If you have profiles on various social networks, then you have a personal brand. The problem is that you may not be keeping good track of this brand and how you’re perceived online.
Luckily, there are simple ways for you to start creating a more consistent presence online, rewarding you with a tighter, more influential network.
1. Craft your ideal brand.
Before anything else, you absolutely need to have a clear idea of how you want to brand yourself (this can be broad, so don’t panic.) Simply put yourself in the shoes of someone who just stumbled upon your LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever else.
What do you want them to see? Do you want them to find you fun, energetic and engaging? Do you want people to like your writing and creativity? Do you want to come off as professional and business-oriented?
In my case, I want my identity to feature what I can do as a writer and how well I get along with others online. I go for the creative youth identity that I know I excel at.
As long as you’re realistic and honest about what you really represent, coming up with an identity game-plan can be an extremely fun exercise.
2. Update/Create all of your profiles at the same time.
Time to get started. Once you know exactly what you want your personal brand to be, it’s time to implement it across all of your channels.
If you want an online identity that sticks, you need to have a cohesive theme between your major networks. The best way to accomplish this level of consistency is to edit them all at the same time.
They don’t have to be identical (and definitely shouldn’t), but they should at least match each other in terms of language and presentation. Your “About Me” on Facebook should make sense alongside your Twitter bio, even though they will no doubt say different things.
For example, your Facebook may say that you are a lawyer at Earth, Wind, and Fire Legal (Fresh Prince of Bel-air joke), but you LinkedIn, in contrast, says you are a legal consultant for the parent of the firm. Even worse, your Twitter could say you’re a paralegal because you haven’t updated it in a year.
Use the same language and verify that your online brand is as up-to-date as possible.
3. Leave some information out.
This may seem counterintuitive, but a big mistake some people make with their online identity is that they talk about themselves too much. Yes, you want to inform people and make your bragging rights known, but being an open book can have negative consequences.
You don’t want people to feel like there’s nothing else they can learn about you, so try to keep an air of mystery that will open the door to future conversations.
4. Change your profile picture.
I’m a firm believer that you should have a different profile picture for the social networks you use the most. This is because each network is different, and you want to communicate separate (but equal) things about yourself across your profiles.
My goal with Facebook, for example, is to feature pictures of my family and what I like to do for fun. So, my profile picture reflects the lighthearted, family side of me. My Twitter is more of an outlet for the creative professional in me, so I usually go with minimalist pictures. LinkedIn is obviously a place for being professional, so you’ll find the suit and tie version of me on there.
See, it’s not that I’m a different person in each of these cases. If you read about me, you’ll find the same person, just a different shade. And it all ties back to one theme, my brand.
5. Create as much content as possible.
Sharing is great. I do it a lot, and I love telling others about what I find interesting. That said, creating your own content is very important as well.
I create my own graphics for this blog and I write everything you see. That’s because when I broadcast something I’ve published, I want my identity stamped on it.
Attaching yourself to your works is one of the easiest ways to communicate your identity to your network, and it leaves a lasting impression if you’re content is good enough.
And you don’t have to just blog. Take photos. Make videos. Write poetry. Do what you like to do and put it on your fridge (new social media idea, don’t steal it).
Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.
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2 thoughts on “5 Steps to Branding Yourself Online”
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I like your brand. I’m just getting started, switching gears from interior designer to Motivational Coach. Definitely need to change my profiles.