Personal branding is a staple in the online world; what you share and how you interact with others can either help you or sink you. If you want to attract the right audience, connect with like-minded people and become a thought leader in your industry – you may want to take good care of how you carry yourself online. The first step to achieve this is to start thinking of yourself as a brand.
There are many benefits that come from a strong online persona. But, it does take a look of effort to set yourself apart from the rest. If you’re still unsure about the importance of personal branding, this post should help you figure out if it’s something you should pursue. Let’s get to it!
Why care about Personal Branding?
First, why would you want to have a personal brand? For starters, people want to do business with people — not faceless corporate entities. They want to establish a know, like, and trust factor with a human. There will always be some form of business to consumer marketing, but nothing beats human to human interaction.
As mentioned above, personal branding can lead to many benefits and some of the easiest ones to achieve include:
- Job opportunities: Getting recognized by what you share online could land you a job in your area, make sure you’re always showing your best professional self.
- Networking/Contacts: Like-minded folks looking to do business or participate in conferences may be looking for you. Your personal brand could help you connect with them.
- Thought leadership: Have some knowledge to share with others? Building your personal brand could help you become a leader in your industry.
How can you get started?
The first step: Create a web presence reflecting not only the products or services you offer, but who you are and what you care about. This will help others know what you’re up to.
Then, it’s time to connect with people. There are several ways to beef up your personal brand in order to build community. For example: If you are a small business owner with employees, encourage them to become recognized as experts in their field. Then, showcase your team on your company website or social media profiles and celebrate their accomplishments. Let your audience see the human side of your business.
If you are a solopreneuer, think of ways to showcase to your customers the real you. We’re not advocating putting every detail from your personal life out there, but rather talk about things that matter to you and that your audience could connect with. Are you a coffee lover? Talk about your favorite brews. Do you have a favorite sports team? Engage with them on your social profiles.
The goal is the create an image of who you are so that when the time come to do business with you, customers already feel like they know YOU. You may have already interacted with them on Twitter or curated content from them, so there is a relational feel to your future business transactions.
Where should you connect?
Decide where you need to be active. If you offer services that fit one social media platform over another, do that platform really, really well. For example if your business speaks to women, the demographics show that Pinterest has a very strong female presence. If you’re looking to connect with other like-minded professionals, Twitter may be the optimum platform for you.
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When to interact?
Be active. As with your paper’s publishing schedule, know your audience. Don’t automatically assume weekends aren’t a good time to engage with your fans, but rather look for patterns and analyze data to find out when your audience is online. Get out there and build your community — but then keep it by continuing to grow your influence.
Joining chats on Twitter could really help you, here’s a list of many of them divided by topic.
Just remember: don’t be too salesy. Again, it’s about establishing a know, like, and trust relationship with your customers. Make your personal brand…personal!
Did I miss anything? Leave me your thoughts below!