If you've decided that your name will be a permanent fixture in your brand, because you plan on being there, active in the brand, then building a Personal Brand is for you.
And once you decide to move in that direction, social media is one of the best vehicles for accomplishing that.
Not sure where to start?
Stick around and I'll not only show you how to start, I'll show you how to finish…big.
Personal Branding, the Social Media Way
You've undoubtedly shared lots of personal stuff on social media. And maybe you've built a business on social media, too. Now, if you can imagine combining the two into one synergistic marketing and communication machine, you've got personal branding on social media.
Every time you interact with someone, every time you leave someone with an impression of you, you're building your personal brand. And when you have a personal brand, it's your responsibility to manage the perceptions that are being constructed about you and your business.
If you have any doubt about how important social media is to building your personal brand, simply conduct a Google search for your name and take notice to what appears on the first page of results. Any social media pages? Now, maybe you're beginning to realise just how important a social media presence is to personal branding.
Next, you've got to know, without a doubt, that what's on the other side of those search results (the actual social media pages) is working to build your brand.
Not sure where to start?
I suggest including these principles in your social media strategy:
- Start a Group: This is a newer concept for building a personal brand; however, with the changes Facebook has just enacted, it's going to prove necessary. Now, only paid promotions from business pages will show up in newsfeed. So, you can pay for Facebook advertising or you can start a group (and everyone who's in the group will see every post). The group should be built around something that all your ideal customers have in common, and that can support ongoing conversation. Ensure that you are an everlasting presence in that group, and that all roads lead back to your personal brand and those who support it.
- Claim to Fame: How many things are you good at? Now, how many of those things are you passionate about? And how many of those things will you jump out of bed for every morning? If you've got a number of things you're good at, and like to do, you're going to have to narrow that down to one or two things. The reason? Successful people are known for something…not somethings. Not sure what to choose? Ask your friends and existing clients. They'll notice things about you that you can never see from inside the ring.
- Serve: The ultimate goal of building a personal brand on social media is to sell your service; however, that is not the means to the end. Instead, service is the key to getting people to like and trust your brand, to believe that you are the foremost expert, and to then come to you to solve their problem…and pay you [well] to do that. Always remember to serve more than you sell, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how little selling you'll actually have to do.
- Be Yourself: Social media is the best place to express your individuality and show your ideal customers what makes you different than the average business owners in your industry. This is what you'll be remembered for, so be you. Be genuine. It's the only way you'll be truly unique, since there's only one real you.
- Avoid the Generic: One way to accomplish this is to avoid dubbing yourself with a generic term like Business Consultant and instead choose something more bespoke and specific, like SME Tour Guide or Company Counsel (both of which are less than 15 characters, and can therefore be used as social media handles and fame names).
- Relevant Events: What's going on in the world (or in your town) that touches on the values, mission and vision of your brand? Remember that you should be choosing ideal customers based on the values they share with you…and so what interests you will probably interest them, too. Talk about it. Give your opinion. Ask them for their opinions, too. This will help people to get to know the real you, and will endear all the right people to your personal brand.
- Consistency: Your social media pages should not present as a variety pack; instead, there should be congruency amongst all pages—in colour, logo, branding and profile images. Not only does this make it easier for people to find you in a number of places, it proves to them that you're confident in the personal brand you're putting forward (which will inspire their confidence in you, too).
- Contribute: It's your job to start conversations on your social media pages; however, that's only the beginning. In order to effectively engage your ideal customers, keep those conversations going by validating those who contribute to your brand culture, helping those who need you and offering valuable advice freely. This will give people a taste of what your brand really does, whilst building trust and expert status.
- Network: The most valuable connections you'll make will not come from the people you already know, but from the people they'll introduce you to. Social networking is all the rage—as it should be. Just think of the reach! Connect (and engage) with people whom you know are perfect for your brand, as well as those whose lists include your ideal customers.
I think we're almost to the point where we can strike the "media" from "social media." After all, it is the way to be social in the 21st Century. It seems that even when we do network or socialise in person, it starts with a social media invite.
How are you using social media to build your personal brand? How has it changed your personal branding? The other entrepreneurs in the How to Build a Brand group would love to hear from you…and they're also eager to share their experiences and expertise with you. So get in here! It's FREE (including live, interactive Brand Breakthroughs Sessions every Wednesday).