Personal Branding

Personal branding is about managing your name—even if you don’t own a business—in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto. —Tim Ferriss, Author, The 4-Hour Work Week

Now more than ever, when it comes to your personal “brand,” it’s important to manage your digital trail, or the information online about you and your online reputation.

It’s becoming increasingly easier to find information about anyone—even you—online. For brand marketers, however, being found online is less of a nuisance or concern. In fact, it is an imperative for many who want to establish themselves as industry experts. For that reason, establishing a social presence online is critical in becoming an online thought leader.

My recent book Manager’s Guide to Online Marketing walks through the steps on how to establish yourself as an industry expert. As a starting point, I have provided a few helpful tips here.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you: Becoming an online expert is tough business. You have to always be “on” and creating new content in the form of a post, tweet, video, etc. For many, it’s a full-time job and it quickly becomes time consuming, and tiresome.

The concept of personal branding has become exponential through social media. Over the past few years, I’ve seen a variety of ways to leverage social media for your own personal brand. Some tactics are more complex than others. Specifically, starting a blog is more difficult to maintain because of the continuous demand for long-form content. Therefore, platforms like Twitter have emerged that are easier to maintain since your communication is limited to 140 characters per post. You need to pick the right approach for your bandwidth and audience.

Most people in my company have a personal Twitter account, as do I, aside from a corporate Twitter account. Even though a business account is set up the same way as a personal account, the tone of these two accounts should be different.  For corporate Twitter accounts, keep your tweets informational. You comment and retweet more often about events in your industry than you would in a personal account. A corporate account can also link to e-commerce sites if you are selling a product or service.

Personal accounts should be a reflection of yourself and your personal interests.  Several industry experts have both personal and business Twitter accounts set up, but they know how to leverage each for different purposes.

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 11.39.03 AM

People often ask me about strategies to build their individual fan bases. There is no silver bullet when it comes to social media. Gaining true fans is a result of several marketing tactics, great content, and old-fashioned hard work.  Fans are key, and imperative for growth in social media. Even better are evangelists— those who take your message managing to a new level by recruiting more fans to your page. Foster evangelists, and your personal brand will grow while you sleep.

In addition to blogging and popular social media networks, several personal page platforms—or systems for organizing social media profiles and information—have emerged to help you better consolidate your social media connections. About.me allows you to create a personal branded page with a few clicks. These personalized pages contain links to your Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, etc. Consider this your personal landing page. You can view my About.me personal page here: about.me/mixdown.

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 11.33.39 AM

Since companies like About.me want to drive more traffic to their platform, they make it easy for search engines to find you. Getting found gets you noticed, and getting noticed gets you one step closer to becoming an industry expert.

You may be wondering how your online presence currently measures up to other industry experts. Several platforms offer ways to measure your current online influence. Each platform has a different formula for how influence is measured, so it’s important to evaluate each and determine which platform best aligns with your beliefs in how online influence should be measured. For more in-depth detail on how to successfully measure your online presence, you can purchase my book here.

-Jason