If you don’t have a personal brand yet, that’s okay, but it’s time to start thinking and building one. A personal brand matters in business; it can be the differentiator when someone is looking at two great resumes. And a personal brand stays with you for life and from job to job. It can often be critical in landing a job today. And it allows prospective employers to get to know you, how you think and what you’ve been doing before you walk in the room for an interview. And I believe it often gives you longevity in a business where women as they age are often put out to pasture.
How do you come up with your personal brand?
Mine was just happened. A consultant came into Big Fuel and said, “You have something unusual. A female creative director, only 3% of creative directors are female which is why brands are missing the mark with her. You should start writing a blog.” I didn’t consciously start out to create a personal brand. I had no idea it would lead me on the journey it has.
But if you don’t want to wait for a happy accident, it starts by thinking about what you want to stand for and then identifying three core pillars of content that support your brand. Then you make sure just about everything you talk, tweet or write about goes back to those pillars.
What are the characteristics of an influential personal brand?
• thought leadership
• you demeanor
How do you decide where your brand will live?
I am on primarily on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. And dabble with Path, Vine, Foursquare. The message from channel to channel is pretty much the same, but with variations. And of course, the MOMentum Nation blog. I’m more business on LinkedIn and more conversational/personal on Twitter. But it’s different courses for different horses so you need to decide what works best for you, fits where your potential audience lives and where you are comfortable.
Overall, the strategy should be consistency and honesty.
For me, Facebook is for people I know. I mix up speed of culture issues, events, news articles, infographics I find with some personal messages.
Twitter is for people I want to meet. It’s for conversation. I use it to talk about issues like hunger, children and vaccines, girl’s education. Hopefully it’s attracting people to read the blog. I stick to business on LinkedIn and cross promoting particular blog posts. Instagram is more personal– capturing moments at events or day-to-day stuff. YouTube has always been business so far. I’m much more comfortable with writing then video but have made it a goal to conquer this year.
List of Dos and Don’ts for building an influential brand with social media
1. Find your topic and be consistent. Figure out what you’re passionate about. People connect through emotion. Find your brand’s pillars and use them as a filter for what you write about. Consistency of messaging is key. And put some self-imposed deliverables on yourself and evolve over time. I started off making myself commit to one post a week and added as I went.
2. Be on several channels. One won’t cut it. And don’t forget an about.me page. It’s one link to share all of your links when someone asks.
3. Include photos, video to bring things to life. Your brand is not just your words.
4. Have patience. It takes time to build a brand. It’s not like you have a paid media campaign supporting the making of you.
5. Put a Google Alert on yourself. No it’s not being narcissistic. It’s your personal brand you’re managing and you want credit for your content. There’s been many an occasion where I’ve found unexpected content of mine out there without attribution or links back. Set up Google Alerts on your topic so you are on top of any news surrounding your area of interest.
1. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. People don’t want to engage with a manufactured version of what you think you should be.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask opinions. Include quotes from friends. It’s a great way to build an audience for your brand.
I believe it’s so important to have personal brand. Through social media, I’ve met so many women, some I’ve never met IRL, but we still help each other through support, advice and connections to other women. Social media is a tool, the most important part is conveying who you are and what you stand for. From there build trust with your audience and then the network just naturally happens as people tell two friends who tell two friends. Second, create great content. People will find you through the content. And don’t forget to be a human being.