My job involves building and maintaining a personal brand. This is becoming an increasingly important part of my job, not just for influencers and entrepreneurs but also for thought leaders. Your personal brand will help you to stand out and bring you new opportunities, no matter if you are an architect, businessman, blogger, lawyer or designer.
You already have your personal brand, if you stop and think about it. Each person has one. If a potential employer or client were to Google your name, they’d probably find your LinkedIn and social media profiles, perhaps followed by any news articles featuring your name or any other websites that mention you. Based on search results, what impression might someone have of you? This is basically your online brand. It’s your online reputation.
Your personal branding is about taking control over your online image and making it work for you.
If you do a search online for me, your results will include my website, latest tweets and my LinkedIn profile. You can also see my YouTube channel and other social media profiles. These results are enough to show you that I am an expert on future technologies, digital transformation and driving business success. My photos and voice will both be professional. My brand is all that. It’s consistent. It is consistent.
Of course, social media isn’t the only way to establish your brand, but it does play a huge role. These are twelve ways to use social media for your benefit and enhance your brand.
1. Get your profile in order. To ensure consistency, add a professional and up-to date photo to all your social media accounts. You can use the same image across multiple platforms. Then clean up your profiles by deleting any content that you wouldn’t want potential employers or clients to see. (You can always maintain a private profile for sharing personal things that you don’t want employers or clients to see.)
2. Don’t be afraid to show your true self. While you want to cultivate a professional brand, it’s important to let your personality shine through in your social media posts. Write in the way you’d normally speak. Be authentic. Be honest. Instead of trying to keep up with the latest trends, talk about what is important to you. And don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. All of this is part of making sure your brand remains relevant. Be consistent.
3. Tell others what you learn. Something that I’ve found impactful – and easy – is sharing interesting and relevant news stories from my industry on social media. It helped me to build my brand and keep up-to-date on the latest happenings in my industry. You can sign up for industry newsletters, or set up Google Alerts to keep you informed about relevant news stories. Do be sure to add your own message when you share something on social media – even if it’s just “I came across this today and thought I’d share it. Let us know what you think.
4. You can join industry groups via social media. Make yourself visible by commenting on posts and answering questions.
5. Don’t be afraid to share your expertise and time. Help others by answering questions, commenting and engaging in conversation online. Do not forget to rate and amplify any content you find interesting, inspiring or helpful. Be reciprocal.
6. Keep in touch with new people as often as possible on LinkedIn. This can be done by finding people in your industry and inviting them to join you. Each week send a few invites with a brief personal message. This will help you build your network.
7. You can create short polls that will encourage engagement by asking interesting questions. Post a mix of general and professional questions.
8. Share high quality images and videos about your professional life. Visual content is very popular. Share your photos and videos from work conferences, industry events, client visits, etc. It’s possible to mix and match videos with “everyday” shots or photos, while keeping things professional. For example, your morning coffee if you work from home.
9. Really, you can post any sort of content that will help to cement your reputation – it could be advice, thought-provoking questions, excerpts from presentations you’ve given, pro tips, how-to content, or whatever.
10. Writing longer articles is a great way to show your expertise and get them shared on LinkedIn. I did a lot of this – still do, in fact – and it has played a huge role in growing my personal brand.
11. You can simplify your life by using cross-platform platforms. Hootsuite is a great tool to help you schedule posts and easily share your content across different platforms. You get the most value out each piece of content by not having it posted in different places.
12. For social media, you can schedule a certain time every day or week. It is possible to actively limit your time on social media. Therefore, it is helpful to set up posts and schedule times for checking in on social media.
Learn more about building your personal brand on social media and learn other important skills with my book. Future Skills: The 20 Skills & Competencies Everyone Needs To Succeed In A Digital World. Subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with the most recent tech and business trends. TwitterLinkedIn, YouTube, and LinkedIn