18 Sep 4 STEPS to Master Personal Branding
You are amazingly talented, GREAT at what you do, and you’d like to share your work and thoughts with a larger audience to take you to the next step in your career (or to help grow your business). Today that’s easier than ever before! All you need is a clear strategy for your personal brand, combined with the knowledge and best practices for leveraging the power of social media to do it!
Who Should Care About Personal Branding?
- Consultants, service professionals or small business owners who want increased sales without paying high advertising costs
- Artists, photographers, musicians, DJs, or anyone with a creative job you want to promote and grow (or even a hobby you want to turn into a job!)
- Writers, journalists and bloggers
- C-levels, directors or any professional looking to stand apart from the crowd
4 Steps to Mastering Personal Branding >>
1) LAY THE FOUNDATION!
STEP ONE is to define your own personal brand so that you attract the right audience and generate positive results. You basically lay the foundation for everything else, especially WHAT you will be posting. You need to dig in and define:
- What you care about or want to be known as an expert on
- What your goals are with all this
- What your personality is (so you know if you should post with humour, etc.)
- Who your target is
Here’s a SAMPLE of the above exercise, from a writer:
QUICK TIP > I always use Xmind for these exercises (of course, any type of mindmapping software would work) because trying to organise the 4 Steps in a Word doc will result in multiple pages of text, whereas with a ‘map’ you can see everyone in one glance — making it a tool that is amazingly user-friendly that you’ll refer to time and again to keep you focused.
2) RESEARCH & Take Notes!
For STEP TWO, it’s time to go back to school with a little Digital Marketing & Social Media 101 class! Although anyone can do social media, it takes knowledge to do it well so read up!
Each platform is unique and there are tons of tips and tricks to help you push ahead, and just as many land mines to avoid. Follow ‘best practices’ just like the big brands, to help you grow as a thought leader as efficiently as possible!
Make notes on:
- Tips & tricks that stand out to you
- Pitfalls to avoid
- Best time to post
- Frequency, how often you should post by platform (balancing the goal of inspiring ‘shares’ + not spamming your followers)
3) GET STRATEGIC!
STEP THREE is to outline your personal social media strategy! Keep in mind that no one searches Pinterest for management best practices nor LinkedIn for cool DIY hacks for IKEA furniture. So by putting a strategy in place, you’ll be able to focus only on those social media platforms that are going to be a great use of your time, leaving behind those that won’t help you reach your goals.
- List the social media platforms that are right for you.
- Brainstorm and pull together a list of the types of posts you want to share.
CONTENT TIP >> If your goal is to generate more business, then focus content to show potential clients that you understand their business and how you – or your company – would solve a problem they have. If you want to land a better job, post content and insights that will position you as an expert in your field of expertise.
4) START ENGAGING!
Finally, STEP FOUR takes all your prep and turns it into pure action! Here’s what to do:
- Setup your accounts. Be sure to follow best practices (read articles on what NOT to do like this one on the no-nos of LinkedIn profiles).
- Hunt for the influencers or brands that you want to be on the radar for and immediately start following them. Hopefully some will follow you back but unless you are Apple or Lady Gaga, you will need to build up an audience for yourself over time, so please be patient.
- Then START! Post original content or share great content from others with an insightful message from you introducing it (NEVER NEVER NEVER share a link or infographic or video without including your two cents to introduce it!).
When it comes to thought leadership, just remember that it’s about giving back and sharing tips and advice that help or inspire others. Don’t expect overnight results but if you follow the above four steps you can definitely harness the power of social media to YOUR benefit and master the art of personal branding…hopefully having some fun along the way.