How to Build Your Personal Brand with Social Media

Thursday 26th, May 2016

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Most of us come across social media tips that are mostly focused on developing businesses.

But how do you achieve success when the brand you’re trying to promote is you? You do it through personal branding.

If you go by the industry definition,

‘Personal branding is a process of managing and optimizing the way you’re presented to others’.

And social media is the key to managing your presence online.

A good way to determine the importance of social media in personal brand strategy is doing a Google search for your name. Open an incognito window and search for different combinations of your first, middle and last name. In every search result you’ll find the top 5 results for every keyword are your social media accounts.

No wonder, social media and content creation are considered to be the backbone of personal branding strategy.

Essentially there are 2 ways to view your personal brand online:

  1. An online personal brand that enhances your affluent offline brand. Oprah Winfrey is a great example. She has created a great offline brand through mass media and she’s amplifying it online.
  2. You develop an online brand that goes on to become a great offline brand due to your strong online presence. YouTube channels such as PewDiePie and Superwoman have transcended the online barriers and become a household name today.

So how do you leverage social media to build your personal brand and reach the critical mass?

David Armano in a presentation at Chicago convergence mentions 5 ways to build your personal brand, multiply and reach the offline media.

Socialize: Manage your social channels effectively

Once you’ve chosen the social media channels that are suitable to you, you need to manage and market yourself in front of as many people as possible. Whatever content you generate, it should essentially be shared across all platforms to display your knowledge, credibility and influence in a professional way.

You can link your Twitter and blog feed to your home page and you can follow people in your industry niche automatically. Tools such as Tweet Deck can monitor different groups and search terms effectively.

Be Omnipresent

Since Facebook is the most popular social medium, many people think a Facebook page is where you start and finish. That’s definitely not true. The best technique to create a web presence for yourself is by starting a blog with your own domain name and it should be self-hosted.

If you’re really passionate about creating the brand ‘You’, you need to be ubiquitous across all social channels. This includes a YouTube channel for your videos; Twitter for immediate communication and content promotion; Flickr for images; Slideshare for your presentations; LinkedIn for corporate networking, and of course Facebook.  Remember that the opportunities are numerous and you need to capitalize everything that you’ve got.

Stay interesting: Write, Video, Photograph, and Give

You might be interesting, witty and charming, but you need to let everyone know that. Some of us can be shy at a cocktail party while hanging out with friends – it is a different story altogether.  Document your experiences that can be with videos, photos or what you write. Make a day to day documentation of your thoughts and put it online. In other words “think like a publisher“.

Do Something Remarkable

Majority of the people want to play it safe and stick to what they know, but this doesn’t create something that gets talked about or something that gets shared.

Seth Godin mentions in his book ‘The Purple Cow’ – ‘No one stops to look at a black and white cow but a “Purple Cow” – that’s something interesting!

Predictable is boring – get out of your comfort zone! Do something remarkable in your niche that will get the appreciation of your audience – or at least their attention.

Be Yourself and Let Your Personality Shine

The most challenging part in building an online brand is finding ways to show the real “You”. Social media provides different platforms and channels that allow you to find your particular voice. Some of us may shine through our photography (Flickr), others with their words and some of them with their online video presence. Do what you do best and promote it in the best way possible.

So we’ve seen some the ways to grow the ‘Brand You’ with social media. You need to experiment with the social media channels and determine the strategy the works for you.

Are you a brand? Tell us how you built yours, in the comments section.

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