A memorable personal brand attracts attention, builds business and connects you to customers who want to be part of the experience you’re creating.
Here are four ways to use personal branding and social media to build your career and grow your business with pictures, connections and updates in your industry.
Picture Your Personal Brand
If you’re like most of us, you look different on LinkedIn than you do on Facebook. On LinkedIn, you want to look current, refreshed and likable.
You don’t want to:
– Appear bored or aloof
– Use an outdated image
– Sit in your car with your seat belt on
– Stand in front of your garage or a house
– Cut off the person next to you [yes, you can stand alone]
– Wear black tie, unless you’re an entertainer
– Be in the dark [lighter backgrounds look better]
– Pose with your baby or pet [super cute, but too distracting]
– Post your pet’s pic in place of yours [see above]
– Wear a swimsuit
I’ve seen all of these. They’re memorable, but not the best for branding. Choose an image that shows you as confident, relaxed and successful.
For more ideas on how to project a professional personal brand image, check out 20 ways to look good when you say cheese.
Connect to Communicate
You are who you relate to. Do you surround yourself with people that motivate, inspire, and connect you to opportunities?
People you want to relate to include:
– Prospects at target companies
– Group members
– Thought leaders
– Industry leaders
– Successful peers
Focus on a top group of 50 people to follow and connect with them on the platforms where you are most active.
LinkedIn is the best for business. Facebook is great for socializing and interacting with groups. Twitter is the place to make a list so you can reply to news. Google Plus is becoming more of a contender and the place use Hangouts as free video conference or webinar tool.
Update to Underscore Branding
To stay in touch with your communities and communicate the value of your personal brand, select topics based on how you can help them solve problems.
Ideas for updates include:
– Meeting and event industry news
– Company news, including awards, product launches and new staff
– Company blog posts
– Statistics and research
– Recap reports from events you attend
– Images from events
Over time, a consistent approach will build a sound, look, and feel that defines your personal brand. Your goal is to be recognized as the leader your community is looking for when they need the products and services you provide.
Marinate Your Personal Branding in Core Values
If you’re a foodie, you know you don’t need to actually taste the food to identify the cuisine. All you have to do is see it or smell it to know what it tastes like. Branding works the same way.
To keep your branding consistently flavorful, marinate it in values. To find out what your values are, make a list of people that you admire. Then, identify the characteristics of each. When you start to see the same characteristics listed over and over again, you’ll get a feel for your personal core values.
Let’s Talk! What’s your biggest question about personal branding?
Photo credit: Barbara Rozgonyi from the Berlin Zoo collection. Taken with a Nokia Lumia 1020.
About the Author: Barbara Rozgonyi leads CoryWest Media, a women-owned strategic marketing consultancy that attracts attention, builds brands and connects communities with the WIRED PR system. CoryWest Media’s services include 360 marketing audits, scalable content marketing plans, personal and company-wide LinkedIn makeovers, event marketing strategies and production, and customized live or online social media trainings. A founding member of Social Media Club Chicago, Barbara is a keynote speaker, social media LinkedIn trainer, and a business development coach. For more ideas, courses and resources, visit Barbara’s top 50 marketing and PR blog, http://wiredPRworks.com. Connect with Barbara on social media at http://about.me/barbara.rozgonyi. Although Barbara loves LinkedIn, she doesn’t work for the company. She did create the course “Get Linked Into College Success and Beyond.“