Personal Branding: Putting Your Best Foot Forward
While phase one centered on defining your personal branding, phase two is all about polishing your online presence and putting your best foot forward.
PHASE 2: Putting Your Best Foot Forward
Select Your Channel Mix
There was a time earlier when we all didn’t know any better that we thought we had to be in every single platform. Aside from the basics – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we thought we also needed to be active on Tumble, Pinterest, Snapchat, Foursquare, and many more.
This can be very overwhelming and it won’t be worth it because of the diminishing returns. To make the long story short, be only on platforms where your audience congregates. Find out where you get the most engagements and the platforms that yield results and concentrate on growing there.
Platforms suggested are Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and a personal website. If you have to choose one, choose Linkedin because this is where the most influential online networking takes place. Have a personal website, and depending on your line of work, be on platforms that will be good for your career. For instance, if you’re an actor, spend time on IMDB; if you’re a graphic designer, spend time on dribble; if you are a vlogger, spend time on YouTube.
A non-negotiable is having a website. You will need an online destination for people to learn more about you as they engage with you and your work online.
Complete Your Social Profiles
What’s the number one activity on social media? Stalking, and you and I are both guilty of doing it. The mindless scrolling through feed and timelines without purpose, it’s like repeatedly returning to your kitchen to open up your refrigerator expecting something to be different in there. You know it’s pointless but you still do it anyway because it’s habitual and compulsive.
One thing you can do is to play to that and make it work for you. Play into the reflex of people scrolling and stopping to stare and then clicking to learn more. The last thing you want is for a potential client, someone who will prove beneficial to you, to arrive at your profile and not be impressed with it because of a lack of information.
At the very minimum, you are going to need the following:
- a user handle – your handle should be easy to remember and state who you are.
- an account name – your account name should be recognizable because this is what the users see the most.
- a bio – your bio should talk briefly about who you are and what you do. This is the perfect place to plug in your mission statement.
- links – the link in your bio should be the most important platform to your desired goals, such as the website we’re about to create or your blog or a portfolio, or another social profile
- visuals – stories are better with pictures. Make your profile picture clear and unchanging. Use your cover photo as a tool to reinforce some themes around your mission.
- content – the lifeblood of your social media as it keeps your story current.
Mastering your Social Posts
To be consistent with your personal branding, you will have to be well-versed with all your social media content. Be consistent in all of your platforms, here are some things to keep in mind: when appropriate, include a call-to-action. An engaging content contains a call-to-action, “click on this link” or “comment below” are two typical examples.
When sharing links, have it shortened. The goal of an effective post is to drive a link click. Use a shortening tool such as bit.ly to create a trackable, easy to input link.
Use visuals. On Twitter, for instance, tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets. The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is very true online. All of the social media platforms, from Facebook to Instagram, don’t merely place a photo just for the sake of posting it. Visuals are everything because it acts as the permission to play.
Think about it, when was the last time you clicked on an article on Facebook that didn’t have a thumbnail? Even the motivational quotes on Instagram are given careful consideration in terms of font design and layout.
Use hashtags for connecting with community, campaigns, and other related content. They can also be used humorously and for afterthoughts, but don’t hashtag basic nouns.
Don’t cross-post. Tweets are for Twitter, Facebook posts are for Facebook. Unless you’re Taylor Swift, don’t link them, or fans who are following you on both might stop engaging altogether. And remember that timing is everything. Use your app’s native built-in analytics to find out the best times for you to post. If you want to invest in a central social media dashboard with really robust analytics, check out Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
When it comes to Linkedin, make sure you go the extra mile. Consider the following:
- Linkedin profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed
- Linkedin profiles with skills are 13 times more likely to be viewed
- Complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities
Also on Linkedin, it’s important that you illustrate your work and your job descriptions. A simple title and location are not enough. Write down what you did and use this basic structure to tell a better story: I did X which resulted in Y. For example, “I lead a team of 10 marketing professionals to render professional services to more than 50 clients. Pro tip: use numbers generously and then illustrate your contributions with links and media.
Lastly, get endorsed and recommended. Think of your social profiles as spokes in a hub and spoke model. The spokes republish the traffic drive to the hub, and the hub helps drive conversions to the spokes. The hub is important because, without a hub, the spokes would just be standing on properties not tied to any specific goals or strategy. The hub and spoke model are tied together.
They need to be done in tandem because without the spoke content, promoting and distributing, the hub wouldn’t get enough traffic to be successful.
Build a Personal Website
The next action in this phase is to build an online destination aka your website. Don’t worry, you will need zero design coding experience to do this because all you need is about.me. about.me is a professional, authentic, and simple page that presents who you are and what you do in one link. It will be a single centralized destination that will allow you to showcase who you are from your work to your passions. And it will be super easy for your audience to learn more about you. The best thing is it’s free and search engine optimized!
Head over to about.me and get started. Make sure that your website has the following components: name, title, profile picture, short bio, links to social media, published works if you have any, and a clear call to action. And that’s it, you will now have a simple and effective online destination that you control.
This concludes phase two of the power of personal branding blog series. The last part will be up soon. For more fabulous digital marketing content, don’t forget to visit our blog!