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personal brand

How To Build A Strong Personal Brand

When people think of the word “brand”, they often think of big companies: Pepsi, Chevy, Apple.  But in today’s times, not only do big companies must think about their brand, but so do small companies as well as individuals.  It is important to think about your own personal brand and how they will market themselves as they shape their career.  A strong and authentic personal brand will help you with networking, developing relationships, finding new opportunities, as well as recognition at work or in your industry. Developing your brand can help you become a thought leader in your field.

To get started, here are a few steps to take to get started on shaping your personal brand:

DEFINE YOURSELF

What makes you unique?  What are you good at and what sets you apart from everyone else?

Your personal brand consists of your experience, skills, and passions. Click To TweetThese are the qualities that make up your unique selling points and will play a role when people are searching online for these skills and characteristics.

Are there others who have the same skills with the same goals that you have? Of course. But what makes you unique is you. There isn’t anyone else exactly like you, so it’s important to illustrate what is totally and uniquely you. You must find your niche. For example, I’m a marketer with writing skills, a knack for promoting events with experience with large organizations and a passion for non-profit organizations who make a difference in their communities, and I love music. Maybe someone else is a marketer with large organization experience and they’re passionate about art.

DEFINE HOW YOU ARE PERCEIVED

How do your friends, colleagues, other professionals, and people in your online communities perceive you? Try googling yourself. Take note what shows up first in the search results. Does it line up with how you define yourself?

Monitor your mentions online with google alerts. You’ll want to stay on top of what people are saying about you and where your name is appearing online.

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Does your online brand reflect your career goals? Do you need to change course or reinforce what’s there?  The online world is a busy, noisy one. You must work to stand out. Be sure your brand reflects the niche you want to be known for.

CREATE CONTENT

Creating and sharing content is the best way to establish expertise and show that your brand is authentic.Click To Tweet

You will need to learn to create and curate content well. There are many options available to you when it comes to creating content. You can write a blog offering expert advise , personal stories or commentary. You can also create graphics or start a podcast. Video is exceptionally popular and engaging. Keep in mind your goals and determine what forms of content make sense for  your niche as well as what type of content you are best at creating.

Be sure to also share from industry influencers. Sharing curated content helps you establish and build relationships with people in your field.

NETWORK

Even if you’re an introvert, you can and should network. Much of your networking can be done online. However, you’ll eventually need to take some of your networking efforts offline as well. Nothing beats face to face interaction when it comes to networking and building relationships. Become active in communities that you are passionate about. Keeping a consistent presence online and off will help build awareness and recognition for your brand.

A strong personal brand requires a strong narrative. What’s your story? Think of influencers with a strong personal brand and their story.

Make sure you are constantly cultivating and guiding your personal brand. A strong personal brand should always be evolving.

how to be engaging online

How To Be Engaging Online

Your online presence is important for many reasons. Let’s face it, you’re trying to grow your business. You want people to know who you are and what you do. You want to be seen. Sure, you can use social advertising to be seen. 

Before you place an ad, be seen online by simply being engaging, and starting conversations.Click To Tweet

We all want our content to stand out. So we work hard to make it interesting, shareable and valuable. But your content isn’t always seen unfortunately due to busy newsfeeds, tricky algorithms and timing, right? So. What else works? Simply being engaging!

I’m not just talking about when people comment, like and share YOUR content. I’m talking more about BEING engaging, starting conversations, and showing genuine interest in others. What are some great ways you can be engaging?

  • Engaging with followers. Start a conversation. If they share their recent blog post, retweet it adding your own comment.
  • Make a twitter list of companies or people you want to network with or do business with and make a point to start engaging with them. Having a list helps you target them specifically.
  • Make new connections with people you want to network with and take a genuine interest in what they share Comment on and share their content. Comment on their blogs posts.
  • Ask questions! Questions are conversation starters. Conversations lead to relationships which can ultimately lead to business.
  • Tag users in posts that are relevant to them. If you notice an article, a graphic with a statistic or fact that you think they could speak to, tag them and ask for their thoughts or just let them know you thought they’d be interested in hear about it.
  • Be human. Your audience wants to engage with the person behind the logo. So make it personal. Share your likes and interests beyond your business. Share your hobby. You can make a connection with your audience on things you have in common or just by showing a bit of yourself outside of your business.
  • Give them a sneak peek. Let them see what goes on behind the scenes. Share what a day in the life of YOU is like.

Often we focus so much on our own content and what we are sharing, that we forget the flip side to social media and that’s simply being social, engaging and having conversations. Building relationships keeps you top of mind with your audience. We all like to do business with people we know and trust. Get to know your audience.

rock linkedin

Utilize These LinkedIn Tips To Rock Your Profile

LinkedIn can be a powerful platform for professionals and entrepreneurs alike. When used properly, you can attract the attention of job seekers, recruiters or potential customers who want to utilize your services. In order to do that, you need to take the right approach to setting up your profile. Utilize LinkedIn’s platform and features to highlight your strengths and stand out.

Don't treat LinkedIn simply as an online resume. Set up your profile to help accomplish your goals.Click To Tweet

Here are  some tips to do just that:

Customize Your URL

It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL. Ditch the assigned numbers that you get upson sign up and make it personal, (ideally with your name, such as:www.linkedin.com/in/saranickleberry

On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.

Make Your Headline Sizzle

Skip the standard job title and company. Instead, use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty or value proposition. The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.

Own Your Summary

Own your summary by writing in the first person.  Writing in the third person appears odd. Everyone assumes you wrote your summary anyway. No need to separate your accomplishments with your identity. Writing about what you did shows confidence and just makes sense.

Highlight Your Experience

Not unlike like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is a place to highlight your best accomplishments. Use your profile experience section to describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.

Show and Tell

Do you know you can add video, publications, documents and presentations to your LinkedIn profile? You can and you should! This is a site where people ARE interested in what you can do. On LinkedIn you can tell them AND show them!

Be Strategic About Endorsements

Endorsements on LinkedIn are great. But make sure you manage them. You can edit the recommendations listed on your profile. Keep your skills updated and don’t over list them. Be sure they reflect relevant skills.

Connect With Intent

How connected are you? On LinkedIn, you should connect with at least 501 people. This is because LinkedIn will show how many connections you have until you hit 500. People like to connect with “connected” people. Just make sure you connect with intent and purpose.

Don’t Default

LinkedIn has a default connection message that states“I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Don’t settle for that. Use this opportunity to stand out. Tell them why you want to connect and use this as an opportunity to show how much you value making this connection.

Use LinkedIn’s Publishing Feature

The Pulse publishing platform is a valuable way to share original content that is relevant to your business, increase your exposure and establish yourself as a thought leader. It’s also a great place to repurpose older content from your blog that is still relevant. You’ll get new life from your “evergreen” content and expose it to possibly a whole new audience.

Take advantage of these great ways that LinkedIn has made it easier to network and spotlight your skills in a digital way. You’ll stand out and maximize your chances of gaining opportunities for new business.

 

linkedin

These LinkedIn Mistakes Are Deal Breakers

LinkedIn is a professional network for the serious networker and professional. As in any platform don’t disrupt the culture by being odd. If you want to be taken seriously, take the platform seriously. On a weekly basis, I receive connection requests that make at least one of these mistakes. Don’t let this be you!

1.Your Name In Lower Case Letters.

Please capitalize your first and last name. Period. Once again, keep in mind the context of the social network. Your LinkedIn Profile Name is not your twitter handle.

2. No Profile Photo.

There is no excuse for this. Upload a professional picture of yourself.

3. Incomplete Profile. 

By this I mean that there is barely anything there. Clearly I don’t know your work history but I know it shouldn’t be blank. Take the time to fill in your education, work history, organizations, etc;. This is information you want to share on LinkedIn.

4. Bizarre Job Title.

Your job title is not “Money Maker” or “Dream Builder”.  If you want to be taken seriously, take the process seriously.

5. Creating a Profile with your company name.

Profiles are for people, pages are for companies. Just simply do the right thing and follow the rules. I can’t network with a company, I need to network with a person. You have the opportunity to list and describe your company, the link to your site and other social links. Your company will get attention as well. But LinkedIn profiles are for YOU.

If you want to be effective on LinkedIn, you need to approach it as a professional. Complete your profile correctly. Connect with a purpose. Don’t race to get 500+ connections. LinkedIn Expert and Entrepreneur Alex Pirouz gave this great tip to Forbes magazine about connecting on LinkedIn, “Every connection needs to be linked to your goals and objectives both now and in the future.”

Be sure to communicate effectively with your connection requests.  When you send a connection request, don’t use the default message, craft your own. Connect and network with LinkedIn groups. Find groups to join related to your industry, organizations you are associated with or other business interests.

One thing that does translate from platform to platform: you must build relationships and this process takes time.  Here are some more great LinkedIn tips from Social Solutions Collective, 5 Smart Ways To Embrace LinkedIn.

 

 

Using Tweetchats To Network And Learn New Techniques

Social Media Marketing takes place where? On Social Networks, right? It makes sense that networking is a key objective to social media marketing. You have to be where people are to network. Offline networking events are important because it gives you the opportunity to interact with people, have conversations, find common interests and make bonds that ultimately lead to a mutual business benefit. Can this happen online? Absolutely!

There are many ways that you can interact with other people online in arranged settings: Facebook Groups, Google Plus Communities, Online Chats. One of the ways I’ve found that is ideal for networking are tweet chats.

Tweetchats are virtual gatherings held on Twitter. A group of people all tweet about the same topic using a specific hashtag. The chats are at a specific time and often repeat weekly or bi-weekly or are only at announced times. You simply go to tweetchat.com, sign in with your twitter id, enter the assigned hashtag, and you are in a “tweetchat room” where all the tweets assigned to that hashtag with that particular group are housed. It’s fun! You can use Tweetchats to network and learn a few new things.

On Monday evenings, The Social Solutions Collective hosts a Tweetchat for an hour on a particular subject. The most recent subject was on Content Calendar creation and management. Just like with most Tweetchats I got an opportunity to do a few things:

1. meet new people
2. chat with new people
3. gain followers and follow new people

and the added bonus: I learned some new things!

Because the Tweetchat host asks questions around the particular subject aimed at the participants of the chat, people willingly chime in. These chats give you the opportunity to learn something new, gain a new perspective, get new ideas and learn some new techniques. I always learn something from the other tweet chat participants.
From this Tweetchat I learned some new content creation tips, bookmarked a resource to help me with it, learned about a new WP plug in that I’d like to incorporate, and I also got the nudge I needed to go ahead and dive further into Google Drive.

Tweetchats are typically an hour. The time goes by fast. You’re able to do all this in an hour’s time. So if you’re looking to network and learn new things, I encourage you to try out a Tweetchat. You may also want to consider hosting one. Tweetchats are a great way to showcase your expertise and brand. It’s also a great hands on learning experience if you’re not so familiar with Twitter. It will help you “get it”. It can be fast paced depending on the number of participants so you may need to participate in a couple before you’re comfortable. The important thing is, to give it a try. If you never try, you’ll never know.

Have you participated in Tweetchats? What do you like about them? What other online networking activities do you participate in and find beneficial? Please share in the comments below.

Using Twitter Lists To Enhance Your Twitter Marketing Experience

Twitter is a great place to post your latest blog posts, connect with brand new people and find real time information. Twitter is also great for networking. You can very quickly and easily connect with people and brands. Because you are limited to 140 characters, coupled with the help of mobile apps, tweeting is a simple and convenient process. For that reason, people who are active, tend to tweet regularly. The more people you follow, the busier your newsfeed gets. To keep up, you need to find ways to manage your Twitter feed so you can easily access and target certain people, brands and topics.

A great way to organize and manage Twitter is by using Twitter Lists. Twitter lists allow you to organize Twitter users into groups so that you can view the tweets of the people in those lists only. People on this list don’t have to necessarily be people you are following. You can add anyone to a list. Lists can help you keep up with people you are targeting for different reasons. Let’s say that you are a travel professional and you would like to keep a list of Twitter accounts of hotels. You can do that. Say, you’re looking for news or sales or events from hotels, you can easily access that list to view only their tweets. Or you may way to keep a list of cruise lines, all inclusive resorts or travel niche specific blogs. You can make your lists public or private. There are many possibilities.

Here are some examples:

Niche or Industry Specialists:

Keep up with others in your industry to network and share ideas. It is helpful to both you and your audience to share great content from sources other than yourself. Don’t be afraid to do just that.

Prospects:
You might consider creating a private list of local small businesses who may be interested in your service or product.

Brand Ambassadors: Keep a list of those who share your content, share your product or service information. This list could include those who are your customers and potential customers.

Industry News Outlets:

Keep up with the latest news, changes and information related to your industry. Follow those people or organizations connected with your industry. If you are a WordPress expert, follow technology brands and experts who share news and information relative to your field.

Keeping these lists will help you stay on top of what is important. However, don’t neglect the most important piece: building relationships! Be sure to interact and engage. Start conversations, ask questions, give feedback. This is how great things begin.

Do you manage Twitter with lists? If so, what other list suggestions can you offer? Please share in the comments below!