If you want to expand your business and grow more opportunities, you need to have a strategy for your personal branding. Andrea Edwards from The Digital Conversationalist explains how to start building your personal brand online. Here’s her tips.
1. Decide on your USP. Spend time reflecting on what you want to be known for. What makes you stand out? People can’t resist passion – no matter what it is about.
2. Think about your why. Do you want to change the world? Elevate your profession or educate those coming up behind you? Be a role model for the next generation? A powerful why gives your presence meaning and helps you to commit.
3. Get on LinkedIn. LinkedIn must be a priority for business professionals, but before you do anything here, understand where you are today by discovering your Social Selling Index through linkedin.com/sales/ssi. Get the measurement, look at where you are in relation to your industry and connections, then set a goal to increase it. I advise companies to make it a requirement for all employees to have a minimum SSI of 65. Sales professionals should be in the 80s.
4. Update your social profiles. Include a great profile photo and a meaningful banner. On LinkedIn, insert photos, links and articles throughout your profile. Sixty-three percent of the world learns visually, so tell a visual story.
5. Use the right platforms. Be where your customers are. Use the social platforms your audience uses most frequently.
6. Write a Linkedin Summary. Update yours, and write it in the first person.
7. Let your LinkedIn headline tell a story. Mine is “Helping businesses and professionals tell better stories, while rousing passions in people to embrace social leadership.”
8. Use hashtags. Get into the habit of using hashtags on all social platforms. They link you to ideas and people. Hashtags are core to building a brand beyond your immediate network.
9. Start microblogging. When you know your core theme, identify up to five publications that inspire you and are aligned to that theme. Make it a habit to share their content, but always offer an opinion on why you are sharing it. This is microblogging. Your audience is looking for value and they want their community to flag content that’s worth their time.
10. Start blogging. You can start on LinkedIn, and build your own blog on a platform like WordPress or Blogger once you know you will maintain a schedule. If you don’t know what to write, answer questions you are always asked. Or share the journey you’re on and what you’re learning.
11. Share company content. If you work for a company, make a commitment to share every week one piece of company content that you’re proud of.
12. Share quality. There are five reasons people share content: Curiosity; Amazement; Interest; Astonishment; Uncertainty. To make an impact, keep these in mind when you share.
13. Stay committed. It can sometimes feel like you’re speaking into a void, but keep going and build your presence.
14. Be consistently present. Sit down with a coffee on a Sunday morning and schedule your posts for the week. This is a 30-minute exercise. Save time with a program like Hootsuite to automate your content.
15. Experiment. A common rule is that blogs shouldn’t be longer than 400 words, and yet the average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140 and 1,285 words, according to SearchMetrics. Focus on being awesome and learn as you go along what works for you. Ignore the rules.
16. Try Video. With 74 percent of all internet traffic this year expected to be video (a Syndacast study), consider making video a part of your content strategy.
17. Wow your audience. Be present because you want to help people. This will help you to stand out above the noise of social media. Serve them with powerful content that will transform their lives.
18. Be kind. There are many trolls online, and others who like to get into an argument. Just move on if someone annoys you, and never be unkind.
19. Join the giving economy. Build your own personal branding by building others up. Comment on their posts, share their blogs, tell them they’re doing an awesome job. Be a giver. You’ll feel great and it will build your presence.
20. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Run your own race. There will always be people with more followers and more interactions. It’s not a competition. Just focus on being awesome and valuable to your community and you will cut through the noise.
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