You need to know what content you should share to boost your personal brand. We’ve got the formula for working out how.
If you’re ready to stand out online you need to be seen engaging with your professional networks and sharing relevant content. These are included in the 5 key features we found in our article on amazing LinkedIn profiles (there’s a link to it below if you haven’t checked it out yet).
The trouble is, social media trends move fast and there isn’t one true set of rules for us to follow in order to nail it without tripping up. In fact, if you’re an employee, your company probably hasn’t even created a framework for using social media yet. 93% of sales executives haven’t received any formal training on social selling according to Kredible and Accenture - despite the fact that 78% use it for work!
All this combined can make the idea of social engagement for professionals more daunting than it is exciting. It’s easier to see the potential downfalls than it is to see the bounty of rewards in it. In order to ensure that you are confident in taking your personal brand by storm, there are two simple questions you need to ask yourself; “Who am I speaking to?” and “How does this make me look good?”
It may seem obvious, but to strip away any anxiety or doubt about the content you should share, you have to get to the core of why you’re sharing it. The purpose should always be to inform and inspire your professional networks, and to make yourself look good in the process.
“Who am I speaking to?”
The beauty of this simple question is that it invites you to assess both who you want to reach and how you’re going to reach them.
To demonstrate this in action in its simplest form, let’s make up an example. Let’s say I’m a salesperson in office furniture and I want to boost my personal brand as a kickass expert in that field, so that I can generate more leads and convert them into sales (this is my goal).
I know that most of my professional contacts are already on LinkedIn, I might even have a couple of connections that I think could be converted into customers, plus I also know that this is where most B2B buyers spend their time doing research before making a decision.
So I think, OK, I need to share content here on LinkedIn that’s going to make me stand out to my professional network. I’ll probably use my Twitter account too as I mostly use that for work anyway, but my friends and family on Facebook won’t be interested in this kind of stuff.
Based on what we already know, we’ve established who I want to reach and how I’m going to reach them. The next question will now help me determine what it actually is that I’m going to share.
“How does this make me look good?”
This is where most of us tend to tense up with anxiety, we’re often more scared of looking bad than we are hopeful of looking good.
But, because we’ve established who we want to reach and on what channels, we’re better prepared to decide on what content to share. Sometimes the easiest route to knowing what to share is first knowing what not to share. So let’s take another look at my example where I’m a salesperson and I want to boost my brand to my professional networks.
The first thing I’m going to rule out is funny cat videos or any ‘humorous’ content that might offend my professional networks. Secondly, I’m going to outlaw pictures of my flash car and my speed boat lifestyle on weekends. In fact, anything that doesn’t reflect well on my professional life can go, even though I love The Beatles they’re not relevant to my goal so they're out.
So what is going to make me look good and boost my personal brand? Well, my company has a very good reputation with a fantastic line of products, can I share those? Absolutely, but I can’t go overboard otherwise it’s as good as showing off and I could come across as too salesy.
My goal for my personal brand is to show that I’m “a kickass expert in the field” of office furniture and not just a salesperson. So I need to support sharing my company’s content with other content that proves to world that very fact, by providing huge value to my audience.
I'll start by visiting all my favourite sites for office-furniture related news and following their blogs, they'll definitely have content that I can share. I can even take it one step further, one of the biggest pains that office furniture buyers probably have is health & safety at work related to posture or their working environment. So, I’m going to find the latest case studies and articles related to posture or employee health and share those too, I might even follow the National Association of Chiropractors online (if there is one).
All of a sudden my personal brand shows that I’m not just a person who sells office furniture. I’m someone who; works for a reputable company with great products, knows the latest industry trends and has developed an in-depth knowledge into my buyers’ pains/interests.
Easy wins are always going to be; company news, industry news, research and news based on the audience's interests. Pick the low hanging fruit to build your brand, then as you learn more about what works and what doesn’t, do more of what works.
Once you become more confident in sharing on social media, the more creative you'll naturally become. Tell people what you like most about an article when you post it, leave comments when people you follow post material or even start a blog of your own. The more value you can provide to your audience without asking for anything in return, the more likely they are to come to you for help.
I’ve used a simple example to demonstrate the benefits of really thinking about what to share online to boost your personal brand, when in fact there are numerous ways you can target your activity to achieve your goals. However, the two simple questions that can create the framework for your social sharing success will always be “Who am I speaking to?” and “How does this make me look good?”