Thanks to the internet and social media there has never been a better time to build your personal brand. There’s over 1.7 billion people on Facebook (and counting), 450+ million on LinkedIn and 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, just to name a few social networking tools you can use to connect, reach, influence and lead.
Ten years ago if you wanted to be seen as a thought leader in your industry you had to get out there and network one on one, you had to write a book, do lots of speaking engagements, you had to interact face to face. I am not saying that these techniques are obsolete, face to face is still important but now, thanks to the internet and new technologies, we can do all of these things and more from the comfort of our office (or car, or home – practically anywhere you have a device and a connection!).
Networking is key to building your brand and proper use of social media makes this easy. There are thousands of different social networks you can’t use all of them effectively so choose the ones that are most likely to help you reach your intended audience.
Using Social Media To Build Your Personal Brand
Two important tools that you should consider are blogging and LinkedIn.
Blogging to Build Your Personal Brand
When it comes to using blogs to influence and share your knowledge you have 3 options:
- Create your own blog. This is a great long term investment and a fantastic way to showcase your knowledge. It’s easy to set up (use WordPress) but takes longer to build your following.
- Comment on other blogs – this is a great way to introduce yourself to industry influencers and to add value.
- Guest blog – writing guest blog articles gives you the biggest bang for your buck in the short term. There are blogs in your industry that already have thousands of readers and they’re looking for content. Write for them.
LinkedIn For Personal Branding
LinkedIn isn’t simply tool for jobseekers it’s a professional network where people showcase their career experience and knowledge. It is the perfect forum for to build a strong reputation. Make sure your profile showcases your knowledge and expertise (what it is that you are a thought leader in should be highlighted in your profile and summary), connect with the right people (450m of them – that means a lot of influencers in your industry and, even more interestingly, a network of 450 million people you could potentially influence.
Key Points to Remember When Using Social Networks to Build Your Brand
Connections – it is important to connect with the right people – the influencers in your industry and the people you want to influence, but connections are just the start. Focus on enhancing those relationships and taking your connections to the next level through regular interactions. Build relationships rather than collect connections.
Content – share content that is related to your area of expertise and add your own perspective in the post. The more content you share, the more people will notice, the more you will be perceived as a thought leader in your industry.
Consistency – this is key. Don’t start a blog then neglect it. If I land on your blog and it hasn’t been updated in ages what does that tell me about you? Same goes for LinkedIn. To get the most out of these forums you have to be active consistently.