The concept of personal branding is growing in popularity and awareness, and it is no surprise that your online identity makes up a giant slice of your brand. How do you package yourself online? Are you using social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn yet? What values and personality traits do you want to exude? Following these tips can help strengthen your online brand and create the image you want to portray.
1. Create a personal blog and social media profiles
It’s all about social, social, social. Hopefully you’re already involved, but if not, it isn’t too late. Writing a blog and using social media profiles are two of the best strategies available to kick-start your brand. A blog lets others know your opinions and viewpoints, and can bring awareness to your brand. Social profiles are great for connecting with others and are also a good way to get yourself noticed. WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn may be the best places to start.
2. Connect with the influencers in your field
It’s been said before, and it needs to be said again. Connecting with the major players and big-time influencers in your field is crucial to getting your brand on the right track. These top-level contacts provide a wealth of information and materials such as blog posts, online videos, and relevant news articles that will help you stay informed about the latest and most important trends and issues in your field. Get their updates on Facebook, subscribe to blog posts, and follow their Tweets on Twitter. They are major influencers for a reason – find out why!
3. Be consistent in your message and appearance
It’s easy to get your identity jostled around online, and it is important that your personal brand comes off as steady and consistent. Once you have established what you want your personal brand to represent, stick with it. It can be helpful to synchronize your email signatures, profile photos, contact information, and user names online. Whichever social mediums you happen to be working with, try to keep a similar tone and image throughout.
4. Hack away at it
It takes time to create a strong brand, so don’t get discouraged if a million things aren’t happening for you right away. Stay active. Everyday strive to make a few good connections, interact with a couple new people, send a few emails, and over time your network, presence, and brand will grow. If you are having trouble connecting with top-level influencers, start a little lower on the totem pole and work your way up. There are plenty of knowledgeable people out there who aren’t quite famous yet!
5. Utilize your own voice
Just because you are interacting online doesn’t mean your own voice should go unheard. I’m not talking about your “opinion” voice, I mean your real, actual voice. Having someone hear your voice online can do wonders in terms of creating familiarity and imagery. You can convey a variety of messages through your tone, and letting others hear your voice lets you connect at a personal level. How do you want to be viewed?
A new tool called the Audible Name Tag allows you to use your own voice online, through emails, social media profiles, websites, and more. Audible Name Tags, or ANTs for short, let users record their names as part of a personal message or greeting. Users have up to 20 seconds to tell others something about themselves – it could be a personal motto, a special promotion, additional contact information, or just the correct pronunciation of your name. Don’t get drowned out online – let you own voice be heard! You can get your own ANT here.
Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear your opinion!