Take notes! Here’s our 3 step guide to create your own personal brand.
It may be no new phenomenon, after all, aren’t we representing our own brand with every interaction? OK this isn’t philosophy 101. But social channels have injected new life into our identities and allow us to create a vision of ourselves that stands out among the rest. Some of us have even learned to leverage these identities to get things we want, whether it's a new job, a sale or even a modelling contract! That’s why we have Instagram influencers and LinkedIn thought leaders.
It’s a fact that your own social accounts have 24x the sharing potential of your company’s, and you’ll most likely reach 10x the number of viewers too. Harnessing your professional online persona today really could help you reap the rewards of tomorrow! So here's 3 basic steps to get you started...
1. Audit Your Existing Social Media Accounts
According to Statista, 2.34 billion of us currently use social media. Take some time, and take stock of your existing accounts. What ones do you have? What ones have you used in the past 6 months to share content related to your job or your industry? What new platforms do you think you need to join?
Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular platforms among social employees for propelling their professional personal brand - especially salespeople. These should be staple ingredients in your social spice rack too.
86% of us who already share content about our company do so on Facebook. Actually, I like to share my own work or company content with my friends and followers, but I reserve general industry related content for LinkedIn and Twitter (where my followers and connections are mostly professional).
Of course, there are other platforms too, and depending on where your comfort zone or talent lies, you should utilise at least one of them. If you’re a writer, get yourself a Medium account, photographers are prolific on Instagram/Pinterest and if you love being in front of the camera then lucky you, video is the number one growth content medium right now, so set up your YouTube channel. Don't worry if creating doesn't feel like you, sharing relevant content and commenting on relevant events can be just as rewarding.
There is some debate around Google+, it certainly won’t harm to share content and updates here too, but it’s more important for companies looking to score SEO points than it is for individuals. Assuming you have a Gmail account, just make sure your Google Bio info is up to date.
If there are any accounts you haven’t used and have no intention to, ditch them. You don’t want these ones stealing precious space in the search results when someone Googles you.
2. What Do Your Profiles Say About You?
53% of decision makers have eliminated a vendor from consideration based on information they did or did not find about an employee online (according to Kredible). Have you ever walked straight past a restaurant without even looking at the menu simply because it looked a bit ‘ya know’? The chef in that restaurant could be serving the best cuisine in the city but nobody is going to know about it because they’re not inspired to go in.
That’s exactly what is happening to your professional social media accounts if you haven’t given them the TLC they deserve. Ensure you’ve filled in every section of information required, don’t see them as annoying questions you need to answer, they’re opportunities to entice leads, clients and future employers into your feed.
Get a friend to take a nice profile picture of you and use the same one for all of your accounts. The same goes for your cover picture or banner too. Canva is a great free tool for editing and designing amazing social images, and you don't need a degree in graphic design to use it.
By doing this, you'll create consistency for your personal brand. Plus, carving your unique sense of style is one of the most fun parts, so get creative and express yourself! If you're stuck for inspiration, just turn to someone you follow and replicate the bits that you think are most successful (the information has to remain personal to you though).
3. Share and Share Alike!
By now you’ve selected the best channels for engaging with your target networks, you’ve then pimped those channels out with your choice of style through colours, pictures and catchy bio info.
Now it’s time to turn those cogs into a personal branding machine by sharing engaging content. “What content?” I hear you ask. Well, anything that’s related to your field and you think your audience will get a kick out of.
That can be blog content you create on your Medium page, your latest product review on YouTube or just about anything you’ve chosen to create, so long as it’s relevant to your audience.
You can also share company content, in fact, you should definitely be sharing company content. Why? Well, 87% of employee advocates have enjoyed a growth in their network according to Hinge. Demonstrating your value and passion for a topic is a surefire way to benchmark yourself as a trusted thought leader to prospective clients or employers.
Whose accounts are rocking your world right now? What are they sharing? Why not give their post a retweet or a share? Take inspiration from them too. Chances are you’ll end up gaining new connections from people who share a similar interest in this account, or even from the owners themselves. Just remember that you when you're part of a conversation, you're more responsible for listening and responding than you are for communicating your own message.
This is just the very beginning, the words 'tip' and 'iceberg' do come to mind. But, by following these 3 steps today you’ll create the springboard for an awesome personal brand that stands out among the rest. Whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, your personal brand matters now more than ever.