Learn how to begin building your profile to be authentic, compelling, and relevant to target audiences.
- A powerful place for your personal brand to come to life is in the online space. Today, we're connected to a global marketplace through social media and social networking. It's not a fad and it's not a passing trend. Social media is a real way to express your values and your offer to people everywhere. Let's review some of the social media basics as they relate to personal branding. First, it's important to stay genuine online. This is not the place to try to be somebody you're not or be an imposter and put on a costume, thinking it's going to make you look better or smarter. You want to showcase your personal brand values, and let people see who you are. If you're a friendly, approachable professional, then let that come through in the tone and the images and the content you post online. On the other hand, if you're building more of an exclusive, reserved brand position, then you're going to want to make sure you don't get overly casual or chatty with your online contacts. It's important to engage and participate in the conversation just like you would in person. You wouldn't walk up to me in person and if I said hi, how are you, ignore my question. Well, the same thing happens online. If somebody sends you a message or posts something you find interesting, respond, have an opinion. Let people see what you are interested in and passionate about. Also don't forget that everything that happens online is public, it all goes to show other people what you stand for, what you're passionate about, what you're interested in. So if you're commenting on things or posting pictures that you think, well, somebody might not see that, or maybe a hiring manager won't notice that I did that. Just believe that they will because privacy settings are not fail-proof. Also, stay focused on your target audience online, where are they? If you're trying to get the attention of business leaders and professionals, you're probably going to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, it's where business professionals go. If you're more of the creative type and you want to get the attention of ad directors or marketing firms, a platform like Instagram might be more relevant for you. It's important when you're building your online presence to build your reputation that you think about where your audience is. And certainly let your audiences online know how they can help you, take advantage of the real estate you have on all these sites to build your brand and let people know what you do. On Facebook, for instance, does your timeline photo show a sunset or a picture of your dog? Well, you might consider using a picture of you speaking to a large group because that will help your friends remember that you're a great public speaker who, by the way, is available for hire. Remember, each platform is unique. LinkedIn, for instance, is the professional business tool. On LinkedIn, you want to post regularly, you want to join groups in your industry, or maybe the target industry you want to move into. When you post articles or links, add your perspective, what do you think about the article or about the author's perspective? LinkedIn is a powerful and heavily used tool by professionals, recruiters, hiring managers, and thought leaders. So make sure you're being consistent with the personal brand that I'm going to experience when I meet you in person. Facebook, on the other hand, is more social platform. It allows you to humanize your brand. In my case, I'm connected to a lot of my clients, people who read my books or have heard me speak and also the media on Facebook. So I always keep the message clean of mistakes or inappropriate content, but I let them see my social side. It rounds out my personal brand strategy. Now might be a good time to think about or look at your online profiles. Do they match up? Do they look consistent? What do you think they say about you? It's a key part of the personal branding process.