Thursday, October 29, 2015

Personal branding – don’t leave it to chance

Like it or not a personal brand is something that follows you wherever you go from your personal life to the work world and beyond.
It’s the combined information (Internet postings, social media updates etc.) about you that shows up when someone searches online. So it probably makes sense to figure out how to make your brand the best it can be.

5 steps to take this weekend to boost your personal brand:

1. Define your tactics:
Ask yourself: What do you want people to find when they search for you online? Someone they’d like to …
  • Hire: Then focus on optimizing your Linkedin profile (and not just to get it to Linkedin’s 100 percent complete status, but adding images, videos, examples of your work etc.) Consider using other channels too: A blog to demonstrate your knowledge, Pinterest boards to demonstrate any visual work and interests, and Twitter to share your work and to network without the barriers of Linkedin.
  • Get to know: Start by picking three platforms to focus on that will allow you to tell your story. For example, if your interests are sports, travel and reading consider creating boards on Pinterest for each of you specific interests.
2. Define yourself:
Develop a short description of who you are, what you believe in and what you do best. In other words: How would you tell your online audience why you’re the right person to work with or connect with? 

This two- or three-sentence statement is for you, but should guide how you describe yourself - everywhere. Be sure to describe what makes you different from other people with the same or similar expertise. 

If you’re not sure what that is, do some research on well-known people in your field. Observe what they do and adapt it to your own way of doing things.

3. Define your expertise:
What particular skills and knowledge do you want to be known for? Who do you hope to connect with?

Determining what makes you unique helps you understand what sets you apart from crowd on the Internet. 

Your areas of expertise define who you are and what you do. They should be included in your social media profile descriptions and should include your main keywords.

4. Define your approach:
How will you use various social media platforms to advance your brand? For example, will ...
  • You only use Linkedin to post things relevant to your career or will you also post a few things that show some of your personality?
  • Facebook be strictly for people you’ve met in real life or consider personal friends?
  • Twitter be a place to share industry news and find new connections?
  • You use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts to maintain a regular social presence or will you post organically as you find interesting material?
  • You use tools such as Empire Avenue, Kred and Klout to monitor your efforts and guide your progress?

5. Define your success:
What will success look like to you?
  • Making lots of online connections that become in real life (IRL) connections?
  • Enhancing your current job/career?
  • Getting a better job?
Whatever you settle on set some future calendar reminders to look back at what you’ve done. Then decide which efforts are worth continuing and which should be dropped.

Remember your personal brand is an evolving, living thing. The only thing you can do "wrong" is to ignore it and let it change, or worse: stagnate, while you remain blissfully unaware…

Does this help? Will you use social media and a plan to boost your personal brand? I’d love to hear back from you.

Related posts:
Quality SM connections for personal branding
Blogging for personal branding

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