Jennifer Wilber works as an ESL instructor, substitute teacher, and freelance writer. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and English.
You Are Your Personal Brand
While building up a brand for your new business, it is easy to overlook building your personal brand. Whether you are the CEO of a major corporation or are just starting out in a new freelance venture, your personal brand is just as important as your business entity’s branding. It doesn’t matter if you are a freelance writer trying to make a name for yourself or the President of a Fortune 500 company. Your personal brand is your reputation in the business world. It is how your potential clients and business partners see you. You need to stand out from the crowd, and your personal brand is how you do that.
In many ways, the image your personal brand projects makes or breaks your career. So, how can someone new to the world of social media and online marketing go about building a personal brand? With the internet and social media, it is easier now than ever for anyone to create their own personal brand by following these simple guidelines.
1. Start a Blog
Start a personal blog or website about YOU and what you are passionate about. You might not think you have the time to keep it updated regularly, but it is important to maintain an online presence if you want to be taken seriously. By keeping potential clients and business partners up-to-date with your current projects you are communicating with the world your expertise in your field. Your blog posts are essential for maintaining a personal brand. If you don’t have the time to keep your blog updated, consider hiring a freelance writer to create content, and post it to your blog on a regular schedule.
2. Participate in Social Media
A blog on your own personal website is great, but you need a way for new readers to find it. In this day and age, you can’t rely on search engines alone to send new readers your way. This is where social media comes in. By participating in social media, you can begin to build connections and relationships with new readers. You can utilize social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect with colleagues and clients, and to promote your projects.
Be careful not to overexpose yourself, however. Keep the focus on professional projects and avoid sharing too much about personal, private issues or posting negative comments about former colleagues or people you have done business with in the past. Keep your professional social media accounts professional, and save the overly personal content for your personal accounts.
3. Keep Your Content Fresh
While it is important to keep your blog and social media accounts updated regularly, you don’t want it to get stale. Readers don’t want to read the same things over and over, so it is important to post new content, rather than continuing to post the same links or similar insights over and over. Continue to add fresh content to your blog. Your social media posts should contain fresh insights and engage your readers. Avoid the temptation to simply post links to your blog posts or your company’s web content every day. This could be considered spammy and you would likely lose followers and readers. Consider asking followers questions related to your industry and posting links to other websites and articles in your industry to give followers fresh content.
If you are running short on things to write about on your blog, consider adding content by guest bloggers to your blog. Seek guest bloggers who are prominent in your industry to add fresh new perspectives to your website. The name recognition of well-known and well-respected writers and bloggers in your industry appearing on your blog gives you an instant boost in credibility.
4. Build Buzz Around Your Personal Brand
Get people talking about your company and your personal brand. Build buzz around your personal brand the same way you would for your company’s brand. You want to be the person people think of when they think about your professional field. Build relationships with your connections on social media. Encourage followers to interact with you via your social media accounts by asking questions and replying to their posts and messages promptly. Remember your followers’ and readers’ names, and chances are, they will remember yours. Building relationships with fans both online and off is the best way to build name recognition.
5. Never Stop Learning
Keep learning more about your industry so you can continue adding fresh perspectives and new information to your blog and social media posts. As you get more comfortable with using social media to build your personal brand, you will learn the ins and outs of maintaining a social media presence for your brand.
No matter what industry you are in, continue learning everything you can to build expertise. Consider attending seminars, taking classes, etc. and use what you learn to write new content. Soon you will be on your way to being regarded as an expert in your field.
You likely won’t become a viral social media celebrity overnight, but if you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to boosting your personal brand and becoming more successful in your business. By leveraging social media to promote yourself and your business, you can build a personal brand and become highly recognizable and respected in your industry.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Jennifer Wilber