How can you boost or create your personal brand online? Content is the key.
Have you done something to elevate your personal brand today?
The answer to the question above should always be yes. And that “yes” can be as simple as the retweet from one of your go-to resources, while you were drinking your morning coffee before you started your 9-5.
Perhaps your answer is no. You established your personal brand a year ago, but your blog is collecting dust. Or, you’re looking to start building your brand, but you stare into the chaotic face of social media without knowing where to start.
Today we’re taking the mystery out of personal brand-building, so you can use one of the most abundant and powerful tools to boost your presence...content.
1) Share Relevant Content
Content is yours for the taking, but not all content is created equal. To avoid adding to the noise, it’s important to spend time on a strategy to add value. Ask yourself:
- What are you hoping to achieve? (thought leadership vs. peer-to-peer networking)
- Who are you trying to reach? (prospects vs. influencers)
- How are you going to engage? (blogs vs. podcasts, Twitter vs. LinkedIn)
The good news is that you don’t have to look far for shareable content. There are many benefits of sharing your company’s content online, from establishing yourself as a thought leader to being a team player that champions your company’s brand.
People trust people more than brands. According to Social Media Today, content shared by employees sees 8 times more engagement compared to content shared only on brand channels.
Companies today are embracing this trend with Employee Advocacy. While having an Employee Advocacy program in place certainly makes it easier for teams to share content companywide, simply having company content to work with is enough to get started.
But before you hit “post” or “tweet,” remember the 80/20 rule as a standard to live by with social media sharing. Only promote personal blog posts and company branded content 20% of the time, and share interesting third party content during the other 80%.
Social media is a two-way street. People crave connection and education—they will stop listening if you’re only talking about yourself.
2) Create Memorable Content
From a professional findability standpoint, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat content creation when it comes to strutting your expertise. Unlike a job interview or a resume, strong content will help you stand out from other candidates—or, may bring opportunities to you without the need to job hunt. Memorable content will get you noticed.
There are many methods of producing content and plenty of platform options. It all comes down to what you’re hoping to achieve, the goals you first set before embarking on your personal branding journey.
Take LinkedIn Pulse. A big perk when you blog on LinkedIn is that your network receives a notification, so the amplification factor is already built in. But be warned…LinkedIn is a purely professional audience, and you have to bring your A-game. It can be a tough crowd, so any content you put your name on will be put under the business microscope.
If you have the gusto to build your brand from scratch, set up your own blog. If you want to avoid that effort, writing for your company’s blog is an excellent option. You can take advantage of getting in front of an established audience, while speaking about topics you are already familiar with.
You may not be a writer at all—or you may loathe it and end up staring at a blank screen. In which case, why write? From podcasts to videos, there are plenty of other content avenues you can use to share your thought leadership.
No matter which medium you choose, content creation doesn’t stop after you publish. How you amplify that content on your social channels means everything. As long as you’re following the 80/20 rule AND you create content that people will value, feel free to share your latest piece of content far and wide across your channels.
3) Engage with Content
If a company isn’t active on social media, we think they’ve gone out of business, right? The same goes for your personal brand. Without a social presence, you just don’t exist.
Joining relevant professional groups and being active can help establish yourself as an expert in your field. Posting educational content and sharing your thoughts when others post—these are ways to do groups right. Posting overly self-promotional content will be ignored, and could get you kicked out of the group.
Social media is a golden opportunity to reach people directly, as long as you’re warming them up appropriately. Is your dream to work at a particular company? Follow them and engage.
Also, start connecting with active social media users from that company, whether that’s the CEO or the VP that could hire you. Don’t blatantly ask for any favors—take the time to build these key relationships by interacting with content until the timing is right for the next step in the conversation.
The benefits of building your personal brand now through content creation and engagement are lasting. Don’t let being busy keep you from taking the time to establish your voice and expertise in your space. You never know what kind of opportunities will come from making the effort and putting yourself out there.