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