5 Personal Branding Tips for Tech CEO’s

Companies and organisations aren’t alone when it comes to the need for a trusted brand. Personal branding, especially for CEO’s and the C Suite has become increasingly important as buyers increasingly search online to find the right supplilers and partners. Similar to a business brand, personal branding involves you creating your own personal image, a unique voice, and an identifiable persona that your readers, fans, and customers can grow to recognize.

Building your own recognisable personal brand opens up many professional opportunities. It is highly likely you will want to have a positive impact on the growth and reputation of your company. Allowing your target audience to associate your personal brand with a feeling of trust, confidence and success can help you to achieve this.

Many CEOs today recognise the value of creating their own personal brand. A great example of this would be Gary Vaynerchuk who is CEO of social media brand consulting agency VaynerMedia. Gary is also a successful video blogger with his own show “The Ask Gary Vee Show” co-owner of a retail wine store, a New York Times bestselling author with several books to his name and one of the best public speakers in the industry.

Rand Fishkin who is the Co-founder of Moz, a software as a service company that provides inbound marketing and analytics software is another great example of a tech CEO who has created their own personal brand. Rand has been the co-author of several books and also speaks regularly at industry related events. He contributes to various industry blogs and presents Moz’s popular Whiteboard Friday video series.

In a recent study by Brandfrog they found that the overall perception that C-Suite executives participating on social media and engaging with their audience leads to better leadership has increased within 12 months, up from 45% to 75%. Also, over 2/3 of the UK and US respondents agreed that social media has now become an essential part of an organisations PR and communications strategy.

In this post we will take you through the key steps that you need to take to start to create your unique personal brand online.

Social Media

Claim your social media profiles! To get started we recommend Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Quora and Reddit. There may also be niche networks that are relevant to your industry. Make sure all your social media profiles are using consistent branding and carry the same message and tone of voice. Use your full name when you can. Google will index these sites quickly, so claiming your full name and having this in the URL, bio etc can help you dominate the first page of the search results for your own name.

Grow your online networks by creating lists of other influencers and thought leaders within your industry. Engage in relevant conversations across your social networks, take part in Twitter chats, LinkedIn group conversations, and questions being asked on Quora and Reddit. You could even consider running an AMA ( Ask Me Anything ) on Reddit.

Use sites such as About.me, Flavours.me and Zerply to create personal profile pages. You can then link these sites to your blog and other social networks.

It’s also important to listen to what is being said about both your organisation and you personally on social media. You can use various tools that will allow you to monitor the web in real-time so that you never miss those positive or negative comments.

Personal Website/Blogging

Having your own personal website and blog will be the foundation of your personal branding strategy. Here you can share your personal thoughts and opinions on hot topics, industry related news and other pieces of content that you have created. Keep in mind this is your own personal blog which provides you with an opportunity to write and comment on subjects outiwth the scope of your organisation. Become a thought leader by providing insight and analysis on the latest industry news and trends.

To set up your own personal blog/website, first purchase your own domain. We would always recommend that you use your full name when buying a domain. You then need to find a hosting provider for your website. Services such as JustHostme are very cost effective. Many personal websites are now created using WordPress an easy to use platform that requires little or no technical knowledge to deploy.

Create Great Content

Create your own unique content, produce video interviews, podcasts and Google+ Hangouts. Repurpose old content that you have used in your own blogs or 3rd party sites and create slideshares and infographics that you can then share online. Contribute content to 3rd party websites which are relevant to your industry. Content works to support your personal social media strategy.

The content that you create can then be shared across your social media channels and also on your website. For example, if you create a slideshare you could further develop this content by creating a blog post and embedding the slideshare in the post. This way it’s not only going to be seen on your slideshare profile but across all your social networks and your blog.

Build Engagement

It’s important to focus on engagement, not just posting content. One of the most powerful ways social media can be used is to connect with others within your industry including bloggers, influencers and journalists. There are various tools such as socialbro and followerwonk that allow you to easily find the who’s who within your industry and the people that have the most influence online.

Building relationships with journalists and bloggers is a great way to grow your personal brand. These relationships can be very useful as many journalists and bloggers now use social media when looking for sources of information. You can become one of these sources by using sites such as http://www.prnewswire.com/profnet/, http://www.sourcebottle.com/ http://www.helpareporter.com/ to connect with journalists.

Provide Value Online

If you are looking to increase your personal brand awareness then you can do this by providing content that is unique, informative and educational.

Share your expertise by creating a content strategy that provides your network with information they won’t find anywhere else. Solve problems, answer questions, show people who you really are and become an industry thought leader by providing actionable insights, information and knowledge.

Spend some time thinking about (or even surveying) your audience and their most common challenges. You can then use this analysis to create content that will help address those challenges directly.

Be as specific as you can when providing value to your target audience, so you’re always addressing your target audience’s needs, concerns, and questions. In time, when you do use your own personal brand to offer a product or service, your audience’s confidence in your ability to provide “value” will encourage them to buy something you endorse.

Good luck building your personal brand!

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