When you first start out with managing your personal brand, you might feel a rush of excitement with the anticipation of getting your name out there. However, you might also realize that personal branding comes with a hefty time commitment in order to be done effectively. The excitement is important to maintain in order to drive your hard work forward, but how do you stay consistent when personal branding takes so much time?
You may already have a full-time job. You might also have a family life, a personal life, you need to concentrate your energies on. How do you maintain a personal brand without affecting your other responsibilities and interests?
This guide answers that by providing the personal branding tips and resources you’ll need to save time. I provide input based upon my own personal branding experience as well as the best advice out there from a few thought leaders in the marketing industry.
There are four sections:
Social media management
Tools to simplify
If you have any questions or other input, I welcome you to leave a comment or contact me directly by email or this contact form. Your input would help considerably with getting the conversation rolling and helping others, so please don’t be shy.
Social media management
When you’re actively working on your personal brand, it is absolutely essential that you have a strong presence on social media. You might use multiple accounts to get your name out on more than one platform, and I highly recommend that approach if you take the necessary steps to staying active on each. I use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for my personal brand, and it’s worked well for me thus far.
Unfortunately, being active on social media is incredibly time-consuming. What can you do to eliminate the social media time vacuum?
That’s where Social Media Examiner comes in. They have a great article on keeping your daily social media activity simple and efficient. I especially like their suggestions about creating a to-do list. Their ideas about prioritizing platforms and engagement types are very helpful as well.. I created a platform ranking worksheet as SME recommends. I wanted to see how it affected my social activity. While I’m not looking to increase revenue, I did notice that my social network ranking, based on follower count and engagement, is: Twitter, LinkedIn and then Facebook. Try it out with your social activity to see which networks are working best for you and deserve more of your time.
On a different note, there are ways to be the most active on social media without sacrificing quality, and one of those ways is to schedule or automate your content distribution. While this saves a considerable amount of time, you have to be careful with this. I use Hootsuite to schedule my social media activity, but I check for ways to interact with other users several times a day every day. I thank people for interacting and participate in groups and Twitter chats. The key is to find a balance between automation and live interaction to receive best results.
Copyblogger published an article on the best practices for scheduling your content through automation, and they make some important points. One of those points is to add some variety to your hashtag use, not “ambush” one. It might seem easiest to use the same hashtag for many, if not most, of your tweets and posts, but it certainly doesn’t help you make the most of that content. You might also annoy other users, which can lead to missed opportunities for relationship building.
An example of how to add hashtag variety is to use “#BloggingTips” instead of always “#Blogging.” Use “#SocialMediaMarketing” instead of only “#SocialMedia.” The same goes the other way around, of course. When I add more hashtag variety, I often see more engagement than if I use the same one over and over. I also notice an increase in followers because I’m reaching a broader audience.
Use these tips from Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and myself to maintain an efficient social media presence. You want to make the most out of your social media activity. These are some of the best ways.
There’s no denying it. Blogging is one of the best ways to build your personal brand, but similar to social media, it is also a huge time commitment. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you take the time to plan.
CoSchedule published a great article on blog planning: How To Plan A Blog Post In 10 Minutes So You Can Write It Better and Faster. In this article, CoSchedule suggests you maintain a file for content ideas. I love that idea, and it’s worked well for me because it prevents any chance of writer’s block for idea development.
You would also greatly benefit from a content calendar. Buffer created a huge resource for this. They list many different calendar types one can use. I like sticking to my own self-created calendar using Excel, but many other bloggers have taken advantage of some of the tools and services out there to help them get organized.
On a different note, sometimes it’s not the calendar you have an issue with. Do you struggle to create content in a timely manner? HubSpot has an article about expediting your content development. I especially agree with their last point about self-censorship. You have to be careful how much you listen to that inner-critic of yours. It may help you in some ways, but it can also hurt your hard work, too. My inner-critic likes to make me over-analyze each and every point I make. When I question my every point, it adds so much time to each post I write.
Thankfully, I learned a strategy for lowering the volume of that inner-critic. I don’t silence it because it’s still helpful in some ways, but I actually found it helpful to add distractions while I write my first draft. I have my earbuds in, and I listen to music or play a movie I’ve seen a million times in the background. By using earbuds, I make sure the sound I chose takes over without other background noise getting in the way.
Find your own way to plan your blog work. It may take some experimentation, but once you find the best methods, you’ll see a significant improvement in your time management.
While I know we’d all like to be as independent as possible with our personal brand, sometimes we just have to put our ego aside and ask for help. I haven’t asked my social networks for their input about blog topic ideas. It’s a fantastic approach that I have yet to try. I like to be in charge of my work, but sometimes, it helps to add a fresh perspective to your content. Otherwise, my content can get boring to readers, and I lose the opportunity to build relationships.
Blogging is an activity that easily offers opportunities for you to ask for assistance in more than one way without affecting your personal brand.
- You can ask your social media audience for topics they’d like to see you write about.
- You can ask people to proofread your posts or help you critique your website design.
By asking for your audience’s input, you’re not only helping your blogging work. You’re also building influence with your fans and followers. You’re making them feel included and important, which helps significantly with your personal brand.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is always a great way to improve your relationships and the quality of your work. It also saves you time because it helps you when you can’t think of topics or don’t have time to make edits.
Tools to Simplify
In the end, the best way to save time and be efficient in your personal branding is to use some of the many available tools out there.
- To save time with social publishing, check out this list on the Buffer blog. It’s a thorough collection of tools for daily social publishing, helpful WordPress plugins, and more…
- To make the most out of your blogging, check out this list of 39 blogging tools compiled by Buffer. It covers areas such as topic brainstorming, creating optimized content, and much more…
- Feeling overwhelmed with social media, try these tools to improve social productivity which Social Media Examiner recommends. An example tool has the ability to identify influencers, which would help personal branding individuals increase their own influence.
Some of the tools I use are:
Hootsuite for social scheduling. I’ve used other tools in the past, but Hootsuite has been the most reliable.
TweetChat for the Twitter chats I participate in. My favorite Twitter Chat is on Thursdays, 4pm EST with CoSchedule’s #CoChat. I enjoy the topics they choose. Some other great Twitter chats to try are #BufferChat, #CMWorld, and #BrandChat. That last one could really help you with your personal brand itself because it focuses on branding topics.
Crowdfire for Twitter follower management. It’s always great to gain more followers, but I want to keep tabs on who unfollowed me shortly after. It tells me they just wanted to build their follower count, not build a relationship. Use Crowdfire to find those flaky followers and keep your own numbers strong.
Bit.ly for organizing my favorite articles and shortening articles for social sharing. Saving links in Bit.ly makes it significantly easier to use shortened links for your social media, but I also use it to organize and save articles for future reference. I have a “Favorites” tag for articles I know I’ll want to use later for whatever reason.
Canva for image creation. You can do so much for free if you have existing background images in your inventory already. I use scenic shots I took myself, and it doesn’t cost a dime to add words, such as your headline, or resize it to fit specific dimensions.
Google Analytics for measuring the success of my website activity. Although it does overwhelm people at first, including me, it is a great resource after a little learning. I took Google’s courses to learn this tool, and I also experimented with it like crazy. After a while, I was able to take advantage of it the way I needed.
What tools do you use? Would you add any? Have you tried any of the ones above?
Personal branding is a time commitment to be taken seriously, but it shouldn’t be allowed to overwhelm you. If you take the right steps and use the right tools, you’ll find this process to be much simpler and easier to manage than if you worked on it solo.
To conclude, I’d like to direct your attention to my other personal branding articles, which could also help you with your activities:
Personal Branding: Do You Stand Out? – An introductory article to give you the basics
How to Make an Impact with Personal Branding – A guide for getting started with your personal brand
10 Ways to Maintain a Strong Personal Brand – An article to help the experienced individual make the most out of their brand
I’d also like to direct you to one of my productivity articles, which could help you with any time-management needs you might have: