Want to be highly successful in your career and stand out within your industry?
Well it’s time to focus on building a great personal brand!
Social media plays a key role in this, as it will often be the first point of call for people who want to learn a little more about you. Everything you do online will become part of your personal brand, so it’s important to consider what you post on social media and ensure it represents you in the way that you want to be viewed.
Here are a few ways that you can nail your personal brand on social media and differentiate yourself from other professionals.
1) Clean up your accounts
A lot of potential employers, business prospects may wish to check you out on social media ahead of doing business with you, so it’s important that you are behaving professionally online. If your accounts are full of photographs of alcohol fuelled nights and foul language, you may want to open a new account or remove all previous posts that could portray you in a negative light.
If you would like to keep an account for personal use, make sure that you have set your profile to private and are selective about who you connect with.
2) Identify an objective for your personal brand
Different networks are good for achieving various objectives, so you want to focus your time and effort on building a presence where it will be the most effective. For example, if you are seeking a new job or business prospects you may want to focus on optimising your LinkedIn profile and becoming a vocal member in LinkedIn groups where you can establish new professional contacts. If on the other hand you work in a creative industry and would like to exhibit your work for possible sales/work opportunities a visual network such as Instagram or Pinterest may be more suitable.
Thought these may be where you focus your most attention, maintaining a presence on multiple platforms will help you to reach different audiences and build a name for yourself in the industry.
3) Decide how you want to be portrayed
Before you can go about building your personal brand, it’s a good idea to pinpoint an area of expertise or a quality that you want to be known for. The more specific you are, the better; as it will help you to stand out from the crowd if you have a niche that you can share your knowledge on. Make sure it is something that you are genuinely passionate about and feel you are qualified to share your thoughts on.
4) Make sure your profiles are consistent
To make sure your personal brand is memorable and identifiable, you should try to maintain a consistent theme across your social media accounts. Use the same profile photograph, name and headline so that your profiles all look the same. Where possible, you may also want to adopt a colour scheme or theme for everything that you share, so that your content looks smart and on brand. For example, if you are using Instagram, using the same filter and captioning will keep it looking sleek.
It’s also important to make sure that you have filled out all of your profiles and there is no missing information, so people know who you are, what you do and how they can contact you.
5) Start sharing content
Once you have identified your niche, begin sharing relevant content. This can be blog posts, news and insights; visuals such as infographics, photographs and videos; or your own personal thoughts (keep it professional!) A combination of your own original content and that curated from other sources, shared on a regular basis, will keep your following engaged. Tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite can be used to schedule updates when you are not able to do it manually.
It should also be added that you should share with care. Double check that information is accurate and there are no grammatical errors before you post, as sloppiness can appear unprofessional.
6) Join a community
Networking is a central part of developing your personal brand and LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and Twitter communities are a great place for establishing new connections with people in your target industry. Share quality content that will get people and get involved in discussions to get to know people and make sure you are on their radar.
7) Monitor your reputation
Keep an eye on who is sharing your content or mentioning your name online, as this will give you a good idea about what kind of reputation you have built for yourself. This also gives you the opportunity to interact with these individuals, strike up a relationship and thank them for sharing your content.
Akin is the author of the book "THE INTERNET: a town square for the global village.
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