social media how to

Do you want to build a personal brand?

Interested in ways to differentiate yourself from others?

Social media is a great way to develop a personal identity, establish a reputation and stand out in your industry.

In this article you’ll discover how to use social media to build your personal brand.

Why Personal Branding?

To understand personal branding, start by doing a Google search for your name.

build personal brand

Discover how to build your personal brand with social media.

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Chances are you’ll see a list of your prominent social profiles (namely LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) in your search results. Google gives high authority to all of the main social media platforms. Ultimately, the more active you are on a particular platform, the higher that profile is ranked.

Your personal blog, website and images are probably ranked high too, as social media and content creation are fundamental parts of personal branding SEO.

Remember that everything you do online is a representation of your personal brand. Here are some ways to start shaping your message and how you’re perceived.

#1: Define Your Objective

What do you hope to achieve when people search for your name? What do you want them to see?

If you want people to see your work experience and receive new opportunities in your area of expertise, concentrate on developing your LinkedIn profile first. If you want to promote your content to a wider audience, try increasing your Twitter followers. If you’re trying to sell artwork, Pinterest is your best option. You get the idea.

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Understand your goal to guide your branding. Image: Shutterstock.

Here are some other possible goals:

I Want to Start My Own Business

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, your personal brand could make the difference in whether your idea is successful. When people research you online, what they learn about you can be a deciding factor in whether they invest in your idea.

I Want to Differentiate Myself From Competitors

With a strong persona and unique branding proposition, you’re almost guaranteed to stand out from the crowd. In a competitive marketplace, it’s important to show what makes you different.

I Want to Sell More

This goes without saying: When your personal brand is strong and you make yourself appealing enough that people want to connect with you, chances are you’ll sell more of your product or service.

#2: Identify Up to Three Areas of Expertise

What do you want to be known for? Whom do you want to connect with? The Internet is flooded with entrepreneurs and experts, so you need to determine what makes you unique.

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Find your expert niche. Image: Shutterstock.

You might be more than just a social media marketer. Your interests could be as broad as Peruvian cooking or dolphin training, but don’t choose more than three.

Your areas of expertise define who you are and what you do. They’re used for writing your social media profile descriptions and should include your main keywords.

#3: Make a List of Profile Links

Store links to all of your social media profiles in a spreadsheet. You might have 10 or even 30 profiles (the more, the better). If you have a large number of profiles, prepare to carve out time to be active on these channels.

Review each of your social media profiles regularly and update them to ensure they contain your most current information, such as your work info, website URL, social links, etc.

#4: Develop a Strong Positioning Statement

A positioning statement is a brief summation of who you are, what you do and what you stand for. Typically, positioning statements are created for brands or products, but in this case you’re developing one for you.

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Tell your audience why you’re the right person to work with. Image: Shutterstock.

When creating your statement, always keep your audience in mind. Although the statement is about you, it’s not necessarily for you. It’s for the people you’re trying to connect with.

Describe what differentiates you from other people in your area of expertise. If you’re not quite sure what that is, take time to research some of the well-known people in your field. Take note of their tactics, presentations and ideas, and go from there.

#5: Use a Consistent Look and Feel on All Platforms

Your choice of color, style and tone are branding aspects that should be consistent across all of your channels. For example, if you use a blue color scheme on your personal website, don’t use a yellow one on your Facebook page.

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Find a color palette and use it consistently. Image: Shutterstock.

The idea is to make yourself memorable. People are more likely to remember you if you use a consistent look and feel on all platforms.

Here’s a look at a few personal branding pros and the design schemes they use:

Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, positions himself as a content marketing evangelist, author and leader of the content marketing movement.

joe pulizzi image

Choose a distinctive color scheme and incorporate it into all of your social profiles.

He uses the color orange to create recognition for his personal brand. Joe also always wears this color, whether he’s speaking at a conference or doing an interview for radio.

You’ll also find all of his most frequently used social media profile links on his home page. This signals to Google that Joe is the one who uses those platforms, and Google ranks his profiles accordingly when someone searches for his name.

Joe is a personal branding genius and regularly addresses the topic.

Jasmine Batra

Jasmine Batra is a digital futurist, public speaker and founder of Arrow Digital. She positions herself as Australia’s most admired online marketing strategist, and this statement is clearly visible on the homepage of her personal website. You’ll also find links to her social media profiles.

jasmine batra image

Use the same profile images for all of your channels.

She uses the same profile images across all of her social media channels. Her signature color sets her apart from the competition because people are more likely to remember unusual and pleasing colors.

#6: Reserve Your Name Everywhere

It’s important to reserve your name everywhere. Use a tool like KnowEm to search for your name across a variety of social platforms. If your name is already taken on a particular platform, consider using a variation of your name.

knowem placeit image

Use a tool like KnowEm to search for your name on various social channels. Image: Placeit.

There are many categories to choose from, catering to all of the most popular platforms. If you want to create a profile with your name, click the associated icon to get started.

This process is ideal for optimizing your name on Google. Remember to include links to your new social media profiles on your website or blog. This will help get them indexed quicker.

Final Words

As a social media marketer, you spend a lot of time getting more shares, followers and traffic for your business. But what about when the brand you’re promoting is yourself?

When it comes to personal branding, create profiles on multiple platforms and use a consistent look and feel throughout. But what really counts is making an impact within your communities. Participate regularly in LinkedIn and Facebook groups, Google+ communities and Twitter hashtag conversations.

By being active, your personal brand gets more exposure and helps you position yourself as an authority in your niche, which is what it’s all about.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tactics to create your personal brand? What strategies have worked best for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Knowem image created with Placeit.
Goal photoExpertise photoGlowing Bulb photo and Color Palette photo from Shutterstock.
how to build your personal brand

Tips for building your personal brand with social media.

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  • Bikash Burnwal

    I really appreciate this beautiful content. I have multiple ids on several platforms and have used the same user id everywhere. Many of the things I was missing and now I will make it done. Thanks Daniel for sharing this great article. Looking forward for more.

  • Herbiordun M’ Giwa

    Good one here

  • Lisa Karl

    Great article Daniel filled with great points. I especially like #5–I’m always telling our clients this as well.

  • Aurelle Noutahi

    Great article Daniel!

  • Hi Bikash,

    Thank you for your comment and I’m very glad you found the article of value. Using the same ID everywhere with your name and main keyword(s) is always a great idea! I wish you the best of luck. Regards, @danieltolliday

  • Thanks Herbiordun – I’m looking forward to sharing more in the future. Regards, @danieltolliday

  • Hi Lisa, thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, consistency and familiarity are vital in making yourself memorable (if only more brands would recognize this!). Feel free to connect with me on Twitter: @danieltolliday

  • Thanks for reading, Aurelle – I’m glad you like it 🙂

  • Loving the practical advice in the last tip, consistency is really important.

  • Great post Daniel, very helpful.

    Thanks for the tip about KnowEm to search for name availability across social platforms, it’s a really useful tool.

  • Hi John,

    I’m glad you found the post helpful. Yes, KnowEm is one of the most awesome tools around; I use it as much as Buffer and Trello.

    Best of all, KnowEm isn’t just for personal branding – it can be used for client and business branding as well 😉

  • Thanks for reading Sandra – and I couldn’t agree more!

  • Great article, Daniel. Social media makes it easier than ever to develop strong relationships with customers. It not only gives the platform to keep customers up-to-date with the happenings of the company, but it also allows to spread brand and give it some personality.

  • marie.cosgrove
  • Hi Eliza,

    Thanks for commenting. I completely agree – social media allows us to show that we are actual humans with a personality … even if we’re behind a screen 🙂

  • kimberly.valentine2


  • Great post and the examples are legit. I love that you mention about the purpose of creating your own brand. That tip will definitely give them some directions and goal.

  • Yeah, you’re right!

  • This is a very useful article, Daniel! Thank you! Have you come across any examples of people using social media monitoring as part of their personal branding strategy? I think this is not too common yet, but seems to be growing as a practice not only on enterprise but on personal level, too. I was curious if you know of any such cases? It would be nice to see how it’s different from companies’ monitoring. 🙂

  • First thing to do on Social Media is to start branding yourself as opposed to
    shouting out what a great business you have joined. Once people get acquainted
    with and to trust you, they are going to follow you and become interested in
    what you must offer them. Thanks for this educational post Daniel Tolliday!!!

  • Archana O’Connor

    It was my lucky day today to come across this article as it so well articulated. I have find this article relevant to my question and very helpful too as got some answers before asking the questions. Thank you!!!