There is lots of talk today about personal branding. Personal branding is also inextricably linked to social media.
First a few facts!
FACT: Your personal brand will (and must) be a reflection of your personality.
FACT: Your personal brand should focus on highlighting expertise.
FACT: Your personal brand needs to be specific so you must stick to your message rather than tryig to be all things to all people.
FACT: You need to constantly manage your personal brand and protect, or at least counter the negatives that others may say about you,
FACT: it takes time to build your personal and your choice of methods of distribution (social media) count.
FACT: The best place to centre your brand (at least at this stage) is a blog.
FACT: All other social media activities need to point back to your blog which needs to provide useful content based on your passion. If you try to fudge it by doing something you think just may sell, you will run out of steam and do more harm than good.
Social media choices are vast and it can be a bit daunting in a busy work life to figure out to where to concentrate your efforts however, a concentrated effort using the 'right' media is essential!
Can I suggest a four pronged approach!
1) Write a blog. Warning writing a blog is lots of work and if you can't consistently write on a topic you're passionate about don't start. As a bare minimum you will need to post one 600 word article once a week. Again you can use Google to do your research. For you blog Wordpress seems to have a little more credibility however Blogger can have ads (a little income) and activity can be monitored through Google stats.
2) Start a Facebook page that is separate from your personal account. Form relationships through groups that discuss work/business issues you are interested in. If you are in marketing for example find an appropriate group to join. Do some research and add value to the group by posting useful articles to your timeline.
3) Start a Twitter stream and only tweet on your professional interest. Be careful with the name you set up with. If you are say a graphic designer, try to get that fact in your Twitter name. e.g. BillsGraphicDesign For research on your topics you can use "Google Alerts", this can take much of the hard work out of the research for your tweets.
4) Build your profile on Linkedin and again join discussion groups and befriend others in your area of expertise or in similar careers.
You can automatically link/publish both your blogs and twitter streams to Facebook and your Linkedin profiles.
Personal branding is virtually a must for any modern career oriented individual with reportedly over sixty percent of companies now looking at your social media presence before hiring. Best get on with building your brand.
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