Your personal brand is the reflection of yourself towards others. You can bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be by building a personal brand that will inspire others.
These seven steps will help you polish your presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and within your industry. Just like building anything else, making connections and building trust is a long process that takes time; however, these steps will give you a kickstart on your journey.
1. Set a goal
First things first: think about the representation of yourself you want to give to the world. How do you want others to see you?
Personal branding in 2019 is more important than ever. Depending on your final goals and the industry to which you belong, this objective might be very different. You might want to look serious, artistic, or alternative.
With this final goal in mind, you can also set short term goals such as:
– Having a certain number of connections.
– Interacting with an influencer you admire.
– Getting a recommendation from your last boss.
Setting specific goals will help you through the process and it will make it more challenging and fun.
2. Identify what aspects of your social media that you might want to keep private
To get an idea of who you are and what you do, someone’s first instinct will be to Google you.
The results that should appear under your name must be consistent with the representation of yourself that you are looking for. This being said, a great exercise is to Google yourself before even starting to build your personal brand to see what profiles, pictures, tweets, and more come up. Select the results you want to keep for yourself and your close friends.
Most (if not all) social media platforms have the option of making a profile private. Having a relevant professional profile is useless if your image is contaminated with an old Twitter profile with which you are no longer in synch. Once you have done this, you can start with a clean background to polish your brand.
3. Present your best self
How would you define yourself in a few words? Write a short bio where you can lay out your core values and personal details. Make it short and engaging.
Secondly, keep your avatar, background picture, and ID professional. Your name on social media should be as neat as possible. Try different combinations of your name and last name for your username until you find a good one available. Keeping it simple and not adding many numbers or date will make it look much better. Some examples of poor usernames are @lucia1234 or @luciaa98.
As for the avatar, a quality headshot where your eyes and look are the main focus is the way to go. People want to connect with people, and having an illuminating profile picture is definitely a plus for that. The background picture can be something you think represents you in some way; it can be a picture taken by you in a trip, one of your favorite places, your hometown, or even a piece of work you have done. Make sure that the photos have good quality and reflect your personality.
Lastly, it is very beneficial to link your social platforms between them. Add your Twitter handle or your Instagram name to your LinkedIn, and do the same with the rest of your profiles. This will help your followers and connections to find you everywhere.
4. Build a professional presence
The social media network designated for professional purposes is LinkedIn. However, you probably want to take benefit of Twitter, too. Twitter will allow you to have a voice, follow trends, comment on specific conversation topics, keep you updated on events, and more. This set of platforms will help you to communicate and socialize with professionals in your environment.
To start growing your network, connect on LinkedIn with your family, friends, old classmates, teachers, colleagues, and your bosses. Your network is your net worth, so the more the merrier!
It is crucial that you send a note along with your invitation to each one of them. On that personalized invitation you want to: introduce yourself, give the reason why you would like to connect and thank them. An example might be:
I am currently interning on Social Media Marketing at Nimble. I have been reading your posts about sales on your blog and find them very interesting and helpful. I would love to connect with you to learn from your work.
It is also important to interact with people you admire by following them on their platforms and sharing their articles, liking and commenting on their posts, and more. Apart from Twitter, there is an option that allows you to follow people on Linked In as well. These interactions may eventually lead to new connections! Always remember to give credit by mentioning the authors when posting articles or quotes. They will probably thank you with enthusiasm for sharing their work.
Moreover, add your experience with detailed responsibilities and tasks. People that want to know about you will most commonly want to see where you have worked previously and the kind of things you have done, or you are good at. Your work experience is valid, but so are your skills, volunteering experiences, sports, and passions. Make sure you also address future ambitions and where you want to head on your next endeavor.
Do not be scared to ask for recommendations. I am sure that you have a teacher or a boss that is more than willing yo write a recommendation for you on your LinkedIn profile. These are very helpful to create that trust that you need and they will make a substantial difference for your profile.
5. Follow your interests
Hashtags are a very useful tool in both Twitter and LinkedIn. You can follow certain topics such as events by following the hashtag associated with them; for example, #MSInspire2019. Hashtags will help you stay updated on what is going on: news, trend, and events by taking you to all the content that has been published using that hashtag. Keep in mind that each platform uses hashtags differently.
In addition to hashtags, there are also Facebook groups that you might want to join according to your interests and LinkedIn businesses that you can follow.
6. Use tools to boost your engagement
Automation is key today.
There are useful tools that allow you to tweet while in the shower or post that beautiful picture from last weekend on Instagram while you are out for lunch or sleeping.
Buffer and AgoraPulse are great examples of these platforms to schedule posts on a different social network to be present and stay active. It can take you about 30 minutes to schedule your posts for the week; that might be the way for you to stay active without spending a lot of time on your devices if you are a busy person. Isn’t that great?
Aside from automation tools, other websites such as BuzzSumo allow you to analyze the best performing content based on the total engagements on different social media platforms. It is a useful way to find interesting articles about topics related to your work or interests that you can share with your followers.
7. Quality over quantity
Create and share valuable content that aligns with who you are and what you want to transmit. Be confident but do not overdo or fake anything — just be yourself.
If you want to know more about how to build your personal brand and about the power of it, please check out this episode of the FOMOFanz podcast hosted by Brian Fanzo on the same subject.
Lastly, as a proof of how networking and having a well-settled branding pays off, I want to mention a personal story.
During my internship at Nimble, I connected with more people than ever. It was thanks to one of these new connections that I am today doing something that I have always wanted. Being an entrepreneur had always seemed a long-term goal for me, but this changed when I met this person. I can proudly say that I am now part of a 3-person team launching an apparel brand whose benefits go to charity. As small as this is, it is the perfect start to something bigger and I am eager to work on this exciting project.