Are You Being Your Brand?

Why is a clean and updated social profile essential? Your social profile can lead to job and leadership opportunities, build credibility, promote recognitions, give higher perceived value to future employers and facilitate partnerships.

Brianna Smith, owner of Being Your Brand, recently spent some time in my Intro to Social Media course presenting best practices for your personal social brand. Here are my 5 takeaways from her excellent presentation.

1. What would people find if they Goggled you?
We’ve all probably Googled ourselves by now, but did you know that Google indexes your social channels content (i.e. comments)? Just because YOUR profile is private, does not mean your activity from your friend’s profiles is private. What do you want people to see when they Google you? Shoot for the results to connect users to powerful information about what you do in your industry.

2. You can promote a clean social brand to companies.
Are you including your handles and blog in your signature, resume and cover letters? 92% of companies use social media for recruiting, and 45% of Fortune 500s include links to social media on their career page sections. Your social profiles and blog can demonstrate your knowledge of a subject to potential employers before you even interview. Blogging and personal social branding can help set you up to find your dream job, and not just to accept your first offer.

3. Build your brand on where you see yourself.
What are you an “expert” at? What do you find yourself searching for online, or reading about in your free time? Maybe you are not an expert at this point, so think about it more as “what do you rock at?”

If you want to be the guru of tech marketing, you should be writing about it. If you are not in tech right now, you can provide your thoughts on campaigns that tech companies are doing, and point out the best practices they are following (or not following). Your blog can change as your interests evolve, so don’t be bogged down by making this decision. Getting started is more important than being 100% sure. When I started this blog, I wasn’t even in love with the name, but many domains I wanted were taken, and instead I just got going.

Note: Not all your passions are your career or brand. I love running and trying new restaurants, but building my brand on running and eating out is not going to benefit me professionally. There are some lucky folks out there that have an intersection in their personal and professional passions for whom this rule would be an exception.

4. Have a consistent look online.
Keep the same name, profile picture, cover imagery and tone across your social profiles. If possible, match all your handles as close to your actual name as possible. Even if you are not active on all social channels, reserve your handle now.

5. Own a personal website or blog.
Wix and WordPress are user-friendly and economical tools for building your personal following. If you are blogging, blog on a regular basis. Consider setting a goal per month. Use social media to market your online brand and blog posts. Curate and share information that you find relevant to your audience. Brianna recommends checking out www.socialmediatoday.com, www.socialmediaexaminer.com and the Hubspot blogs for curating social and digital themed content on your social channels.

Thanks again to Brianna for stopping by my class and sharing your personal branding expertise! Visit Brianna’ blog to learn more about her best practices and her story.

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