How will you stand out in a crowd?
There’s no one else like you. You want to help people see that you have a unique combination of skills and strengths to offer. When positions open up, you want the people seeking talent to think of you.
One of the ways to build your brand online is by showing your expertise via content marketing, which is a form of inbound marketing. Once you’ve deployed content, another part of inbound marketing rises to the forefront: social media.
There are plenty of reasons people use social media. A lot of people use Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+ (among others) as a way to keep up with entertainers they enjoy, get advice from friends on purchases, and to share photos of themselves with friends.
These aren’t bad reasons. But they will lead you to vastly different decisions than you’ll make if your purpose is to support your image as an expert in your field.
There is a way to accomplish both with selective privacy, but it’s more nuanced and sophisticated. You can choose to display some content to personal friends and other content publicly, using Google+ Circles or Facebook’s Post Privacy Settings to target personal content to a private audience, and expertise-related content publicly. The problem here is focus.
Let’s get down to brass tacks. If you want to build your expertise to lure in opportunities, I suggest you make a deliberate decision to use social media for personal branding.
Four reasons to use social media for personal branding:
- Networking: You can develop your network electronically, to extend the in-person network you already have. If your network is weak, this is a way to jump-start improvement.
- Clarity of Thought: As you find inventive ways to deliver your message, you learn new ways to think of your subject matter. This improves your communication skills.
- Job Searching: Resumes don’t work anymore. Social media is now becoming one of the key ways employers find talent. If that’s true, doesn’t it pay to be in the pool?
- Business Opportunity: People in your field are already building their expertise online, and from that, creating entirely new businesses around consulting or information products.
When this is your goal, everything changes. It’s no longer about posting funny pictures and jokes. (Although, this is helpful from time to time on the most “personal” tool you use for personal branding, to help reinforce your personality) It’s no longer a primary purpose to seek invites to parties. Now your mission is to share content that supports your expertise, and to become a content creator rather than a content consumer.
Changes to Social Media Use when Personal Branding is your primary goal:
- Targeted Network: When your personal brand is top of mind, you may make different selections about who to associate with than you would for personal reasons only.
- Targeted content. You’ll start to think of content that would go over well with your Facebook contacts, which (based on the above) may now consist of a number of peers and potential partners or employers.
- Professionalism. You’ll avoid resentment that you “have to filter” the “really good content” away from Facebook because of who might see it. The “Really good content” becomes that which resonates with your professional network and builds your brand.
- Content Marketing: Not only are you sharing other people’s content, but now you think in terms of creating your own content. People searching for content find yours and this establishes you as an expert.
In summary, to expedite your brand building efforts, make a conscious decision today to use social media for the purpose of building your brand! NOTE: This post will be updated in the future with links to additional posts that drill into these elements in more detail.
Agree or disagree? Speak up in the comments!
TL;DR: When you use social media specifically for personal branding, everything changes.
Image from Stock Xchng.