Personal Branding is a subject mentioned in interviews and career fairs, but why is it important? And how can you create or improve yours? Enter your name into a Google search—what comes up? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog posts, etc. This is what an employer, customer, or friend sees when they want to find out more about you, and using social media is the easiest way. Improving your personal brand involves building out of all these social media profiles to make you stand out.
Where to Start?
1. Decide how you want to be represented. What are your passions? What industry are you in? What is your dream job? Ask yourself these questions and then make sure all platforms clearly portray these things about you. Create a brand statement that describes who you are and what you are trying to achieve with personal branding. Make it relatable while still being unique to you. You want to connect with others, but standing out is important in making you memorable for customers and employers.
2. Build up your sites. Time to build up your accounts. Look through a competitor's social media or the profile of someone who you look up to and come up with ideas for your own profile. Especially if they represent themselves well on social media, it is important to see what they are doing right, and what content they are posting and sharing that proves to be engaging to their audience. Take notice of what seems to attract followers and use that to tailor your own sites. Make sure your logos, pictures, and statements are consistent across the board. It will make it easier for audiences to recognize you and to find you.
3. Define your audience. Who are you trying to reach? Do you want to find a job at a company you admire? Are you building up your own business? It is important to know your audience and then reach out to them. Follow and friend people and companies who you would be proud to be associated with. Connect with potential customers, companies in your line of work, authority sites, and grassroots bloggers.
4. Share meaningful content, regularly. Post relevant content often and share posts on different media outlets. If you write a new blog post, make sure you share on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Not only will this keep you on top of the mind with your followers, but it also allows them to find you on other social media outlets. After a while, followers will learn what to expect from you and will better understand your personal brand. Make sure your posts make sense for your brand. If you are looking for a job as a program developer, the latest Oscar fashion news may not make sense. This will confuse followers and may not be something they want to see, causing them to unfollow you or become disinterested.
5. Respond and Engage! Posting everyday will not get you involved in the community. Maybe you will get a few followers or shares, but until you start to comment, share, like, friend, etc. you will not be maximizing your potential. If you are job searching, interact with the company you would like to work for. Leave insightful comments on posts and engage with the employees.
What will developing your personal brand lead to? Building your brand can lead to a better job, more clients, recognition, and so much more. With a well built out social media presence, you position yourself as an authority in your specific niche. Results will not be apparent overnight, this is a long-term commitment, but be persistent and you will find that success can be found in personal branding through social media.