So far, we have discussed in depth about creating a consistent brand strategy for your company across the social media platforms. However, there are certain businesses whose core asset is a person’s specific expertise and set of skills. In this case, the person is the brand itself and the business is indistinguishable from the person. Think of top chefs, business consultants, investors, gurus, and so on. The only kind of brand these people can build and promote is their personal brand.
What Is a Personal Brand?
Just like a corporate brand, a personal brand is what makes you easily recognisable to others in the online environment. It is a complex set of attributes and elements, such as profile photo, a specific tag line, tone of voice, area of expertise you cover, and so on. A personal brand is strong when someone who follows you on a specific social media platform or on your website/blog, can easily find your profile elsewhere.
At the same time, building a personal brand means that your personal social media profiles will go under close scrutiny and whatever you share, state or endorse will be associated with your professional image. Before you launch a personal brand, you may want to consider whether you will reserve certain social media platforms for strictly personal interactions, under a nickname or clean up all your profiles from anything which would go against the brand image you want to build. Of course, you know by now that social media platforms, especially Facebook™, forbid one person from having more than one account, and will shut down all of them upon detection (and they do detect such things).
That being said, here are a few helpful tips for building your social media strategy for personal branding:
1. Reserve Your Name across All Platforms
Whether you want to use a few of all social media platforms, you should go ahead and reserve your name on all of them. It is common sense to make sure that your name is available when you need it and that you do not have to work harder than you need to in order to build your personal brand under a variation of your name, should anybody else with the same name create an account in the meantime. Even if you believe that your name is quite unique, there are chances that someone else’s parents hit the same creative spot as yours when naming their child.
2. Create a Consistent Visual Image for All Accounts
When you start building a personal brand, it is worthwhile investing in a professional portfolio of portraits and other professional photos. Select the best head shot (ask the photographer’s opinion if not sure) and use it as a profile photo on all your social media accounts.
As a second step in building your personal brand, develop guidelines for your cover photos and other kind of visuals displayed on your website and on the social media. Some professionals opt for black and white images with just one element in colour for dramatic effect. Others use photo quotes or motivational images as their signature cover and banner photos.
3. Follow Influencers and Learn From Them
The power of example is always the strongest. Find top influencers in your niche, or pay closer attention to the ones you already admire and follow. Look at their website and social media profiles and note how they manage to stand out and have a unique, easily identifiable presence across the online environment.
4. Promote a Maximum of Three Skills
Do not spread yourself out too thin. Maybe you are an expert on several domains, but it is both difficult and not advisable to promote all of them. For one, you would have to create distinct content for each separate skill. For another, people tend to mistrust experts who state that they are good at many unrelated things – they seem too good to be true and therefore they are not taken very seriously.
The best solution is to promote a set of skills and expertise areas which are complementary to each other. This will help you create a consistent and integrated content marketing strategy and improve your chances at creating a strong personal brand.
5. Decide on Your Tone of Voice
This is your unique value proposition – how you approach various topics, how you engage with your followers and help them solve their problems. Whatever niche you have chosen, you will have lots of competition. In order to stand out you need to be unique, be yourself, and transmit this cluster of values and skills consistently across all your social media channels.