time to fifty social networks? I would recommend you to join the following four social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to build your personal brand. You should also create accounts on niche related social networks.
Do something that identifies you:
After creating your account, you cannot simply wait and watch. You cannot expect that a personal brand is created on its own. For this, you require consistent hard work and uniqueness. Do something remarkable that can quickly establish you as a hero. Create a life that gets talked about or something that gets shared. People will quickly start recognizing you and your brand.
It is very important to maintain a level of consistency across all the social networks. A Facebook fan may check out your Twitter profile to get some more information. A profile wishing to create a personal brand should use a professional image across all the networks. Use the same name, information and other data in all networks. Continuity needs to be maintained across all platforms.
Heed your analytics:
Make use of social networking analytics to determine your ROI (Return on Investment) on each platform. For example, Facebook Insights offers some simple analytics on posts, which indicates the number of responses, views and interaction each post receives. Keep a track of your updates to determine the efficiency of each one. Use them as a framework to create future updates. Depending on the outcome of each network, determine the time you need to spend on each network.
Be an expert:
To create a personal brand in a niche, you need to be an expert in that. You can do this by posting, sharing and tweeting invaluable and educative content. Get into discussions, ask questions, and engage with your present members. It’s just a matter of time when word-of-mouth referrals will establish you as an expert. Be sure, to maintain it in all the networks to create an overall impact.
Now that you are cleared with the basics, we will take up some popular social networks in which you can carve out your personal brand easily.
Now that you’ve learnt the techniques of personal branding on the popular social networks, let’s see some basic do’s and don’ts of personal branding in social media.
- You have to positive and energetic in your social media campaign. You just cannot “set and forget”. Post something interesting that piques your readers. Include parts of your projects, volunteerism, hobbies, skills, abilities etc. You can even mix your personal and professional life, professionally. Companies like to hire people who have an all-rounded life style.
- Do take every chance to discuss and share your accomplishments. There’s a fine line between sharing your success and bragging. Bragging simply oozes off your employers. Just take pride of what you have achieved till date.
- Share infographic, videos, articles, podcasts, links that relate to your work interests. Employers want to know the level of involvement you have in your niche market. Post your opinions, thoughts and reviews regarding your market. Let the employers know about your critical thinking skills.
- Do chat with others regularly. Appreciate pages, links and posts that are really appreciative. You are not alone in this race. Help others to establish their personal brand.
- Do follow companies that you are interested in on LinkedIn. Invite members of such companies and join groups networking groups that belong to them.
- Use online tools such as Buffer app to schedule your posts all along the day. Regular sharing of content is very important to build a personal brand.
- You can use a professional headshot across all the platforms.
- Do segregate your professional and personal circles. Use privacy settings in Facebook to limit your profile views.
- Do not copy a brand from others. Do not copy it from the CEO of your dream company. Be yourself.
- Never ever complain about your past employers, co-workers or bosses. It reflects a bad impression on you.
- Don’t post content from other sites regularly. You need to create your own space, so create and post your original content. Yes, you can take ideas from other sites, but copy and paste is a strict no-no.
- Your employers are least concerned about the fight that you had with your friends. Don’t share personal problems online. It does nothing for your brand; rather it may turn off some of your important contacts.
- Don’t ignore replies, retweets and requests for information. Accept some opportunities to converse with others. There may be a potential employer out there who wants to make contact with you. So don’t ignore it.